An F-35 fighter jet is seen hovering, gaining altitude and turning toward its intended destination. Then, the aircraft's wheels tuck in as it begins forward motion, gains speed and flies off into the distance. The impressive spectacle, not something most people see every day, sparks some discussion on the Internet. Check out the video below.
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"Imagine what the Wright brothers would say if you showed them this," writes @5.n0oo in a comment about this clip posted to TikTok by @damion_bailey.
"So it's a spaceship?" asks @wy_f148.
"It's just a copy of the Harrier Jumpjet from the 1980s," remarks @rafstagram2.0.
"The Harrier is a subsonic aircraft like the Yak-38," says @dobryvecherok. "The F-35B is more like the supersonic Yak-141."
"The aircraft has three main variants," Wikipedia explains. "The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the carrier-based (CV/ CATOBAR) F-35C."
"If you were to go back to the year 2000 and somebody said, 'I can build an airplane that is stealthy and has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities and can go supersonic,' most people in the industry would have said that’s impossible," Tom Burbage, Lockheed’s general manager for the program from 2000 to 2013 told The New York Times. "The technology to bring all of that together into a single platform was beyond the reach of industry at that time."
"Designed from the ground up to prioritize low-observability, the F-35 may be the stealthiest fighter in operation today," according to Popular Mechanics. "It uses a single F135 engine that produces 40,000 lbs. of thrust with the afterburner engaged, capable of pushing the sleek but husky fighter to speeds as high as Mach 1.6. The aircraft can carry four weapons internally while flying in contested airspace, or can be outfitted with six additional weapons mounted on external hardpoints when flying in low-risk environments. The F-35A also comes equipped with an internal 4-barrel 25mm rotary cannon hidden behind a small door to minimize radar returns."
It's an impressive aircraft, indeed, and we appreciate the opportunity for some education on the subject.
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