BAE said Friday Peter Wilson — lead test pilot for the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the F-35 — performed the landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River six years after BAE pilot Graham Tomlinson conducted the first vertical landing.
“Every day, the test team carries out numerous take-offs, landings and sorties with the aim of ensuring the aircraft is performing in accordance with our expectations,” Wilson said.
The fighter jet will be deployed from the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.
Wilson added the “first of class” flight trials on the QEC will occur in less than three years.
BAE noted it oversees integration of the aircraft and the aircraft carrier for the U.K. and provides design, development and manufacture support for the units.
It also performs test and development of new technologies for the aircraft based on trials in the U.S.
Data from flight trials support a simulation facility in BAE’s Warton site in the U.K. that is designed to help pilots and engineers fly the F-35B from the deck of the QEC carrier, BAE said.