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(Video) F-35 Ski Jump Test LaunchThe F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 conducted the first-ever ski jump of an F-35B Lightning II short take-off/vertical-landing (STOVL) variant June 19. During flight 298, BAE test pilot Peter Wilson launched aircraft BF-04 from a land-based ski jump located aboard NAS Patuxent River. This test is the first of a series of U.K. ski jump events scheduled for 2015. (youtu.be) More...
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What is the purpose of this? Because it still isn't certified for VTOL?
This was previously used by British Harriers and Sea Harriers, as well as by some other countries with Sea Harriers. A vertical takeoff uses lots more fuel and drastically reduces the amount of fuel and weapons that can be carried. The decks aren't long enough for a completely conventional takeoff when fully loaded. The ski jump gives an extra "boost", allowing the aircraft to carry a greater payload into combat. It's a legitimate method of launching the aircraft and isn't a "Plan B". Anyway, the F-35B was cleared to do both vertical take-offs and vertical landings years ago.
It allows you to launch many more fighters in a short period of time than regulars Wcatapults used on carriers. which required more time to set, more men to operate and they are also more risky.
I want to say the French did that some decades ago - at a few gizillion million trillion less dollars...with a plane that they WANTED
Which French ship had a ski jump?
Wonder if I could get my Baron to do this. "Hey watch this !!" 8(