The global power systems company, Rolls-Royce, has been successful in demonstrating the capabilities of its unique LiftSystem technology, through the first vertical landing of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II aircraft. The flight, which was successful, took place on 18th March (Thursday) 2010, at the Naval Air Test Centre, Patuxent River, Maryland – and landed at 1.21 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (5.21 pm GMT).
For those who don’t know, the LiftSystem is the technology which allows for shorter take off and vertical landing (STVOL) operations, for the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The President-Defense of Rolls-Royce, Dan Korte, said that Rolls-Royce as a company is very proud of the role that it is playing in the F-35 program, and that it is bringing innovative STOVL technology through the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem. Since this first vertical landing has been successful, it is a significant and very important accomplishment in the program, and also marks the unique capabilities for which the LiftSystem was designed. It makes smooth transition from forward flight to vertical landing mode.
Rolls-Royce has become a pioneer in the area of vertical lift propulsion system technology. First it was involved in the unique Harrier jump-jet, and now with the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. In fact, the LiftSystem marks a major advancement in aerospace technology that will definitely play a vital role in the largest fighter aircraft program of history. The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem is made up of LightFan, Variable Area VaneBox Nozzle (VAVBN), Roll Posts, and 3 Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM).