Right: Martin-Baker is presently finalising the design of its Mk 16E ejection seat, which will equip all of the F-35 variants. Testing is scheduled to begin at the end of 2003 in anticipation of first flight in November 2005. The Mk 16E will be similar to the Mk 16B seen here during sled tests from the Boeing X-32/JSF CDP forebody.
The X-35A baseline, conventional take-off and landing variant is planned to enter service with the USAF in 2011. Note the deployed airbrakes.
Although not obvious from this photograph, the F-35C carrier variant is suitably strengthened for carrier operations. Larger wing and tail control surfaces reduce approach speeds and give increased range.
Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter
Two variants of the JSF are under consideration to be the UK’s Future Joint Carrierborne Aircraft - the F-35B STOVL and the F-35C CV.
Rolls-Royce has played a leading part in the development of the F-35’s propulsion system; with responsibility for the engine-driven fan, the swivel-duct nozzle and reaction controls that made the STOVL X-35B possible.
Engineers installing the Rolls-Royce Lift Fan in the X-35B STOVL variant. The shaft-driven lift fan system is claimed to produce 60% more vertical lift in the STOVL mode, with a cooler ground footprint, than direct lift systems.
During the technology demonstration phase of the JSF programme Pratt & Whitney tested four engines, all of which were derivatives of the F119 developed by P&W for the F-22 Raptor. This is one of two concepts for the F-35B STOVL variant under test at West Palm Beach, Florida.