Joint Strike Fighter discussion
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Joint Strike Fighter
Visible is one of the test aircraft used to evaluate the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. Given the date of the image, it is likely the F-35A prototype, but the 'marks' behind the cockpit are more consistent with the F-35B STVOL. (Short Take-OFF, Vertical Landing)
Proof is in the shadows
This is unequivocally the F-35B STOVL. The shadow on the northwest side of the forward fuselage even shows the outline of the open door that covers the forward lift-fan when in forward flight mode. The dark spot behind the cockpit is the lift-fan & the one behind that is the engine air intake that open for vertical / hover mode. Furthermore, it is the prototype because the production version has a single-piece door for the lift-fan which is hinged at the back instead of the split cover that opens to the sides & is casting the shadow in this photo.
Last edited by RoanokeTexan; 04-19-2009 at 12:34 AM.
Reason: Added info