Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.---The Boeing Joint Strike Fighter Concept Demonstrator today successfully completed significant steps leading to another historic milestone for the program: hover.
In four separate flights, the X-32B demonstrated rock-solid stability at various altitudes and at all airspeeds down to 90 knots on landing and 80 knots during the flight. On each flight, the X-32B performed transitions from conventional, wing-borne flight to jet-borne, direct-lift flight and back to wing-borne flight.
The aircraft demonstrated Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) flying qualities down to 80 knots on the direct-lift system during the fourth flight of the day. On 9 of the 11 flights of the past three days, the flight was culminated with a "slow" landing using direct lift. The aircraft is expected to reduce forward speed progressively over the next several flights, demonstrating hover flying qualities and vertical landing performance within the next several flights.
Successful demonstrations of short takeoff, hover and vertical landing will complete the customer requirements for the Boeing JSF flight test program.
Boeing JSF X-32B Landings at 90 Knots Move Plane Closer to First Hover