One feature that makes Lockheed Martin's F-35B different than other fighter jets is its ability to land on an aircraft carrier without requiring a hook to prevent it from sailing right off the end into the ocean.
The F-35B recently completed its first vertical landing at night on the USS Wasp. When visualized through a night vision lens, the F-35B looked just like what you might expect of a Hollywood-stylized UFO.
F-35B comes in for its first vertical landing at night. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Through a night vision lens, the aircraft looks similar to a UFO. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Although the F-35B project has received some criticism for its expense, one must admit that the landing was pretty impressive. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Check out the footage and see if you agree (also notice how eerie it is without sound, which Lockheed seems to have left off the video):
The test performed by a Marine pilot took place August 14, according to Lockheed. In 2011, the F-35B conducted its first vertical carrier landing in daylight. The aircraft is designed to go Mach 1.6, which is about 1,200 miles per hour.
The government expects to spend about a trillion dollars on the F-35 program in general over the next 50 years. The project has been criticized for being over-budget, delayed and even having some visibility issues from a pilot's perspective.