Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert taxis BF-18, a production-level F-35B variant of the Lightning II, after arrival Nov. 8. BF-18 temporarily adds to the complement of F-35B and F-35C test aircraft at the F-35 Integrated Test Facility, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., before heading to its ultimate destination of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base prior to delivery to the fleet.
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