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Mar 18, 2010
An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter descends to its first vertical landing March 18, 2010, at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md., confirming the future Marine Corps aircraft’s ability to land in confined areas. During the test, the plane, which is slated to replace all Marine Corps combat jets, rode 41,000 pounds of thrust from its single engine to land on the runway 150 feet below. Despite delays and budget overages within the JSF program, the Marine Corps is on track to reach an initial operating capability of 29 planes by December 2012.


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