The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation multirole jet fighter that has been designed to serve the US military for both the air superiority as well as ground attack missions. The aircraft is renowned amongst the world’s very best fifth-generation fighters and it is all thanks to its many innovative features.
For our readers, we have decided to start a list of the innovative features about the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Due to the aircraft being one of a kind in the US air force, it is equipped with many amazing features and it is hard to compile them all in a single article.
So for the sake of encompassing each and every feature of the F-35 Lightning II we have decided to start off with the innovative features of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Part 1).
The most Innovative of all the 5th Generation Fighters:-
Not only is the F-35 Lightning II one of the most innovative military fighter jets ever made but it also happens to be one of the mere 3 fifth generation jet fighters across the globe.
While the definition of a Fifth-generation fighter jet is still to be explained properly, it essentially means an aircraft that has the superior ability to evade the enemy’s radar detection along with it having the state of the art avionics as well as flight systems to provide the pilot with situational awareness.
At the moment the only three active fifth-generation fighter jets of the world are as follows.
- F-22 Raptor
- Chengdu J-20
- F-35 Lightning II
Out of these three fighters, only F-35 Lightning II is considered to be of superior quality and to have advanced features.
Gauges in a fighter jet are now old technology and tapping them to see if they are working is also an act of the past. The F-35 Lightning II is now equipped with innovative glass cockpits. These glass cockpits were developed by the Lockheed Martin in collaboration with a company named Adacel. These glass cockpits were something that had never been seen in any other US military aircraft.
As for Adacel, they are a global systems integrator that equipped the F-35 Lightning II with a Direct Voice input (DVI) feature. This feature allows the pilot of the F-35 Lightning II to control the aircraft with voice commands. With this feature, the pilot in between critical missions, is able to focus on other important tasks instead of just scrolling through the menus on aircraft’s instrumental panel.
F-35 Lightning II’s Helmet:-
The helmet of the F-35 Lightning II is the world’s most expensive aircraft helmet yet. The price of the single helmet is about 40000 dollars and their features to make the price worth it.
The entire exterior of the F-35 Lightning II is equipped with sensors and cameras which are all integrated with the helmet. The pilot wearing the helmet is able to have a view through aircraft’s airframe. Not only does it give the pilot complete awareness of the surroundings, but it also helps him to mark a target by simply looking. It does not require the aircraft to be directly pointed towards the target. Once the target is locked, the pilot can fire the weapons and continue his course while knowing that the ordinance will strike the target down.
STVOL (Short Take-off and Landing):-
STVOL is not a concept of these modern times for the fighter jets. The Harrier Jump Jet has been performing the STVOL since 1967 but with the F-35 Lightning II, the STVOL program has been taken to extreme heights.
The F-35 Lightning II which already has a stealth design is now also the only aircraft to have the STVOL in aviation history.
For the pilots of AV-8B Harriers, they require extreme precision as well as pinpoint inputs to make the aircraft hover. However, as per the Chief Test Pilot of the Lockheed Martin, the hovering ability of F-35 Lightning II is as easy as simply turning a stick. With a simple turn of the stick, the aircraft will move in the desired direction. Up is simply up and down is simply down.
The days when the aircraft’s had stick, rudders, and pulleys for the flight system are long gone. They have been replaced by the computers but for F-35 Lightning II, these flight systems have been taken to whole another level.
Each and every aspect of the F-35 Lightning II whether it is its ability to hover or opening of its canopy are performed by its flight systems that have 8.2 million lines of codes. To give you a perspective, the space shuttle of NASA only runs on 400000 lines of code. The flight system in the F-35 Lightning II is highly innovative and is capable of adapting to any future developments. Soon this flight system with intricate lines of code will be updated across the entire US military aerial fleet.
The F-35 Lightning II is also known as the Joint Strike Fighter which means that it is designed to be an all-weather multirole aircraft with stealth capability.
This means that an F-35 Lightning II is able to operate in both daytime and nighttime without worrying about any weather situation. Some of the main mission roles fulfilled by the F-35 Lightning II are as follows.
- Air-to-air combat
- Electronic warfare
- Close air support
The thing that makes the F-35 Lightning II so special is that it is able to perform all these tasks while maintaining its stealth.