There are plenty of supersonic fighter jets, and there's no shortage of jump jets either, those Harrier planes that can take off and land vertically. But the subsonic Harriers are about to be surpassed, because here comes the world's first supersonic jump jet, the F-35B Lightning II. It's the next best thing to an antigravity drive.
Besides its unique supersonic jump-jet capabilities, the F-35B also employs stealth technology, making it extremely hard for bad guys to spot. The plane's been tentatively flying for almost a year, but now its short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) capabilities are being tested for the first time.
Its unique characteristics will come in handy when there's not a catapult-equipped aircraft carrier or long, smooth runway handy. Now that all this super technology is just about perfected, we'll see if politicians decide that what we really need is a completely different aircraft.
Two more pics of the world's first supersonic hoverer:
Via The Register