Boeing Completes First JSF In-Flight Conversions to STOVL Mode

The Boeing Joint Strike Fighter X-32B, with lead STOVL test pilot Dennis O'Donoghue at the controls, successfully completes its first in-flight conversion -- from conventional to short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) flight mode and back again. During the flow-switch transition, the X-32B's two-dimensional cruise nozzle is closed, re-directing the engine thrust to its lift nozzles located on the center fuselage. The milestone confirmed the ease in conversion between conventional and STOVL flight modes as well as the low pilot workload required. The transition was completed flying at 180 knots and 9,500 feet during the aircraft's third test flight.