In case any of you are keeping score at home, it has been suggested by visitors to this blog that the very cool Vectoring in Forward Flight (VIFF) feature of the Harrier jet could be one aerodynamic advantage employed by the short-takeoff-and-landing F-35B.
Well, apparently not.
Bill Sweetman, who literally wrote the book on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, says the VIFF’ing maneuver won’t work on the F-35B. Says Sweetman:
"The Harrier can VIFF (although it drains energy) because it can simply rotate its nozzles down. F-35B won’t because it has to engage a clutch and open doors that aren’t designed for high speeds."