On the 20 January 2012 the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of probation for the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.
Leon Panetta recently visited the F-35 Lightning II team at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. He met with BAE Systems’ own test pilot Peter “Wizzer” Wilson. Wizzer leads the F-35B Flight Science testing at Pax River, where about 50 BAE Systems employees support the programme. Our team leads the test operations planning and execution activities on three F-35B aircraft.