Hoaxes & Rumors

F35 Takeoff and Flip Video: Real or Fake?

F35 Takeoff and Flip Video: Real or Fake?

A video shows an F35 fighter aircraft engaging in a vertical takeoff, then flipping 360 degrees before taking off. Is this video real or fake?

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It’s not real.

Let’s first take a look at the video and the claims surrounding it.

In a video posted in 2009 entitled “F35 Vertical Takeoff and Flip” we read a description that states, “F35 takes off vertically and does a controlled 360 degree flip and then takes off into the distance.”

Another posting of the same video includes a longer description:

This is of unknown provenance, and whether it’s true or fabricated, it’s a hell of a ride. From the email I was sent: If the pilot could have ejected at 100′ upside down and lived, he would have. Looks like the afterburner kicked in while the plane is still prepared for vertical takeoff. Lockheed would call this a “software malfunction”. Great demo of power-to-weight ratio of this aircraft! and very good stability control. If he didn’t come out of the loop with the wings-level, probably would have been bad news, maybe taking some of the carrier with him! …unpowered and zero airspeed this airplane has aerodynamics of a grand piano. This is the most unbelievable piece of flying you will ever see in your life. This is how a supremely well-trained Navy pilot fully regains control of his $70 million fighter jet, after a disastrous vertical take-off attempt. And we worry about ground loops……I would not have landed with dry shorts..

The video, however, is not real, but in fact is a sequence from the video game Battlefield 2. You can see several Battlefield 2 tricks in this video below.

For those wondering how the videos above compare to the real thing, below is a video featuring a real F35 takeoff and landing.


The Google Trends graph below shows interest in the search term “F35 flip” over time. Interest peaked in January of 2014 with smaller surges of searches occurring in July and November of 2014.

Bottom Line

The video showing an F35 engaging in a takeoff and flip is actually a sequence from the video game Battlefield 2.

Updated January 4, 2015
Originally published January 2014

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