June 04, 2012 – Florida, USA  (Techreleased) –An F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant took off from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for the first time on May 22, 2012. The flight marked the beginning of F-35B local area operations at Eglin, where the STOVL variant joined the F-35A for joint pilot and maintainer training earlier this year.