Video: The $113.5 million F-35B Lightning II can float in the air for a little bit

There’s a certain amount of pride in seeing a country pump out something like the new F-35B Lightning II fighter jet. At $113.5 million per aircraft, it’s about as far away from the meaning of the word “inexpensive” as possible. It makes you think, well, if we can afford things like that, why can’t we afford things like this? But, whatever. The entire purpose of this post is to watch a legitimately exciting video. So, let’s!

The very first test flight of the aircraft happened yesterday, and lasted 14 minutes long. (Yes, there’s a certain irony in finding out about the latest American military technology in the British press.) That works out to $8.1 million per minute in the air. Granted, that’s a horrible way of looking at the aircraft, but it’s a fun stat nonetheless.

The F-35B Lightning II has been in development since 2001, and it was originally promoted as an affordable option to keeping old birds like the F-16 and F-10A in the air.

The marines will start using the jet, if all goes according to plan, in December, 2012.

And now I’m off to play Battlefield: Bad Company 2, using more terribly expensive weapons to beat up Kirilenko.