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Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL fighter aircraft to make European debut at Fairford Royal Air Tattoo

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World Air Force News - UK
 
 
Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL fighter aircraft to make European debut at Fairford Royal Air Tattoo.
 

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated European debut. This multi-role combat aircraft, which has never before been seen outside of the US, will display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford between July 11 and 13

     
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, makes its much-anticipated European debut. This multi-role combat aircraft, which has never before been seen outside of the US, will display at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford between July 11 and 13
F-35B (Photo credit : LM)
     

Three examples of the F-35B, the short take-off/vertical landing version of the Lightning II optimised for operation from austere bases and smaller ships, will be based at RAF Fairford: two from the US Marine Corps and one destined for the UK. The flying displays on all three days of the airshow, will see participation by one aircraft.

Air tattoo chief executive designate Andy Armstrong said: “Not only will people witness aviation history being made at the Air Tattoo this summer but they will also see a breath-taking demonstration of the future of combat aviation.

"Those people who, like me, enjoyed seeing the legendary Harrier display its hovering capabilities in the past will relish the opportunity to see its state-of-the-art successor.”

Meanwhile in the US

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program. As of April 7, operational F-35s had flown 8,050 hours while System Development and Demonstration aircraft had accumulated 7,123 flight hours. In 2014, F-35A test aircraft have flown 328 hours; F-35B test aircraft have accumulated 191 hours; and F-35C test aircraft have flown 91 hours. In comparison, operational F-35As have flown 963 hours, while their F-35B and F-35C counterparts have accumulated 1,012 and 98 hours respectively for the year.