F-35 Lightning Looks Just as Fit on the Ground in Texas as It Does in the Air

F-35 Lightning on the tarmac in Texas 11 photos
Photo: USAF/Brian G. Rhodes
F-35 Lightning on the tarmac in TexasF-35 Lightning buzzing the CN TowerF-35A Lighting IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 LightningF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 Lightning cruising subsonic into the sunset
Our Pic of the Day section turned this past year into the place for extraordinary military machines to come together and impress us all with their might. And by military machines, we generally mean Air Force assets, as this branch of the military seems to be the most willing to brag with what it owns.
In our coverage of military aircraft, the F-35 Lightning occupies a special place, hence it is heavily featured, and that, on account of two main reasons. The first would be that this warbird is one of the very few fifth-generation fighter jets currently in operation around the world.

Secondly, the plane is so important to the USAF it has its own demonstration team that tours the country’s annual air shows. And Airmen miss few opportunities when it comes to snapping the thing on film and sending it out into the wild to impress us all.

We generally get to see the F-35 in flight, doing the things it was designed to do and making a spectacle of the whole thing. Not this time though, as we’re treated with a shot of the mighty bird (actually, there are three of them visible in the main pic of this piece) as it awaits on the tarmac of a runway.

The photo was captured at the end of October at the Joint Base San Antonio-Kelly Field, Texas, and it shows crews and planes conducting flight line operations.

The F-35s belong to the 62nd Fighter Squadron out of Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, a unit tasked with conducting fighter training using these particular machines. It’s a unit dating back to 1941, being tasked at first with defending the Northeastern United States from potential enemy attacks, then shipped to Europe for combat missions.

In the years that preceded the arrival of the F-35, the unit flew all the great airplanes of the last century, from the Seversky P-35 to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and the mighty P-51 Mustang. In the age of supersonic flight, it used anything from the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star to the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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