Of course, the plane is not disintegrating but is emerging from a sort of imperfect vapor cone it created at the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma earlier in May, during what was a demonstration flight.
A vapor cone is nothing but visible water condensed in a cloud that sometimes forms when an aircraft moves at very high speeds. A lot of conditions have to be just right for this to happen, like air temperature, pressure and density, but when it does occur, the phenomenon is simply spectacular.
The plane you see here is deployed with its dedicated demonstration team, and we’ve seen the members before, in perhaps equally as stunning poses. This is, however, by far the most exciting one and a worthy addition to our Photo of the Day section.
As for the plane itself, it has been in the skies over our world since 2006. Part of a new generation of multirole aircraft, it is being produced by Lockheed Martin with slightly different capabilities for the USAF, USMC, and the Navy.
Generally speaking, these planes can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 and have a range of 1,700 miles (2,800 km). They can be armed with anything from rotary cannon to missiles and bombs.