F-35 Lightning Soaring in the Sky Looks Like a Blockbuster’s End Scene

F-35A Lightning II taking off in Vermont 10 photos
Photo: U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Ryan Campbell
F-35A Lightning II taking off in VermontF-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 II
After what at times seemed like a string of endless battles with uncertain outcomes, the war is over, and the enemy, defeated. Not much of the world is left, but out there survivors must be waiting for help to arrive. From somewhere near the Green Mountains, a lone aircraft departs to look for them, soaring into a sky still laden with the remnants of tremendous explosions.
That’s the image my brain produced when seeing this F-35A Lightning II taking off, a possible end scene for a blockbuster disaster movie that never came to be. But this is image is as real as they get.

True to its years-long habit, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) keeps releasing incredible stills of the hardware it deploys around the world. This time, we’re treated with an F-35A Lightning II deployed with the 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard. It is seen here departing the South Burlington base in the same state where its home is.

The plane is going out not in search of survivors, but on a daily training mission called for by the fighter wing’s habit of keeping up to ten aircraft ready for duty at any time. In doing so, it becomes, once more for this incredible piece of engineering, a perfect fit for our Photo of the Day section.

The 158th, and more specifically its 134th Fighter Squadron (aka Green Mountain Boys) were the first Air National Guard unit to field the F-35A. It is also the unit whose F-16 Fighting Falcons were sent on patrol over New York in the hours following the 9/11 attacks.

Technically speaking, the F-35A is the USAF version of the very young stealth combat fighter. It was introduced in 2016, and at 28,999 lbs (13,154 kg) empty, it is the lightest of the three variants (the other two are the Marine Corps F-35B and the Navy F-35C).

It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney engine that can take it to speeds of Mach 1.6 and altitudes of 50,000 ft (15,000 m). Guns, missiles, and bombs make up for the deadly arsenal of this incredible beast.
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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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