F-35A Lightning II Shows Plenty of Metal Skin During Dedication Pass at Air Show

F-35 Lightning II USAF demonstration team 1 photo
Photo: USAF/Capt. Kip Sumner
For over a year now, like most other events from all areas of human activities, air shows have been absent. Luckily, as life is crawling back to normal, such demonstrations have resumed, and we are once again able to see the mightiest aircraft back in the air for our enjoyment.
Back at the end of May, the Atlanta Air Show took place, hosting demonstrations from both Air Force and Navy aircraft. On deck for the crowds were both branches’ F-35 Lightning II demo teams, the F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Army Black Daggers, and even teams fielding older aircraft, like B-17s and F4U Corsairs.

For the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, the event was the first public outing in a long time. Part of the 388th Fighter Wing, the team comprises nine pilots flying the most modern aircraft fielded by the USAF.

The main pic of this piece (click the photo to enlarge) was taken in Atlanta in May and published last week by the Air Force. It shows the F-35, flown by team commander Maj. Kristin Wolfe, as it performs a dedication pass maneuver for the crowds gathered in Georgia.

The F-35A is the airplane’s variant for the USAF. It first flew in 2006, but was introduced in service only ten years later.

This particular version takes off in a conventional manner (the F-35 family has members that can take off and land vertically), and it is the lightest one available.

The aircraft can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 and has a range of 1,700 miles (2,800 km). It is armed with a 4-barrel rotary cannon and comes with a large number of hardpoints on which a wide range of missiles or bombs can be mounted.

So far, the F-35 as a family was not used all that much in combat. The first to use one was the Israeli Air Force, in 2018. That same year the first crash took place, with an F-35B variant of the Marine Corps going down in South Carolina.
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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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