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F-35A Lightning ll Banks to Reveal Underside and Afterburner

The F-35 is one of the youngest military airplanes presently fielded by the U.S. Air Force (USAF). That means it didn’t get to prove itself in combat like its older brothers in arms did, so there’s not a lot of images or footage of it doing battle.
F-35A Lightning ll 7 photos
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But we do have air shows and an entire demonstration team dedicated to advertising the F-35A Lightning ll variant of the plane (that would be the USAF version). Thanks to these two elements, and the Air Force’s appeal for making public all sorts of interesting photos of its hardware and personnel, we experienced the F-35 in various postures these past few weeks.

It all started with the Atlanta Air Show back in May, when the Demonstration Team’s pilot and commander Maj. Kristin Wolfe performed all sorts of tricks with the plane and continued with the same F-35 at the La Crosse Regional Airport in Wisconsin.

Now here it is again, in another shot captured at La Crosse and published last week by the USAF. This time we get a clear view of the airplane’s underside and its afterburner, the visible tip of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that provides 43,000 lbf (190 kN) of thrust (with the afterburner).

As most of you already know, there are different variants of the F-35, slightly modified to serve the needs of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The F-35A can fly at speeds of up to Mach 1.6 for as much as 1,700 miles (2,800 km). As far as weapons are concerned, the airplane packs all you would expect in an aircraft, from a 4-barrel rotary cannon to missiles and bombs.

As said, the F-35 is still largely unproven in combat, with the Israeli Air Force being the one that deployed it first against an enemy in 2018. That same year the first F-35 crash occurred.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s.

 
 
 
 
 

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