F-35A Lightning Looks Like It's Off to Fight Aliens in Another Dimension

F-35A Lightning flying over Dannelly Field 26 photos
Photo: USAF/Sgt. 1st Class William Frye
F-35A Lightning flying over Dannelly FieldBlock 4-ready F-35 Lightning ii over the Mojave DesertF-35 Lightning wearing stunning camoUSAF and RoKAF F-35s flying togetherF-35A Lightning II over the North SeaF-35A Lightning II during She Flies with Her Own Wings air showF-35 Lighting IIs over the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range Complex (JPARC)F-35 Lightning II pulling a multiverse-like stuntF-35 Lightning IIs during refueling mission42 F-35A Lightning IIs on massive elephant walkF-35 Lightning II on hot pit refueling in JapanF-35A Lightning IIs over the UKF-35A Lightning IIs on an elephant walkF-35A Lightning II with the 495th Fighter SquadronF-35A Lightning II at Thunder and Lightning Over ArizonaF-35A Lightning II on vertical ascentF-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
There have been many movies showing how we puny humans, a species that can barely reach its planet's natural satellite, can easily beat hordes of alien warriors that have traveled countless light years to steal our water and whatever.
In imagination land we can do that through a combination of skill, hardware, luck, and lazy writing. In the real world, we'd probably be obliterated very quickly, but, as many of the official U.S. Air Force (USAF) photos tend to show, we'd at least look pretty great while fighting and dying.

That's because some of the weapons and weapons platforms we have at our disposal look positively vicious and ready for anything. You need not look past the image of the F-35A Lightning we have here to realize that's so.

The F-35 is a fighter jet that needs little introduction. Born in the mid-2000s as a shared platform between the USAF, United States Marine Corps, and the U.S. Navy (each version with its specific fittings), it is now one of the most widespread aircraft on the planet with over 1,000 of them already produced.. The family is also one of the very few fifth-generation military aircraft in existence.

The USAF version of the plane is called F-35A, and it came about in 2016 as the (eventually) replacement for the ever-aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs. The plane is capable of some truly remarkable performance levels, and it is already being shared with allies all over the world.

On a technical level the machine is a true beast. A single Pratt & Whitney pushes it through the sky with the power of 43,000 pounds of thrust, accelerating it to a top speed of Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph/1,931 kph) and giving it a ceiling of over 50,000 feet (15 km).

The shape of the plane is a true sight to behold, and if you pair that with a red-hot afterburner and the presence of enough clouds to create an otherwordly medium to fly through, the spectacle becomes even more impressive.

That's exactly what the people gathered at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama, for the 187th Fighter Wing's family day event earlier in February got to enjoy, an experience that was shared in this simple but effective photo (main image of this article) the USAF released at the end of last week.

The plane you're looking at is the one we've seen before here on autoevolution, the example flown by the pilots of the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team. And it positively looks like it's crossing into another dimension to fight off the bad, alien-type guys.

If you plan on experiencing the F-35 spectacle yourself, you should know the team has quite a busy time ahead. In March, for instance, it will attend two air shows, at the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas and later at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
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Editor's note: Gallery also shows other F-35s on various missions.

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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