The United States Air Force has announced they are going to begin allowing the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to attend and perform at many air shows across the country in the coming years. This fighter is the newest and most advanced in the fleet and is going to be all over the country performing for fans. The F-35 follows the F-22 Raptor which was much more costly but also widely popular among civilians and has appeared at many airshows. The Air Force has assembled a team known as the F-35 Heritage Flight Team. This team will be a combination of F-35s and some 20th century fighters to honor the past, present and future. Some of those fighters include the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, and the grandfather of the F-35, the P-38 Lightning which flew during WWII.
This multi-role fighter program will end up costing the United States $400 Billion. Though it is expected to save them money in the long run because this fighter is designed for use in all branches of the military instead of creating different fighters for different branches. The F-35 will become the backbone of the United States Air Force’s future fleet. These fighters will originate out of Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Heritage team F-35 pilot Maj. William Andreotta, call sign “D-Rail,” says that flying and F-35 is like “being on a roller coaster controlled by an iPad – its like flying a roller coaster.” The tour will begin in April and so far is headed to Cleveland, OH; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Jones Beach, NY; and more. There is also a large possibility that it will appear in July at the AirVenture show in Wisconsin as its schedule has a convenient gap sitting there. Show organizers, the pilots, and the fans alike are extremely excited to see the new leader in fighter jets make a large public appearance this year.