Of all the demonstrations at The Great Colorado Air Show last month, this was the one I was most looking forward to. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the United States’ latest fighter aircraft and I expected it to be impressive – and it was.
The U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team and pilot Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe put on a heck of a show. The single-seat, single-engine aircraft was amazing to watch, feel and hear.
It is interesting to note that there are three distinct versions of the F-35 Lighting II.
The F-35A, seen here, is the Air Force version and the lightest of the bunch. The Marine Corps flies the F-35B with it having the distinct capability of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), allowing it to operate in a wider variety of environments and off of Navy amphibious assault ships. The F-35C is the U.S. Navy’s version, beefed up with larger, foldable wings and stronger landing gear for operations off of aircraft carriers.