F-35 LIGHTNING II STRIKE FIGHTER MODEL AT RNAS YEOVILTON AIR DAY
The Royal Navy’s next generation carrier strike fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, will be represented at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 8 July with a full-scale model supplied by Lockheed Martin.
The Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed for many missions with advanced, integrated sensors built into every aircraft. Missions that were traditionally performed by small numbers of specialized aircraft, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic attack missions can now be executed by a squadron of F-35s, bringing new capabilities to UK armed forces.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy plan to operate 138 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft. British pilots and maintainers are already embedded within the U.S. Marine Corps and their fleet of F-35Bs as part of an Anglo-American training programme. The operational test and evaluation of the UK’s first F-35s is currently taking place at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Meanwhile in the UK, personnel from RNAS Culdrose, RAF Marham and HMS Queen Elizabeth are well underway with preparations to receive the new aircraft. It is hoped the first F-35Bs will embark on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for trials in the next few years.
“I am delighted that we will be able to show the public a full-scale model of the UK’s Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at our International Air Day. This aircraft will fly off the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers from 2018 as they safeguard the UK’s interests well into the future. A great opportunity to get a sense of the fixed wing aircraft that will soon be in service with the Fleet Air Arm”says Commander Terry Tyack, RNAS Yeovilton’s Commander Air.
Air Day will provide a great opportunity to see first-hand the size and stealthy characteristics and hear about the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s F-35B Lighting II. The full-scale model will take its place in the static display alongside other iconic fixed wing carrier aircraft such as the Phantom and Sea Harrier.
Discounted advance tickets are available over the counter at participating Tourist Information Centres and online at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday .