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Published: 16 May 2020

An F-35 Lightning jet pilot has given unparalleled insight into the experience of flying the stealth fighter from the deck of one of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.

As HMS Queen Elizabeth continues to work towards her first operational deployment in 2021, more qualifying training for UK F35 Lightning fighter jet crews is in the offing.

The F-35s will be conducting practice manoeuvres from her decks, giving vital experience to the aircrews and ship’s company involved in air operations.

Ahead of this next vital step, pilot Lieutenant Commander Stephen Collins, call sign Lothar, has revealed his experiences as a Royal Navy F-35 pilot in a fascinating interview that took place during the recent Westlant 19 deployment to the east coast of the United States.

In the interview, Lothar discusses:

  • Where he picked up his unique call sign from
  • The experience of take-off from HMS Queen Elizabeth
  • What it’s like to fly the F-35 Lighting jet
  • A look at dog fighting in the modern era
  • If it’s anything like Top Gun in real life
  • What it takes to be a pilot in the Royal Navy

Listen to the full F-35 Pilot Interview below at 6.30pm BST on 13/05/2020.


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