Though we're likely a decade from seeing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in action, much less in the Air Force's elite Thunderbirds squad, that hasn't stopped Lockheed Martin from releasing these images of the military's new fighter jet in full Thunderbirds dress.
The multimedia team at Lockheed's aeronautics division released the photos in a somewhat odd effort to virally market a $100 million fighter jet. The F-35, developed by Lockheed along with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, is still under development, though the Pentagon has ordered 2,400 of the all-purpose aircraft for delivery over the next two decades.
As for the Thunderbirds stripes, it looks like the F-35 may be the next fighter jet to don the colors, replacing the F-16C/D Block 52s currently in service. While the military has 187 formerly-next-gen F-22 Raptors built or on order, it looks like the F-35 is going to leapfrog its Cold War-era counterpart completely. The Senate voted today to drop funding for seven additional F-22s, and when a military program dies, it's generally not easy to resurrect.
Wrong photo on main page
i thought it was funny. people always hound the popsci guys here for typos and errors, and i think they are starting to do it on purpose just to annoy those few anal retentive readers who cant get past the typos to the story / information.
it cracks me up.
If you look at the plane from the top view, it looks like a smaller verion of an F-22 with a single engine.
Popular science has this plane on the front cover of an old issue along side the failed Boeing X-32.
"Welcome! to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack!!!"
I have an awesome video of the F-35B STOVL Variant performing a forward somersault during vertical takeoff off of the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
I think that this plane will have a long and useful term of service.
All warfare is based on deception.