So, the first 4 Lockheed F35Bs have flown across the pond for the summer air show season in the UK. They were escorted in by RAF Typhoons, and refuelled in the air. They are to be based at Fairford, a USAF base, for security, and will perform a flypast at the Farnborough air show in a couple of weeks.
The pity is they won’t be landing at Farnborough to be looked at more closely. A strange decision given that the UK will be eventually buying it is believed over 100 of them. Given the gestation and criticism the F35 Lightening has attracted (especially from this blog), it may have been a PR coup to allow the great unwashed to get up close and personal to this wonderful (?) machine. The UK government are fully committed to the introduction of the F35 into RAF and Royal Navy service and maybe should have insisted on them staying on the ground at the Air show. Perhaps they’ve got other things on their minds at the moment. Or perhaps the paranoid Americans don’t want the risk, however slight, that their equipment will be in any way comprised. Given the amount of money spent on both the F35 and the massive new aircraft carriers coming into service to carry them, I’d have thought the great British public would want to see where their hard earned money was being spent.Ho hum, roll on the next general election in a few months time.