Newest US fighter aircraft receives a name with a heritage

Newest US fighter aircraft receives a name with a heritage

The newest fighter aircraft in the US armed forces, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter now has a name: the Lightning II, named after the famed WWII fighter with the signature twin-boomed tail.

This is a very important aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force. It will replace the Air Force’s F-16 Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolts,  earlier versions of the Navy’s F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornets (and fly alongside the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet) and the already departed A-6 Intruder, the US Marines’ AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets, and the British Navy’s and Air Force’s Sea Harriers and Tornados.

The diverse requirements mean there will be a diversity of Lightning IIs, including the carrier-capable F-35C, the conventional F-35A, and the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B. In the USAF, it will fly alongside the F-22 air superiority fighter which is replacing the F-15 Eagle.

(Yes, I know this isn’t my usual Church stuff, but I was once an aerospace engineering major in Navy ROTC preparing to become a naval aviator and my fascination for fast flight has never left so bear with me.)

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  • As a civilian AF employee, I think Lightning II is a great name for this fighter. 

    I don’t mind the occasional military post in your blog.  After all, the military is an honorable occupation of service to the nation.  Despite pacifists’ best attempts to muddy the theological waters, the just war doctrine and the right to self-defense still holds the day in Church teaching.

  • Looks a lot like the F-22.

    Are there any flyable or transportable P-38s still touring the air show circuit?  Ever since my teenage addiction to WWII flight simulators I’ve always wanted to see one up close.