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F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) Around Las Vegas
Military Aircraft Around Las Vegas, Aircraft Around Las Vegas

U.S. Air Force has announced plans to base 36 F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Nellis AFB. These jets will begin to arrive in 2012, with the last of the 36 arriving in 2020. These aircraft will be used in the Force Development Evaluation program (new aircraft evaluation and testing) and the Weapons School (pilot training) program.

Identification: This jet has triangular wings with flat tips, triangular horizontal tail fins, and twin vertical tail fins that are mounted angled outward (not vertical) and are swept back. The air intakes are on the side of the fuselage.

Mission: The F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) is the "next generation" strike aircraft and will be used jointly by the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and allies. Previously, each branch developed fighters to suit their specific needs, but this jet will bring affordable cutting-edge technologies to the "battlespace of the future." The JSFs advanced airframe, autonomic logistics, avionics, propulsion systems, stealth, and firepower ensure that the F-35 is the most affordable, lethal, supportable, and survivable aircraft ever (yes, I copied from a government website, except that I edited it to read better). There appear to be three versions of this aircraft: F-35A, F-35B, and F-35C. The F-35A is a conventional jet; the F-35B is a short take off, vertical land aircraft; and the F-35C is an aircraft carrier model. They look quite similar, but the F-35C has slightly larger, folding wings.

Characteristics:

  • Size: Length: 51 feet; Wingspan: 35 feet (30/43 in the F-35C); Height: 15 feet; Wing Area: 460 ft² (620 ft² in the F-35C).
  • Crew: one
  • Unit cost: secret
  • Date Deployed: not deployed, but keep a keen eye out for them!
F-35 Lightning, Joint Strike Fighter
Nellis Air Show, Aviation Nation 2007
F-35
Nellis Air Show, Aviation Nation 2008
F-35 Jet Fighter
Photo courtesy USAF
F-35
Photo courtesy USAF
F-35 Jet Fighter
Photo courtesy USAF
F-35
Photo courtesy USAF
F-35 Jet Fighter
Photo courtesy USAF
F-35
Photo courtesy USAF

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 110727

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