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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

F-35B Joint Strike Fighter

This photo was taken at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, near the Dulles Airport. The subject of the photo is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (also called the Lightning II). The aircraft on display is the "B" variant, capable of Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (thus the STOVL on the tail). This version is going to be used to replace all of the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier II currently in use by the United States Marine Corps. The U.S. Navy and Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, both of the United Kingdom, had planned to use the F-35B although they recently decided to opt for the "C" variant of the F-35, which includes features such as collapsible wings for easier storage on carriers.

This aircraft, along with the F-22 Raptor, are likely the two aircraft that will likely define the future of aerial fighter combat. Maybe the reboot of Top Gun will feature these aircraft too!

I greatly appreciate comments and feedback on this (or any) of the photos that I post, and feel free to click on the photo to view it in a variety of sizes.

F-35B Joint Strike Fighter

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