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Kristin “BEO” Wolfe: First Woman F-35 Demo Pilot Announced

The US Air Force announced Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe as its newest F-35A Lightning II demo pilot. Wolfe previously flew the F-22 Raptor, and has over 800 flight hours in fifth-generation stealth aircraft. She is the first woman selected to represent the United States and the US Air Force worldwide as an F-35 demo pilot.

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F-35A Red Flag 2020 Night Operations (Photos)

The first Red Flag air combat exercise for 2020 officially wrapped up Friday, Feb. 14. As visiting aircraft make their way home, some great images are coming out from the Air Force showcasing just how impressive the F-35A’s operations are to behold.

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First F-35C Delivered to USMC at Miramar

The first carrier-based variant of the F-35 Lightning II, the F-35C, was delivered to the US Marines at MCAS Miramar Tuesday. The fifth-generation stealth fighter is the first to be designed for use with catapult systems on US aircraft carriers.

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Why is the F-35 a Game Changer in the Pacific?

The F-35 is the one of the most well known, and expensive, defense projects in human history. With new capabilities just now hitting the battlefield, the full implications of its deployment are still be realized on the world stage. With Western air superiority established in much of the Middle East area of operations, the Pacific region stands to be impacted more by the F-35’s arrival to the scene.

Even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters

An F-35B Lightning II assigned to the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 lands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

Japan has been flying the F-35, right next to China, since early 2018. And just last month, the F-35 was officially welcomed into the South Korean Air Force. In the space of 24 months, the US and two of its allies deployed the stealthiest, and one of the most capable, fighter jets in the world, right in China’s back yard. Additionally the US Marines now operate the F-35 aboard amphibious assault aircraft carriers criss-crossing the South China Sea, pushing back against China’s advances and increasing territorial claims.

Two U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), standby on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)

As deliveries to allies continue to ramp up, along with the delivery of the Navy’s variant, the F-35C, pressure on China is only likely to continue increasing. When the F-35C is fully operational with the Navy, the US will also be able to employ its fleet of nuclear-powered Super Carriers to push US stealth fighters right where they need to be.

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), prepares to land on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during routine training in the Eastern Pacific, Sept. 28, 2019. 3rd MAW is capable of conducting missions across the range of military operations and continues to promote the defense of our nation and its interests. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Anaya)
PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 30, 2019) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Sabrina Bales, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6, signals an F-35B Lightning II assigned to the Flying Leathernecks of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 122 to take off from the ship’s flight deck. America is currently underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vance Hand/Released)

A fully crewed Nimitz-class Super Carrier is an awesome and frightening sight to behold by adversarial nations. The only thing even more intimidating is that same carrier stocked up with fifth-generation US stealth fighters instead of their old Super Hornets. Much of the world’s attention is expected to continue looking towards the Indo-Pacific. The F-35’s arrival on the scene, only sure to continue increasing, will change the game in the Pacific region.

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Need for Speed: A close look at the Art of the Afterburner

What’s faster than a jet engine?

Turbine engines are notoriously capable of achieving incredible speeds. But shortly after their initial development, a novel idea was born… Dump raw jet fuel straight into the exhaust of a jet engine.

A phenomenal mixture of combusting fuel and hot gasses roaring out the back of the engine…

CORAL SEA (July 16, 2019) An EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 launches from the flight deck aboard the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan is participating in Talisman Sabre 2019, which illustrates the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship. It is the eighth iteration of this exercise. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo)

Rather than fueling the engine once, when the incoming air is at its most compressed, engines fitted with afterburners also known as “reheat,” inject fuel twice. The result is a phenomenal mixture of combusting fuel and hot gasses roaring out the back of the engine, thrusting it and everything to it forward with incredible energy.

An F-15E Strike Eagle rockets out of RAF Lakenheath on a mission over Europe.

Recon drones and commercial aircraft generally don’t require the acceleration provided by afterburners

Future of Afterburners

While some rapidly advancing areas of aviation, especially drone and eco-friendly initiatives, are making great strides with the need for afterburners, they are solidly here to stay. Recon drones and commercial aircraft generally don’t require the acceleration provided by afterburners, but it is absolutely essential for modern fighter jets.

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)
F-35s lined up for a Show of Force exercise, testing ability of aircrews to assemble and support a large rapid response force.

The F-35 Lightning II, the latest fighter jet to join the US Military inventory, is equipped with an afterburning engine capable of producing 43,000 lbf of thrust.

More Beautiful Afterburners

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TOP 5 Photos of USAF B-2 Stealth Bombers Escorted by RAF F-35 Stealth Fighters

A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit, currently deployed to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, flies above the English countryside near Dover with two RAF F-35 jets. For the first time, UK F-35 Lightning jets have been conducting integration flying training with the B-2 Spirit stealth bombers of the United States Air Force as part of their deployment to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, UK. The USAF deployment of the B-2’s from the Bomber Task Force Europe is long-planned. Whilst deployed to the UK the aircraft will conduct a series of training activities in Europe. During this deployment, RAF F-35B Lightning fighters are conducting sorties with the USAF B-2 bombers. Both are 5th generation aircraft and this is the first time that USAF B-2’s have trained with non-US F-35’s. RAF Fairford routinely hosts deployments and exercises by US strategic aircraft. These regular deployments reinforce the US Air Force Europe and the Royal Air Force’s unique and complementary partnership and our collective contribution to NATO. Imagery captured by a USAF Exchange Pilot.

Number 5

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F-35 First Combat Aerial Refueling

An Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II completes aerial refueling courtesy of Airmen from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker, April 26, 2019 over an undisclosed location. The F-35 is on its first deployment to the Middle East as part of the inaugural demonstration of the fighter’s next generation combat capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

An Airman piloting an F-35A Lightning II completes aerial refueling courtesy of Airmen from the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker, April 26, 2019 over an undisclosed location. The F-35 is on its first deployment to the Middle East as part of the inaugural demonstration of the fighter’s next generation combat capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keifer Bowes)

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F-35 & F-18 Formation Over Arabian Sea

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)
Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

Two F-35B Lightning II, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, left, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to VFA 41, fly in formation over the Arabian Sea, Dec. 14, 2018. The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting integrated operations in the Arabian Sea to ensure stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin)

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US Navy F-35C Lightning II over California

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces.  With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

LEMOORE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II, attached to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, fly in formation for a photo exercise. VFA-147 is the first U.S. Navy Operational F-35C squadron based out of NAS Lemoore. Commander, Joint Strike Fighter Wing, headquartered at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. ensures that each F-35C squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for Commander, Naval Air Forces. With its stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35C will be the first 5th generation aircraft operated from an aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe/Released)

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36 F-35s on One Runway

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

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First Ever F-35 Elephant Walk

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

Pilots from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings taxi F-35As on the runway in preparation for a combat power exercise Nov. 19, 2018, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. During the exercise, the wings confirmed their ability to employ a large force of jets against air and ground targets, demonstrating the readiness and lethality of the F-35 Lightning II. As the first combat-ready F-35 units in the Air Force, the 388th and 419th FWs are ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

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US Marine F-35B in Qatar

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

DOHA, Qatar (Oct. 14, 2018) An F-35B Lightning II attached to the “Avengers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 is chocked and chained on the flight deck as the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrives in Doha, Qatar. Essex is a flexible, and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Freeman/Released)

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F-35B Vertical Landing

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.  Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.

 

Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, both F-35 Pax River ITF test pilots, conduct ski jumps and field carrier landing practices with F-35Bs on Aug. 28, 2018, at NAS Patuxent River as part of the workups for the First of Class Flight Trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Around 200 supporting staff from the ITF, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts, will take two F-35Bs test aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth this fall to evaluate the fifth-generation aircraft performance and integration with Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. This fixed wing test period brings the U.K. one step closer to carrier strike capabilities.