Crowds of spectators recently had a rare opportunity to see America’s advanced stealth fighter in action at the Chicago Air and Water Show, where the F-35 Heritage Flight Team put on an impressive show.
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, a fifth-generation stealth fighter developed by Lockheed Martin, is the most expensive weapons system ever built, but its superior capabilities supposedly make up for its soaring costs.
The supersonic, multi-mission fighter, according to the developer, features unmatched electronic warfare, air-to-surface, air-to-air, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and stealth capabilities designed to enhance the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-35 program has, however, faced many setbacks.
During the recent airshow in Chicago, Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook captured several stunning photos of Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, F-35 Heritage Flight Team pilot and commander, performing aerial maneuvers in an F-35A. The pictures were posted online by the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
Check them out below…
An F-35A Lightning II piloted by Capt. Olson can be seen ripping across Lake Michigan at the August 19 airshow in Chicago, Illinois while boaters look on.
With the largest single-engine motor ever built, the F-35A Lightning II can reach speeds up to 1,200 miles per hour, or 1.5 times the speed of sound, according to the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
Capt. Olson performed aerial maneuvers for an audience of as many as, if not more than, 1.5 million people at the two-day airshow.
Here he is pulling a tactical pitch, one of several maneuvers showcased during the demonstration.
Vapor was clearly visible around the F-35 during a high-speed pass over the lake.
As an added bonus, the show featured an F-35 flying in formation alongside a P-51 Mustang. The performance showcased past and present American airpower.