First Navy Pilot Gives Glowing Feedback of ‘Unrivaled’ Next-Generation Fighter

Navy News // May 21, 2013

The Navy’s first pilot of its next-generation jump jet says it will give the nation’s future carriers “unrivaled” striking power.

After a month flying the F35 Lightning II – the most advanced stealth fighter in the world – Lt Cdr Ian Tidball has given the aircraft a glowing testimonial.

The veteran Harrier pilot is learning the art of flying the jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, alongside fellow trailblazer Sqn Ldr Frankie Buchler from the RAF, supported by a 13-strong team of British maintainers – seven Royal Navy, six Air Force.

Speaking at Eglin Air Force Base, Lt Cdr Tidball – who has 1,300 hours behind him in the cockpit of Harriers, followed by time flying the American F-18 Super Hornet – says the F35 is “a great aircraft to fly”.

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