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First RAF F-35B Stealth Fighter Jet Lands in UK

BBC News // June 30, 2016

An RAF F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter has landed in the UK for the first time after crossing the Atlantic.

The aircraft, piloted by Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols, was accompanied by two other F-35Bs from the United States Marine Corps.

They touched down at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire just before 20:00 BST on Wednesday, watched by aviation enthusiasts waiting outside the base.

The supersonic jets were supported by refuelling tankers for the crossing.

They will be displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Farnborough Air Show over the next few weeks.

It is the first time an RAF F-35 has made the transatlantic crossing to the UK from the US.

Plans for the F-35 to display in Europe last summer were scrapped due to a technical problem.

The Lightning II, which is capable of short take off and vertical landing, will enter service with the RAF and the Royal Navy in 2018.

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