News

Lightning II to Touch Down at Air Shows Around the World

56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs // March 07, 2016

Aviation and F-35A fanatics have something special to look forward to this 2016 air show season.

The Lightning II qualified March 6 at the Heritage Flight Conference at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona to take part in the Air Combat Command Air Force Heritage Flight program.

The program features modern USAF fighter aircraft flying alongside World War II, Korean and Vietnam-era aircraft in a dynamic display of our nation's airpower history.

"Being a part of these heritage flights allows the world to learn more about the F-35 and at the same time see just how far airpower has come over the years," said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, the 56th Fighter Wing commander. "The F-35 will be the backbone of the Air Force fighter fleet and represent the future for the U.S., our partners and allies. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to see how amazing the F-35 is."

The F-35 heritage flight team includes one pilot and 10 maintainers, all selected from the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base.

“My team and I are very excited for this year,” said Maj. William Andreotta, F-35 heritage flight team pilot. “We’re so honored to be the first ever F-35 heritage flight team. We are really laying the foundation for years to come. We know it’s going to be a great season and we’re ecstatic about talking with different communities and showcasing the F-35.”

The team practiced their entire routine at the conference. The maintainers were able to showoff their coordinated take-off and landing procedures while Andreotta practiced and perfected flying in formation with heritage aircraft. In the backseat of one of those heritage aircraft held a very interested passenger.

Read the full article from 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.