Lightning II’s Heritage Debut

The F-35A Lightning II will make its Air Force heritage flight debut next year, flying airshows in formation with aircraft such as its WWII namesake, the P-38 Lightning. “These flights will allow all Americans to learn more about the F-35 and at the same time see just how far airpower has come over the years,” 56th Fighter Wing Commander Brig. Gen Scott Pleus said in a release. An F-35 from the 56th FW at Luke AFB, Ariz., is slated to train alongside civilian pilots flying WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War-era aircraft at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., ahead of the 2016 airshow season. Air Combat Command’s heritage flight already features aircraft including the A-10, F-16, and F-22 flying alongside vintage aircraft such as the A-1 Skyraider, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, and F-86 Sabre. The Lightning II will fly its first heritage formation at Luke’s 25th anniversary airshow in early April. (Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation homepage)