On Your Radar

Fairings have shown up on F-35 fighters; two ogival bumps on the top rear, forward of each vertical fin, and two on the bottom, one either side, just forward of the tailhook housing. Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti told the Daily Report the fairings are radar cross section enhancers, put there so air traffic controllers can see the stealthy F-35s when they fly through civil airspace. The F-22 has a similar device, and the Lockheed F-117 also sported a faceted version on each side of the fuselage. The radar reflectors—sometimes called Luneburg lenses—are removed when the aircraft is employed in stealth mode.