Farnborough and the F-35 waiting game

The Flight Daily News team is on site at the Farnborough air show, ahead of its opening day on Monday. For us here on The DEW Line, the big question remains whether the F-35 will be able to make the jump across the Atlantic in time to make an appearance here.

I was at the Royal International Air Tattoo on Wednesday, when things looked pretty doubtful, and again yesterday, when people seemed to be a bit more optimistic. Today, a source who should know tells me that we shouldn’t expect the aircraft to be setting off from Patuxent River in Maryland today or Sunday.

The only F-35 I saw at RIAT was a full-scale replica (and that was of a conventional take-off and landing A-model, rather than the B that the UK is acquiring) earlier in the week. It was moved across to a hangar on the north side of the airfield to be on show at a black tie dinner event.

Plastic F-35

We’ll be getting a briefing here at Farnborough on Monday from Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defense, and it’s looking all but certain that the real aircraft won’t be here by then. Fingers crossed that we will see the F-35B in the UK before the show is over, but the odds don’t look great.



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