Fans flock to see F35B fighter lift off at last

Lockheed Martin's F35B Lightning II at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. Pic: Stephen Whipp.
Lockheed Martin's F35B Lightning II at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. Pic: Stephen Whipp.

The world’s most advanced fighter plane with Barnoldswick manufactured technology has made its long awaited UK debut.

Lockheed Martin’s F35B Lightning II performed at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, its first ever international display.

It should have made its first appearance in UK airspace two years ago, but an engine fire just before the show thwarted its visit from the US.

The cutting edge jet’s lift fan blades, which enable it to make short take-offs and vertical landings, were made in Barnoldswick.

Keith Whipp, a former Senior Project Controller at Rolls-Royce, attended with his son Stephen and said it was a proud day. He said: “Watching the F35B roar across the sky in front of the stands and bringing the plane to hover, just like its predecessor the Harrier, was very moving. The control and manoeuvrability was unbelievable.”