THE FARNBOROUGH BLOG, 9 July 2010. Those hoping to get a glimpse of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) at the Farnborough Air Show later this month unfortunately will be disappointed. Leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) decided to send neither JSF aircraft nor anyone from the F-35 Joint Program Office to the influential Farnborough International Airshow July 19 to 25 in Farnborough, England, according to DOD Buzz.
An appearance at Farnborough would have been one of the first public displays of the Lightning II -- a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine stealth multirole fighter that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air defense with three different models: a conventional takeoff and landing variant, a short take off and vertical-landing variant, and a carrier-based variant. Nine nations are partnering on the F-35: the U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Australia.
Those who want to see the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jet at Farnborough, however, will get their wish. The 787 will make its international debut at Farnborough. The Dreamliner flight-test airplane, ZA003, will touch down at Farnborough July 18, remain on static display through July 20, and will be open for tours.
On the F-35 front, however, DOD officials worry of being accused of wasting time and money on showing off F-35 test aircraft at Farnborough, DOD Buzz reported this week in a story headlined No JSFs Flying To Farnborough. In its caution, DOD may be missing out on a golden opportunity to elevate the Joint Strike Fighter's public profile. DOD Buzz points out the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor jet fighter was first shown at Farnborough at Farnborough in 2008 and was the talk of the show.
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