Lightning Does Strike Twice

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show

We got treated to a very special demo at the 2022 Sanicole air show. We saw the only presentation of the US Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II demo in Europe for 2022. This 5th generation fighter was demonstrated by Maj. Kirstin “Beo” Wolfe. The F-25 will soon replace the General Dynamics F-16 in the Belgian Air Force.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show

It was not the 1st time I saw the F-35 in flight. I’ve seen a few fly-by’s from an F-35 from the Italian Air Force and a Dutch F-35 as part of a KLu heritage flight. But it was the 1st time I saw a full demo of an F-35. I was thrilled to see it demoed to us.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show

The F-35 is a stealth design and that means there’s no room for bombs and missiles under the wings. These weapons are tucked away in 2 bomb bays under the fuselage as seen in the photos above.

And then there is the absolute money shot. I am sure that every photographer that was at the 2022 Sanicole airshow has this shot, but what a shot it is! Afterburners on and one hell of a vapor cloud!

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Demo from the US Air Force at the 2022 Sanicole Air Show

To complete the demonstration, Maj. Wolfe was joined by Tommy Williams and his North American P-51 Mustang. Tommy Williams, a retired US Air Force pilot and a captain for Delta Airlines, flew the beautiful Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation side by side that majestic F-35. It was a beautiful sight for sore eyes for sure.

The US Air Force Heritage Flight with a F-35 Lightning II and a P-51 Mustang
The US Air Force Heritage Flight with a F-35 Lightning II and a P-51 Mustang
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