Rather Disappointing F-35B Appearance

The F-35 has been around for quite a while by now so I have shot them on plenty of occasions (although an F-35C is still on the wish list).  My UK trip was one where I was hoping to get an RAF F-35B.  It was scheduled to make an appearance at RIAT but the information did not make it sound like a display.  On the first day of the show, the weather was shocking.  Low cloud and rain got in the way of a lot of things displaying.  Late in the day the F-35B was due in.  Our initial forecast for arrival was extended as the cloud base meant an instrument approach was needed.  It finally appeared and flew through the display line once.  Then it powered away and a while later we were informed it had gone home.I was shooting video of that which is at the bottom of this page.

The next day had better weather so I was hoping for a little more.  It did show up and we did get more than one pass.  However, even then, it was a rather lackluster performance.  I guess they have not worked up any form of display – not even a hovering portion – so we got some passes and a couple of configurations and that was it.  I don’t think I was alone in feeling a little underwhelmed by what they put on.  I guess in coming years, a more worked up display will be seen but I will have to wait a while for that.

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