Here’s a photo of the four F-35B jets set to take part to UK airshows stuck on the ground at Pax River

They will not make it to RIAT at Fairford, but they could still attend Farnborough International Airshow 2014.

The above image was posted by Naval Air Station Patuxent River Facebook page on Jul. 10.

It shows the four F-35B aircraft from VMFA-121 Green Knights at MCAS Yuma, that arrived at Pax River on Friday, Jun 27, on their way to the UK where they were expected to take part in Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and Farnborough International Airshow (FIA).

On Jul. 3, a fleet-wide grounding forced them to remain parked on the VX-23 apron.

It has just been announced, that the aircraft will not make it to the RIAT airshow. Still, there are some chances they can  support the FIA airshow.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

H/T to Tosh for the image and Tom S. J. Jones for the link to the RIAT statement.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I am an American and I must say that this plane is an aerodynamic disaster. What we got right with the F-16, F-18, and F-15 decades ago, we flushed down the toilet with this disaster from LM. This plane does not look right, and it probably does not fly right. All the F-35 cheerleaders say: It has the most powerful engine installed in a single engine jet (43,000lbs of thrust). While that is true, people forget that its empty weight is around 28,000lbs for the A model and will probably keep growing. Then they tell us it has chines which will add to lift. I sure hope that is true because with just its small wing area of 460sq ft. those chines need to add another 150-200 sq ft just to get the wing loading down to a respectable number. And everyone forgets that it has only frontal stealth; from the rear it is compromised by sharp angles. And the USAF has been hanging external AIM-9X’s on it under wing pylons. Will that not compromise its vaunted stealthiness?

    Can’t wait for this plane to do DCM with other jets. It will be just laughable. LM never had any experience in developing fighters, with the exception of its truly terrible F-104 Starfighter. What a sorry state of affairs that the two main defense contractors in the US are Boeing and LM. I sure miss you MCAIR, General Dynamics, and Grumman-

    • That’s some wonderful aerodynamic analysis right there.. “This plane does not look right, and it probably does not fly right.”

      Strangely enough, the actual test pilots who have flown the F-35 say that a loaded one can easily hold it’s own in the maneuverability department with legacy fighters in clean configurations. But what do they know?

      • It could be LM propaganda. Do you actually think that they would say anything negative about the jet?? We will have to just wait and see just how good or how bad this plane actually is. But I do not take what LM says as gospel, nor should you-

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