Here are some cool photographs of the first British F-35B welcomed by the RAF Typhoons and escorted to the first landing in UK.
On Jun. 29, the first British F-35B Lightning II, piloted by RAF pilot Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols and accompanied by two U.S. Marine Corps airframes and by a pair of U.S. Air Force KC-10 tankers and USMC KC-130Js, landed at RAF Fairford airbase, UK, at the end of the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant’s first transatlantic crossing that marked the first landing of an F-35 in the UK.
An event that was broadcast live by the U.S. Marine Corps on their Facebook page.
Using callsign “Tabor 01,” the flight flew to the UK from MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 and Farnborough International Airshow in the next few weeks.
The first UK appearance of the controversial 5th Gen. stealth aircraft was initially planned to take place in 2014 but it was cancelled shortly before the four USMC F-35Bs started their transatlantic trip after a runway fire incident involving an F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base, on Jun. 23, 2014, caused a temporary fleet-wide grounding.
Interestingly, the formation was welcomed into the British airspace by three RAF Typhoons.In this post, some cool photographs released by the British MoD of the formation heading to Fairford along with the escort fighters.
Image credit: Crown Copyright. H/T UK Defence Journal