Paris Demo Will “Crush Years Of Misinformation” Says Lockheed Martin Demo Pilot As New F-35A Aerobatic Routine for PAS 2017 Is Revealed

“We are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing”

After we scooped the story about the F-35A’s new fully aerobatic flight demonstration to be performed at this week’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport in France, Aviation Week reporter Lara Seligman wrote today in AW that Lockheed Martin company test and demo pilot Billie Flynn told her, “After 10 years since its first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,” during an interview for Aviation Week.

The flight demonstrations at the Paris Air Show will be flown by company pilot Billie Flynn, not U.S. Air Force crews.

The USAF F-35A demonstration aircraft to be flown in the flight demo and on static display at Paris were ferried to Europe by USAF crews even though the flying routing will be flown by a Lockheed Martin pilot.

Lockheed Martin is on an aggressive campaign to close sales for the F-35A among user-nations as confirmed by stories breaking this morning that report, “Lockheed Martin is in the final stages of negotiating a $37 billion-plus deal to sell 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States”, two people familiar with the deals told Reuters news agency.

Lara Seligman’s report for Aviation Week identifies both the “high show” F-35A flight demonstration routine and the “low show” routine performed at lower altitude in the event of overcast/cloudy weather conditions. A quick check of the weather forecast for the next five days in the skies above Le Bourget says conditions will be hot with high temperatures in the ‘90’s Fahrenheit and “Mostly Sunny” conditions with a small chance of rain.

The new, dynamic flight demo routine for F-35A at Paris beginning today. (Image: Lockheed Martin via Aviation Week)

Seligman quoted demo pilot Flynn as saying that, “The [Paris] flight demonstration is carefully scripted to highlight the kinematic capabilities of the F-35A, particularly its slow-speed handling qualities.” She reported that, “He will start with an afterburner takeoff, almost immediately pointing his nose to the sky and letting the aircraft climb away essentially vertically.” Flynn went on to mention tell reporter Seligman that, “This impressive move is unique to the F-22 and the F-35.”

Back in 2013, talking to Flight’s Dave Majumdar, the very same LM test pilot Bill Flynn claimed that all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter were to have better kinematic performance than any fourth-generation fighter plane with combat payload, including the Eurofighter Typhoon, a statement that was somehow “busted” by a Typhoon pilot who clearly explained The Aviationist “No way an F-35 will ever match a Typhoon fighter jet in aerial combat.”

Anyway, along with everyone else in the aviation world, we’re looking forward to the new, dynamic F-35A show debuting this week in Paris. The first F-35A demo at Paris flies today at 3:30 PM local time in France.

Top image: Today in Paris will be the first time airshow crowds get to see what the F-35A is capable of in demonstration flight. (Inverted file photo by Tom Demerly)



About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.


  1. Yes, it’s only a show. But air shows do give us vital clues about an aircraft’s kinematic performance which a fighter pilot can exploit to perform more realistic maneuvers in a combat environment . I bet you and your fellow two faced trolling ilk would probably praise the Flanker as the second coming based on its air show performance (to be fair……Flankers do have very reasonable kinematic performance….as demonstrated by these “useless” air shows) whilst downplaying the F35’s air show performance (as illustrated above). Anti F35 bias much?

    Wow, you mean only Lockheed Martin carefully choreograph/tune the F35A’s flight routine to impress at air shows. Damn, those other fighter aircraft manufacturers/defence contractors must so lax and unmotivated when it comes to their product’s air show routine. Get real!!! ALL fighter aircraft manufacturers/defence contractors carefully choreograph/tune their product’s air show routines to put their products in the best light. Not just Lockheed Martin (and the F35). Once again anti F35 bias much? Oh btw, after seeing the F35A’s Paris Air Show demonstration, the F35 will cope just fine even with the slightest alteration(s) of its airborne demonstration.

    Talking about long straight runs……do you know how large is the airspace above Le Bourget….let me give you a clue….it’s pretty f*****g restricted (relatively). In fact, it’s pretty impressive that the F35 could gain air speed/energy pretty efficiently (quickly) in the small airspace above Le Bourget. Oh yeah, fighter pilots in the past have flown at full chat on straight and relatively long runs to regain energy/air speed in real air combat. It’s called extending away from your adversary (in BVR, BFM/ACM). Did you know that during the Vietnam war, US F4 phantom pilots have flown their aircraft away from NVAF Migs at full chat on relatively straight long runs to regain energy/airspeed before pitching back into the fight (successfully too I might add). Fancy that! I thought an “authority” on air combat like yourself would know this. Hmmm…..I guess wrong then…..

    BTW the F35 does give the pilot physical sensations of the aircraft hitting its limits of maneuverability/performance just like the Spitfire. Awesome isn’t it. F35 = Spitfire = awesome :D

    You why other countries are keen to get the F35….its a bargain in light of its capabilities and these countries actually retain a real Air Force that can respond to a full spectrum of threats.

  2. From what I can see, F-35 has all the tools if needs to defeat any Sukhoi or MiG in WVR. And that’s with guns – not even counting AIM-120 cued off of the Gen III helmet. Of course at BVR where most aerial encounters would take place it’s really NO CONTEST. So tell me?

    What the hell are all you Su-35, MiG-35, PAK FA lovers talking about??? And why would anyone buy Gripen, which at $80M will cost the same price (Typhoon and Rafale is over $110M)? Answer? They won’t!

    Here’s comes that $37B Bulk Buy contact from 11 Partner Nations for 440 fighters. You have no answer for that, do you? You anti-JSF know-nothings were never more than circus clowns. Jesters of the stupidest sort! U.S. and NATO air superiority remains unchallenged.

    • Typhoon is still much better defensive fighter in the world, as BAE still claims (british operate bioth f35 and typhoon)

  3. I agree with Matthis, the F 35 can’t shine the F 35’s shoes. Performance wise, weapon wise, or cost wise. I will take 500 SU 35’s in a minute versus the non lethal F 35 which has1 bomb and 1 missile in each of its tiny side weapon bays. Compare the F22 which is in fact lethal and performs flawlessly and will kick an SU 35’s bottom. The Su 35 has 12 hard points.

  4. I was there for the Paris airshow 2017. Before the F-35 there was a flight demonstration of the Rafale. So I saw the two flight in a short time difference. Result: the F-35 is just slow and has a low manoeuvrability in comparison of the Rafale….Not convinced by this expensive F-35 jet

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