USAF F-35A Demo Pilot Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson Seen in Practice of New Routine.
Following the Air Force’s official announcement of the new F-35A Lighting II Demonstration Team on December 4, 2018, demo pilot Capt. Andrew Olson, callsign “Dojo”, was captured in video during what may be a partial practice session or quick flyover at Luke AFB near Phoenix, Arizona.
Four clips appeared on Instagram on Thursday, January 10, 2019 and quickly collected over a thousand views. They were first posted by Instagram user user @theromanticjaguar and then reposted by @andyo_dojo, demo pilot Capt. Olson on Instagram.
The first video shows a remarkable sequence of maneuvers not previously seen at U.S. F-35A demonstrations where aerobatics were restricted. The first fully aerobatic F-35A demo was flown at the Paris Air Show in 2017 by Lockheed test pilot Billie Flynn.
In this clip, Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson approaches from the left, executes a pitch-up to the vertical with the first corner of a square loop to the inverted. Then it gets really good. Capt. Olson pulls back hard on the sidestick while inverted, backing off power and executing a quite tight loop. Once back to level flight the F-35A begins a descending flat spiral at almost zero forward airspeed. There is about one full 360° flat spin as Dojo repositions to exit show right.
Then, the remaining videos include a high AOA (Angle Of Attack), slow speed pass and a few vertical maneuvers as well as what seems to be leaf of a cloverleaf maneuver.
These video hint at some of the maneuvers we’ll see in the new F-35A Demo Team routine beginning this spring at their first airshow appearance in Melbourne, Florida at the Melbourne Air & Space Show on March 30-31, 2019 at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.