USAF Capt. Kristin Wolfe, Named as New Air Force Demo Pilot During Heritage Flight Conference.
U.S. Air Force Captain Kristin “Beo” Wolfe has been named the new F-35A Demo Team Pilot for the 2020 and 2021 air demonstration season. Capt. Wolfe becomes the first female F-35A Demo Team pilot and only the second USAF F-35A Demo Team Pilot in history.
“It’s extremely humbling and rewarding to get the opportunity to showcase the F-35A at so many different locations,” Capt. Wolfe said in an official press release. “It’s a privilege to work with the best airmen from Hill Air Force Base, and to give people a small glimpse of what this jet is capable of.”
According to Air Force resources, Capt. Wolfe has been flying F-35As since transitioning from the F-22A Raptor in 2017. She has approximately 800 total fighter hours in both of the service’s 5th-generation aircraft.
Capt. Wolfe was announced as the successor to Maj. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, the first-ever F-35A Demo Team pilot, during a reveal today at the Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. Until today, the identity of the new pilot was kept secret.
“We are extremely proud to have Capt. Wolfe leading the new F-35A Demonstration Team,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “She’s an incredibly accomplished pilot and we can’t wait to see her and the team showcase the capabilities of our Wing and the F-35s to the world.”
The Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB, where the announcement was made, is a certification event closed to the public where military and civilian pilots receive their certifications for performing demonstration flights and the Heritage Flight formation flights of dissimilar aircraft that have become popular at airshows around the world.
The announcement of Capt. Wolfe as the new pilot comes after some speculation about the identity of the replacement for Maj. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, who has been assigned as an instructor to F-35A training operations at Luke AFB in Arizona following his season of considerable success as the F-35A Demo Team Commander.
The Air Force and Air Combat Command had released the identity of the new F-22 Raptor Demo Team Pilot, Major Josh “Cabo” Gunderson earlier this year, and the late announcement of the F-35A Demo Team pilot fueled speculation and excitement about who the new team commander would be.
For the upcoming 2020 show season, the F-35A Demo Team has also relocated to Hill AFB from their original location at Luke AFB in Arizona. According to an official press release, “The team is currently scheduled to fly at 20 different performances across the country, showcasing the approximately 18-minute long profile as well as a maintenance team jet-launch and recovery.”
The news about the new pilot was first publicly reported by the website AirShowStuff.com, an authoritative source for airshow news.