Thu, Mar 15, 2018
We moved into the Suni Sands RV Park in Yuma, AZ last night and it’s near the airport. Little did we know that there’s an airshow this weekend.
We found out early this morning when an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew figure 8’s right over our heads. And I mean he was right there. I can’t believe how low they let them fly but I was loving it.
The F-35 is our most modern fighter and is a stealth aircraft. Here’s a shot of the profile:
The F-35 has three variants. One for the Air Force that’s designed for air superiority. A second of the Navy that has air craft carrier landing capability and a third for the Marines.
There’s a Marine base here (in the desert??) so naturally they are flying that variant. It is a STOVL aircraft, ie, designed for short takeoff and vertical landing. Here’s she is coming in for a landing. At this point, she’s going low and slow but went into a stationary hover a few minutes later.
Here’s a good shot of her belly where you can see that the main thruster is pointed down. The plane also has a giant fan to keep it level during hovering. You can see the intake in the photo above and the exhaust near the front of the fuselage.
And this is what you get when the thruster is pointed out the back:
One last shot when the plane was banking straight over my head. He’s flying horizontally with the left wing pointing straight down. Funny perspective because it looks like he’s going straight up.