Some images have shown up on flickr
of the first production Lockheed Martin F-35 to come off the line.
The X-35 (now designated F-35) was the winner of the US Defense Department's Joint Strike
Fighter (JSF) program – Boeing's X-32
prototype came up a bit short.
The F-35 is a multi-role airframe
designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10 Thunderbolt II, F/A-18
Hornet and F-16 Fighting Falcon/Viper. The F-35 will be available in
The F-35A will be the lightest of the
bunch as it is the most conventional design. It will take off and
land like a typical modern day fighter (i.e. F-22
Raptor). The F-35B will be the most complex design as it will
have an exhaust nozzle that can rotate down 90 degrees and can be
used in conjunction with a lift fan located behind the cockpit to
accomplish short take-offs and landings. The F-35C variant is
destined to naval service and will feature larger wings and control
surfaces along with a beefed up undercarriage to handle carrier
You can read more about the F-35 and
the Joint Strike Fighter program here.
quote: If you want close air-support, it would seem to me that nothing beat the A-10. Why not come up with a modern variant of the old Warthog? Something that could take out armor, cruise at low speed and be nearly indestructible.