At the Paris Air Show in June it wasn’t just the temperature that was off the scale — so was the hype for the F-35A’s first public aerobatic demonstration. Was it worth the effort to show the Lightning II turning and burning?

THE F-35 LIGHTNING II’s Paris show debut in June was aimed at dispelling the myth that it’s a wheezy, poor performer when it comes to maneuverability in the close-in fight. At fairly short notice, Lockheed Martin worked up and performed the first public aerobatic demonstration by a US Air Force F-35A, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn.

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