Here's What the Marines' F-35B Did During First Full Air Show Demo

Pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) fly the F-35B Lightning II during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, April 27, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Bobby J. Yarbrough)
Pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) fly the F-35B Lightning II during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, April 27, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Bobby J. Yarbrough)

The Marine Corps' F-35B stealth fighter performed 12 different maneuvers over the weekend during the Beaufort Air Show in South Carolina.

Audiences were able to see the short-takeoff-vertical-landing variant engage in moves such as the pedal turn, in which the F-35 banks and climbs high, eventually simulating a somersault-like maneuver.

The show, which also featured the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team among other aircraft, marked the first full demonstration for the Marine Corps' variant, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp.'s official F-35 Lightning II Twitter account, which posted the aerial display Monday.

The F-35B performed one of its classic maneuvers, in which the plane switches into a hover before landing, according to a video posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

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In 2014, the plane made its air show debut at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

Two years later, the F-35B made its first trans-Atlantic flight to the United Kingdom to participate in the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The F-35B isn't the only version of the jet audiences can see in 2019.

This year also marks the first time the Air Force's F-35A model has a breakout role in the air show season, as the demonstration model appears at various air shows across the country with its own 13-minute display of state-of-the-art aerobatics.

"We're going out there to showcase the jet, [and] we're doing it fully aerobatic ... fully showcasing the maneuvering envelope of the F-35," Capt. Andrew "Dojo" Olson told Military.com last month in an interview.

Olson, an instructor pilot and commander of the F-35A Heritage Flight Team, was selected to be the solo F-35 performer at 17 shows across the U.S. and Canada.

The F-35A has been slated to perform a minimum of 16 maneuvers, including rolls, loops, high-degree bank turns, and inverting to be fully upside down, among other actions. There will also be two new passes with older warbirds, including a "fun bottom-up pass where the [audience] can see the bottom of the aircraft as it arcs over the crowd," he said.

"Through our narration, we attempt to succeed in connecting the maneuver at the air show to its real world, tactical application," Olson said, adding that he flies the F-35 like he's in a combat configuration but he won't be carrying an ordnance load.

Still, "you are seeing the jet and how it would perform in actual combat," he said.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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