The F-35 has for years been dogged by reports that it can't maneuver to keep up with older dog fighters like the F-16, but the aircraft's display at the Paris Air Show should shut down all but the most stubborn haters.
From the maximum power takeoff, to vertical climbs, to appearing to fall from the sky like a leaf off a tree, the F-35 showed it can move like the best of them. In fact, the routine borrows some tricks from the F-22, the deadliest combat plane around.
Amazingly, the F-35 did all these tricks in a configuration that would work for combat. Older planes like the F-16 don't do tricks like this with external stores of weapons. Meanwhile, the F-35 can hold thousands of pounds of bombs and missiles in its internal weapons bay.
“After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,” Billie Flynn, the test pilot in Paris told Aviation Week.
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