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F-35 Lightning II News

F-35 will finally get its name tomorrow

July 6, 2006 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - Everyone's been asking what the name for the new F-35 fighter jet will be and on Friday, July 7, 2006, the wait will be over..

Representatives of the countries partnering on the JSF program surround a scale model of the F-35 at the Paris Air Show on June 15. The delegates built the model on site, adding sections until it was completed. Each section displays the flag of one partner country. [LMTAS photo ]

Lockheed Martin announced yesterday that the F-35 will be officially unveiled for the media and that it will finally be given its official U.S. Air Force name on that date. The unveiling is scheduled to take place at 11:00 AM CDT at Plant 1 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

While everyone's looking forward to seeing what the Air Force wants to call the jet, many are also waiting to see what sort of name the pilots and maintainers hang on the jet. Past examples of popular names differing from the official military name for an aircraft include the F-16 Viper ("Fighting Falcon" to the Air Force), F-105 Thud ("Thunderchief"), and the B-52 BUFF ("Stratofortress").

According to Lockheed's press release, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, Congresswoman Kay Granger, and the International JSF Partners will be on hand for the festivities.

Stay tuned to for future developments...

Additional images:

The first part for the first F-35 JSF aircraft was cut on 10 November 2003. Since then, thousands of parts have been coming together as the team works to complete the first F-35. [USAF Photo]

AA-1 is being weighed (20,975 lbs.) here on Jan 8th 2006, right before it is moved to its new location in preparation for control surface testing and engine fit checks.

The first F-35A Joint Strike Fighter rolls out of Lockheed's Ft. Worth, TX assembly plant. [LMTAS photo]