F-35s Fly in First Civilian Airshow in Wisconsin

F-35ATwo F-35 Joint Strikes Fighters will perform at the EAA Airventure Oshkosh Airshow in Wisconsin in the F-35’s first commercial airshow appearance.

Joined by the F-35 will also be U.S. Air Force F-22s, the F-100 Super Sabre and the AV-8B Harrier on the airshow docket.

Last year, rumors swirled that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would make its international airshow debut at the Farnborough Air Show in London. However, problems following an engine fire caused officials to cancel the appearance. 

Below is the video of the arrival of the F-35s to Wisconsin. Their show appearance comes right before Marine officials plan to announce the F-35 is combat ready.

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About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • blight_asdf

    Finally airshow ready!

    Wonder if they’ll roll out the red carpet for any export customers in Wisconsin…come see the American hardware, have some cheese curds (halal?)

    • fws

      well we know the F35 can make a right turn successfully

      • Stan

        on a tarmac?

      • sparta

        IOW, lousy at left turns.

  • steve

    Translation: Crap, they’re on to us, have it fly in front of witnesses.

    • blight_asdf

      If we can fake a moon landing, we can fake an airshow.


      • bob

        You twits that just keep insisting the moon landings were hoaxes… get a life! Explain the laser reflector mirror, American flag, abandoned Apollo lander module, and footprints that SATELLITES and mountaintop telescope OBSERVATORIES can actually see sitting there on the moonscape, and not in some secret Hollywood film studio. DAH!!!

        • S Jones

          Well can you explain the fact that little boy in The Shinning is wearing a sweater with a rocket that says Apollo on a carpet thats pattern is somewhat similar to a NASA launch pad - I think the case is closed on this one!

          • steve

            Is that sarcasm or stupidity?

          • blight_asdf

            It’s sarcasm that everyone seems to think it’s serious!

            Blame Dubya! Blame Obama! Air horns for everyone! Aliens! Illuminati! Fakery! Internet trolls!

          • steve

            The program is designed to drain our economy. It’s all part of the Illuminatti’s plan, they created an Alien-Kenyan Hybrid to infiltrate our government and take over the Military-Industrial Complex, their previous attempt was thwarted when the Reptilian’s agent, Dick Cheney, instead of following the Plan, used his Haliburton resources to get rich instead of attacking the Sirians as planned.

          • Thomas L. Nielsen

            You didn’t mention the Hitler-clones living in the Hollow Earth. Where do they fit in?

            Regards & all,

            Thomas L. Nielsen

          • crackedlenses

            They are to link up the the secret Nazi base on the dark side of the moon using alien technology from Roswell sold to them by Dick Cheney to cover up the evidence that Osama bin Laden was brainwashed into taking responsibility for 9/11….

            Did I miss anything?

          • Thomas L. Nielsen

            That definitely explains it.

            Regards & all,

            Thomas L. Nielsen

          • spartan

            misplaced sarcasm, or pseudo sarcasm.

            with the US govt, hoaxes have been the norm, not the exception.

          • Dfens

            The voices told him that.

  • Tim

    There were two F-35s at the air show at Dyess AFB back in May. I don’t know if they performed, since I couldn’t attend the show. I did photograph their arrival, though. Is there a difference between commercial and military air show?

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing commercial air shows are more “flashy” while military air shows are more centered towards people already familiar with aircraft, where the planes do small maneuvers to showcase minor improvements in maneuvering.

      • BixlerB

        Sure would like to know what the objection was. I type it up, hit enter and it immediately comes up “this comment has been deleted by the administrator” What gives. You had no time to read it. So….I’ll try it again.

        Didn’t work the second time either. No 4 letter words, no denigration, just a factual statement about air shows at Edwards AFB and an F-117 aerial demonstration that was well worth watching.

      • BixlerB

        To an extent yes. The Air Force has strict limitations on maneuvering at air shows to the point of boredom. One exception was the F-117 flight test display at Edwards AFB some years ago. They would run them through their paces producing a show well worth watching. Then the Air Force caught wind of it and they were back to sticking to runway headings back and forth. ZZZZZZ

      • http://twitter.com/FaithDividends @FaithDividends

        No Not really. Military air show just implies an almost exclusive presence of military aircraft, the moves they do are just as flash (see RIAT 2015, Vulcan’s last flight). Civilian airshow will most likely include military aircraft but not exclusively.

        • blight_asdf

          Military airshows also tend to be the ones where export deals are inked.

  • Richard

    How about a CAS demo? I would like to watch from a great distance though and not from where the “supported” troops would be!

  • Adam

    1st airshow? Saw one fly at the Miramar Airshow last year and before that Yuma

    • michael

      first CIVILIAN airshow. Reading is fundamental. Replies based on a quick peek at the tag line reveal much about one’s intelligence. Sad part is, they still vote.

    • BixlerB

      Both military sponsored air shows. Oshkosh is a “commercially sponsored civilian” show.

      There now michael. See how it’s done without being costic. It’s easy. Work on it.

      • ronaldo

        Uh….that is ‘caustic’ Mr. BixlerB.

        Both reading and spelling skills are fundamental to good communication.


        • BixlerB

          Ok. Fair enough. I’ll work on my spelling and you work on your caustic attitude. We hope a spelling error didn’t prevent you from getting the message. You will feel so much better.

  • All_too_easy

    No F-16 squad to protect it?

    • spartan

      They won’t be that obvious at an air show. When it’s time for a real war, however, there will probably be twice as many F-16s to protect the phony F-35s.

      • blight_adsfas

        Logistically, there will be twice as many F-16’s for a while.

        The joint-commonality fighter parts setup will begin to break down for the USAF. They can’t afford to replace all the F-16’s any time soon, so they’ll be stuck with a large number of two different aircraft that don’t really use interchangeable parts.

        The Marines will happily throw all their Harriers into the ocean, or give them to Australia and other American allies so they can fly /something/ off their amphibs (until money arrives to make those platforms F-35 ready…rebates from Lockheed? Hah!). The Navy will have legacy Hornets, -C and the Super Hornets. If the Navy cannot replace the Hornets fast enough with -C it’ll end up adjusting the mix to include more Supers.

        And since there are few customers of -C there’s a good chance that production will prioritize the -A. Push comes to shove this will result in delays for the Navy. And in the case of exports, the government isn’t above taking articles slated for American units…case in point, those V-22’s shunted to Israel from the American buy. And in such a case, the Navy needs to hedge its bets with…BlackOwl’s favorite Super Hornet.

  • nmi

    This is part of an Obama planned invasion of Wisconsin.
    He started in Texas and is now moving up the food chain to higher intelligence beings - cows.

    • Sqwerty

      Skipped you, did he?

  • Patrick

    Strike Fighter as its known as. Nomenclature for this aircraft could mean it is everything for anybody. Role: First In…First to Leave.

  • RunningBear

    Wow!, Where’s the “Cancel the Program” crowd, I’m feeling so un-loved??

    …….sarcasm ! :(

  • Jack A. Rink


    • Dylan

      What are munations?

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      And why are you shouting?

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • sparta

        perhaps he’s just using a 1960 era computer keyboard with cap lock stuck.

        • blight_adsfas

          Some people are used to caps for legibility. Take teletype systems that are all caps. The convention of “shout”==Caps Lock is an old one. We’ve moved on to using emoticons (and now emoji) to decipher emotional intent.

  • BlackOwl18E

    First civilian air show just now? How many years and dollars did this aircraft take to reach this point?

  • Tom

    The EAA Air Venture show held yearly in Oshkosh WI is awesome and a must see for any airplane and flying fan. It has ultralights, sport aircraft, civilian aircraft [hobbyist, business & commercial], war birds old & new and hangers full of vendors selling gear and parts. The grounds are convenient and you can do just a day or be there all week. There is an aerobatic show every afternoon. Prices are reasonable as it’s up in Wisconsin.

    • annigeturgun

      Tom, didn’t they just have the B-52 there? I saw my brothers plane taxiing down the runway.

  • david

    That picture is only one f35 the second one is an f16

    • BixlerB

      Hey thanks for pointing out the obvious. It is a representative photo of an F-35, not the actual two F-35s taking part in the air show.

      • oblatt23

        If it was representative shouldn’t it be parked in the maintenance hanger ?

        • BixlerB

          Why? They fly nearly everyday at Edwards AFB. No doubt the same at Luke and Eglin.

  • retirednfo

    Tail marking show they’re from the 33rd FS at Eglin AFB, Fl. That’s the training center for all the AF, Navy and International pilots and maintainers. The Marines moved their A/C and training out last year.

    • BixlerB

      Where does the 56th FS at Luke fit in?

      • Retirednfo

        I think they are going to be the AF operational training wing.

        • BixlerB

          Ok so I’m thinking the 33rd will teach them how to fly it where as the 56th will teach then how to fight with it. About right?

    • DawgNayshun

      There are still Marine JSF planes and pilots at Eglin.

  • Mitch S.

    Looks like they sent A models.
    Would have been nice to see a B perform at the same show as Harrier.
    (An issue with heat on the tarmac?)

    • blight_asdf

      Indeed, considering the -B is going to hit IOC later…

      Perhaps the Marines have better things to do.

      • JJMurray

        @bight - Actually the Marines are accepting their models even though they can’t do more than half of what they are supposed to do. So apparently they do NOT have better things to do.

        • blight_asdf

          I suppose the real question is what does JSF-B IOC look like vs the Harrier. Fires missiles and drops bombs, check. Rest of fancy tech will be drawn out over a painful many years. And by the time it’s ready, it’ll be ready for another upgrade cycle. Which necessitates more R&D.

          Was sensor fusion whizbang Minimum Viable Product? I guess it’s /Important/ to the JSF being a fifth gen fighter, but is it required for /Viability/?

    • Swim M.

      It was the B that performed in the air show.

  • Big-D

    17+ years and they can now do some easy airshow tricks-Thank you Lockhead, you’re doing great

    • BixlerB

      Come out to Edwards AFB. You’ll see what they can do.

      • spartan

        what’s the point of going there to see them parked on the tarmac or inside the hanger? (if you don’t mind me asking)

  • JJMurray

    I saw this and the scene from Iron Man 2 came to mind when Venko tells Hammer that he can’t put on a demonstration with the suits but he can “make salute”.

  • wtpworrier

    I’ve never seen a F-35 other than on film, but I’ve seen the F-22 at an air show. If the F-22 do anything like it did at the air show I attended, it will make the F-35 will look like a flying rock. But the F-22 is too expensive, so the US went with the cheaper bird. As usual, like we’ve been doing sense the rummie the dummie, bush years, we buy cheap over performance, a habit we need to break.

    • DawgNayshun

      I see the F-35 flying every day. It’s no F-22, but its design is more about sensors and algorithms than maneuverability. It’s advantage (unrecognized by most of these Debbie-Downer commenters here) will not be acknowledged for years. Design for the tomorrow’s battlespace, not for yesterday’s.

    • Sniper

      Nothing new with having an expensive advanced fighter supplemented by a cheap fighter.

      The F-16 started as a cheap supplement to the advanced F-15 in the USAF.
      The USN did the same and had the cheap F/A-18 to supplement the F-14.

      Both the F-15 and F-14 were to expensive to equip entire Air Force and Navy.

      The F-16 and F/A-18 turned out to be excellent multirole fighters. Especially after upgrades.

      The only thing regarding the F-35 I am worried about is that it has to take the A-10 role.
      Big mistake, it doesn’t have the armor, ability to take and survive hits, slow speed (to better ID targets) and big gun of the A-10.

      • Valvatorez

        Also lacks a Sniper or Legion Pod that all those other plans you listed have.

        • blight_

          Targeting pods have improved markedly since the designs were committed for JSF. Even when those systems come online through software upgrades, they’ll have to be taken out and new systems inserted to stay concurrent. Blah blah, something about warfighters deserving the best technology. Then again, they may just leave it in…upgrade cycles being sometimes rather slow.

      • retired462

        Two engines have proven to be better than on Gotta love that warthog!

  • JSCS

    F-100 Super Sabre? Whose plane is that? Privately owned?

    • Navyjag907

      Good question. What private entity could afford to fly one?

      • blight_

        Wikipedia has a putative list which might be worth running down.
        55-2888 - Ronald L. Brandon in Reno, Nevada.
        56-3842 - Big Sky Warriors LCC in Belgrade, Montana.
        56-3844 - Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts.
        56-3916 - Big Sky Warriors LCC in Belgrade, Montana.
        56-3948 - American Horizons Ltd. Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
        56-3971 - Big Sky Warriors LCC in Belgrade, Montana.
        56-3996 - Big Sky Warriors LCC in Belgrade, Montana.

        Can always check a few tail numbers. For example: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/AcftRef_R…

    • BixlerB

      Yes. As of a few years ago there were two on the airshow circuit.

  • Peter Miles

    Um, Farnborough Airshow in London? Really, not in Farnborough?

  • blight_