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F-35B Lightning set for flying debut at Royal Navy International Air Day

Photo: MOD/Crown Copyright


The cutting-edge F-35B Lightning will make its Royal Navy International Air Day debut on Saturday, July 13 at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. Making an airborne-only appearance, the state-of-the-art multi-role stealth fighter will bring a glimpse of future UK air power to Air Day with two flypasts – one slow and one fast.  A full-sized F-35B model with cockpit access will also be on static display for a close-up look at the UK’s new fifth-generation fighter.

F-35s currently equip the RAF’s legendary No 617 Squadron – The Dambusters – at RAF Marham, where both RAF and RN pilots fly them. This autumn British F-35s will embark in HMS Queen Elizabeth for the very first time, marking a new era of fixed-wing naval aviation for the RN as they work up to becoming a fully operational, global carrier strike capability by late 2020.

The F-35B will be joined by some very rare and exciting displays, including the world’s only flying Westland Wessex HU5 which will be opening the show. The Red Arrows will perform one of their last UK displays this year before their tour of North America. Unique to Air Day is the dramatic pyrotechnic-filled Commando Assault demonstration by Royal Marine troops and the Commando Helicopter Force – an unmissable finale to the thrilling line-up.

These displays will be part of the action-packed five hour flying display while on the ground there will be a vast range of attractions from the latest defence technology exhibitions, STEM fair and service displays to trade stalls, arena displays, military bands and the chance to meet the pilots and even sit in the cockpit!

Further information and discounted advance tickets (Adult £28, Child U16 £5 and Child U5 Free) available at

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