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Cadets take a look at new strike fighter jets

3 August 2016
Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College have had a preview of Britain’s new supersonic ‘stealth’ strike fighters.

Four Cadets visited RAF Fairford to take a look at the F-35B Lightening II, the first of the new jets to touch down in the UK.  The aircraft was one of the attractions at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

Officer Cadet Matthew Ford said, “I had heard in the media that the jets had landed in the UK and was aware that they would only be in the UK for two weeks. I knew that the team would be undertaking displays and generally advertising the aircraft so I thought I’d start ringing around and have a go at trying to organise a tour.

"After a few phone calls I managed to secure a slot to have a look around the new aircraft and talk to some of the pilots that actually fly the jet. We were there for six hours in total. 

This opportunity would be a once in a lifetime experience for some and for those of us who aspire to be pilots one day

Officer Cadet Matthew Ford

Matthew added, "I imagine we left the ground crew and pilots exhausted from all of our enthusiasm but we were all a bit shell shocked to have been given the chance to get so close to it in the first place.

"This opportunity would be a once in a lifetime experience for some and for those of us who aspire to be pilots one day. The day further fuelled our ambitions, enhanced our drive and cemented the reasons that we joined up; to ultimately fly, control or maintain cutting edge, advanced military aircraft.”

The F35 Lightning II is an Anglo-American joint effort, designed by the best and brightest in the two nation’s aircraft industries.

Before the end of this decade it will provide the ultimate punch of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.  

The aircraft will also be operated by the RAF. Fleet Air Arm aviators will pilot the jump jet version – the F35B. Trials will commence flying to and off the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018.

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