A series of stealthy multi-role fighter aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II represents the current pinnacle of aviation technology and the most advanced aircraft type currently in service.
Produced in three distinct variants, the F-35A is the standard variant selected for service by the US Air Force, whilst the F-35B is the short take-off and vertical landing enabled aircraft, which has been purchased by the Royal Air Force. The third variant is the F-35C, which features stro landing gear, an arrester hook and slightly larger, folding outer wing sections, also conventionally configured for use on aircraft carriers by the US Navy and Marine Corps. One of the latest aircraft to enter Royal Air Force service, the UK has initially committed to purchasing 138 of these highly advanced fifth generation combat aircraft, as the RAF is determined to maintain its position as one of the worlds most capable air forces. Selecting the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35, these aircraft will have the ability to operate from standard airfields, or from the decks of Britains two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
The RAFs F-35 will actually be the third aircraft to carry the name Lightning, after the previous P-38 of WWII and the English Electric fighter of the Cold War era. Our Corgi Showcase line is destined to become an icon of aviation and is already making its mark worldwide. 14 years after development first started in the USA the first flight of an F-35A took place in December 2006 . The F-35 was developed with the intention to replace the majority of US fighter jets with three variants (A, B and C) being designed to suit various combat missions. 10 countries worldwide have purchased a variation of the F-35 including the UK who so far own 15 of the F-35B which are used by both the RAF and the Royal Navy and are intended as a replacement for the Harrier GR9 and Tornado GR4.
Age suitability: 3+