The aircrew of the Dambusters (617 Squadron) recreated famous pictures of Guy Gibson’s World War Two flying heroes in their F-35’s.
From Lancaster to Lightning, it was a Squadron born in battle, created for to carry out one of the most daring raids of World War II. Now the Dambusters will once again fly at the forefront of aviation technology as they prepare to become Britain’s first F-358 Lightning Squadron.
On the night of the 16th of May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led his men on the famous dams raid using brand new techniques and equipment whilst flying specially modified Lancaster bomber aircraft.
Wing Commander John Butcher, the new Officer Commanding 617 Squadron said:
“We work alongside the US Marines flying the jets and training pilots and maintainers every day. We’ve been working with our US partners since the beginning of the F-35 programme and we continue to develop the capabilities of the aircraft together. We work very closely with the US Air Force, US Navy, US Marine Corps and other international partners in making decisions on the programme, the relationships really couldn’t be better.”
The F-35B’s maiden deployment is set for late 2017 and its bound for the Western Pacific.
The jet will deploy aboard an amphibious flattop and the US Marine Corps are planning a more powerful escort force to support it, according to Admiral Scott Swift, head of Pacific Fleet, as reported by the Marine Times. The F-35B has already flown from American assault ships as part of a series of tests, which largely went well.
The UK plans to purchase 138 of the type as costs continue to fall and issues with the jet are rapidly resolved.