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F-35 jets, Sea and Sky Air show rev up local business

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The yearly air show can be a lot of fun, but it’s also big business. In addition to all the money generated by spectators in town to see the show, companies are also showing off their military hardware.  

One plane in particular, the F-35, could mean big things for Jacksonville.

The F-35s, which will be on display at this weekend’s air show, are more than impressive. With stealth technology, supersonic speed, and superior range, the jets are by far the most advanced, survivable and connected aircraft in the world.

They are the newest fifth-generation fighter from Lockheed Martin.  

The aircraft's arrival represents the first time the guard has received new production fighter jets of any kind in recent history. 

Jacksonville has been in the running to earn a spot as a base for the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s next-generation stealth fighter.  

When the city lost its bid to host the F-35 two years ago, it was a big disappointment for many.

The 12th Fighter Wing, at the Jacksonville Air National Guard base, was still on the list – but it missed out again last month when the planes were awarded to the Air National Guard Base in Burlington, Vermont.

The Green Mountain Boys will receive a total of seven F-35s by the end of this year.  In total, they will receive 20.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. John Rutherford joined Capt. Andy Olson, part of the F-35 Demo Team Pilot, for an F-35 cockpit demonstration.


About the Authors:

Zachery Lashway

An Emmy-nominated TV reporter and weekend anchor.