Fri, Jul 07, 2006
Name Pays Homage To WWII's P-38
Confirming reports ANN first brought to you in
May, on Friday Air Force chief General T. Michael
"Buzz" Moseley is expected to announce Friday the F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter will now be known as the "Lightning II."
The name -- which pays respect to the original "Lightning," the
Lockheed P-38 fighter that served with distinction in World War II
-- beat out "Spitfire II", "Cyclone" and "Reaper" as possible
nicknames for the advanced fighter, which is slated to make its
first production-spec flight later this summer.
Despite those choices -- as well as other suggested names such
as "Piasa" and "Black Mamba," submitted by the Dutch -- it was
clear pretty early on that "Lightning II" was the odds-on
"The two top aces in
Air Force history both flew the P-38," said an anonymous Pentagon
official to the Dallas Morning News.
Gen. Moseley was expected to formally announce his decision
Friday at a press conference at the Lockheed-Martin plant in Fort
The name will be used by both the Navy and Marines versions of
the aircraft, as well as those flown by Britain and seven other US
allies that are expected to order the plane.
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