Buzz is building for Airshow London 2017.
Organizers announced Friday morning that it will feature the F-35A Lightning II jet, which is currently being flown by the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps, and is slated to be added to the U.S. Navy air arsenal.
“This is one of the most amazing jets in the world,” said executive director Dave De Kelver. “Last year, we were lucky to see the F-22 Raptor come to the city, the F35A Lightning is one of the premier planes in the U.S. military.”
According to a media release, “the jet fighter is produced in three variants (A,B,C) and is not only capable of air to air and air to ground engagements but it can switch between the two roles while in flight. The F-35 Lightning II brings an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. Its superior performance and integrated avionics allows it to provide next-generation stealth, heightened awareness and reduced vulnerability… Its appearance at Airshow London 2017 will be part of the US Air Force Heritage Flight and will originate out of Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.”
London is one of only two Canadian appearances scheduled for this aircraft, with the other being in Abbotsford, B.C.
De Kelver notes the not-for-profit event, which raises money for various charities, provides an economic boost for the city.
“We estimate we had an economic impact last year of about $2 million, and we hope that will grow this year,” he said. “We think if we add to the show and we get a little bit more support within the city … we could even do more. As an example, we filled over 700 hotel rooms last year over the course of the weekend.”
Airshow London 2017 will feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Demonstration Team and the CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team. The show will also celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by presenting premiere air demonstration teams from Canada, the United States and countries around the world.
The event is slated for Sept. 22-24, and tickets are expected to go on sale by the end of the month. De Kelver said more roster announcements will be made in the coming months.