F-35B aircraft spotted at Luke Air Force Base - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

F-35B aircraft spotted at Luke Air Force Base

F-35B taking off from Luke AFB. F-35B taking off from Luke AFB.

The F-35B was the star of the show at Luke Air Force Base Tuesday morning.

"I heard a rumor it was going to be here for the Singapore guys to check it out, so I wanted to see it in action and I came out, see if I could get a photograph," said USAF veteran Richard Arthur.

It's a fighter jet, in the air. But it's not really moving. And that's one of the features of the F-35B.

"The ability to hover and turn while it's hovering, it's just like... it's crazy," said 16-year old Jared Lovesee.

The aircraft, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, was flexing its muscle for defense officials from Singapore, who were visiting the base. The country is considering purchasing F-35s in the future.

"I know it didn't deliver full performance, but it was still exciting to see the plane fly," joked Arthur.

The F-35B is the "short takeoff and vertical landing" variant of the jet developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. The F-35A is the "conventional takeoff and landing" aircraft used by the Air Force.

Luke Air Force Base will be the primary training location for the F-35A. Many believe it's the F-35 program that saved the base from closure.

"I don't want Luke to close, I'm retired Air Force. We depend on Luke," said retired USAF veteran Mike Smith.

With 144 F-35As arriving over the next 10 years, Luke will not only train American pilots, but will also serve as an international training site.

The F-35 program is expected to have an economic impact of just under $100 million.

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