HILL AFB – For the past three decades, the world famous F16 fighter jets have flown over Independence Day Celebrations in Utah. But, the new F35 A Lightning Two will by Hill Air Force Base’s new “face” of the Fourth of July flyovers.
“We’re trying to hit 13 towns across the state, all in about a two-hour period,” according to Lieutenant Colonel Dave DeAngelis. They’re starting in West Point, then they’ll make their way to cities up north. After that, they’ll fly over cities like Centerville, Murray, Vernal and Park City.
DeAngelis flew F16 jets before transitioning over to the F35. He says the stealth capabilities are his favorite part of his new plane. He does exercises against F16 pilots all the time, and those other pilots never see him coming. DeAngelis says, “They’re always like, ‘Hey, we’re going to take down the newest aircraft.’ But, due to the stealth capabilities and the great radar, we’re usually able to just sneak up right behind them. They never even know until we say, ‘Hey, we’re right behind you.’”
If you want to see these planes in action, don’t blink. “We’ll be going 300 miles an hour and we’ll be 1,000 feet above the ground, as well. I’ll be three feet off my wingman’s wing,” DeAngelis says.
He adds these planes can fly 700 miles an hour, but, that would shatter windows down below.
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