One graphic shows 75 years of Air Force innovation

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One graphic shows 75 years of Air Force innovation

The above graphic shows how the F-35 Lightning II compares with its namesake and 75-year-old predecessor, the P-38J Lightning.

In many ways, the planes do not resemble each other, and represent 75 years of technological and conceptual advancements. But the planes do have their similarities.

Like the coming F-35, the original Lightning was a multirole fighter/bomber with an innovative design. The P-38 earned a fearsome reputation against Axis powers during World War II when it was manned by some of the US’s ace pilots.

Now, as the F-35 begins to reach operational capability, US pilots are once again training to rule the skies in a new generation of aircraft.

f-38 lightning f-35 lightning ii heritage air show

US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro

An F-38 Lightning and an F-35 Lightning II fly side-by-side for the first time at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 4, 2016. The F-38 and the F-35 participated in Air Combat Command’s Heritage Flight Training Course, a program that features modern fighter/attack aircraft flying alongside Word War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War-ear aircraft.


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