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US Marine Corps F-35B

The arrival of the USMC F-35B will be of most interest to both the public and British delegations at RIAT 2016 as both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will be receiving the 'B' model.

The first units to receive their F-35Bs will be the RAF's No. 617 Squadron and the Fleet Air Arm's 809 NAS, intended to replace the Tornado GR4 and the Harrier GR9 (which was retired in 2010).

The F-35B is the short take off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant and will be operated from the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, as well as having the ability to operate from austere airbases.

The aircraft's STOVL capability is provided by a Rolls-Royce system that swivels thrust 90 degrees, supported by new fan technology. Air-to-air refuelling is achieved through the probe and drogue method, compatible with the RAF's Voyager tanker fleet.

The aircraft displaying at RIAT 2016 are a mixed team, coming either from VMFAT 501, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, or VMX1, Edwards Air Force Base, California.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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