Why is The Boeing F-35 Called “Lightning II”?


Since its inception in the early 2000s, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has been touted as one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and a cornerstone of modern American air superiority. But why is it actually named “Lightning”?

Prior to the F-35’s official entry into service in 2006, the name “Lightning” had been previously used by the U.S. Air Force to designate several of its previous aircraft. This includes the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a twin-engined, twin-boomed aircraft – the only one of its kind used in World War II – and the failed Northrop YF-23A Lightning II, a prototype fighter aircraft of the late 1980s.