Lockheed’s F-35 ready for first demo at Paris Air Show

Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 is set to make its first aerial demonstration on Monday at the Paris Air Show, as the defense contractor looks to ink a blockbuster sale for hundreds of the stealth fighter jets.

The F-35 will fly late in the afternoon in Paris, where aircraft makers gather each year to show off their latest models and score new orders from airlines and militaries. F-35 demos, featuring the F-35A made for the U.S. Air Force, are also scheduled throughout the week. The Paris Air show runs Monday through Sunday.

The F-35’s air show debut comes as Lockheed Martin is reportedly nearing a $37 billion deal that would send 440 F-35 Lightning II multirole fighters to 11 nations, including the U.S., according to Reuters. It would mark the largest sale ever for the warplane.

Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s test pilot who will fly the F-35 in Paris, told Aviation Week that “we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing.” The flight scheduled on Monday will mark the F-35’s first full demo for potential buyers, 10 years after it first took to the skies.

Lockheed Martin has displayed some of the F-35’s advanced capabilities, such as vertical landings, at other events like the Farnborough International Airshow. Also, while this week is the F-35’s debut in Paris, executives involved in the F-35 program have attended the renowned air show in past years.

Rumors had swirled earlier this year that the Paris Air Show didn’t invite the F-35 for a flight demonstration. The news didn’t come…

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