Watch F-35 takes off without afterburner

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Photo Courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Syracuse (GDC) — It’s not every day you see a plane zoom straight up seconds after taking off from Syracuse Hancock International Airport. So when it happens, it’s pretty cool.

An F-35 Lightning II, the Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter and one its most capable, took off from the airport on Aug. 26. Video shot by airport operations officer Darren Gilcher shows the highly advanced multi-role fighter pointing its nose straight up after lifting off from the runway.

Airport officials posted the video on the airport’s Twitter page, calling it the “coolest takeoff of the year so far at #SYR Airport.”

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“Thanks to our Ops Manager Darren for snagging this sweet video of an #F35 flexing its muscles this afternoon.”

The jet came from the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing in Burlington, Vermont, which has been flying F-35s since October 2019. Airport officials said they had no information on the purpose of the visit.

It’s been 10 years since fighter jets were a regular sight at Syracuse’s airport. The New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing is based at the airport. It operated fighters for decades, starting with the P-47 in 1948, until it gave up its F-16s and transitioned to the remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper in 2010.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 is known for its stealthy design, which absorbs and deflects radar signals to make it hard to detect.

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