As we get closer to the 2022 Duluth Airshow, organizers announced a big addition to this year's lineup. As thousands of people head to the show, scheduled for Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17, spectators will get another aerial display on top of those already announced.

Show organizers announced Thursday (July 7) that their request to feature the F-35 Lightning II has been granted. The demonstration team, featuring pilot Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, will add to an already packed lineup of performers spanning a variety of aircraft.

This appearance of the F-35 will be the second at the Duluth Airshow, with 2019 marking the first time it appeared in the Twin Ports for Minnesota's largest airshow.

Duluth Airshow President Ryan Kern said that his team has been working with the F-35 Demonstration Team since January 2022 to try to bring the team and their aircraft to town. While it had initially been scheduled to headline a show in the United Kingdom, a schedule change made it possible for the team to be added to the Duluth show.

Kern closed his remarks by commenting on the pilot of this aircraft, saying “We are also thrilled to announce that the F-35 is piloted by Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe. Major Wolfe has been inspiring future female aviators across the country by showing them that there is no limit to what they can achieve!”

The F-35 Lighting Demonstration Team show off their aircraft, the F-35 Lighting II, the Air Force's newest fifth-generation fighter. They describe it as a "stealthy, multirole, all-weather air-to-air and surface attack fighter." They go on to say it is designed to enable direct attack against the most heavily defended ground targets.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas Barley - US Air Force, Via F-35A Demo Team
Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas Barley - US Air Force, Via F-35A Demo Team

The F-35 Lightning II will replace the Air Force's F-16 fleet and A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet, which have been their primary fighter aircraft for more than two decades.

Along with the just-added F-35, several other aircraft will take to the sky as part of Airshow Weekend. This year's headliners are the US Air Force Thunderbirds, who will cap off a day of flying that will include all of the following performers:

  • US Air Force Thunderbirds
  • US Air Force F-35 Demo
  • US Air Force KC-135 Demo
  • US Air Force B-52 Fly By from the 148th Fighter Wing
  • YAK-110 sponsored locally by Cirrus Aircraft
  • US National Team’s Craig Gifford sponsored locally by Super One
  • Jessy Panzer
  • B-25 Bomber
  • Vanguard Squadron
  • A-1 Skyraider
  • Russian MiG-17
  • Kent Pietsch
  • Cirrus SF-50

The show will also include several static displays on the ground to check out throughout the day. You can see the entire ground and air display lineup here. Tickets are still available for this year's show. You can get them at any Minnesota Menards location, or via the Duluth Airshow website.

Here are some photos from last year's recordsetting Duluth Airshow:

Photos From The 2021 Duluth Airshow

Headlined by the US Navy Blue Angels, the 2021 Duluth Airshow drew record crowds.

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