Episode 11 – Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective

Episode Summary

The Mitchell institute is pleased to release Episode 11 of the Aerospace Advantage Podcast: Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective. Join us as we speak with F-35 pilots Major Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe to better understand how the F-35’s stealth and information dominance capabilities are changing combat aviation. Back in the day, we used to say speed is life, but today, that mantra is evolving. It is all about understanding the battle space better than your opponent—how to best position yourself to net your mission goals, while avoiding points of danger thanks to stealth and situational awareness. That’s why the F-35 is such a capable combat aircraft.

Full Topic Guide

In Episode 11 of the Aerospace Advantage host John “Slick” Baum explores what it is like to fly America’s newest fighter jet, the F-35. Joined by Emmy award winning journalist Steph Stricklen as co-host, Baum brings experienced F-35 fighter pilots Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe onto the show to describe their firsthand experience flying this new aircraft.

Fifth-gen aircraft bring a whole new dynamic to the fight through their advanced stealth technology, and even more importantly, their ability to gather and process battlespace information for the pilot. These two capabilities, combined with impressive flight characteristics, make the F-35 a highly capable air combat aircraft.  

No one can better describe the experience and benefits gained by these aircraft than the pilots who fly them. To hear this experience, Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe join the show to describe  what they experience when they fly and fight in the F-35.

Time Marks

2:17 – Baum lays down how stealth, information dominance and advanced performance is the new norm for the fighter pilot’s needs

5:43 – Steph Stricklen kicks off the conversation with Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe by getting her take on how she engages the community to educate them on the capabilities of the F-35 beyond aerobatic maneuvers

7:55 – Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee describes how the F-35 has evolved the operational level planning in the air

13:21 – First Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe describes how the F-35 has changed operating concepts, then Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee shares his thoughts.

20:37 – Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe and Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee share their experience flying the F-35 and how it changes how they fly

31:11 – Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee and Steph Stricklen each share their favorite F-35 flying story


Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.

Co-host: Stephanie Stircklen

Producer: Daniel C. Rice

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Capt Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, USAF

Guest: Maj Justin “Hasard” Lee, USAF

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