TYLER, Texas — The Air Force F-35A Lightning II will thunder over East Texas on Saturday demonstrating precision maneuvers and speed of the fifth-generation fighter jet during an Independence Day airshow.
Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe serves as the F-35A Demonstration Team‘s commander and pilot. Last February, she became the Air Force’s first female single-ship aerial demonstration pilot.
Capt. Wolfe and her team will perform on Independence Day during the Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake air show. The single-day event is scheduled to be the first air show for several of the Air Force’s jet demo teams, including the F-35A.
Standing on the flightline near the dark gray jet, this aerospace journalist spoke with the veteran fighter pilot. Her excitement while discussing the flight performance echoed loudly through her words.
“Our team is beyond excited to perform at Cedar Creek this weekend,” Capt. BEO Wolfe said on Thursday. “This will be our first public demonstration since we officially stood up the team at Hill Air Force Base.”
“We’re ready to show the jet off, represent the combat-ready Airmen at the 388th Fighter Wing, and celebrate the 4th of July weekend in Texas,” Capt. Wolfe added.
Wolfe is a 2011 graduate from the University of Alabama, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. A short time later, she began training as a pilot in the Air Force and earned her silver wings in September 2012.
The flying over Cedar Creek Lake, located southeast of Dallas, is scheduled to begin just after 5:10 p.m. CDT. Capt. Wolfe discussed what air show guests will witness as she performs after 6 p.m.
“We are planning to showcase the entire demo routine in addition to participating in a Heritage Flight,” Capt. Wolfe explained. “Our flight schedule is yet to be finalized, and hopefully the weather holds out for us to show you the entire performance.”
The entire F-35 Demo Team has worked long hours at their home base of Hill AFB this year. Cedar Creek Lake will mark Beo’s first full public flight demonstration since joining the team.
Nodding with a big grin, Capt. Wolfe hopes to see some vapor trail-off her aircraft on Saturday. The forecast for the early evening show calls for great weather with temperatures near 90 degrees.
“The final maneuver we perform is the Tactical Pitch, which is always a crowd-pleaser as we show off the high angle-of-attack maneuvering of the jet,” she explained. “Ultimately, we’re really hoping the Texas humidity and environmentals over the lake can give us some awesome vape for multiple maneuvers.”
Cedar Creek Lake air show officials and the Air Force are asking guests to practice social distancing to protect the health of everyone attending. F-35 Demo Team spokesperson Capt. Kip Sumner emphasized that the safety of team members and Airmen is a top priority.
“We encourage everyone coming to see at us the show to wear face-masks, practice social distancing, and follow all other CDC guidance,” Capt. Sumner explained. “This will ensure the safety of other airshow attendees and our Airmen.”
He added the team will post updates during Saturday, and include photographs and video across their social media @F35DemoTeam.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)