F-35C fighter jet arrives at MCAS Miramar

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SAN DIEGO — After months of waiting, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar’s very first F-35C fighter jet was rolled out for its debut Friday. 

“It will be nice to go to the air show and not have people ask, ‘When is the F-35 coming?’ Because it’s here, it’s out back and you’ll be able to see it,” Colonel Charles Dockery said Friday.

The room at MCAS Miramar in which Dockery announced the rollout was filled with military and community leaders hoping to catch a glimpse of the aircraft.

“It goes Mach 1.6 plus, and goes greater than 40,000 feet for altitude,”Lockheed Martin Operations Analyst John Price said.

There are three versions of the F-35. The F-35C has longer wings, which help it slow down for aircraft carrier takeoffs and landings. The F-35C runs at about $94 million.

People in neighborhoods surrounding Miramar may be interested in knowing how the noise levels may change with the new fighter jet’s introduction. “I think what they are going to hear is a different noise, and that’s going to cause them to look up and say, ‘That sounds different, looks different. What’s that?’” Dockery said.

The F-35C will be quieter on approach and in mid-flight, Dockery said. However, it will be about 1 to 3 decibels louder on takeoff. Looking at online calculations, for every increase of 10 decibels, the perceived volume level doubles. (For instance, 50 decibels to 60 decibels would double the volume that you hear.)

Price said the F-35C could be used for the next 80 years. That said, the inside of the plane would be upgraded constantly.

“Equate that to your laptop at home,” Price said. “It still has a computer and screen, but new software.”

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