The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has been firmly under the spotlight in the past weeks with technical difficulties to the fore. With a much trumpeted international debut scheduled for the impending Royal International Air Tattoo followed closely by Farnborough International Airshow, does the recent arrival of a United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III at RAF Fairford, indicate to aviation professionals and enthusiasts alike that the US Marine Corps F-35B Deployment is now a ‘Go’?

© Tom Gibbons - Global Aviation Resource

RAF Fairford tonight © Tom Gibbons – Global Aviation Resource

The recent increase in United States military aviation activity at RAF Fairford continued on Sunday 29 June 2014 when C-17A Globemaster III 06-6158 [REACH372] of the 60 Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California touched down in the early evening at the Gloucestershire airfield.

The aircraft is believed to be supporting the first stage of the impending deployment of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II to the United Kingdom, transporting personnel and equipment from the USA.

© Tom Gibbons - Global Aviation Resource

A positive sign, hopefully! © Tom Gibbons – Global Aviation Resource

The arrival of the C-17A is hopefully a positive indicator that the recent troubles encountered within the F-35 programme are nearing resolution with the UK on the verge of witnessing the debut of this hugely important fifth generation combat aircraft outside of the USA.