Well, the 'Short List'-
Now apparently includes the following:
1. Lightning II
2. Spitfire II
3. Black Mamba
Here's my view:
As a historical legacy, this references A TWIN ENGINE air superiority interceptor designed for high rate climb to altitude. Also the fastest fighter
of it's day with a speed over 400mph in the prototypes. The first prototype of which crashed, thanks to worthless Army Air Corps showboat stunt of
'a race across America'. The factory was transfered from California to Texas I think it was early in the program, crippling production rates at the
start of WWII. Production remained low due to 'two of everything' complexities throughout the conflict. Problems with cockpit heating, fuel, spark
plugs and particularly the turbo system ruined it's air superiority performance over Europe though it was a fair to middling long range interdictor
and fighter sweep platform in the Med and SWAPR.
EXCEPT FOR THE LAST. The F-35 has less (next to nothing) in common with the Lightning than the F-22 does. Either by role or performance.
Shortrange Point Defense Interceptor. Outclassed at altitude by virtually every threat platform for much of the crucial years of the war. Outclassed
at low and medium level by the FW-190 for virtually the entire war. Made it's name as the 'Defender of Britain' in 1940 during which (BOBian)
campaign, 2 out of every 3 enemy aircraft downed were attributable to the Hurricane. Basically a non player thereafter because the Brits refused to
integrate a strong enough power plant to carry the aft fuselage tank needed to get it deep into Europe. A sparkling aerobatics and generally
'sweet' (well balanced) aircraft up to about the Mk.IX, with the integration of the Griffon, it became a monster that was unruly and hard to handle.
Due to a lack of appropriate weapons pylons, it _never was_ a successful interdictor. And while 'adopted' (coopted, shanghai'd) to naval roles,
it's terrible boarding rate and generally incompatible (narrow track gear, poor propline clearance, louse view over the nose, susceptibility to spine
breaks) design made it one of the reasons why the Brits moved to the Martlet/Hellcat/Corsair late in the war.
Two word names for fighters are bad luck and excessively egotistical. If you can't say it in one, you're covering up for 'inadequacies elsewhere'
by trying to make it sound better with more. The Mamba is a lethal snake. But it is not one indigenous to any of the developing countries.
Furthermore, the /Black/ is simply the adult color variation of the _Green_ which is FAR more dangerous to humans, both because it is more toxic when
young and because, while still small, they like to nest in the grass roofs of human habitations to stay out of the reach of predators. Humans don't
like snakes, they are sneaky, nasty, kill-you-for-no-cause (can't eat you, dumb animal) 'accidental assassins'. While stealth is, perhaps, in
accord with such an unseen (avoidable) attack mode, it is more deliberate in it's militance, at least I'd like to think so. Perhaps most damning,
the Mamba in all forms is a slender, graceful, predator. The only way the JSF gets there is if you feed said reptile an anvil.
I'll let someone else describe this one-
"The picture was cut into the rock a half inch or more, and was originally painted red, black, and blue. It had the head of a bear, large
disproportioned teeth, the horns of an elk, the scaly body of a large fish, and a bear's legs ending with eagle's claws. The tail was at least fifty
feet long, wound three times around the body, and tipped with a spearhead thrust backward through its hind legs.
"The upper horns were painted red, the lower portion and head were painted black. The wings expanded to the right and left of its head, and the
Piasa's body was at least sixteen feet long. Its head and neck were covered with a whiskery mane, and its body...covered with the three colours... In
1820, Captain Gideon Spencer came up the Mississippi River and saw the same picture on the rock. He asked the nearby Indians what it was. They told
him it was the Stormbird or Thunderer, and that it had been carved there by an Indian tribe long ago."
While such a Chimaera'd creature is nothing if not ludicrous, and thus **Highly Appropriate** for a 'bird of many beasts' waste of money such as
the F-35, I doubt if it will make much of an impression on the USAF who like their animals to be adept predators. It should further be noted that the
literal translation of 'Destroyer' is one which also connotes the German Me-110 as a Zerstorer and one of the _least_ effective day fighter and
attack aircraft classes known (a mission specialty to which the Lightning belongs btw.). While having little or no equivalent U.S. aviation heritage.