U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force football team will continue its Airpower Legacy Series this season with a helmet and uniform honoring the F-35 Lightning II, one of the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter. The football helmet was modeled after the helmet that F-35 pilots wear in flight. The helmet was unveiled to the football team for the first time today, while the uniform will be released at a later date. The first game that the Airpower Legacy Series will be worn will be released at a later date as well.
The Airpower Legacy Series began last season with the football team wearing an alternate uniform for the Georgia State game to celebrate the Tiger Shark teeth nose-art which has been represented on multiple Air Force aircraft dating back to World War II. During the WWII era, fighter plane pilots were called “Flying Tigers” and were part of the U.S. Army Air Corps, which later became the Air Force. The helmets worn for the game featured a shark-teeth design like those painted on the aircraft.
While last season’s focus was on the past, the Falcons will honor the present, and future, of air power with the F-35 theme this season. The F-35 completed its first flight was in 2006. In 2012, the F-35 program increased to 30 aircraft. In 2016, the F-35A was declared combat ready by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the commander of the Air Combat Command.
The helmet will have five different designs, the first of which was unveiled today. Follow @AFFootball as the remaining four helmets will be revealed Sept. 5-8. On one side of every helmet will be the familiar Air Force logo often seen on aircraft, which includes the length-wise bars intersecting the roundel. On the other side will be a decal representing one of the five Air Force F-35-A operational fighter squadrons in the Air Force.