A HIGHLY-advanced stealth fighter jet will tear through the skies above RIAT as US aviation teams follow up last year’s show-stopping display at RAF Fairford.

The F-35A Lightning II will display at the air tattoo as it focuses on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. A fifth-generation fighter, the Lockheed Martin jet will take part in a ‘now and then’ formation of US warplanes by the F-35 Heritage Flight Team.

Renowned aviation artist David Bent immortalised the F-35B, a ‘jump jet’ version of the aircraft, in a painting blending his pioneering approach and landscape geometry after it debuted at the air show in 2016. The Old Town resident, who along with his partner Carole has hosted Red Arrows and other ace pilots at his studio, produced a series of limited edition prints of the striking depiction entitled The Final Touchdown.

The A model confirmed by organisers this week has conventional take-off and landing while the B has short-take off and vertical landing. A P-51D Mustang, a long-range fighter-bomber used during World War Two, will also take to the skies above Gloucestershire to combine two eras of flight.

At last year’s show the US team brought crowds to a standstill with a display including the F-22 Raptor, a world-leading fighter that can fly at near supersonic speeds.

A spokesman for RIAT said: “We are delighted to confirm that the F-35 Heritage Flight Team will take part in the flying display at the Air Tattoo this July as part of our international celebration to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force. This special then and now formation of a veteran warbird, the American P-51D Mustang, teaming up with the US Air Force's latest fifth-generation fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, will be a treat for photographers and spectators alike.”

The F-35A will be piloted by Captain Andrew ‘Dojo’ Olson, based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, while the P-51D will be flown by a USAF Heritage Flight Foundation pilot to be confirmed nearer the show. The Heritage Flight, established over 20 years ago to bring together civilian-owned warbirds and modern military aircraft, will make its only performance in the UK this year and only one of two displays outside of North America. The tattoo, which bills itself as the world’s greatest airshow, will return between July 13 and 15 with the focus on the RAF’s centenary year.