BECOME A MEMBER DONATE TODAY

‘The Jet Doesn’t Care:’ 1st Female F-35 Demo Pilot Says She’s Focused on Excellence

Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, the new face of the U.S. Air Force‘s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter demonstration team, is “used to” being outnumbered as a female pilot.

Wolfe, of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, has served in the Air Force for nearly a decade. But now, as the first woman ever to hold her job, she knows there’s an additional expectation to perform with superiority and excellence.

“A lot of people have [misconceptions] still about either females flying or females being fighter pilots, all the way from little kids … to adults,” she said in a recent interview with Military.com. “So that’s probably the most important part, is that they get to see it … for them to see that anything’s possible.”

READ MORE

‘She is out there somewhere’: Why it’s hard to find a female Blue Angels pilot

While women have consistently broken barriers in military and commercial aviation in recent years, a woman has yet to fly in formation with the elite U.S. Navy Blue Angels. And it won’t happen for at least another year and half.

When the Naval Air Station Pensacola-based team announced officer selections for the 2020 season earlier this week, a female pilot wasn’t on the list. The news means that the soonest a female pilot might be selected to join the elite fighter jet demonstration team would be for the 75th anniversary season in 2021. Experts say there are good reasons a woman hasn’t been chosen for the exclusive group of Navy and Marine Corps aviators. But when it finally happens, they say, it will be history making.

READ MORE