Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott may have sat in a dummy F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter a few weeks back but I am one of the lucky few to have seen one fly.

I’m at the Cherry Point Marine base in North Carolina for their annual Air Show and the undoubted stars of the show are three F-35B Lightning II fighters.

One plane is on static ground display and over the course of this weekend the others will be displaying their exceptional capabilities.

I have to be back out the base in a couple of hours so here are a few quickly edited pictures for your enjoyment.

I’m not sure but I reckon I might be the first Australian journalist to have pix of the F-35B – the Marines will take the “B” and “C” (carrier) variants – and to see one fly.

More to come.

 UPDATE – I’ve uploaded a few extra shots below …