Rep. Bill Young and Billy Young boost F-35 at simulator event

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Lockheed Martin’s F-35 cockpit demonstration made its way to Central Florida, where US Rep. Bill Young spoke at the event.  Young chairs the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and emphasized the economic impact of the F-35 on jobs in the state and Tampa Bay area.

 “The F-35 program is a major contributor of jobs to our state and nation, but it will also ensure the safety of our pilots and the national interests of our country and its allies,” said Young.

During Monday’s event, attendees had the opportunity to “fly” the impressive fighter to experience its stealth capacity, agility, and integrated information through the eyes of a pilot.  With a visually and audibly interactive cockpit, the F-35 has sophisticated air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, sensor fusion, and computational capabilities.

The F-35 program supports approximately 9,600 direct and indirect jobs in Florida, and about 125,000 nationally, generating an estimated $16.8 billion in total economic impact.

Young’s son Billy was among those who experienced the F-35 simulator — not something that must have been easy for his veteran  father to pass up.

“We are very pleased to have Representative Young here today as we showcase the F-35 cockpit demonstrator,” said Steve Cobb, Pinellas Park Operations general manager, Lockheed Martin. “Our employees here are proud to provide important elements of the F-35’s canopy assembly that supports and protects the pilots who will fly the F-35 Lighting II.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.