While I’m on the topic of the F-35, LockMart produced a new video for the F-35 UK delivery ceremony on July 19, 2012. Most people think the inspiration for the name Lightning II is the Lockheed’s own WWII fighter, the P-38 Lightning. But that’s only part of the story, LockMart’s Tier 1 partner in developing the F-35 is BAE. And BAE evolved out of the earlier BAC, which produced the English Electric Lightning Mach 2 interceptor early in the Cold War. When they were selecting the name Lightning II was chosen to honor both the P-38 and BAC Lightning, and to benefit from the pride and nostalgia on both sides of the Atlantic, of course. There are also references to the Harrier, which was of British origin and later adopted by the US Marine Corps.
Though I’m not sure I’d go with “Pandora’s Box of excitement” as a statement of praise; it seems like a bit of a mixed message. Pandora’s Box was not a good thing. I suppose you could argue the development difficulties and delays the F-35 has run into are the Pandora’s Box… but that’s strained.