New military aircraft get their official nicknames and with time they receive an unofficial nickname from the ranks. Some unofficial nicknames like the A-10 Warthog or the B-52 BUFF stick. Others like the B-2 Boomerang don’t catch on quite as well.
Last month, a panel of F-35 pilots were asked at a Navy conference in San Diego if the Joint Strike Fighter has received an unofficial nickname yet. The F-35’s official nickname is the Lightning II.
Recognizing the gravity of the moment, a colonel in the audience yelled out to the panel, “here’s your chance to make history.”