Print 11 comment(s) - last by ArcliteHawaii.. on Mar 15 at 11:33 PM

F-35 fleet grounded after in-flight leak and power failure  (Source: Lockheed)
This is the first in-flight failure for the conventional take off and landing version of the F-35

The problem-plagued F-35 JSF program has been dealt another setback with an in-flight failure of the power generator and an oil leak on the same aircraft during the flight. The pilot of the aircraft dubbed AF-4 was able to safely land the aircraft.

Reuters reports that the entire fleet of ten F-35 aircraft has been grounded pending an investigation into what caused the leak and power generator failure during the test flight. The aircraft was flying out of Edwards Air Force Base in southern California at the time of the incident according to Lockheed spokesman John Kent.

Reuters reports that the F-35 fleet was grounded as a routine precaution. Kent said, "Once the cause is known, the appropriate repairs and improvements will be made before flight operations resume." reports that this is the second grounding of the F-35 fleet in only six months. The last grounding of the fleet was due to a software issue that was discovered in simulations. The glitch could have forced the fuel pump to shut down at altitudes in excess of 10,000 feet.

This is the first in-flight problem with the conventional take off and landing version of the F-35 that will be flown by the Air Force. 

The generator has been an issue with the carrier-based version of the F-35 in the past with the acknowledgement in 2007 by Lockheed that the generator was sized to provide only 65% of the power requirement of the F-35C. The first production F-35C had its maiden flight in February.

Other systems of the F-35 have also had problems. One of the most notable is the F-35 helmet that has issues with video feeds lagging among other things. 

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By HrilL on 3/14/2011 5:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
Estimated cost per plane is already at 150 million. For that much we should just be getting more F-22s since they're better anyway.

By Nfarce on 3/14/2011 5:43:34 PM , Rating: 3
The F-22 is Air Force only and America only. The F-35 is not only also for the US Navy and Marines, but the international market as well.

The F-22 program has had production numbers cut dating back from the first Bush administration, all eight years of the Clinton administration, all of the second Bush administration, and finally the first year of the Obama administration which stuck a fork in it. It's done unless the next president and congress decide to bring it back - not likely.

But who's to say the "black" projects out there aren't already developing a Raptor successor of which original concept remarkably is now 25 years old. We had the F-117 in actual service for nearly a decade before the US government officially revealed it at an airshow - and that was only after someone took a photo of it.

By Azsen on 3/14/2011 9:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
I reckon a UCAV Raptor would be tough enemy to beat in combat. With no pilot you could pull some serious maneuvers in a dog-fight and without all the stuff to support the pilot you could fit a few extra bombs/AGMs on and give it more ground attack capability.

By sorry dog on 3/15/2011 12:22:42 AM , Rating: 2
Negative Ghostrider. The pattern is full.

By Belard on 3/15/2011 3:00:07 AM , Rating: 2
With these kinds of prices... they should be as good as an iPhone, delivered ;)

The F35 maybe one of our last fighters anyways. The USA is broke, our military budget is bigger than everyone else combined.

The UAVs are much cheaper, more disposable. They can do maneuvers that would kill a human.

Yeah, there will/should always be a human-figher plane, they will simply be much farther between and used by more than one branch or country. Really, does the AirForce, Navy and Marines need their own specific jets and helicopters?

Cancel Order
By Mitch101 on 3/14/2011 11:34:08 AM , Rating: 5
That does it I'm canceling my order. This really puts a damper on my plans of becoming a super power.

RE: Cancel Order
By bupkus on 3/14/2011 1:37:12 PM , Rating: 3
Not me.
With my diet of bean burritos I'm assured a combat advantage with plenty of super fuel. No corn here.

RE: Cancel Order
By Lifted on 3/14/2011 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 1
In order to be a superpower, you need to order several thousand of these and put yourself trillions of dollars in debt. Come on, this is Superpower 101 stuff.

By Shadowmaster625 on 3/15/2011 8:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
Just outsource to china and get it over with.

Fire Lockheed Martin
By jfelano on 3/15/2011 10:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
Fire them and hire the other company that competed in design. Obviously they can't get it right and they should absorb the cost overruns, not the taxpayers.

By ArcliteHawaii on 3/15/2011 11:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's been in development for 15 years. Ridiculous.

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