The F-35 Lightning
II is one of the most expensive weapons program ever and has been plagued with
cost overruns and delays since it launched. New details on the generator
failure that caused an emergency landing and the subsequent grounding of the
F-35 fleet have been unveiled.
Defense News reports that the generator failure that affected test
aircraft AF-4 has been determined to be the result of an improper maintenance technique that goes
along with a new generator layout in some of the newer F-35 fighters. Once the
problem was traced to the new generator layout in newer aircraft, the F-35s using
the older generator layout were cleared to resume flight operations.
The earlier aircraft that resumed flight operations included three F-35As and
four F-35Bs. Defense News reports that the maintenance procedure
has now been revised and that the full fleet of F-35s are now back to
operation. The aircraft with the older generator layout resumed flights
on March 14. The cause of the generator failure in the test aircraft was traced
back to an excess of oil inside the generator.
The excess oil circulation inside the generator after maintenance caused the
generator to overheat and fail. Lockheed claims that the loss of flight time
has not impacted the test flight schedule. The F-35 program is still ahead of
its flight schedule for the month.
The F-35's have taken back to the air, but AMD Online reports
that the second power plant for the F-35 has officially been killed. We reported in February
that the House was set to vote on the bill to kill the second engine.
work order was announced last Thursday. GE Aviation in Ohio was developing the
quote: I simply cannot know what is best for anyone other than myself.