Jun 24, 2014

USAF: F-35 Fire Will Not Ground Fleet

The fire that broke out on an F-35A model Monday will not ground the fleet or alter plans to bring the Joint Strike Fighter to the UK, service officials said.
No other F-35A models have been grounded by the fire, which broke out as a pilot was preparing for a flight Monday morning at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida..
However, the damaged F-35 model is still on the runway while investigators determine the cause of the fire, which may lead to altered or curtailed test flights from other models at Eglin.
The Pentagon expects a preliminary assessment of damage by week’s end, but may not receive engineering analysis until further down the line.
Perhaps most importantly for the program, plans appear on track to bring a pair of F-35B “jump jet” variants to the UK for the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough air shows. Both Pentagon and Lockheed Martin officials view that appearance, the first flight of the plane overseas, as a milestone for a program that is becoming increasingly reliant on foreign sales.

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