Aug 14, 2014
Further Restrictions Lifted for F-35 Test Fleet
Previously, the entire F-35 fleet was limited to three hours of flight time before an engine inspection was required as an investigation continues into a fire that heavily damaged an F-35A model on June 23.
The test fleet is made up of 20 F-35 fighters. The remaining 79 F-35s are still operating under the full restrictions.
During the inspection into the cause of the June 23 fire, the Pentagon grounded the entire fleet. On July 15, the planes were cleared to fly with heavy restrictions.
In late July, the Pentagon eased up on some restrictions for the test fleet. Speed restrictions were relaxed from Mach 0.9 to Mach 1.6, while maneuverability restrictions were eased slightly from 3 Gs to 3.2.
Top officials from the US Air Force, have expressed confidence that the engine problem will be overcome.