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Monday, February 25, 2013

F-35 Flight Operations Suspended to Investigate Engine Issue

Department of Defense officials have grounded all Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps F-35s after a routine inspection revealed a crack on the fighter jet’s Pratt & Whitney engine last week.

The crack was discovered on an F-35A Lightning II aircraft — the conventional take-off and landing version — at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

“The F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

Officials are calling the grounding a “cautionary suspension of flight.” The cracked engine has been shipped to Pratt & Whitney’s Middletown, Conn. engine facility for evaluation and root cause analysis. More

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