Friday, August 26, 2011

Grounding Ends for Remaining U.S. F-35s

Published: 25 Aug 2011 18:49
The production version of the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet has been cleared to fly, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

AN AIR FORCE F-35 Lightning II soars over Destin, Fla., in July before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base. The production version of the Joint Strike Fighter has been cleared to fly. (Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago / Air Force)
The entire Joint Strike Fighter fleet was grounded by the F-35 program office on Aug. 2 after one jetsuffered a malfunctionof a control valve in its Honeywell-built integrated power package.
The 12 instrumented test aircraft werecleared to fly by the F-35 program office on Aug. 18. Now the half-dozen or so production jets can take to the air.
"Late yesterday [Aug. 24], F-35 production jets were authorized to fly again," Lockheed spokesman Mike Rein said. "They are now flying the same profiles they were prior to the precautionary suspension of operations. This includes acceptance flights at Fort Worth, [Texas], and ferry flights to Eglin."
Two production aircraft have already been delivered to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where the U.S. Air Force's first training squadron is standing up. The stealth fighter is assembled at a Lockheed plant in Fort Worth.