Air Force grounds 15 F-35As over coolant line flaws


A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jet, assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., lands at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., March 22, 2016. Ashleigh Pavelek/U.S. Air Force Photo

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jet, assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., lands at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., March 22, 2016.
Ashleigh Pavelek/U.S. Air Force Photo

By DIANNA CAHN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 16, 2016

The Air Force on Friday grounded 13 of its new F-35A aircraft after discovering that insulation around coolant lines inside the fuel tanks was peeling and crumbling. Two F-35As belonging to Norway were also grounded with the same damaged lines, the Air Force said.

The faulty insulation was found just weeks after the Air Force brought its first F-35A stealth fighters online in August.

Air Force personnel conducting routine maintenance discovered the problem, which affects 57 aircraft – including 42 in production in Fort Worth, Texas.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said the problem stemmed from faulty parts from one of two subcontractors used by Lockheed Martin.

The grounded aircraft are at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The Norway planes were being used for training in the United States.

Stefanek said the problem was detected early and did not pose any danger. Had the insulation eroded, coolant could have tainted the fuel supply.

The Air Force said in a statement that engineers are developing procedures to resolve or mitigate the issue before the aircraft are returned to the field, but downplayed the problem.

“While nearing completion, the F-35 is still in development and challenges are to be expected,” the Air Force statement said. “The F-35 program has a proven track record of solving issues as they arise and we’re confident we’ll continue to do so.”

Development of the F-35 has taken years longer than anticipated, and cost billions more than projected.

Source: Stars and Stripes “Air Force grounds 15 F-35As over coolant line flaws”

Note: This is Stars and Stripes’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


3 Comments on “Air Force grounds 15 F-35As over coolant line flaws”

  1. Fu Man-Chu says:

    This turkey is unreliable. Not only does it have many pesky flaws but it takes a long time to get it ready before it can fly off the ground to meet enemy combatants. The F-35 requires not just the pilot but is in fact, MORE dependent on the software programmers assigned to each plane. Heck, how do you operate a plane like that?

    Actually, one might as well cross the threshold and remove the pilot and let the programmer and the drone plane handle everything. What do you need the pilot for? And how do you fight a AI plane like that or any other drone? Why, you just built powerful wifi systems (i am thinking satellite) that can penetrate and hack their software programs and either take control over it, or cause it to self destruct, failing which, a EMP bomb exploding or sparked off near the turkey may do nicely as a fall back counter attack.

    Lockheed-Martin F-35 turkey : MADE IN U.S.A. Ha ha. And they have the temerity to smear every thing made in China as no good or stolen. Talk about small dick inadequacy syndrome amongst American neocons!

    Like

  2. Joseph says:

    Perhaps it is better for F-35 designers to consider using old-style radiators. Coolant seems to be such complicated work for them.

    Like

  3. Steve says:

    This US Stealth Bird has a Scientific Name known as: “Meleagris Gallapova”

    But, more commonly known as “The American Old Turkey Buzzard.”….sounds familiar..?

    Closely Related to their Cousins “The Hovering Vultures” ….. looking for food scraps.

    Soon to be relegated to a “Stealth Trainer Plane for Future Stealth Fighters”

    Like


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