The F-35 fleet was grounded August 3 after a valve in the Integrated Power Package (IPP) of aircraft AF-4 failed. The IPP is a a sort of super generator that provides power to start the engine and cools the plane.
The Joint Program Office which manages the F-35 program was clearly eager to let the public know that they’ve found the cause of the failure. But they were cautious about when a return to flight will occur.
“While initiating DT ground operations is a major step for the F-35 fleet returning to flight, further reviews are required prior to lifting the suspension of flight operations for the 20 F-35s currently in flying status,” JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova said in a statement.
On a related news, the fleet of F-22s remains grounded until the results of a probe into possible issues related to the aircraft oxygen system are available. The Air Force grounded the F-22 fleet in May 3 because of concerns that the plane’s oxygen system – crucial for the high-flying plane – was causing hypoxia in pilots. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. John Haynes said no root cause has been found for the problem yet and none is expected until the safety board completes its investigation, expected in early fall.
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