All grounded F-35s to resume flying


The Pentagon has cleared all grounded F-35s to resume flight testing after discovering the root cause behind the March 9 twin generator failures of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) airplane.

The program office said Friday night that faulty maintenance procedures were found to have caused the in-flight failure of the engine generators of the F-35 JSF fighter.

This month, a U.S. Air Force F-35A test aircraft, numbered AF-4, suffered a failure of the generators during a test flight from Edwards Air Force Base. The test pilot was able to use the backup electrical generator to return safely to base.

The configuration of the generator on AF-4 and other, newer F-35s was different than the original installation on the first test aircraft, and the problem was traced to the newer, or alternate, configuration.

Test aircraft with the earlier configuration – three F-35As and four Marine Corps F-35Bs – were cleared on March 14 to resume flight operations.

Three other test aircraft – AF-4, BF-5 and CF-1, the first Navy F-35C – remained grounded, along with the first two low-rate initial production F-35As, while the investigation continued.

According to the program office, the investigation revealed that the maintenance procedure for the alternate engine starter/generator configuration allowed excess oil in the generator’s lubrication system.

Source: DefenseNews

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