DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: F-35 Is Cleared To Resume Flight
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 2, 2013: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been cleared to resume flight operations, six days after a crack discovered in the engine caused the fleet to be grounded.
Flights will resume Friday afternoon weather permitting, according to program officials.
“Following engineering analysis of the turbine blade which developed a crack, F-35 flight operations have been cleared to resume,” the Joint Program Office and Pratt & Whitney said in a joint statement, released late Thursday night.
“This decision concludes a cautionary flight suspension that began on Feb. 21 after a 0.6 inch crack was found on a 3rd stage turbine blade of a test aircraft at the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Facility during a routine inspection. Comprehensive tests on the blade were conducted at the Pratt & Whitney facility in Middletown, Connecticut. The engine in question is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet, and had been operated at extreme parameters in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope. Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack.”
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