Friday, 22 February 2013

F-35 grounded again(still?)

Fresh off of being grounded for having ejection seats installed backwards, warned to stay away from bad weather, and the F-35B being grounded for "fueldraulic" issues, the entire fleet of F-35As, Bs, and Cs have been grounded due the engine turbine cracking.

The F-35 uses a new brand new Pratt & Whitney F135 engine roughly based on the motor from the F-22.  Like just about everything else on on the F-22, it was custom designed strictly for the Lightning II. Apparently, tried-and-true off-the-shelf parts would have been too easy and too cheap.

Needless to say, this will likely bring further delays and higher costs to the already out-of-control F-35 project. 

Meanwhile, the engines used in the Gripen, Typhoon, Rafale and Super Hornet have all been out of development for years now and have thousands of proven flight hours.  Granted they are not "Fifth Generation Fighters".  But, apparently, being capable of actually flying isn't a huge priority for Fifth Generation Fighters like the F-22 and F-35.


  1. Here's a neat little infographic about the F-35.