The Lockheed Martin F-35 will definitely not be on show at the Farnborough International Airshow, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday 15 July. The decision follows a glimmer of hope that existed earlier today, as the grounding of the F-35 was lifted and replaced by a ‘limited flight clearance’.
The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin said the decision is disappointing, but necessary as a safety precaution. The entire F-35 Lightning II fleet was grounded on 3 July, after the Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine on one aircraft malfunctioned at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on 23 June. An investigation into the cause is ongoing. Four US Marines F-35Bs and one Royal Air Force F-35B were poised to fly to the UK.
The F-35 on 12 and 13 July also missed the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford. The trade airshow at Farnborough started on 14 July and ends 20 July with a public flying display at the airfield outside London. The visits to both airshows were to be the debut of the F-35 Lightning II, which is the result of a 400 billion USD defence program. The program faced a lot of criticism over the last few weeks following the incident and subsequent grounding.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest