Pentagon allows F-35 jets back in air

 Pentagon allows F-35 jets back in air
# 02 March 2013 00:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The U.S. Defense Department on Friday announced that it has lifted the grounding of F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jets after analysis concluded that a cracked turbine blade found in an engine on a single plane of the model had resulted from overuse in test operations, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In an email statement, Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman with the F-35 Joint Program Office, said that engineers have so far discovered no other cracks in inspections of other engines, and that no engine redesign is needed.

"This decision concludes a cautionary flight suspension that began on Feb. 21 after a 0.6-inch crack was found on a third stage turbine blade of a test aircraft at the Edwards Air Force Base, F- 35 Integrated Test Facility during a routine inspection," Hawn said.

The engine in question, she explained, was part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet and had been operated for extended time in a high-temperature environment.

"Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack," Hawn said.

The Pentagon grounded the F-35 fleet after a routine engine inspection last month revealed a crack on a low pressure turbine blade of an Air Force-model F-35A at the Edwards base in California.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED