Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) Dignitaries and workers at Hill Air Force base get their first look at the the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter on Friday. The F-35A is a multi-variant, multi-role 5th Generation Fighter, and will undergo organic depot modification work at Hill AFB.
F-35 back in sky, but not at British air show
Military » Utah to receive 72 jets in 2015.
First Published Jul 15 2014 10:08 am • Last Updated Jul 15 2014 07:41 pm

Washington • The Pentagon is resuming test flights of its new-generation F-35 fighter while investigating the cause of an engine fire last month, but the plane will operate with restrictions and will not fly in the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

The Pentagon’s press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said it was a "difficult decision" to cancel the hoped-for participation at Farnborough, but the Pentagon remains confident that any of the plane’s technical issues can be fixed.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"While we’re disappointed that we’re not going to be able to participate in the air show, we remain fully committed to the program itself and look forward to future opportunities to showcase its capabilities to allies and to partners," Kirby said.

Kirby said that while limited flying has been approved for the aircraft, there are a number of restrictions that would make it difficult for the fighter jets to cross the Atlantic to the airshow. For example, after a maximum of three hours of flight the front fan section of the engine must be inspected, he said.

"That was a pretty significant limitation in terms of being able to fly them across the Atlantic," he added.

Farnborough would have been the F-35’s first international air show.

The entire fleet of nearly 100 planes was grounded after a fire at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on June 23. Kirby said inspections so far have not revealed a systemic problem and defense officials feel "increasingly comfortable" that the aircraft will be able to return to full flight at some point.

The F-35 is the Pentagon’s most expensive aircraft program, costing an estimated $400 billion.

Three variants of the aircraft are being developed and built, one each for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

The Marines expect to field their version next summer, the Air Force will follow in 2016, and the Navy a year after that. International buyers include Britain, South Korea, Israel, Italy, Australia, Canada, Turkey and Japan.

story continues below
story continues below

Utah’s Hill Air Force base conducts maintenance on the F-35 and will receive its own squadron of 72 of the jets in 2015.

Members of Congress, however, have complained that the program has been troubled with testing problems, delays and cost overruns. The jet is intended to replace Cold War-era aircraft such as the Air Force F-16 fighter, the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and the Marines’ EA-6B Prowler and AV-8B Harrier.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.