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Further delays to JSF vertical flight

written by WOFA | November 24, 2009

The F-35B STOVL development aircraft which arrived at NAS Patuxent River on November 15 to begin vertical landing flight trials has been grounded following the reported discovery of a couple of issues which may take up to two weeks to be resolved.

One issue reported has been the need to replace the aircraft’s cockpit canopy after the canopy detonation cord, which shatters the glass in the event of an ejection, was found to be time expired. Another reported issue is a faulty fuel shutoff valve requiring the engine to be removed, while changes will also be made to the aircraft’s ‘inlet rake’ while the engine is out of the aircraft.

None of these issues are major concerns on their own, and have been described as “typical of flight test” on such an early build development aircraft, although the STOVL flight test program is already delayed by close to 12 months.


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