2/22/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- All F-35s have been grounded as a precaution after a routine engine inspection revealed a crack on an engine blade, Defense Department officials said Feb. 22 here.
Officials call this a "cautionary suspension of flight." The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fly F-35s.
Inspectors found the crack in an F135 engine installed in an F-35A Lightning II at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. This is the conventional take-off and landing version of the joint strike fighter.
Officials are shipping the engine and its associated hardware to Pratt & Whitney's engine facility in Middletown, Conn., to conduct more thorough evaluation and root cause analysis.
Officials said the grounding is precautionary. All F-35 flight operations have been suspended until the investigation is complete, officials said, and it is too early to know the fleetwide impact.
"The F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible," a Defense Department news release said.
2/26/2013 7:52:37 AM ET Cheer up. While the F-22 and F-35 eat up dollars civilian employees will be rewarded with a pay cut. Meanwhile the Colonels and Generals who keep the programs going are rewarded with 6 figure jobs after retirement.
2/25/2013 11:14:36 AM ET Still sitting at zero combat hours for the F-35 and the F-22. Time to fish or cut bait.
2/25/2013 10:46:54 AM ET Not only was the PW TF30 engine plagued with turbine issues the fan blade mid span shrouds would break off causing extensive FOD downstream. How many fans did I restack at the Heath
Jet Mech, Edwards
2/25/2013 8:16:05 AM ET Pratt and Whitney Engine Quality at its best. Once again they carry on the quality that we seen so many times on the TF30P111F engine that powered the F111F aircraft at RAF Lakenheath. That engine very raely lasted more than 400 hours before the turbine shelled out but the good thing was that aircraft had two engines the F35 only has one chance to operate correctly.
SNCO Ret 89, SW Ohio
2/23/2013 5:54:14 PM ET Gee I hope this doesn't turn out to be anything we regret. Recall just a couple of years ago then Secretary Gates scrapped the GE F136 engine in favor of the PW F135 engine leaving our nation's most expensive weapons system acquisition program and 2000 aircraft at the fate of a single engine manufacturer. A single point of failure--not a good thing