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U.S. Military Grounds F-35 Fighter Jets  
User currently offlinePlayLoud From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 65 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7289 times:


Quoting CNN:

The Pentagon's most expensive weapons system is going to spend some time on the bench.

The U.S. military on Friday grounded the F-35 fighter jet due to a crack in an engine component that was discovered during a routine inspection in California.

The Pentagon said in a statement that it was too early to assess the impact on the nearly $400 billion fleet of jets designed for use by the Navy, Air Force and Marines.

This story is developing. We'll have more shortly.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1973 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7007 times:

The issue is a defect in the low pressure turbine blades of one of the engines. Possible that it is due to a casting issue or a similar story to UA 232 where the original ingot had defects in it, but that's conjecture. Nothing to be too terribly concerned about unless it is a traceable quality control issue, so this is a grounding for safety's sake and to cover all of the bases. I expect that once inspections are complete, the jets will resume flying.

I will also note that F-35 is still a fighter in testing, and since this occurred at Edward AFB, there will be more 'routine' inspections, including engine borescope looks, just to see how the fighter ages with use.

User currently offlinechecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6778 times:

Sounds a little bit like overkill to me...I asked this on another forum, but does anyone know if these blades are DS single crystal??

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6497 times:

Seems cracks and defects have never been found in a turbine blade before (ever) and this is a massive failing of the F-35.

Seems the routine inspections are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Imagine that.

Why not 'Vigilant F-35 maintainers catch defective turbine blade'? Cause 'U.S. Military Grounds F-35 Fighter Jets' gets more attention.

User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 571 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6366 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 3):
Why not 'Vigilant F-35 maintainers catch defective turbine blade'? Cause 'U.S. Military Grounds F-35 Fighter Jets' gets more attention.

There is no news like bad news. "Maintainers doing their job" doesn't sell very well at the stands. If you can't feed the people BS through fear and lies then what is the point of news articles?

User currently offlinesphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

Do fighters have the same requirement for a 1st-stage blade-off test as transport category aircraft [1]?


[1] Whether civilian or military, since new military transport developments also certify to civilian regs

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1973 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5608 times:

We are back in the air:

Matthew Bates, a spokesman for Pratt & Whitney, which supplies the engines for the planes, said the Pentagon's F-35 program office had decided to rescind the grounding order after extensive tests and analysis of the cracked turbine blade, which was discovered on February 19 during a routine inspection conducted after every 50 hours of flight time.

Bates said Pratt engineers had been working around the clock with Pentagon experts to determine the cause of the crack in the engine blade, including a "destructive" test that cracked open the blade.

The tests showed that the crack resulted from the "unique operating environment" in flight tests -- many of which tested the engine's powerful after burners -- rather than a high-cycle fatigue crack, which would have required a design change.

Bates said the engine in question had operated at high temperatures for more than four times longer than a typical F-35 flight, which led to a separation of the "grain boundary" of this particular blade.

The Navy order rescinding the flight ban, or so-called "red stripe," said that engine had experienced the most "hot engine time exposure" of all the engines in the developmental program. It said it would now require reports to monitor and limit similar damage after every 25 flight hours.

User currently offlineAesma From Reunion, joined Nov 2009, 7284 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5483 times:

The CNN "journalist" has obviously no idea of what he's talking about since he implies there is a big fleet of F-35 and that the grounding means a loss of defense capability when in fact the airplane is far from being in service.

New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5264 times:

But it doesnt matter that it wasnt a design defect. Being an engine that was subjected to 4x its designed operational levels has no bearing to the fact that the F-35 is horrible and wasnt perfect right off the drafting table (I know, computer aided design).

It is a good thing for the F-35 that it wasnt a design problem, or even a quality control problem, but good things for the F-35 are non topics.

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1973 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4271 times:

Another update: The failure was most likely caused by the casting process:

The analysis indicates that the Lockheed Martin F-35 engine blade cracked despite being made correctly according to the blueprint for making the part, Croswell says. That finding points to a flaw in the casting process itself.

"There may be features in the castings that are allowed by the blueprint, but now we've learned that those features we should not allow," Croswell says.

P&W can either change the process used to make the casting of the turbine blade or simply throw out any blade that shares similar features of the one that cracked.

"It may be as simple as culling those blades that have that feature," Croswell says.

P&W is finalising an analysis of which option would be most affordable, and that report will be submitted to the joint programme office at the end of June.

Add the unusual operating perimeters of the engine in question, and you have a crack.

User currently offlineB727LVR From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 1):
Nothing to be too terribly concerned about

I'm sure those flying a single engine aircraft engine would politely disagree with you on that.

At least the cracks were found before something serious happened!

I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to planes!
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