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F-35A flights at Luke AFB to resume Wednesday

20 Juin 2017

Dozens of F-35 stealth fighters that were grounded for 11 days due to an oxygen-supply problem aboard the expensive warplanes will resume flying on Wednesday, the US Air Force said. The Air Force says the F-35's backup oxygen system worked in each instance, and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.

The Air Force suspended the F-35A flights on June 9 after five incidents since May 2 in which pilots experienced symptoms similar to oxygen deprivation.

Currently, the 56th Fighter Wing has 55 F-35A planes that are used to train pilots from the U.S. and other air forces that are buying the jet.

The spokesperson said parameters have been put in place for resumption of the operations, including avoiding altitudes at which the previous problems had occurred, modification of ground procedures to reduce pilot risk and expanding physiological training to increase understanding between pilot and medical communities.

Planes were subsequently grounded at Luke.

"It could be lack of oxygen". Operational units have not had such issues, he said.

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The U.S. Air Force has also begun experimenting with a handful of new sensors made by a British company that could offer clues about what caused recent cases of hypoxia reported by F-35 pilots, according to Defence News. Gen. Brook Leonard, the 56th Fighter Wing commander. "An airplane in development, such as this, will have teething problems".

The daily aerobatic shows by the F-35 promise to be spectacular, punctuated by the howl of its 40,000 pounds of thrust. It will also show its ability to slow down to a crawl — a trick that can force pursuers to fly past and become the hunted and which Tom Cruise famously showed off in Top Gun.

"This is a beastly airplane", said chief F-35 test pilot Alan Norman.

Eight countries are partners of the program and are taking F-35s: Britain, Australia, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, and Turkey.

Canterbury said Germany, Belgium and Singapore have requested information about the F-35, a potential first step toward possible purchases. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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F-35A flights at Luke AFB to resume Wednesday