Like its more expensive cousin, the F-35, America's F-22 fighter fleet at Langley Air Force Base has been grounded due to malfunctioning parts. Surprise! Not at all. But they're taking to the skies again! — just to avoid a hurricane.
That the Air Force will only give the thumbs up on the F-22 in order for it to escape an incredibly destructive force of nature is pretty telling, from a bureaucratic and engineering standpoint. But don't expect this means the fighters are back: "This is a one-time flight authority to get out of the area affected by Irene," said an Air Force spokesperson. Let's just hope that if we ever need to use them to blow things up, there's a corresponding hurricane in the area to get them moving. [AirForce-Magazine.com via Galhran]