American’s trillion-dollar fighter system is officially not too detective to be used! After electrical problems grounded the entire fleet, Lockheed’s announced they’ll take off again from Edwards AFB and Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. But they’re still broken.
Straight from Lockheed’s mouth, the F-35 will only be allowed “monitored” flight, because the underlying engineering issue hasn’t been fixed:
The F-35 Integrated Power Package is a turbo-machine that provides power to start the engine and generates cooling for the aircraft. The government and contractor engineering teams determined the program could resume developmental test flight operations while the investigation continues. This assessment was made after reviewing data from ground and flight tests which showed, with revised test monitoring procedures governing the IPP, the aircraft can be flown safely.
The root cause investigation indicates that an IPP valve did not function properly. Monitoring of valve position is a mitigating action to allow monitored operations. A permanent resolution is in work.
So they’re just as dangerous as before, says the Pentagon and private contractors, the reason they were grounded in the first place remains, but they can fly anyway. Hmm. “A permanent resolution is in work” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. [Lockheed Martin]