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Fuselage cracks found in tests on next-generation US F35 jet

Fuselage cracks found in tests on next-generation US F35 jet

Posted January. 14, 2013 04:13,   


Cracks in the fuselage and other problems have been found in performance tests of the next-generation U.S. F35 fighter jet, which the U.S. Defense Department has been developing by investing a record amount of funds.

Citing an 18-page report submitted Friday by the Pentagon to Congress, Bloomberg said the testing of the F35-B model showed "multiple new cracks in a bulkhead flange on the fuselage’s underside during an inspection after the equivalent of 7,000 hours of testing.” As a result, testing of the aircraft, which is being developed for the Marine Corps, has been halted again for the second time since December last year.

Three models of the F35, namely A, B and C for the Air Force, Marines and large aircraft carriers, are being developed. Reuters also said the testing of the F35-A model found problems with the air refueling system and peeling of stealth coat, while testing of the F35-B model exposed problems with engine lift fan for vertical take-off and landing. The F35-C model had serious problems in its video image transmission system and coolant.

Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon official in charge of performance testing who submitted the report, said, “Two more years of structural testing is required to test the performance of the F35.”