Farnborough Will Kick Off Without Any F-35s

Farnborough Will Kick Off Without Any F-35s

The F-35 will miss the first day of this year’s Farnborough air show, the third and final event at which the Pentagon’s newest fighter jet was scheduled to appear as part of its international debut this month in the United Kingdom.

The fifth-generation, stealth fighter made by Lockheed Martin Corp. is still expected to show up at the event outside London later this week, organizers said in a statement to news media. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the jet will fly at the one of the world’s largest air shows.

“Unfortunately the F-35B Lightning II will not be displaying at the Farnborough International Airshow tomorrow, Monday 14 July,” the statement reads. “The aircraft is still awaiting US DoD clearance but we are hopeful that it will fly at the airshow by the end of the week.”

The entire F-35 fleet was grounded earlier this month after one of the planes caught fire June 23 during takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The fire was triggered by “excessive” rubbing of fan blades in the plane’s F135 engine made by Pratt & Whitney, but doesn’t appear to be a major design flaw, Andrea Shalal of Reuters reported on Sunday, citing comments from the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall.

The grounding upended plans for the aircraft to make its first public appearance abroad.

The U.S. and the U.K. had planned on sending overseas four of the F-35B jump-set variants, including three Marine Corps and one Royal Air Force aircraft. The planes, which can fly like an airplane and hover and land like a helicopter, were standing by at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

The F-35Bs were originally scheduled to conduct a fly-over on July 4 at Rosyth Dockyard, Scotland, as part of a naming ceremony for the new British aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Last week, it was supposed to be on display at the Royal International Air Tattoo and then fly at Farnborough International Air Show, which kicks off Monday.

The appearances were designed in part to send a message to international partners and potential buyers that the single-engine fighter has rounded the corner in terms of development. The program, which began development in the 1990s, has been plagued by design challenges, cost overruns and schedule delays.

The Joint Strike Fighter, as it’s officially known, is the Pentagon’s most expensive acquisition program, estimated to cost nearly $400 billion for 2,443 aircraft. Keeping the planes flying over the next half-century may cost another $1 trillion in sustainment.

Eight countries have committed to help develop the F-35, including the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Also, Israel, Japan and South Korea plan to buy production models of the aircraft.

Military​.com has a news team covering the Farnborough air show, including an F-35 briefing on Monday, and will bring you updates throughout the week.

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Not sure about Kendall’s conclusion that this incident does not point a “systemic” problem. Several other engines did show unusual wear, which to me sounds more like a design flaw that will need to be addressed.

We’re all still going to be talking about this PIG, and it’s development, in the year 2024


Well, there may be many buyers lined up for a product. Only problem is that there is no product.

What’s so humorous about this? It’s quite unfortunate for everybody involved, hopefully they’ll get clearance to head overseas later in the week.

The F-35 isn’t the first fighter to ever suffer an engine fire and it certainly won’t be the last. Things do go wrong.

They picked up a problem during lrip development. Luck they had near 100 planes built to find it before full production and the usmc 2015 IOC

Agree with CharlyA–

–Kendall: “There is a growing body of evidence that this is not a systemic, major design problem.“
–Reuters: there were signs of milder rubbing in several other engines.

Not systemic? But:
1. There is blade/cowl rubbing in other engines — per AB at AvWeek report
2. The renegade blade should have been contained

It’s interesting that the problem wasn’t detected during static tests. Though there’s inevitably a quality difference between artisan production of engines and assembly line production.

JSF was perhaps a little too ambitious to pull off at low cost, so instead of high/low we have high-small/high-big.

Knowing this waste of money program was delayed again. Im not surpriesed.

Hay how about some Eagle and Raptors upgrades and air show, show offs again.


“The three-stage IBR sits behind the front fan in the F135 and compresses the air before passing it into the high-pressure core. Each stage is separated by a stator and rotates within the casing, which is lined with an abradable strip to maintain tight clearances between the blade tips and the inner wall of the compressor casing. This enables tight tolerances while reducing pressure loss and some rubbing is acceptable. In the engine for AF-27, the blades were rubbing far in excess of the design, creating excessive heat and microcracking in the blades. The resulting high cycle fatigue failure forced the section to “come apart,” Bogdan says, prompting the fire June 23 at Eglin.”

1 out of 98. Sadly, unsure of ways to detect this kind of failure early short of routinely taking out engines, assessing for microfractures and clearing them for use. A diagnostic mode to assess friction might be to assess rpm as a function of rotational force applied…it would also be a means to assess if the abradable strip has completely worn down and needs replacing.

A jet which is being described as nearly ready to go to war turns out to be unable even to fly to an air show.

Blade clearance problems are a Pratt tradition.

Somewhere around here I have a photo of several 747-100s sitting forlornly on the tarmac outside of Boeing Everett, circa early 1970, with concrete blocks hanging from the engine pylons. Undeliverable without motors. A giant headache for the program thanks to “ovalization” in the early Pratt JT9D.

But the F-35 program at its present stage has been around for a lot longer than was the 747 program at that stage. Maiden flight of the 747 occurred less than a year before the blade issue manifested itself. Maiden flight of the F-35 was well over seven years ago.

That blade issues are still showing up in the much further along and supposedly “mature” F-35 program is not a good sign. Especially not when those issues resulted in a severe fire, which if it had happened in flight would have meant almost certain loss of the aircraft.

Cant turn, Cant climb, Cant run, cant even put on a show.

You’re a fool for repeating that debunked nonsense, it can turn, climb, and run just as well as the F/A-18 can and in some cases better. If it puts on a show or not depends on if the DoD gives approval.

If you want a show the Russians usually put one on if they bother to show. Just don’t be too surprised if it ends in a crash.

There wouldn’t be a product if they did show up. I don’t see where anything has changed except that the US taxpayer is going to have to foot the bill for one more delay and one more program problem. As a taxpayer, I don’t find that especially humorous.

Communication langage : tomorrow you will see it.
Some days later on : tomorrow you will see it…
Wait and see !

I wonder if this happened to the F119.

It looks like a quality control issue going by the avweek link below

There was a time when the F-18 was a byword for poor maneuverability. But along came the F-35 and all of a sudden its the gold standard.

Stick to the script troll — its not about maneuverability its about “communication possibilities” now.

Typical F-35 PR designed to cover up the problem.

Gives the engineers time to quickly evaluate the problem and lower the specification.

Have the engine is being redesigned but its not systematic — its organic.

>Things do go wrong.

And on the F-35 you only have to wait 15 minutes.

An uninformed troll calling me a troll? Tell me boy, do you have any sort of experience in the field of aviation at all?

The F/A-18 has always had great maneuverability and high AoA handling. On the downside acceleration was average at best and it couldn’t match the high supersonic speeds of the F-15 or the F110 powered F-14s. Not certain how it did in terms of rate of climb. By most accounts the F-35 is very comparable to the F/A-18 but with better acceleration. It’s no F-22 but the F-35 will be an all-around solid replacement for the aircraft it was supposed to replace.

Somebody hasn’t paid attention to the past 30 years of engine development I see.

IIRC the F/A-18 had a similar issue early in its career where there was unexpected wear on the engines. They fixed it on that, they’ll fix it on the F-35. The only question should be who will be paying for the fix.

So how many comments like this do you make before you start trying to sell Sukhois?

It’s ironic that the F-18E/F, whose legend was built entirely of lies, is being replaced by the F-35. Neither do or will go supersonic except occasionally in a dive. It’s a capability that’s useless in fighting trim, but you clean the bugs off them and send them out with a light fuel load and suddenly you have some M1+ numbers to post on Wikipedia and to put in the f’ing picture books.

It’s part of the process of turning a small fortune in profit on development into a large fortune. And your tax dollars not only go to paying the defense contractors that money, they are actually used as an incentive for failures just like the one we’re talking about now.

Taxpayer, the only real customer for F-135’s.

Don’t know about the Super Hornet but I know the regular Hornet used to regularly fly at high transonic speeds. The high mach numbers (the full M1.8+) were rare although that is true with the max speeds of most aircraft. Even the F-15 could only reach M2.5 under some rather strict set of criteria.

Well that’s usually the way it works for all these programs, ideally the company (either P&W or Lockheed in this case) would pay the lion’s share of the cost to cover the cost of the damages but ideally doesn’t happen.

Again, you show your lack of knowledge. F-35 is not replacing F-18 E/Fs. they are planned to deploy together as part of the Air Wings for many years.


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