The absence of the F-35B from its highly anticipated international debut at two air shows in the U.K. was a public relations embarrassment for U.S. program leadership, prime contractor Lockheed Martin and, especially, engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, whose F135 caused the fire that grounded the entire Joint Strike Fighter fleet. The disappointment and wisecracks circulating as a result will eventually subside, and the debut that wasn’t likely will be reduced to a footnote in ...

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