JS blocked

Join Us for an F-35 Live Chat


Many of our #avgeek readers have submitted some very insightful questions about the dramatic lead-up to Farnborough followed by the stunning fizzle of the F-35’s deployment that wasn’t in the United Kingdom. London Bureau Chief Tony Osborne and myself will be online today at 1600 local time (1100 Eastern) to engage in an online chat with readers to answer your questions about the program and hear what you’d like to know about the F-35 program as we plan our coverage for the rest of the year.

The Pentagon announced July 15 that four F-35Bs -– one of which was the British BK-3 -– would not make their long-awaited international debut. This was a result of an engine fire that erupted in a Pratt & Whitney F135 on an F-35A preparing for takeoff June 23 at Eglin AFB, Florida, only days before the four F-35Bs were due to take off for the Atlantic crossing to make their first planned appearance at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 11.

The cancellation announcement came out of the Pentagon at 1900 local time in Farnborough, after show crowds had left and only hours after Kirby and other officials—including Air Force Secretary Debora Lee James, speaking at the show yesterday—had expressed hope that the jets could perform a flying display during the air show hours after the U.S. Air Force and Navy lifted the grounding. "If I were a betting woman, I would say the odds just got better" that the F-35Bs would fly at the show, James said in a speech at the U.S. pavilion here just before noon.

Ultimately, however, the anticipation was replaced by widespread disappointment for showgoers and spotters who were on the lookout for the single-engine, stealthy fighters since their first planned attempt for the Atlantic crossing June 20.

Again, Tony and I will be online from 1600 to 1630 local time fielding your questions at this link. Please join us for an engaging chat about the F-35 then.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week editors blog their personal views on the defense industry.

Blog Archive
We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.