Lockheed fixes F-35 glitch after power failure

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Lockheed Martin expects to conduct the next flight of its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in mid-August, after introducing a design fix required after a brief power failure cut short aircraft AA-1's 19th test sortie in early May.

Revealing that the problem arose during a full stick roll at 40,000ft (12,200m), Lockheed's general manager, F-35 programme integration Tom Burbage says: "This was a first-time issue in flight, but a technical solution has been sorted."

The fix will be made to AA-1 before its next flight, and to the two short take-off and vertical landing F-35B flight-test aircraft now on the company's Fort Worth final assembly line in Texas.

Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in the UK on 14 July, Burbage said AA-1's flight envelope has been expanded to allow the aircraft to achieve supersonic flight "within the next few months", and added: "The [Pratt & Whitney F135] engine is performing better than we had modelled, so that gives us more margin for weight."