The US Department of Defense has yet to lift its grounding order on the F-35, but Lockheed Martin remains optimistic that the type will be able to make its UK air show debut before next week is over.

Speaking at a media event at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) site at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 9 July, Lockheed's general manager for the F-35 programme Lorraine Martin said investigation work continues following an "issue with the engine" on an F-35A training aircraft late last month.

The US Department of Defense has yet to release details of the aircraft fire at Eglin AFB in Florida, but Martin says "all the right, bright minds are working it, and getting us to a point where we will be able to return to flight. As soon as we have returned to flight, those aircraft are poised and ready to come here to the air show."


US Marine Corps

Following a scheduled debut appearance at RIAT, the short take-off and vertical landing F-35B should also take part in the air display at the Farnborough air show.

Martin declines to speculate on when a return to flight order could come, but says: "I have full confidence that at one of these shows we will have an F-35." Three US Marine Corps aircraft are due to make their first transatlantic crossing, and she says "we are locked and loaded to receive those aircraft." Spare parts required to support the deployment are already in place at RAF Fairford, she adds.