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FARNBOROUGH: No F-35 appearance for opening day

A Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will not be making an appearance during the opening day of the aerospace industry's signature gathering for 2014, the event's organiser has confirmed.

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

Four US Marine Corps aircraft are currently at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, having been prepared to make the type's first transatlantic crossing; originally scheduled for early this month. All F-35s remain grounded, under an order imposed following a fire in a Pratt & Whitney F135 engine late last month.

Further details about the grounding incident and return to flight process could be disclosed during a media briefing which will take place on the morning of the show's opening day. This will involve Lockheed chief executive Marillyn Hewson and US under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics Frank Kendall.

Delays to the short take-off and vertical landing aircraft departing the USA also prevented the type from making its planned air show debut at the 11-13 July Royal International Air Tattoo.

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Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

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