Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Entire U.S. stealth aircraft fleet grounded over oxygen and power system faults - 10th Aug 2011

The U.S. Air Force has spent billions researching and developing stealth fighter jets to surpass any others.

But despite constructing nearly 200 of the high-tech aircraft, every single one is grounded because of problems with oxygen and power systems.

Test flights for F-22 Raptors have been suspended since May and production has been put on hold because of a suspected problem with oxygen.

Air Force sources have linked the fault with a fatal crash last November.

Last week, test flights for the newer F-35 Joint Strike Fighters were also suspended because of a valve problem in the plane's integrated power system.

It is third time this year the aircraft have been grounded and there is no indication as to when tests will resume.

Yesterday, the U.S. military committed another $535million to buy 38 more F-35s. Eventually, 90 per cent of U.S. combat aviation is supposed to come from the jet's three variants.

The grounding has led to pilots losing their proficiency with the aircraft.

Pilots have been told to return to their home stations until the jets are allowed to fly again. Read More