Skip to comments.The F-35 Lightning II Can't Fly Near...Lightning
Posted on 07/08/2020 12:56:35 PM PDT by Red Badger
A key F-35 safety system is sustaining damage in Air Force service, forcing the office that overseas the F-35 program to recommend flight restrictions.
Under the new guidelines, F-35 jets should socially distance from lightning, maintaining a distance of least 25 miles.
The faulty systems could cause a F-35 hit by lightning to literally explode in midair.
The F-35 Lightning II strike fighter is temporarily barred from flying near actual lightning. More than a dozen Air Force F-35s were discovered with damage to a system designed to prevent catastrophic damage from lightning strikes. The damaged systems place the aircraft in danger of exploding if the airplane were hit by lightning in mid-flight.
The problem is with the Onboard Inert Gas Generation System (OBIGGS)is a safety subsystem common in modern airplanes. A typical OBIGGS system diverts air from the aircraft engine and separates the nitrogen, injecting it into the jets fuel tanks. The more inflammable nitrogen present the less flammable oxygen, helping reduce the possibility of fuel tank explosions. Wartime damage aside, one way a fuel tank explosion might take place is as a result of a lightning strike.
Inspectors at the Air Forces Ogden Logistics Complex discovered damage to the tubes that funnel nitrogen into the fuel tanks in 14 out of 24 out of F-35As inspected. The problem appears limited to the Air Forces F-35A model. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, which operate the -C and -B versions of the F-35, have not seen similar problems.
According to Defense News, manufacturer Lockheed Martin paused F-35 deliveries to look into the issue with aircraft on the production line. The company believes that the problem is being caused in the field after aircraft delivery meaning while in the hands of the Air Force. There are no reports as of yet in the hands of foreign F-35 operators, though that sample size might still be pretty small so far. Air Force Magazines 2020 almanac lists the Air Force and Air Force Reserve as currently operating 203 Lightning II fighters, the most of any air force worldwide.
For now, the F-35 Joint Program Office, which overseas the global F-35 enterprise, is recommending that F-35As avoid lightning and thunderstorms. The jets should maintain a distance of 25 miles from either type of weather, until the source of the problem is found and a fix is implemented.
Ironically, this is the second time the Lightning II has been prohibited from flying near actual lightning, after an earlier problem was discovered with the OBIGGS in the early 2010s.
Source: Defense News.
Maybe if the AF spends more money on this ? /sarc
And this major flaw wasn’t discovered during the many testing of this cropduster
Oh, stop - all kinds of things can happen to ANY aircraft at ANY time.
Lightening is a problem for any aircraft. Sheesh.
Does Popular Mechanics have any credibility anymore? Just another rag the Libtards have ruined.
On the bright side, it wasnt named the F-35 Cloud.
The article is a reprint from Defense News:
“A typical OBIGGS system diverts air from the aircraft engine and separates the nitrogen, injecting it into the jets fuel tanks.”
Is there a reason why they just do not use a tank of compressed Nitrogen?
Seems like a simpler process...
Weight is probably the deciding factor. The F-35 is already a bit heavy....................
Yet another “writer” that doesn’t know what words mean. It’s NON-flammable nitrogen, putz!
No, huge quantities are needed. All commercial aircraft have NGS systems installed since FAA mandated it after the 747 was shot down in New York...
.....The official explanation blamed the fuel pumps sparking, the biggest load of BS to all maintence techs in the industry. Cost the industry billions to equip the fleets. The incident happened on July 17th, 95 or six....shot down or a “ spark”, you decide, those in the aircraft field have decided long ago it was a hoax covering up the numerous eye witness accounts of a missile...one of our “ first” encounters with Islamic terrorism.
Yes, but is it MORE NON-flammable nitrogen?.................
The size of the tank necessary is larger than the OBIGGS generator.
Ditto why there isn’t an oxygen tank onboard in favor of an onboard oxygen generator (OBOG)
Who actually wrote and edited this??
“.... The more inflammable nitrogen present the less flammable oxygen, helping reduce the possibility of fuel tank explosions.”
What the actual F@$k does that sentence say?
Popular Mechanics needs to stick with something they know, like toppling statues.
See these folk:
LOL, we’ve been talking about that!.................
internal space and weight and maintenance issues
Did you notice the word temporarily? :-)
It means that the nitrogen content has to be high enough to prevent the oxygen from being flammable. The nitrogen percentage in our atmosphere works the same way.
“Lightening is a problem for any aircraft. Sheesh.
Does Popular Mechanics have any credibility anymore? Just another rag the Libtards have ruined.”
Absolutely right! Former USAF fighter jet mechanic here. Nothing humans build is immune to lightning.
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