Warplanes: March 13, 2000


Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter prototype will be delayed a few weeks in further testing. Vertical lift engine 2B was damaged when a bracket holding an internal bearing broke, resulting in small metal pieces roaming around inside the engine and no end of other problems. When the company first detected the problem, the engine had already completed 67 hours of testing (about a year and a half of real-world use), and the company kept the damaged engine in service in order to gather more data about how it could fail in service. --Stephen V Cole


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