06:28 GMT +326 March 2017
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    A new set of software problems may mean yet another series of delays for the F-35 fighter, already the most expensive and troublesome military equipment project in US history.

    Simple Loose Bracket Caused Troubled F-35 to Go Up in Flames

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    It is an increasingly unpopular fighter plane that can go up in flames due to a loose bracket, and with the $1.45 trillion the US is expected to pour into the F-35 program over the course of its life, America could forgive every penny of its crippling student loan debt.

    Officials have finally pinned down the root cause of a fire on an F-35B during flight tests at a Marine Corps base in Beaufort, South Carolina, at the end of October. An unsecured bracket in the weapons bay allowed electrical wires to shake free, leading to a spark near hydraulic lines and flammable components on the plane, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said in a recent news conference.

    "It had passed its previous inspection, but the bracket still became dislodged," Bogdan said, adding that flight crews knew about the issue "long before" the October fire. Astonishingly, modified brackets have not been replaced on all F-35Bs, and pilots must be wary of a heightened risk of fire when flying the aircraft, according to Bogdan.

    US President-elect Donald Trump quipped that the F-35 program is "out of control" and promised to give the program a fresh look as part of a movement to “drain the swamp” of overly-high military expenditures in the US. The unreliable planes have drained hundreds of millions of dollars from US coffers.

    ​The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, described by insiders as a money-pit, was previously derailed by flaws in logistical systems, avionics processors, landing gear, pilot helmets and seats, as well as the fuel tank. "Every time they test it they find another failure," Pierre Sprey, a member of the F-16 design team, told Sputnik Radio.

    The F-35’s accessories, notably its $400,000-apiece flying helmet, have encountered a barrage of problems. Pilots report that a green glow created by the high-tech helmet, which displays target information and flight data, is like "looking through a dirty window." Further, the seat ejector poses an "elevated level of risk," including the possibility of accidental death, to pilots weighing less than 165 pounds, according to a government analysis. 

    A mishap with the jet’s coolant tubes caused the air force to ground 15 F-35s in September. In October, a spokesman said the fighters would again be operational before the end of the year.

    Related:

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    F-16 Designer: Applauds Trump, Says Each F-35 ‘Harms American Air Power’
    F-35 Fighter Jet Cost ‘Out of Control’ - Trump
    US Navy Demonstrates Helmet That Gives F-35 Pilots 360-Degree View – DoD
    US Air Force: F-35 Repairs Complete, Beleaguered Jets Back in Service
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    fire, F-35B, Christopher Bogdan, Beaufort, South Carolina
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    • sapper
      No money for the homeless people though. But they will throw it away on the military and external WARS!!!
    • avatar
      Steve
      Eisenhowers final address at the Kennedy inaugural is available to hear online at American Rhetoric website. His warning about the Military-Industrial-Complex was originally to be the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex like it truly is today. Trump needs to jail many Congressional and Pentagon parasites if he is to honor his promises.
    • avatar
      goldcamshaft
      My left front wheel flew out and hit another car, after I had my tire changed.
      For about 6 months, I couldn't concentrate on my driving, stopping every 50 miles or so to check on the lugs. If the same sort of thing goes through the mind of the pilot of the F35, then I can see a problem. Instead of concentrating on the task at hand, he will be constantly thinking of what can happen to his aircraft and his person. PTSD will rise to another level. Good luck on this!
    • avatar
      Tim - USA
      F-35 = death trap
    • avatar
      questfortruth
      GTF outta here! Crazed war-mongers get all the money they need, but try to feed one homeless person or expunge the students who are in debt up to their eyeballs and it's "go f*ck yourself"! What's wrong with this world? Seems like just about everything.
      The loose bracket they talked about isn't in the jet, it's in these neocon's brains!
    • avatar
      michael
      I'm waiting for interviews with pilots - honest ones that is.
    • Neochrome
      I know one thing, if I am piloting this plane in strong turbulence I would be shitting bricks...
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      John White on FB post go back to elementary school your comment was at 6 year old level.
      Blatantly lying wont change the fact just ease your delusional cover for your insecurities.
      By the way many defence experts (American) have commented on how the US has fallen behind in technology and that it will take 20 years to catch up.

      The F-35 was purely to allow smaller nations to have access to a plane that can carry a missile deep into enemy areas to compensate for superior Russian land based ballistic missiles that scare the living bells out of them.

      There is no doubt the F-35 has some capability but far far less than its originally intended release date which was 8 years ago would have provided.
      Development of upgraded S300 and release of S400 and S500 make the F-35 just another weapon in the US arsenal but certainly not a deal maker.

      It also has a negative psychological memes as its robbed the Americans of a better standard of living and increased poverty as a result 10 fold.

      Trump should scrap the plane and use that budget for tent cities to house the homeless in a semi permanent style with a/c etc bring back some dignity to Americans it will ease the obsession to destroy other peoples cultures and economies who have better lifes.
    • avatar
      jas
      That plane is absurd. I ma expecting to see a liability disclaimer like on ladders or a Lockheed Martin ad on the side.
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