After 80-percent of the military’s F-35 fighter jets were grounded last week for inspection, the jets are now cleared for take-off again.
The F-35 Joint Program Office said the majority of the single-seat, single-engine jets resumed their flight operations on Monday after an enterprise-wide inspection was ordered on the engine’s fuel tubes. If the jet was found to have no problems with its fuel tube, it could resume flying. If an issue was found during the inspection, the tube was removed and replaced, according to the Pentagon.
There are more than 240 of the F-35s among the Marines, Air Force and Navy. Officials ordered all od the aircraft to undergo the inspections following a nonfatal crash on September 28th, in Beaufort, South Carolina, involving a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B. It’s believed the cause of the crash was the result of a faulty fuel tube.
The pilot of the jet was able to safely eject before it crashed.
The F-35 has had a very controversial history with the aircraft designed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics first F-35A taking to flight in 2006. Last February, top F-35 program officials at the Pentagon wanted to know the true price tag of the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system. Even President Trump got involved in the cost of the fighter jets, criticizing the soaring price tag on the jets as being out of control.
As it stands now, the unit price for an F-35A — including aircraft, engine and fees — is $94.3 million.