Jul 10 2014
The big question at this moment: Will the F-35B make its European debut, yes or no?
The F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter couldn’t fly during the naming ceremony of the Queen Elizabeth carrier in the UK on July 4, 2014.
Also, it seems to be quite certain the F-35 fighter jet may miss the Royal International Air Tattoo air show this week given the continued fleet-wide grounding.
All eyes are focused at the Pentagon and flight safety authorities to lift the F-35 grounding. But what about the British weather?
Weather forecast UK: rain and thunderstorm
So, when they are planning the F-35B arrival at the Farnborough International Show, it may be interesting to take notice of the (BBC) Weather Forecast for South East England next couple of days.
Good deal of cloud through the night with rain at times, some of this heavy with a risk of some thunder mixed in. The brisk winds will ease.
A good deal of cloud persisting through Friday with outbreaks of rain turning more showery by the afternoon. Again the odd heavy, possibly thundery burst possible.
Outlook Saturday and Sunday
Sunny spells and the risk of a shower in the east Saturday before a spell of rain overnight. Sunny spells and scattered heavy showers Sunday
Ultimate test of some capabilities: wet runways and thunderstorms
May be the F-35B debut in Europe will be the ultimate chance to show its performance during thunderstorms and heavy rain. Including hail storms (like this evening) to test the stealth coatings in real-life circumstances.
Read this report of the US Pentagon’s Director Operational Test and Evaluation 2012/2013, issued January 2014:
Other F-35B findings; Wet runway testing, required to assess braking performance with a new brake control unit in both conventional and slow landing operations, has been delayed due to the inability to create the properly degraded friction conditions on the runways at the Patuxent River
Naval Air Station, Maryland. The program plans to complete this testing in early CY14. Fielded F-35B aircraft at Eglin and at Yuma are operating under restricted landing conditions until the wet runway testing is complete.
Enough opportunities in EUROPE for all degraded friction conditions…………….
Additionally, the current fuel tank venting design is inadequate to vent the tanks during a rapid descent. As a result of the related OBIGGS and tank venting deficiencies, flight operations are currently not permitted within 25 miles of known lightning conditions. Neither restriction is acceptable for combat or combat training.
Enough opportunities to test the redesigned thunderstorm-resistant OBIGGS system………
The F-35B is welcome at Farnborough with its typical British weather.
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