WASHINGTON Feb 25 The Pentagon on Monday said
it was shipping parts from an F-35 test plane back to their
manufacturer, Honeywell International Inc, for a
detailed inspection after a Feb. 14 incident that caused a small
amount of smoke in the plane's cockpit.
Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the $396 billion F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter program, said an initial assessment of the
incident at a Maryland air base showed it was isolated,
software-related, and posed minimal risk. Interim changes had
been implemented to prevent another smoke incident, she said.
News of the previously unreported incident comes just days
after U.S. military officials grounded the entire fleet of
Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 jets for the second time this
year after discovering a 0.6 inch crack on a fan blade in the
single jet of another test plane.
Honeywell builds the plane's "power thermal management
system," which uses a lithium-ion battery similar to those whose
failures have grounded Boeing Co's entire fleet of 787
airliners, but Hawn said there was no connection between the
Feb. 14 incident and the F-35's lithium-ion batteries.
Honeywell said it would inspect the system - which manages
the distribution of hot and cold air throughout the plane's
fuselage - once it arrived at the company's Phoenix testing