Editorial: Presentation on F-35 was a case of glass being half full

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 04:40 PM.

To his credit, he did mention the recent grounding of the F-35B, after a fuel leak caused an aborted take-off. The grounding does make sense. Any problem with a new aircraft should be completely examined before it’s allowed to be put in the air, risking the lives of the pilots and perhaps even those on the ground.

Burbage mentioned the high-tech display helmets pilots flying the F-35 would use, but didn’t mention video system errors and others that make pilot use of the helmets difficult. Fixes to those problems are in the works.

We also didn’t hear any solutions to the cost of the aircraft, which seems to increase on a daily basis and could threaten the program, and thus threaten the future of Marine Corps jet aviation and thus threaten the future of Cherry Point.

Anyone attending the gala got some good information about the F-35. Of that there is no doubt. Still, we would have liked to have seen a more complete picture with some of the jet’s issues addressed for the program to fully come into focus. 

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