Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Canada's F-35s: Engines not included

Canada's F-35s: Engines not included
The multi-million dollar F-35 stealth fighter that the Conservatives want to purchase comes with all the accoutrements of a high-tech aircraft — everything, that is, except an engine.

The government will be required to provide engines for the 65 planes to be delivered by U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin, according to newly released Defence Department documents.
This recalls another issue with the F-35: it lacks a second engine.
Canada’s next fleet of fighters will be packed with high-tech gizmos but lack one comforting feature: a second engine.

For pilots who will fly patrols over Canada’s vast expanses of territory in the Far North, it means no back-up.

So what happens if the sole engine in the new F-35 Lightning fails?

... Canada chose its current fleet of CF-18s precisely because they had dual engines. As the Cold Lake Air Force Museum’s website notes, Ottawa selected the Hornets “mostly because of twin-engine reliability” in case one failed during flights between Canada and Europe or sucked in a bird during low-level operations.

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