Danger Room: Air Force Sends Grounded Stealth Fighters Back into Action … Without Fixing Them

20.09.11

Categorie: Accidents, Air, David Axe, Wired |
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F-22. Air Force photo.

F-22. Air Force photo.

by DAVID AXE

Four months after grounding its entire force of F-22 Raptors, the Air Force has cleared the roughly 170 high-tech stealth fighters to resume flying.

Just one little problem: the brass still doesn’t know why a dozen Raptor pilots blacked out and one fatally crashed, prompting the May 3 no-fly order. Officials suspected the oxygen system aboard the $300-million, radar-evading superfighter. Ground crews starting up the jets in sealed, garage-like hangars might also have been a factor. After months of study, the Air Force still can’t say for sure.

But the Lockheed-built F-22s comprise around half of America’s dogfighting fleet. They can’t stay grounded forever without eventually jeopardizing national security.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

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