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July 29. 2014 8:36PM

U.S. loosens rules for Lockheed F-35

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. authorities have loosened some flight restrictions on Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jets, allowing pilots to fly faster and take tighter curves, as military officials investigate a massive engine failure that grounded the entire fleet of warplanes for over three weeks.

Pilots can now fly at speeds of up to 1.6 Mach, up from 0.9 Mach, and carry out turns with a gravitational load of 3.2 Gs, up from 3 Gs, a U.S. defense official and other sources familiar with the program told Reuters on Tuesday.

The changes will allow F-35 test pilots and trainers to carry out additional maneuvers and flight tests.

exhibit signs of the “excessive rubbing” seen in the engine that failed.



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