Here are the photos of the U.S. Air Force F-35A damaged by engine fire last year

Jun 06 2015 - 16 Comments


The U.S. Air Force has released the report and photos of the mishap suffered by an F-35A Lightning II  in June 2014.

A U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Investigation Board team has completed the investigation into the mishap occurred to an F-35A assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on Jun. 23, 2014.

According to the report, the F-35A suffered a failure of the third-stage rotor of the engine fan module. The aircraft was taking off for a training mission when the engine caught fire: the pilot safely aborted the takeoff and exited the aircraft.

Although emergency crews responded to the burning aircraft and extinguished the fire, the F-35A was heavily damaged: “Pieces of the failed rotor arm cut through the engine’s fan case, the engine bay, an internal fuel tank, and hydraulic and fuel lines before exiting through the aircraft’s upper fuselage. Damage from the engine failure caused leaking fuel and hydraulic fluid to ignite and burn the rear two thirds of the aircraft. The total mishap damage is estimated to be in excess $50 million.”

The mishap caused a fleetwide grounding that prevented the F-35 to attend Farnborough International Air Show.

F-35 damaged detail

Image credit: U.S. Air Force via Alert5


  • Nemesis197

    Any word if this aircraft is salvageable?

  • sferrin

    Considering the extent of the fire it’s surprisingly intact.

  • dumpster4

    When stealth materials burn, does it create a toxic fume hazard?

  • Mongee Phase

    Hmm, too complex and unreliable. We have to be like the Russians, simple types of designs. F-35 is a huge waste of dosh.

  • Cocidius

    Anybody curious as to why it took almost 12 months for the USAF and the Pentagon to release a few photos of this mishap? The “in excessive of $50 million dollars damage statement” is another example of the lack of transparency on this incident. This aircraft is a completely destroyed and god knows we would’t want to tell the world the real purchase price so let me help.

    This aircraft came from Lot 5 purchased in 2011 for a real world price of $192.6 million each. Just slightly more than the in excess of $50 million!***the-myth-of-declining-f_35-prices.html

    • sferrin

      It’s not a write off. Sorry to disappoint.

  • oh dear

    These mishaps are why any navy variant of an aircraft should be a twin engine.

    • sferrin

      You mean like the A-7, F-8, A-4, and a plethora of other USN carrier aircraft? This also may have escaped your attention but twins crash due to engine failures too. But ultimately, the USN ran the numbers, you did not. They’re confident with a single-engine aircraft.

  • Jan Schmidt

    This F-35A AF-27 10-5015 was written off due to fire and engine shrapnel damage.

  • Anon

    Thought this sort of thing was only supposed to happen to Russian stealth fighters.

    • sferrin

      Guess you’re new to the whole “airplane” thing huh?

    • sferrin

      Apparently you’re new to the whole “airplane” thing. They all crash.

      • anon

        I just remember all of the flak Russia was getting in the media about their pak-fa catching on fire. How it seemed to be blamed on everything from the “incompetence” of their engineers to their economy. This happening to a USA aircraft likely won’t lead to such accusations, but rather, “it’s just another accident” viewpoint.

        • Uniform223

          Then maybe you weren’t going to enough media outlets or aviation places. There was more smack thrown and talked about the F-35 than there was about the PAKFA. Critics, detractors and haters still point to last years engine fire as “proof” that the F-35 was/is no good. You mention the PAKFA’s engine fire and all you hear is crickets.

  • sferrin

    The USAF disagrees with your “expert” opinion.

    • tjohn6041

      Pretty much every time a new aircraft crashes and is still remotely recognizable, they claim the will repair it. But the damage is probably much more than 50 million, and the plane was already in need of updating to the newest standard. I highly doubt the will repair it.