We know you love it — especially Crikey’s readers at Russell Hill — so we’re happy to bring you the latest news on the F-35. Yes — it’s Flying Heap of Crap Watch. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the air, 15 of the “troubled” planes have been grounded. The insulation around the fuel tanks is “peeling and crumbling”, apparently. The F-35 has previously been grounded for the minor problem of its engine catching fire. We’re no aeronautical engineers here at Crikey, but we imagine that a leaking fuel tank probably isn’t going to help in that regard. By the way, that’s the fuel that has to be ferried about on the tarmac in special high-vis trucks because otherwise it gets too hot. The F-35’s builder, Lockheed, dismissed the problem as just “a supply chain manufacturing quality issue” and not a technical or design issue, but we suspect that would be, erm, cold comfort for F-35 pilots as they’re engulfed in flames.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

12 weeks for $12