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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:53 AM

Honeywell to test some F-35 parts after smoke incident

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/25/us-lockheed-fighter-honeywell-idUSBRE91O11V20130225

Honeywell to test some F-35 parts after smoke incident
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON | Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:44pm EST

(Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday an F-35 test plane was involved in an incident on February 14 that caused smoke in the cockpit, and it was sending the affected parts back to their manufacturer, Honeywell International Inc, for a detailed inspection.

Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the $396 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, said an initial assessment of the incident at a Maryland air base showed it was isolated, software-related, and posed minimal risk. The Pentagon has made temporary changes to prevent another smoke incident, she said.

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A spokesman for enginemaker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said the blade assembly arrived at the company's Middletown, Connecticut, facility on Sunday evening and engineering teams were examining it now.

Honeywell builds the plane's "power thermal management system," which uses a lithium-ion battery similar to those whose failures have grounded Boeing Co's entire fleet of 787 airliners, but Hawn said there was no connection between the February 14 incident and the F-35's lithium-ion batteries.

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