F-35 aircraft

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Lockheed Martin-built F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft has missed its international display debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014.

The RIAT was held from 11-13 July 2014 in Fairford, Gloucestershire.

The decision comes as the F-35 aircraft has been grounded following an engine failure in a development aircraft during its takeoff in the US last month.

Air Tattoo chief executive Tim Prince said: "Unfortunately we’ve simply run out of time."

"We fully understand and support the decision as safety of pilots and aircraft has to be paramount."

An MoD spokesman said: "The safety of pilots and aircraft has to be our priority.

"The safety of pilots and aircraft has to be our priority."

"Of course, it is disappointing that the Lightning II has not arrived in the UK in time for the Air Tattoo but we fully support the decision not to grant clearance for the aircraft to make their first transatlantic flight to the UK until the technical investigations following an engine failure are complete."

The RIAT saw participation of more than 200 aircraft representing 33 air arms from 27 countries.

Image: A UK MoD’s F35 aircraft during its flight. Photo: copyright Lockheed Martin.

Defence Technology