F-35 absent from Farnborough, Airbus eyes plane revamp

1 The Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic display team perform a fly past Farnborough Airport to open the International Air Show, Farnborough, England, Monday, July 14, 2014. AP Photo

The Farnborough airshow opens Monday with the non-appearance of the stricken US-built F-35 fighter jet overshadowing the traditional battle for plane orders between titans Airbus and Boeing.
The F-35 stealth, whose entire fleet was grounded in the United States last week because of an engine fire, will not appear as planned on the airshow's first day but may still take part at the end of the week, organisers said.        

The key biennial event in the aviation sector calendar held south-west of London will see European planemaker Airbus and its US rival Boeing look to build on robust sales of passenger planes.
Industry experts said Airbus could very likely use the event to launch an upgrade of its long-haul A330 jet -- the A330neo -- boasting more fuel-efficient engines.
On the eve of Farnborough, Boeing said it could in the future launch a new version of its 737 MAX single-aisle jet that would carry more seats.
Meanwhile a briefing update on the F-35, set to become the backbone of the air defences of several Western countries, is scheduled to take place in Farnborough on Monday.
"Unfortunately the F-35B Lightning II will not be displaying at the Farnborough International Airshow" on the opening day, the organisers said in a statement.
"The aircraft is still awaiting US DoD (Department of Defence) clearance but we are hopeful that it will fly at the airshow by the end of the week."       

Both the US Air Force and Navy last week ordered a halt to all F-35 flights following a June 23 engine fire on one of the planes, which at $400 billion (300 billion euros) is the most expensive weapons project in US...

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