The action follows a four-month shutdown of the $412-million Lockheed Martin fighters to investigate why pilots’ oxygen was being cut off.
|Critic Pierre Sprey said the oxygen system’s problems can be traced to the complexity of the F-22, which takes air from a jet engine’s compressor section to supply oxygen to pilots. Previous oxygen systems simply used a separate bottle that fed air to pilots. (Airman First Class Courtney / September 21, 2011)
September 20, 2011, 4:56 p.m.
It is the latest issue for the F-22, which cost an estimated $412 million each, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s latest report, and have not been used in combat since entering service in 2005.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in a statement that the F-22s are now safe to fly, but he did not specify what went wrong with the plane’s oxygen system.