UPDATE 1-AIRSHOW-Aerospace jamboree on tenterhooks over F-35 fighter, Airbus jet revamp

Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:01am EDT
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* Farnborough Airshow runs from July 14-20

* Doubts over whether F-35 will make international debut

* Airbus to launch revamped and rebranded A330 - sources (Adds U.S. Navy grounding maintained, analyst quote)

By Tim Hepher, Andrea Shalal and Jack Stubbs

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - Suspense over the appearance of America's newest combat jet, a diplomatic chill between the West and Russia and the re-launch of an Airbus jet with a surprise tweak in its name could make the Farnborough Airshow one of the least predictable for years.

While the world's largest aerospace event is traditionally a cauldron for new technology and dazzling flying displays, technical problems forced the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to withdraw from a warm-up event and Farnborough's aircraft list is already crossed through with several high-profile no-shows.

The July 14-20 gathering will go ahead without the brand-new Bombardier CSeries or popular Russian fighter displays. Qatar Airways has withdrawn its Airbus A380 superjumbo, saying the still undelivered plane is not yet ready.

At the July 11-13 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in England, visitors were disappointed after Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet failed to make the military air show.

An engine fire has triggered a fleetwide grounding of the Pentagon's newest warplane - and the world's single most expensive weapons programme - but officials are still hoping the stealth fighter will be cleared to fly at Farnborough.   Continued...