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Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

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Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

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Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

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Ski Grand Prairie? TCU, UTA grad helping bring snow to Metroplex

For Levi Davis last week may have been a career peak, in more ways than one.

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GE rises most in year with equipment order increases, including at Fort Worth locomotive unit

NEW YORK — General Electric Co. beat analysts' profit estimates in the third quarter as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt squeezed more costs from the manufacturing units.

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Lockheed's F-35 Lightning II fighter jet reaches long-awaited milestone

F-35 over Fort Worth. Photo courtesy of Lockheed

Christian Davenport
(c) 2014, The Washington Post.
FORT WORTH, Texas — It's been a bad few weeks for the F-35 Lightning II. First, one of the jet's engines caught fire on the runway, causing the fleet to be grounded. Then it missed its international debut at a pair of British air shows.

But on Thursday, Pentagon and industry officials celebrated a bit of good news at Lockheed Martin's aeronautics headquarters here: the first two of the 72 planes Australia has ordered rolled off the assembly line and will be ready for flight soon.

The completion of the two planes marked a milestone for defense officials eager to both woo international customers for the next-generation fighter jet and to quell fears after the fire and grounding.

The ceremony, featuring American and Australian dignitaries, also served as a symbol of unity and continued commitment to the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history, despite the recent setbacks.

Speaking before a couple of hundred attendees in a massive hangar on the flight line of the aeronautics facility, Mathias Cormann, the Australian finance minister, said his country supported the F-35 program for many reasons more than a decade ago and that those reasons "remain as valid today."

Air Marshall Geoff Brown, chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, told reporters after the ceremony that he was "very confident" in the fighter jet and was undeterred by the fire.

"In any development project, you're going to have issues," he said.

The engine fire occurred June 23 as a pilot prepared for take off at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Officials have said they determined that the cause was not systematic and lifted the flying ban, with restrictions, a few weeks later. But the F-35 did not make it to the Royal International Air Tattoo or the Farnborough International Airshow this month and show off, for the first time, overseas.

The no-show was a disappointment for a program that for years went wildly over budget and behind schedule but which has in recent years regained its footing. And it was a missed opportunity to lure foreign buyers at a time when some foreign governments are weighing their purchases of the aircraft.

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government are hoping for more international sales, which would eventually drive down the per-plane cost — estimated at about $110 million per plane for the Air Force variant but which could fall below $80 million by the end of the decade, officials say.

And Lockheed officials said they remain confident in those sales.

"The effects of the engine investigation really won't have an effect on our revenue," Lockheed executive vice president and chief financial officer Bruce Tanner said in a conference call with analysts Tuesday. "International customers we spoke to believe this is an issue that will be resolved, will be resolved in fairly short order and will not have an influence on their decision."

Still, there continue to be reverberations from the fire. The Senate appropriations defense subcommittee recently urged the Pentagon to look into the possibility of acquiring an alternative engine for the F-35.

Officials from Pratt & Whitney, the engine's manufacturer, have said that is unnecessary because their engine "continues to perform exceptionally well."

Incidents such as the fire are "part of the normal risk reduction process to ensure flawless performance when the aircraft is operational," the company said in a recent statement. ​

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