August 2, 2006 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - Pratt & Whitney has delivered the third F135 flight test engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II.
Pratt & Whitney F135 engine [USAF photo]
This is the final engine that will support the F-35's first flight tests scheduled to begin later this year. Pratt & Whitney's F135 is the lead propulsion system on the F-35.
"The Pratt & Whitney F135 team and our partners around the world are eagerly anticipating the first flight of this remarkable aircraft," said Bill Gostic, vice president, F135 engine programs for Pratt & Whitney. "Delivering this flight test engine on schedule puts us one step closer to that flight, and we are proud to support it."
In December 2005, Pratt & Whitney delivered the first F135 flight test engine to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, where F-35 aircraft will be assembled and validated. As lead propulsion system supplier, Pratt & Whitney’s F135 is the exclusive power for the F-35's first flights, beginning with the Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL
) variant's initial flights later this year.
F135 ground test engines have accumulated more than 5,500 hours as part of Pratt & Whitney's System Development and Demonstration program. This is in addition to the more than 3,600 hours F135 engines have logged as the only engine to power all JSF
concept demonstration ground and flight tests.
The technologically advanced F135 is an evolution of the highly successful F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor. Together the F135 and F119 will have logged more than 800,000 hours before the F-35’s introduction into operational service in 2012. Rated at more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, the F135 is the most powerful fighter engine ever built.
The F135 propulsion system team consists of Pratt & Whitney, the prime contractor with responsibility for the main engine and system integration; Rolls-Royce of the United Kingdom, providing lift components for the STOVL
F-35B; and UTC
’s Hamilton Sundstrand unit, provider of the F135’s control system, external accessories and gearbox.