April 2, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Chief Test Pilot Jon Beesley summoned the full might of the most powerful fighter engine in history as the F-35, aircraft AA-1, performed its first-ever afterburner takeoff on March 13th.
The General Electric - Rolls-Royce F136 engine [USAF photo]
A short takeoff roll was followed by a steep climb-out as the Pratt&Whitney F135 turbofan produced 40,000lb of thrust. In the 1.5-hour flight, the ninth, the F-35 continued to demonstrate high reliability and exceptional aerodynamic performance.
Another engine that will fly in an F-35 aircraft in 2010 is the GE
The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has completed testing on the third build of the short take-off/vertical landing F136 engine. Test data collected will enhance engine modeling and software architecture development for follow-on risk reduction testing at the new short takeoff/vertical landing test facility at Peebles Test Operation in early 2008.