September 28, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The first F100-PW-229 engine manufactured at the Pratt & Whitney WSK PZL-Rzeszów facility debuted during an inaugural aerial exercise of Poland's new F-16 aircraft at the Polish Peace Sky Program ceremony held at Lockheed Martin on Sept. 15.
The F100-PW-229 during a maximum AB test cell run. [P&W photo]
The five-minute demonstration flight thrilled thousands, including dignitaries from Poland
and the U.S. as well as members of the Polish Air Force in training, with dramatic aerobatic maneuvers and the roar of the powerful Pratt & Whitney engine.
The program's first five F100 engines were manufactured at Pratt & Whitney's Connecticut facility. The debut engine is the first of 43 being assembled and tested at the WSK PZL-Rzeszów facility before installation in F-16 aircraft. The engines and aircraft are scheduled for delivery to Poland starting in late 2006.
"We have built a 30-year legacy in Poland that is experiencing both growth and realignment today," said Robert J. Robinson, vice president, international sourcing, Pratt & Whitney, and chairman, supervisory board of directors, WSK PLZ-Rzeszów. "In 2002, we privatized our Rzeszów operations and we announced in May 2006 its capabilities to assemble and test the F100 engine, our most successful program. A combination of great teamwork and extraordinary workmanship enables us to fulfill our vision for Poland. The only thing better than an F-16 with F100 engines is an F-16 with F100 engines built in Poland. This is a fantastic example of transatlantic defense cooperation that is mutually beneficial."
Many individual parts required to manufacture the F100-PW-229, as well as tooling for intermediate maintenance, assembly and disassembly, are made at Pratt & Whitney's WSK PZL- Rzeszów and Kalisz facilities.
In addition to the F100 assembly and test capability, Rzeszów is responsible for the manufacturing of several types of Pratt & Whitney commercial and military engine parts. The facility has more than 4,000 employees.