EAST HARTFORD, Conn., August 8, 2007 - Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, completed a series of crosswind validation tests for the F135 short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) engine at its test facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.
A Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6 turboprop engine was used to simulate crosswinds of up to 35 knots (40 mph) across the inlet of the lift fan as the F135 propulsion system simulated flying in STOVL mode at power settings up to full power.
"Completion of the tests confirm that the Pratt & Whitney F135 STOVL engine will perform as required in crosswind conditions while in the power lift, hover mode," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 Programs. "This testing is a significant risk reduction step on the path to first flight of the F-35 STOVL aircraft in May 2008."
This evaluation is part of the lift fan inlet flow angularity test program conducted in partnership with Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce. This simulated aircraft inlet was designed to enable engineers to evaluate inlet characteristics and its interaction with the F135 propulsion system. The crosswind validation test is one of a series of milestones for the F135 propulsion system. Pratt & Whitney's F135 recently surpassed 8,000 system development and demonstration (SDD) ground test hours and continues to power the flight test program with 19 flight tests to date and more than 20 flight test hours.
Pratt & Whitney's F135 engine is an evolution of the F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor; together the F135 and F119 will have logged more than 600,000 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.
Source: Pratt & Whitney's F135 STOVL Team Completes Propulsion System Test
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