Wed, Nov 11, 2009
Completes Initial Service Release Altitude Qualification
The Pratt & Whitney's F135 engine powering the F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter has completed altitude qualification ground testing,
the final testing that demonstrates the operability and performance
required for Conventional Take-off and Landing (CTOL) and Carrier
Variant (CV) Initial Service Release (ISR). ISR is the U.S.
Government's recognition that the F135 engine is ready for
operational use and clears Pratt & Whitney to deliver and field
production F135 engines.
"I'm very proud of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine team and
the test team at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee
for their efforts in completing this critical milestone, not just
for the F135 engine but for the entire F-35 program," said Warren
Boley, Vice President of F135 Engine Programs at Pratt &
Whitney. "Their hard work has demonstrated the performance of the
F135 engine and puts us at the doorstep of achieving ISR."
The most recent testing, which included a total of 126 test
hours, evaluated the F135 engine's air start capability and
augmentor performance, as well as demonstrated and proved the
performance of critical systems such as in-flight throttle
response, inlet compatibility, engine ice protection and combustor
stability. The final test period was also a testament to the
reliability of the F135 engine and, at 38.7 hours, was the longest
continuous test period completed to date on the F135 program.
The F135 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program
surpassed 12,850 hours of engine test time, successfully completed
90 CTOL flights, and completed 125 hours of flight time. Missions
have included augmented takeoffs, supersonic flight, in-flight
cycling of weapons bay doors, air-to-air refueling, in-flight
engine restarts, and cross-country flights to and from Eglin and
Edwards Air Force bases.
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