Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system successfully tested
The F-35B Lightning II has completed a three-week sea trial conducted aboard the USS Wasp, flying under the power of Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system. According to a Pratt & Whitney company statement issued 9 November 2011, the trial saw two STOVL variants conducted 72 short takeoffs and vertical landings, for a total of 260 vertical landings in the programme.
The Test and Evaluation team for the F-35 called the trial a success, with all flights conducted on schedule and demonstrating that the F-35B and F135 propulsion system are ‘meeting programme goals’.
According to the company, the Pratt & Whitney F135 powers the F-35 Lightning II and the engine is in production. Pratt & Whitney has delivered all 18 F135 flight test engines required for the program as well as 32 production engines. The F135 propulsion system has powered more than 1,400 flight tests, 2,150 flight hours and more than 260 vertical landings. The F-35B conducted its first-ever vertical landing on deck in October.
Vice Admiral David Venlet, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said of the testing, ‘Every time an aircraft is first tested at sea we learn a great deal and the data collected from this event will inform us about the further development work necessary to successfully integrate the F-35B on large-deck amphibious ships. By all accounts, we're off to a great start.’
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