Pratt & Whitney F135 Propulsion System Powers Historic First Vertical Landing of F-35 Lightning II
Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system, using the Rolls-Royce LiftFan® and lift system successfully powered the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) through its first vertical landing. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
"Years of dedicated hard work by the men and women of Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, and the F-35 Joint Program Office, along with our sister company, Hamilton Sundstrand, have gone into successful completion of this historic milestone," said Warren Boley, vice president of F135 Engine Programs.
F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.
Tomlinson said that the vertical landing onto a 95-foot square pad, "showed that we have the thrust and the control to maneuver accurately both in free air and in the descent through ground effect."
"We have been working steadily towards this goal of a first vertical landing which advances the program one step further towards delivery to our U.S. service members as well as our partner countries. After more than eight years of development and test and more than 13,000 hours of combined ground and flight testing, successful completion of this historic first vertical landing validates the performance and capability of the Pratt & Whitney F135 propulsion system," Boley said.
The F135 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program surpassed 13,000 hours of engine test time and has successfully completed more than 200 hours of flight time. Missions have included augmented takeoffs, supersonic flight, in-flight cycling of the weapons bay doors, air-to-air refueling, in-flight engine restarts, and cross-country flights to and from Eglin and Edwards Air Force Bases and Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The F135 CTOL/CV variant has also received Service Release.
Pratt & Whitney has designed, developed and tested the F135 to deliver the most advanced fifth generation fighter engine for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as eight international partner countries. The F135 is derived from proven technology of the only operational fifth generation fighter engine, the Pratt & Whitney F119 powering the F-22. It has been further enhanced with technologies developed in several Air Force and Navy technology programs.
The F135 is the only engine powering the F-35 Lightning II flight test program. The F135 propulsion system has proven it can meet diverse aircraft requirements, and the ground and flight test experience demonstrates the maturity and the associated reliability of the F135 for armed forces around the world.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in funding related to the F-35 aircraft and F135 engines, changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corp.'s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.