Pratt & Whitney Propulsion System Successfully Powers First Flight of X-47B Navy-Northrop Grumman Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration Program
EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Monday, February 7, 2011
Pratt & Whitney's F100-PW-220U engine and exhaust system have successfully powered the first flight of the Navy / Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) X-47B flight test aircraft for the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The successful flight took place at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Feb. 4 and lasted for approximately 29 minutes. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
"Powering the first flight of the X-47B is a momentous event which we are proud to celebrate with our teammates from Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy," said Jimmy Reed, director of Advanced Engine Programs for Pratt & Whitney. "This is a significant milestone for the UCAS-D flight test program, and initiates the flight evaluations of the unique capabilities of the X-47B."
Northrop Grumman awarded a contract to Pratt & Whitney in 2008 to develop and integrate the engine and exhaust system for the X-47B. The Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U engine, a derivative of the F100-PW-220 and -220E engine models that power the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon, enjoys the maturity gained from over 11 million hours of operational experience.
The F100-PW-220U engine is capable of providing up to 16,000 pounds of thrust and is intended for operation in a maritime environment, including carrier deck operations. The X-47B will demonstrate the capability of an autonomous, low-observable relevant aircraft to be integrated into carrier operations and perform the first-ever unmanned carrier launches and recoveries. Additional flight testing of the X-47B and certification for carrier operations will be conducted in preparation for at-sea carrier trials planned in 2013.
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 commercial building industries.
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