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Bennett Croswell Speaks at F119 Final Engine Ceremony

Bennett Croswell Speaks at F119 Final Engine Ceremony

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pratt & Whitney Military Engines today delivered the 507th and last production F119 engine to the U.S. Air Force for its F-22 Raptor fleet. The F119 Final Engine Delivery ceremony at the Middletown, Conn., Engine Center was held with representatives from the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Boeing in attendance.

Bennett Croswell, president, Military Engines, spoke at the event. The prepared text of his remarks appears here.

Remarks, as prepared for delivery:

And many thanks to our customers and team members for joining us today to celebrate the final production delivery of the F119 engine. I share Mike's thoughts. For those of us who have been associated with the F119 program, this is a bittersweet day! But I do believe that this special occasion provides us the chance to share memories of this extraordinary program. The video we just saw only gives a glimpse of some the many people behind the F119 engine, but very well done!

Our team here at Pratt & Whitney has so much passion for the F119 program and for the engine itself. I remember a video Lockheed made a few years ago that featured our own Erica Leonard. She said there were two things she like talking about, the F119 and her kids! Now I don't know what Tim, her husband, thinks about that, but it just shows the passion our folks have for the program.

And for me, the engines of Military Engines are like my children. I'm not allowed to have a favorite. But I can't help but have a very special place in my heart for the F119

The F119 was the first fielded engine program that I had the privilege to lead. So the program gave me a great learning experience. And I believe everyone who worked and continues to work on this great program has a similar type of feeling.

Now when I think about the F119 program, I can't help but go back to the competition we won to power the F-22

As you saw in the video, this was no easy fight. It was a knock-down, drag-out competition – the likes of which we may never see again. There were two competing airplanes that each flew with two competing engines. The events at flight test were watched so closely and we looked for any indication how we were doing relative to the other guy. And that day when we gather under the tent and found out we had won, we all felt such fulfillment and sincere sense of pride.

But winning the competition was just the first phase of the program. We then entered into the engineering, manufacturing, and development period, and our Military Engines team, then located in sunny Florida, rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

Now for some time now, the F119 has been working very well. But in those early days of the EMD program, that wasn't always the case. There were days when we didn't have a HPT that worked. We had aerostructural problems with the fan. And there were other challenges. But thanks to great leadership from folks like Frank and Tom who are here with us today and others like Walt Bylciw and Bob Cea who you saw in the video, those issues were solved.

This program is a testament to the people on the team that we overcame the challenges, and you can see the magnificent machine today, and all that it has accomplished. This is a testament to the people who designed and developed it.

When our Military Engines business moved to Connecticut in the 2000/2001 timeframe, the engine was essentially qualified, but we were still in the middle of the flight test program and the aircraft was going through some development issues of its own. It was critical for the entire program and there were a lot of antibodies out there trying to kill the F-22. Because of that, it was especially important that the F119 engine was working well at that time.

I recall MGen Rick Lewis, who was then the PEO of the program saying to me that if there were problems with the engine, then the overall program might not have survived. So it was extremely important that the engine was working well, and it is no secret that the engine did work well. It has been and really is a success story in the history of aviation.

For our employees here today, this engine is a reality because of your innovative thinking, your dedication, your tremendous skill, and your hard work.

Looking at the results – the data doesn't lie. The F119 powering the F-22 Raptor is the safest fighter introduction by the United States Air Force, to date.

The engine provides a revolutionary capability that had never been achieved, and which today is unmatched.

As well all know, it's the first operational fifth generation engine in the world. Four attributes make the F-22 the great fighter that it is, Stealth, Supercruise, Low Observables and integrated avionics.

Now P&W won't take credit for the avionics, but certainly the F119 contributes directly to the other three capabilities.

We've all heard pilots' feedback about the power of this engine and aircraft, but there is equal admiration by the maintainers. Its design is both elegant and functional, making it much easier for maintainers to do their jobs on the flightline, in the I-level shop or at the depot.

And the great accomplishments in the program have laid a strong foundation for the propulsion system powering the F-35 today. While the F119 was the first operational fifth gen engine, it paved the way for the only other fifth generation engine, the F135, which is now powering F-35 operations at Eglin AFB, and with the Marines at Yuma.

The video you just saw is a glimpse into the history we've made with F119 engine and the likes of this program will never be duplicated.

Then and now, we are honored to have built this engine and we are very proud to power the F-22.

Today is not only about celebrating our accomplishments. This event is also about looking at what makes this engine special.

Not only is the F119 a magnificent engine technologically, but it's also special because of our relationship with our customers and our partners. We've worked closely with the Air Force/SPO and we've had such a good relationships with Lockheed Martin and Boeing and we really worked this as a team.

Although we are hosting this bittersweet occasion here today to celebrate 12 years of successful deliveries of the F119 production engine, our journey on the program is not over.

We are looking forward to the next phase and a 30-40 year sustainment period in partnership with the Air Force to keep the F-22 fleet flying.

This is greatest fighter aircraft the world has ever seen. Whenever I talk to our customers or read reports about the aircraft and its squadrons deploying around the globe, I am reminded of the awesome power of the F-22 in maintaining air dominance for the United States.

So on behalf of myself and all of the Pratt & Whitney team, I would like to thank you all for everything you have done to make this program what it is.

Thank you all again for coming today.

Related Information:

Video: F119 Retrospective [10:01]

Press Release: Pratt & Whitney Delivers Final Production F119 Engine to the U.S. Air Force

Product Information: F119 Engine