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Fri, Jun 25, 2010

First Flight For The Navy Version Of The JSF Goes Without A Hitch

First F135 Production Engine Also Installed In First Production Lightning II

The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter recently flew for the first time, marking another milestone in the program. It was powered by a production-lot engine produced by Pratt & Whitney.

The engine maker also reports the installation of the first production F135 engine into a production F-35 aircraft. "It has been a tremendous year for the F135 engine as it continues its steady progress through conclusion of development testing and validation, and into full production and sustainment," said Bennett Croswell, Vice President of F135 and F119 Engine Programs.

The first F-35C flight, which lasted 57 minutes, was flown by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Jeff Knowles and powered by an Initial Service Release (ISR) / production configured F135 engine. The Pratt & Whitney F135 Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) / Carrier Variant (CV) engine received ISR certification from the U.S. Governments in February indicating that the engine, with more than 17,600 test hours, has met all the ISR requirements for safety, reliability, durability and performance, and that it is now cleared for use in the field.

"The fact that this first F-35C flight was powered by a Pratt & Whitney ISR F135 engine is a clear demonstration that this engine is ready for use by our servicemen and women today," Croswell said.

Another recent F135 milestone achieved was installation of the first production configuration F135 propulsion system into a production F-35 aircraft.

"This is an achievement we celebrate with our teammates at the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin," said Warren Boley, President of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. "Every day, with every milestone, the F135 propulsion system continues to demonstrate an unprecedented level of performance, maturity and dependability, and this achievement puts us one step closer to placing this game-changing aircraft into the hands of the U.S. military as well as those of our international partners."

FMI: www.pw.utc.com, www.lockheedmartin.com

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