Machine Design

First Flight of the F135 Lightning II

Pratt & Whitney's F135 engine program just finished 6,000 hours of System Development and Demonstration (SDD) ground testing and is on schedule to support the first flight of the F-35 Lightning II this fall.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor

The F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine military strike fighter, a multi-role aircraft that can perform close air support, tactical bombing, and air-to-air combat. It completed its first series of F135 engine runs culminating in a full after-burner test with 40,000 lbs. of thrust. The engine is an evolution of the F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor. In addition to Pratt & Whitney, the F135 propulsion system team consists of Rolls-Royce, in charge of providing lift components for the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B variant; and Hamilton Sundstrand, provider of the F135's control system, external accessories, and gearbox. Taxi testing is on schedule to begin this fall.

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