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Pratt & Whitney/Rolls-Royce F135 STOVL Team Completes Successful Gearbox Test


EAST HARTFORD, Conn.,– Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce successfully completed the first phase and initiated phase two of the F135 short-takeoff/vertical-landing engine LiftFan® gearbox qualification test at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pratt & Whitney F135 powers the F-35 Lightning II advanced military aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

The high-technology gearbox is a critical component that allows the STOVL F-35 Lightning II to achieve the aircraft’s signature vertical-lift capability. The test includes a three-step process with the LiftFan® gearbox ultimately being operated 30 percent above maximum operational requirements. The test will be used to evaluate and validate the current lightweight gearbox design at the specification thrust rating for the life of the F135 propulsion system.

“Completion of this initial test is a significant step in the qualification of Pratt & Whitney’s F135 in a STOVL configuration,” said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 Program. “Our priorities are to deliver an engine that exceeds our customers’ expectations and to successfully hit every milestone in the F135 STOVL development program, culminating with the first flight of the STOVL F-35 Lightning II in 2008.”

The F135 engine has logged more than 7,400 system design and development ground test hours and continues to power the F-35 Lightning II’s flight test program.

Pratt & Whitney is the lead propulsion system supplier for the F-35 program. The technologically advanced F135 is an evolution of the highly successful F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor. Together the F135 and F119 will have logged more than 800,000 hours before the F-35’s introduction into operational service in 2012. Rated at more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, the F135 is the most powerful fighter engine ever built.

Pratt & Whitney military engines include the F100 that powers the F-16 and F-15, the F135 for the F-35 Lightning II; F119 for the F-22 Raptor; F117 for the C-17 Globemaster III; J52 for the EA-6B Prowler; TF33 powering AWACS, Joint STARS, B-52, and KC-135 aircraft; TF30 for the F-111; PT6 for T-6A and UH-1N aircraft; and JT15 for the T-1A trainer and Pegasus UCAV.


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