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Pratt & Whitney’s F135 Successfully Completes First Supersonic Flight


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine successfully completed its first supersonic flight, reaching a top speed of Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour. The first supersonic flight is a significant program milestone demonstrating the capability and performance of the F135 engine. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

The F135 engine powered the F-35 Lightning II to supersonic speed while loaded with a full internal complement of inert weapons to simulate the engine’s supersonic capability while the aircraft was in a fully armed, stealth configuration.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of the successful first F135 supersonic flight,” said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 Engine Programs. “The engine performed exactly as expected, demonstrating the F135’s fifth generation propulsion technology.”

During the test sequence, the F-35 completed four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. Testing will continue with the eventual goal of reaching Mach 1.6 with a full weapons load.

This is one of many successes the F135 program has had this year, including powering the first STOVL aircraft flight in June, successfully completing of over 10,000 test hours, and completing assembly of 10 flight test engines.

“The F135 is the only fifth generation engine powering the F-35 Lightning II flight test program,” Gostic said. “With every successful test and with every milestone achieved, the F135 continues to prove its unmatched performance and capability to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

The F135 propulsion system is the power of choice for the F-35 and has proven it can meet diverse aircraft requirements. The ground and flight test experience demonstrates the maturity and the associated reliability of the F135 engine for armed forces around the world.


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