EAST HARTFORD, CONN., JULY 5, 2001 - Pratt & Whitney's JSF119 propulsion system confirmed its capability of meeting the diverse requirements of the Air Force, Navy and Marines in aircraft concepts from two different air
system contractors - a first in aviation history.
The engines performed flawlessly during initial STOVL (short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing) flight testing of both the Boeing and Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
aircraft last week.
"In delivering what they promised, Pratt & Whitney's engines have powered both Boeing and Lockheed Martin STOVL demonstrator aircraft to critical JSF accomplishments," said Dan Kunec, Propulsion Program Manager for the United
States government's Joint Strike Fighter Program office.
"Pratt simultaneously designed two unique STOVL propulsion systems and delivered unprecedented levels of thrust and reliability."
MGen Mike Hough, JSF Program Director for the United States Government, added, "The engine's flawless flight test record has been key to the recent success of both Boeing and Lockheed aircraft. The Pratt & Whitney team is to be commended for their outstanding efforts over the last five years and particularly for the results we've seen during the flight test program."
Both the Boeing and Lockheed Martin aircraft performed extremely well during STOVL flight testing, according to the companies. Contributing to this was the JSF119 engines' smooth response to throttle changes and requests from
the flight control systems on both aircraft. "The engines performed just as we expected," said Bob Cea, Vice President of JSF119 Programs, Pratt & Whitney. "The extensive engine ground test data allowed both Boeing and
Lockheed Martin to develop their highly integrated flight control systems that have demonstrated such outstanding results. It was only through the extraordinary teamwork between ourselves, the air system contractors and the
Joint Program Office that this could happen."
The Boeing JSF X-32B demonstrator executed vertical landings following transition from conventional to STOVL flight on June 27, and performed a number of hovers on June 24 during testing at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. The X-32B's propulsion system, Pratt & Whitney's JSF119-614, uses direct lift, or diversion of engine thrust to nozzles that can direct it downward for short takeoffs, hovers and landings.
"Special congratulations to Pratt & Whitney for their efforts in the development of such an outstanding propulsion system," said Frank Statkus, Boeing vice president and JSF general manager. "We've definitely put the engine through its paces during more than 50 flights to date in our X-32B aircraft and it has performed beautifully. The engine has been seamlessly integrated with our direct-lift system, and the pilots have nothing but
praise for its performance after completing our recent STOVL milestones."
On June 24, Lockheed Martin's X-35B demonstrator successfully performed a vertical takeoff, executed yaw, pitch and roll maneuvers, sustained a hover, and landed during testing at the company's Palmdale, California facility; the previous day, the aircraft took off and landed vertically. Pratt & Whitney's JSF119-611, powering the X-35B, features a drive shaft from the engine that
turns a counterrotating lift fan to produce cool-air lifting force during STOVL operations.
"Pratt & Whitney's role in the successful X-35 flight demonstration program cannot be overstated," said Tom Burbage, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Lockheed Martin JSF program. "The F119-611 engine is the heart of our augmented thrust concept and has performed flawlessly throughout the program. The best testimony to any engine is the test pilot's endorsement. Our pilots continue to rave about its unqualified success in all dimensions of our flight demonstration program. Our propulsion system team led by Pratt & Whitney and supported by Rolls Royce has been superb and is an integral part of our JSF success."
Pratt & Whitney's JSF119 engine was selected by both JSF weapons system contractors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to power their competing aircraft designs. The engine, a derivative of the F119 engine powering the F-22 Raptor, has powered more than 215 flights over all JSF candidate aircraft variants.