Pratt & Whitney F135 Engine

F135 Background

Advanced Support and Maintainability

The F135 features advanced prognostic and on-condition management systems that provide maintenance awareness, autonomic logistic support, and automated field data and test systems. Propulsion system support and maintainability are further enhanced by the F135's maintenance-focused design. The F135 has approximately 40 percent fewer parts than legacy propulsion systems, which also contributes to its improved reliability. All line-replaceable components (LRCs) can be removed and replaced with a set of six common hand tools. And, the F135 has a 50 percent lower support infrastructure compared to current engines.

Powering the F-35 Lightning II Flight Test Program

In March 2005, the Pratt & Whitney F135 SDD program successfully passed a post test Critical Design Review lead by the U.S. Government. The review found that the F135 propulsion system met all review objectives and was on track for on schedule delivery of the first flight test engine.

In December 2005, Pratt & Whitney completed assembling the first F135 flight test engine at the company's Engine Center in Middletown, Conn., and delivered the engine to Lockheed Martin. The F135 program achieved Initial Flight Release in October 2006. The F135 effortlessly powered the F-35 Lightning II's successful CTOL first flight on December 15, 2006, and the F-35B STOVL first flight on June 11, 2008.

The F135 program has successfully transitioned from system development and demonstration to full production. This includes delivering the final F135 test engine to the U.S. Air Force; delivering the first four production F135 engines; achieving the first STOVL vertical landing; and receiving the government’s endorsement for operational flight.

Unprecedented Cooperation

The F-35 Lightning II program represents the first time the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines have successfully fielded a tri-service strike fighter. The program also includes participation from eight F-35 partner nations: United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. There are currently more than 40 companies from all eight partner nations fully engaged in Pratt & Whitney's F135 engine program.

As planned, the F-35 Lightning II will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, AV-8B Harrier and the F/A-18 Hornet. More than 2,500 aircraft could be produced over the life of the program. Program of record shows 3,173 aircraft.

Previous Page