From Aviationweek.com 2005 November
Pratt & Whitney is weeks away from completing the first flight-test engine for the U.S. Defense Department's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, according to a company spokesman.
Work on the major pieces of the F135 engine is "well under way," and Pratt & Whitney expects to finish assembly near the end of November, company spokesman Matthew Perra told The DAILY in a recent e-mailed response to questions. Pratt & Whitney began building the system in August in Middletown, Conn. (DAILY, Aug. 24).
Once completed, the engine will undergo about two weeks of ground tests before being delivered to JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin in December. The engine will be installed in A-1, the first flight-test jet, in February at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant.
The engine will begin ground tests in A-1 in March. The jet will taxi for the first time with F135 power in July, and the F135 will power JSF's first flight in August.
While building the first engine, Pratt & Whitney is performing a "first configuration check, bringing in the manufacturing team and the quality team to review the entire assembly process to ensure it is the best it can be," Perra said.
Pratt & Whitney plans to begin assembling the second flight-test engine in mid-November. The company is slated to build a total of 21 flight-test engines to support 15 aircraft.
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