Lockheed Martin JSF engine completes testing required for flight certificationhttp://defence-data.com/storypic/lgf119.jpg [not image]
21 April 2000
The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) propulsion team has completed all engine testing associated with the development and flight qualification of the JSF119-611 engine for two JSF concept demonstrator aircraft, the X-35A and X-35C.
The remaining tasks for the engine flight certification are engine tear down, inspection and data reviews. Flight certification is expected in May.
"Engine qualification has historically been the pacing item for first flight in new aircraft demonstration programs," said Frank J. Cappuccio, vice president and program manager for the Lockheed Martin JSF. "Pratt & Whitney and the rest of the propulsion team have done a superb job in getting the engine ready ahead of our need date."
The team completed the final segment of testing, the high-cycle fatigue testing and accelerated mission testing (AMT), at sea-level conditions on a Pratt & Whitney test stand in West Palm Beach, Fla. These tests were conducted for the X-35A CTOL (conventional takeoff and landing variant) and X-35C CV (aircraft carrier variant) engine configurations.
The AMT engine was subjected to more than double the operating time/events expected during the X-35A/C flight demonstration program in terms of total engine operating time, total hot section time, total augmentor (afterburner) time and number of augmentor lights. The statistics are: 193 hours of operating time, 460 total accumulated cycles, 17 hours of augmentor time and 680 augmentor lights from various power settings.
During the AMT, engine operation expected during subsonic and supersonic flight testing, ground testing, and field carrier landing practice was continually cycled, representing more than 177 missions. At all times, the test team imposed bleed air and horsepower extractions representative of X-35 requirements.
"The JSF119-611 engine continues to perform magnificently," said Fran C. Ketter, team leader of the Lockheed Martin JSF propulsion team lead. "Performance calibrations before and after AMT confirm that the engine exceeded thrust performance specification levels."
Following receipt of the CTOL/CV engine flight clearance, Pratt & Whitney will rebuild the AMT engine in the STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing) configuration. A STOVL AMT engine test program will then be performed to certify it for flight in the X-35B STOVL concept demonstrator.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received one of two JSF Concept Demonstration contracts awarded by the Department of Defense in November 1996. The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Flight evaluation of the demonstrator aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2000, with government selection of a single contractor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase set for 2001.