Lockheed Martin today announced completing power-on for the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, a major step in the march to first flight of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter scheduled in early June.
The ground tests for the F135, which powers the F-35B, were completed on 18 April by BAE Systems test pilot Graham Tomlinson, who will pilot the aircraft on its maiden flight.?xml:namespace>
During the first comprehensive systems checkout for the engine integrated with the airframe, the F135 was powered for nearly an hour at various power settings. The team also opened and closed the doors for the shaft-driven lift fan.