Assembly of Lockheed Martin’s first development F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is nearing completion, with the conventional take-off and landing variant’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine (bottom of picture) set for installation at Lockheed’s Fort Worth final assembly line in Texas in mid-January.

F 35 Assembly

The first F-35A test aircraft was craned into position for the engine integration work at the facility on 8 January.

P&W on 5 December completed assembly work on the first 40,000lb (178kN)-rated F135 engine to be used in system development and demonstration phase (SDD) flight testing of the JSF aircraft from the third quarter of this year.

Lockheed Martin cut the first part for the first F-35 on 10 November 2003. The SDD phase of the programme began in October 2001.



Source: Flight International