Hush house hosts F135 firing for JSF

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The first F135 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter recently completed successful test runs at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The trials took place at an indoor engine test facility that was modified to handle the 40,000lb of thrust produced by the F135. The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (JRB) at Carswell is adjacent to Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth manufacturing facility where the F-35 JSF is being assembled and validated.

The JRB's aircraft engine ground-test facility — dubbed the Hush House — was built in 2001 for F-18 engine tests.

Pratt & Whitney worked with the JRB to modify the facility's test equipment and sound-damping structures to support the high thrust produced by the F135 engine. To validate the facility's ability to host F135 engine tests, the first test engine was run to maximum thrust and full afterburner.

The F135 is an evolution of the F119 engine for the F-22 Raptor. Together the F135 and F119 will have logged approximately one million flight hours before the F-35's introduction into operational service in 2012.

In December 2005, Pratt & Whitney delivered the first flight test F135 engine to Lockheed Martin. The engine has been installed and is ready to power the F-35's first flight in the autumn.

The F135 propulsion system team consists of Pratt & Whitney; Rolls-Royce, which is providing lift components for the STOVL F-35B; and Hamilton Sundstrand.