Full Blast from F-35

The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine powering the F-35 Lightning II ran up in full-afterburner mode—all 40,000 pounds of thrust—on Sept. 18 during the end of the first series of engine runs at the Lockheed Martin production facility in Fort Worth, Tex. P&W officials say the F135’s 40,000-pound thrust is “the most ever from a jet-fighter engine.” The engine has been through thousands of hours on test stands, but officials said this was the first series of tests on the aircraft and puts the program on the “final stretch leading to first flight” later this year.