Still Set on Sole Engine Provider for F-35

Despite a fresh engine mishap reported during ground testing last week of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, program officials with Lockheed Martin and the Air Force insisted that the incident would have little impact on plans to accelerate development and testing for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. “Based on where we are now, I don’t see this delaying flight testing,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. C.D. Moore, deputy F-35 program executive officer, when questioned by reporters at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Monday. During a stressful ground testing certification run last Friday, technicians noticed sparks coming out of the jet exhaust pipe, spurring an examination of the engine. Several of the engine fan blades were damaged, but no serious damage was reported on the turbine. Continue