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GE-Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team launches path to flight test

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has launched its flight clearance certification review, a process that will prepare the F136 engine for flight testing over the next several months.

Following flight certification, the first F136-powered F-35 Lightning II will take to the air in early 2011, in alignment with Lockheed Martin's ongoing flight test schedule for the Joint Strike Fighter program.

The flight clearance certification reviews will include representatives from the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Government Joint Program Office, the U.S. Air Force and Navy. The review team will evaluate all pre-flight and performance parameters that will lead the F136 engine to be cleared for flight testing. The review team has already conducted two days of detailed technical reviews, which included representatives from Edwards Air Force Base and Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

"This early look at our flight clearance process and program will enable the Fighter Engine Team to develop the best solutions to complex flight clearance issues, thus ensuring a safe and timely flight release for the F136 engine. We have flight clearance in our sight and will be powering the F-35 in the air very soon, as part of the rapidly developing F-35 program," said Jean Lydon-Rodgers, President of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.

"Flight certification will be a challenging process but the F136 team will deliver on its commitments to Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office as we have demonstrated on all of our major milestones to this point. We have a solid record of on-time, on-budget results and every day we are focused on maintaining that level of performance for our customers," said Mark Rhodes, Senior Vice President for the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team is currently in the fifth year of its System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract with the Joint Program Office. The first SDD F136 engine, in production-configuration, began testing in January 2009, a month ahead of contract schedule, and has continued testing at GE's test facility in Evendale, Ohio.

Two other F136 engines are currently in assembly and will be testing within a few months. The Fighter Engine Team has already received 70 percent of the total funding through its SDD contract, and has been progressing on schedule and within budget. The remaining efforts in SDD will lead to the successful completion of the F136 development program and to production engine deliveries in 2012.

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on May 27, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
Rolls-Royce Corporation Turbofan Engines, Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Engine Nozzles
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airframer
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines


 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II


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