Pratt & Whitney has delivered the last production engine for the stealth fighter, and is shifting its attention to support continuing development of component improvements.
Handed over on Jan. 17, the 507th F119 was the last of 39 spare engines ordered by the U.S. Air Force following the decision to terminate production of the F-22 after 187 aircraft. The final F-22 was delivered in May 2012.
“The F119 was the first afterburning, low-observable engine, the first with supercruise and the first production engine with thrust vectoring,” says Bennet Croswell, president of military engines at Pratt & Whitney.
Production tooling unique to the F119 will be stored, as it has been for the F-22, under a shutdown plan coordinated with the Air Force, he says. Pratt’s involvement now will focus on supporting depot maintenance of the engine at Tinker AFB, Okla.
Depot overhaul of the first engine to reach its full hot-section life of 4,300 cycles—equivalent to 8-10 years in service—has been completed at Tinker. Four more will be moved to Tinker this year as overhauls ramp up.
“We have pacer engines that fly more and are ahead of the rest of the fleet,” Croswell says. “The first engine looked great.” Pratt is now looking at the opportunity to extend the life of some parts.
Previously, Pratt extended the overhaul interval on its F100 engine 50% by increasing the life limits on some parts and redesigning others to make them last longer. A similar process is expected on the F119, Croswell says.
An ongoing component improvement program is expected to yield life and performance enhancements for the F119. A similar program is getting underway at Pratt for theengine in the Joint Strike Fighter.
Production of the F135, which takes its core from the F119, is ramping up. Pratt had delivered 87 F135s through Jan. 7. “We are delivering to contract and delivered 48 in 2012 (versus 45 F119s at full-rate production) after doubling production capacity in 2011,” says Tyler Evans, F135 program director.