The testing process has begun on F135 engines that power the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. As part of the process, which has been ongoing since June 2019, significant improvements will be made to the engine.
According to the statement made by Pratt & Whitney, the process was carried out in the Arnold Engineering Development Center of the US Air Force. Within the scope of the studies, a new fan rotor was added to the F135 engines to increase efficiency and a trial phase was started in the sea level test cell. As part of the Accelerated Mission Testing (AMT) phase, the limits of the engine will be pushed, and potential problems on the battlefield will be simulated. After the tests that provide the environment conditions closest to the real flight, the engine will be removed from the testbed and detailed examination will be held. The trial activities carried out with the financing of the F-35 Joint Program Office will continue throughout 2020. After the necessary data are provided, the USA will determine its final decision on the improvements to the engines.