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F135 Successfully Completes First Supersonic Flight

The F135 engine powered the F-35 Lightning II to supersonic speed.
by Staff Writers
East Hartford CT (SPX) Dec 02, 2008
Pratt and Whitney's F135 engine successfully completed its first supersonic flight, reaching a top speed of Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour. The first supersonic flight is a significant program milestone demonstrating the capability and performance of the F135 engine. Pratt and Whitney is a United Technologies company.

The F135 engine powered the F-35 Lightning II to supersonic speed while loaded with a full internal complement of inert weapons to simulate the engine's supersonic capability while the aircraft was in a fully armed, stealth configuration.

"We are extremely pleased with the results of the successful first F135 supersonic flight," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt and Whitney F135 Engine Programs. "The engine performed exactly as expected, demonstrating the F135's fifth generation propulsion technology."

During the test sequence, the F-35 completed four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. Testing will continue with the eventual goal of reaching Mach 1.6 with a full weapons load.

This is one of many successes the F135 program has had this year, including powering the first STOVL aircraft flight in June, successfully completing of over 10,000 test hours, and completing assembly of 10 flight test engines.

"The F135 is the only fifth generation engine powering the F-35 Lightning II flight test program," Gostic said. "With every successful test and with every milestone achieved, the F135 continues to prove its unmatched performance and capability to exceed our customers' expectations."

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Some 100 countries to sign cluster bomb ban in Oslo
Oslo (AFP) Dec 1, 2008
Some 100 countries will ban the use of cluster bombs with the signing of a treaty Wednesday in Oslo but major producers such as China, Russia and the United States are shunning the pact.







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