Boeing recently installed the propulsion system for its short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrator aircraft in less than four hours, the second time in three months the team installed a JSF propulsion system quickly and without incident.
Each of the Boeing X-32B and X-32A demonstrators now carry their flight-rated propulsion systems. Pratt & Whitney engines power both aircraft, which will make their first flights this year. Rolls-Royce makes the vertical lift and attitude-control system components necessary for the X-32B to perform STOVL operations.
In April the engine for the X-32A, which will demonstrate conventional and aircraft-carrier-approach flight characteristics, was installed in four hours.
"The STOVL system installation is a tribute to our team and validates our belief that a straightforward design is best," said Boeing JSF Propulsion Director Steve Kyle. "Customers will be able to remove or install the engine of an operational Boeing JSF as easily as we did."
The Boeing STOVL system is based on combat-proven direct-lift technology. During testing the system transitioned between conventional and STOVL modes in as little as one second. The typical transition was three seconds. Many of the 190 transitions during testing occurred with Pratt & Whitney's JSF119-614 engine at full power.
Boeing is competing to build the JSF, with a winner to be selected during 2001.
Note to Editors: A photograph of the installation of the engine into the Boeing X-32B is available overnight or digitally by calling 206-655-1198.