Pratt & Whitney’s F100-PW-220U engine and exhaust system have successfully powered the first flight of the second Northrop Grumman X-47B flight test aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
The flight of the tailless, autonomous aircraft known as Air Vehicle 2 (AV-2) took place at Edwards Air Force Base on Nov. 22 and lasted for about 30 minutes.
“The successful flight of the second UCAS aircraft is a testament to a strong partnership between Pratt & Whitney and our teammates from Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy,” said Jimmy Reed, director of Advanced Engine Programs for Pratt & Whitney. “We have worked diligently to get ready for these tests and Pratt & Whitney’s propulsion system performed well, allowing the aircraft to complete all planned activity during the flight.”
Northrop Grumman awarded a contract to Pratt & Whitney in 2008 to develop and integrate the engine and exhaust system for the X-47B. The Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U engine, a derivative of the F100-PW-220 and -220E engine models that power the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon, enjoys the maturity gained from more than 12 million hours of operational experience. The engine and unique exhaust system have successfully completed ground accelerated mission testing. The accelerated mission test simulated the planned usage of the propulsion system during the X-47B flight test program. This endurance test demonstrated the durability and performance of the F100-PW-220U unique engine hardware and the exhaust system.
The F100-PW-220U engine is capable of providing up to 16,000 pounds of thrust and is intended for operation in a maritime environment, including carrier deck operations. The successful addition of AV-2 to the demonstration program provides a critical inflection point for the UCAS-D flight test program. The availability of two flight test aircraft is important for helping the program maintain a satisfactory flight test rhythm as it begins transitioning both aircraft to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for shore-based carrier suitability testing in early 2012. Carrier demonstrations for the unmanned combat air system are scheduled in 2013.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in the companies’ Securities and Exchange Commission filings.