Just Three Things

The Marine Corps needs Pratt & Whitney to fix just three “minor” issues on the F135-PW-600 engine that powers the F-35B STOVL aircraft, according to Warren Boley, the company’s military engines president. Boley said in an interview the first fix is to lengthen the shaft that connects the engine with the aircraft’s vertically mounted lift fan. The existing shaft tends to expand during operations more than expected due to heat. The fix is to lengthen the shaft slightly; on existing aircraft, engineers will add a shim for this purpose. The second fix is to wrap insulation around each of the wingtip “roll posts;” the vents where exhaust comes out to steady a vertical takeoff or landing. Lastly, a clutch plate on the shaft is warming more than expected—about 220 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the predicted 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Boley thinks the fix will simply be to adjust the specification, since the additional warming doesn’t affect anything in the engine.