Today's release that the F135 has hit over 12,000 test hours and 133 successful flights marks another major milestone for our engine. We are nearing the completion of the testing phase, instilling even more confidence in an engine derived from the F-22 fighter engine with more than 100,000 flight hours and an unprecedented safety record.
The alternate engine team, recently called "embattled" by Aviation Week, which noted "indications of growing slippages in the alternate engine schedule," has reported fewer than 50 hours of testing.
The F135 is the only engine powering the F-35 flight test program, and the gap between the readiness of the F135 and the F136 continues to grow. "The F136 team acknowledged at the recent Paris air show that the date for the first flight-test engine has slid to early 2011 from 2010..." according to the same story in Aviation Week.
As Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said, when discussing the F135 during last week's Senate debate , "We've been at this for years now and it is a success."