MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Pratt & Whitney is scheduled to deliver its final production F117 engine for the U.S. Air Force to support its C-17 Globemaster III fleet later in January.
The engine entered service in 1993. Pratt & Whitney Military Engines President Bennett Croswell calls the upcoming event a bittersweet occasion as the program comes to a close.
"The F117 production engine program might be ending, but we look forward to working with our customers around the world to sustain their engines and to keep the C-17 fleet flying for decades to come," Crowswell said in a statement.
Four F117 engines are installed to power the Boeing-made C-17 aircraft, allowing the plane to fly 2,400 nautical miles without refueling. Each engine generates 40,440 pounds of thrust, enabling the aircraft's 164,900-pound payload capacity.
The Globemaster cargo aircraft is designed to be used for the rapid transit and delivery of troops, cargo and supporting equipment to operating bases or to forward bases. The planes can also be used for tactical airlift and airdrop missions.
"The U.S. Air Force relies on the C-17 to enable our global mobility mission," U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection director Brig. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins said. "The fact is, the workhorse C-17 and its F117 powerplant ensure we are able to project power around the globe during times of conflict, or to deliver aid and comfort in times of crisis."
A ceremony commemorating the program and the delivery of over 1,300 production engines will be held later on Tuesday at Pratt & Whitney's engine center in Middletown, Conn.