WALLINGFORD, CONN. — Joint venture Dow-United Technologies Composite Products Inc. of Wallingford will fabricate tooling for a composite fan inlet case that may replace the titanium assembly on the F119 engine for the Air Force's F-22 next-generation fighter.
Recently, the Air Force and engine builder Pratt & Whitney settled on the development design, which uses Dow-UT's advanced resin transfer molding process.
The fan inlet case, a structural frame, supports the shaft bearing to the engine case, the company said.
The aircraft's first flight, scheduled in late May in Marietta, Ga., will include the existing titanium assembly, which weighs 15 pounds more and carries a higher price, than the composite case. As planned, the customer will evaluate the composite case for use on derivative versions of the F119 engine.
Polymer composites make up about 26 percent of the F-22's structural weight. The F-22 is nicknamed the Raptor.