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Honeywell Demonstrates 80kW Cooling Capability of F-35 PTMS

Honeywell Aerospace Technologies has used a digital twin of the F-35’s Power and Thermal Management (PTMS) to successfully prove that strategic enhancements can increase cooling capability from 32kW to 80kW to support future generations of aircraft without invasive redesigns By Sarah Simpson / 13 Mar 2024
Honeywell Cooling Technology Will Enable Next Generation of F-35
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Honeywell Aerospace Technologies has successfully demonstrated the ability to upgrade the current cooling capacity of the F-35’s Power and Thermal Management System (PTMS) to 80kW.

Honeywell has supplied the F-35 program with proven, low-risk and reliable PTMS for the past two decades and will now be best-positioned to support future mission systems’ modernization requirements.

With this significantly enhanced cooling capability, Honeywell now far exceeds the current 32kW cooling needs of the U.S. military and its allied partners.

Although Honeywell’s PTMS meets the current airframe requirement in service for the F-35, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO) indicated in 2023 that more cooling power would be needed in the F-35 to support advanced avionics in future generations of aircraft.

Honeywell has now proved it can offer a low-risk and affordable solution that meets the JPO’s future needs all while utilizing the existing supply base and sustainment network.

To demonstrate the 80kW cooling capability, Honeywell used a Digital Twin of the PTMS, which utilized data from over 2,500 hours of performance testing in Honeywell’s test facility, and more than 750,000 hours of in-flight experience.

The Digital Twin incorporated low-risk advancements to heat exchangers and controls changes that further optimize system performance. These modest changes significantly increased cooling potential, while simultaneously maintaining all existing critical interfaces with airplane thermal systems without invasive redesigns or concurrency.

“Today, we have successfully demonstrated that we not only meet the F-35’s current operational needs, but we are ready to service future F-35 modernization upgrades without the need for expensive changes to the aircraft for either forward-fit or retrofit scenarios,” said Matt Milas, president, Defense and Space, Honeywell Aerospace Technologies.

“By enabling F-35s to update cooling capacity within our existing PTMS architecture, we can now eliminate the risks that would otherwise come from qualifying and fielding a new system that would cost taxpayers billions of dollars without any additional benefit.”

Honeywell’s PTMS is a proven, low-risk solution that has undergone years of development and decades in service. Since 2006, more than 1,000 PTMS have been delivered, with more than 750,000 flight hours logged and an extensive network of sustainment depots established across the globe. In addition to providing cooling systems aboard the F-35, PTMS also serves many other purposes critical to flight safety.

“Honeywell’s PTMS is key to many aircraft systems integrated into the F-35, and any changes to the PTMS would affect other critical components of the aircraft,” said Matt Schacht, vice president, Engineering, Honeywell Aerospace Technologies.

“We believe the lowest risk path forward for the F-35 is to maintain the existing architecture of the PTMS to preserve its many critical functions, while increasing cooling capacity for future generations of the aircraft.”

Find out more about Honeywell’s symphony of systems for the F-35 on the DA featured channel >>

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