Blumenthal visits F-35 engine parts maker in Bristol

Blumenthal visits F-35 engine parts maker in Bristol

(The Bristol Press, 2/24/17)

BRISTOL — To show his support for the F-35 stealth fighter, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal paid a visit Friday to Colonial Spring Co., which manufactures parts for the Pratt & Whitney engines that power the aircraft.

Colonial Spring President William Lathrop showed Blumenthal some examples of the precision parts made at the company’s 35,000-square-foot facility on Valley Street, such as a deceptively simple-looking round wire. The wire is, in fact, a “very sophisticated, very expensive” high-temperature, nickel-alloy damper ring made to precise specifications developed during more than three months of work with Pratt Engineering, Lathrop said.

The part earned Colonial Spring an award from Pratt for earning Initial Operational Capability certification from the Marine Corps, he said. “Marine jets usually reside on aircraft carriers, so if you have a bad engine and you need to helicopter another engine out, you have to drop it on the deck of the ship. One of the requirements you have to be able to drop that engine from 18 inches and it has to survive intact.”

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