| ROCKFORD, June 5 — A Rockford-based manufacturer, Clinkenbeard, has recently expanded operations to include a Mechanical Prototypes division. The company specializes in the rapid production of complex metal castings and machined parts.
The first project for the new division was to create a full scale F135 Engine mockup for training purposes at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The engine is used as a hands-on instructional tool for maintenance training.
“Creating a full size mockup is much more cost effective for the customer than producing an entire engine solely for training purposes,” explained Matt Gustafson, Director of Innovation. In addition, the mockup engine “allows mechanics to simulate actual maintenance tasks and manipulate the modular components of the engine.”
For final testing of the engine, Clinkenbeard hosted representatives from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, the F-38 Joint Program Office, and Pratt and Whitney, the engine manufacturer.