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P&W Engine OK for JSF First Flight: Pratt & Whitney officials say the company’s F135 Joint Strike Fighter engine has been cleared to power the F-35 Lightning II on its first flight. The F135 has achieved initial flight release from the F-35 joint program office after completing all tests and verification reports, according to an Oct. 23 company statement. The engine will power the F-35 conventional take-off and landing version. The F135 has amassed more than 6,000 hours in ground engine runs and completed full afterburner tests. Taxi tests are slated for later this fall.