This week will see the last flight clearance review for Pratt & Whitney’s F135 short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) variant engine for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The review is expected to clear the engine for flight-testing in the conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL)-mode only. The first flight of the leading F-35B STOVL aircraft, known as BF-1, is scheduled to take place “as planned” on May 23, despite earlier problems with fracturing turbine blades on the F135 ...

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