Welcome to the deck of one of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, due in service by the end of the decade. Well, not quite the real carrier, which is under construction at Rosyth. This is BAE Systems' simulator at Warton, the only one in the world where the F-35 aircraft meets the future pride of the 2020 Royal Navy.
But this is not about training pilots, nor honing the skills of the personnel whose deck-based task is to guide the aircraft in safely.
This is about designing the flight deck, making sure its massive array of coloured lights and lenses, deck markings and arrestor gear make for the safest environment for recovering the aircraft.
Tests are at an advanced stage using US Navy F-18 pilots, hugely experienced in taking off from and landing on carriers.
This is something new for the UK. Our carriers, remember, have operated the short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) Harriers for more than a generation. Skills in landings are, shall we say, a little rusty.
Read more: http://www.defencetalk.com/royal-navy-p ... z1kyBsBbvE
I'm still amazed that the Brits did a complete about-face with regard to which aircraft they were going to buy and are off redesigning their carriers and training to re-enter the world of flat tops, arrested landings and cat launches.