Lockheed: Many F-35B landings won’t be vertical

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Pecker

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Unread post16 Jul 2011, 20:44

Any photo or video would do. Other than knowing that they haven't done automatic vertical landings, the most convincing thing for me is that LM aren't saying a word about it. The only person making any statement about it is a PW manager that probably doesn't even work on the base.

Put it this way, so far as i know LM photograph and video every single take-off and landing and make every effort to broadcast every single significant achievement. Here's a shortlist of all the achievements that LM have reported (you can read the rest at http://www.codeonemagazine.com/news.html?c45d5a92f8e82f15b283224ddd50524f=0&category=12):

first flight (for each aircraft)
first F-35B short take-off
first F-35B hover
first F-35B vertical landing
first taxi test (at least for CF-2)
100th flight (for fleet and individual aircraft)
100th F-35B short take-off
200th F-35B short take-off
1000th F-35 flight
1000 hours for the fleet

If they consider the first taxi test for CF-2 newsworthy, don't you think they would get all excited about the first fully-automated, hands-off, pilot-didn't-do-a-thing-but-push-a-button, computer-controlled-the-whole-shebang, vertical landing? :D
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Unread post18 Jul 2011, 04:06

Pecker - you can gripe to the journalist at the USAF Magazine website, thanks. Now back to the 'ease of flying' compared to Harrier stuff....

THE HAWKER ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER | NUMBER 24 | SUMMER 2009
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkerassoci ... ter024.pdf

“...Dunsfold was where V/STOL became an everyday event. There things could be regularly seen that other organisations had been trying for years to achieve. Another very important flight test programme had been the VAAC Harrier. To overcome the Harrier problem of having three pilot's hand operated flight controls (stick, throttle & nozzle lever) which gave different results in V/STOL & conventional flight, & only two pilot's hands, which inevitably led to occasional confusion & accidents, the RAE pushed for a simpler arrangement applicable to more complex ASTOVL propulsion concepts. DB Harrier T2 XW175 was fitted with an adjustable digital flight control system in the front cockpit with the conventional system retained in the rear for a safety pilot.

Over 23 years of flight testing, simulating numerous control concepts, the inceptor strategy was defined. Here there are but two pilot's hand controls or inceptors; stick & throttle. No matter which flight regime you are in, pulling the stick back makes you go up, pushing it forward, down. This British system is in the F-35B & will allow any current military pilot to fly the aircraft easily. In fact, a PPL holder has flown the VAAC Harrier from VTO to VL with no practice....”
____________________________________________________

http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=21300

"SLD: As a Harrier pilot, could you comment on the potential arrival of the F-35Bs [at Eglin AFB]?

Col. Tomassetti: It is ultimately disappointing constantly to see in the news all of the things that the F-35B hasn’t been able to achieve yet or can’t do & people completely missing what we’ve already achieved.

The fact is that we have a STOVL airplane that every pilot who has flown it says that it’s easy to fly. In 60 years of trying to build jet airplanes and do this, we’ve never ever been there before. We’ve never had a STOVL airplane that was as full spectrum capable as it’s conventional counterparts. We’ve never done that before in 60 years of trying.

It’s an amazing engineering achievement; [what] we’ve already accomplished is completely being missed by some observers.”

[Colonel ‘Art’ Tomassetti [USMC] flew the X-35B on the STO - Supersonic - VL mission a decade ago, 30 July 2001. Now he is vice-commander 33rd Fighter Wing Eglin. http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/news/archive/55.html]
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post18 Jul 2011, 14:51

spazsinbad wrote:Pecker - you can gripe to the journalist at the USAF Magazine website, thanks.


Will do. And i'm sorry if you felt that i was on the attack, but it surprises me how easily these rumours get spread and sometimes it takes a 'shake' to pull people out from the trance and get them to look at reports with a little scepticism (only a little, mind) :wink: Kinda like when reading NewsoftheWorld or any other tabloid newspaper :D

Someone from LM posts on here as codeonemagazine (or something similar).....perhaps they could close out this issue once and for all?

As for 'ease of flying'......the Bee looks rock solid in the hover which, at least to the casual observer, is a good sign that the pilot isn't struggling.

I wonder if they'll ever mod the FCS software to permit it to perform a bow?
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Unread post18 Jul 2011, 18:05

Pecker wrote:[...I wonder if they'll ever mod the FCS software to permit it to perform a bow?


Good Pilots can never resist this type of performance. :lol: Who knows when one would have to dodge (bow) a manpad (of course)?? :wink:
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Unread post18 Jul 2011, 19:06

Pecker, fair enough comment. However I would regard the USAF Magazine or whatever it is called as a credible magn/website. Yet reporters do get things wrong for sure. If the report is incorrect I'm surprised it has not been taken up by someone by now. Chasing every 'wabbit' (wrong thing) down every wabbit hole on the internet is folly probably. Why don't you e-mail them yourself to query their report however? Personally I don't take much on the internet too seriously - just part of the general barrage of information that gets sorted through over time. At some point the F-35B will do automatic landings amongst the many other things it will do during flight testing. No big deal when and where in my mind.

There are some test points I look forward to hearing / reading about though. Being skeptical is a good thing I remind myself - including any 'for and against' banter on this forum or elsewhere. :D
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post28 Jul 2011, 09:29

Test Flying The Joint Strike Fighter Talk by Graham Tomlinson 9th Feb 2011

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkerassoci ... ghter.html

"[Graham Tomlinson came to the Hawker Centre on February 9th [2011] to talk about his last test flying job: the STOVL F-35B Lightning II.

Graham started as an RAF Harrier pilot in the 1970s based in Germany, went to the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) in 1978, and then on to ‘A’ Sqn A&AEE where he flew the Sea Harrier, Tornado and Hawk.

He was the A&AEE representative at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) at Patuxent (Pax) River, Maryland, for the early years of the AV-8B programme. He ended his RAF service with six months back on Harrier GR3s in Belize.

In 1986 he joined BAe at Dunsfold as a Harrier GR5 test pilot and stayed until the site was closed in 2000 by which time he was Chief Test Pilot.

In 2002, after 18 months at Warton, he was posted to Lockheed Martin as the JSF STOVL lead pilot (a BAe position within team JSF). He made the first flight of the F-35B in 2008 then stayed with it through the initial STOVL testing until retiring in Oct 2010; in all some 28 years on Harriers and 31 as a test pilot.]

Graham opened by giving some basic information. The STOVL F-35B is for the USMC only (now that the UK has changed to the US Navy’s ‘C’ version). The total vertical thrust is 40,000 lb; 20,000lb from the forward mounted engine driven lift fan, 16,000 lb from the core engine via the aft vectoring main nozzle and 4,000 lb from the ‘roll posts’, downward pointing under-wing roll control nozzles.

The primary engine is the Pratt & Whitney F135 with the General Electric F136 as the alternative. There is no VIFF capability, thrust vectoring being for take-off and landing only. The maximum vertical landing weight is approximately 37,000 lb with good control margins, and the aircraft is stealthy.

The STOVL mode control system is derived from ‘Unified’ developed by the ‘RAE’ on the VAAC Harrier. The throttle commands acceleration and deceleration (or thrust on the ground and in the STO mode, and in all conventional modes); in the hover the stick moved backwards/forwards commands upwards/downwards vertical velocity (or pitch rate elsewhere); in the hover the stick moved from side to side commands bank angle (or roll rate elsewhere) and if released returns the aircraft to wings level; in the hover the pedals command yaw rate (or sideslip elsewhere).

Future development will clear full envelope autopilot/auto throttle, automatic deceleration to a spot, and TRC (translational rate command) which in the hover allows the pilot to make small positional corrections easily, and will then bring the aircraft to a standstill if the pilot releases the controls. A pilot’s helmet mounted display (HMD) is fitted instead of a HUD.

In the Harrier the pilot must obey the rules. The F-35B fly-by-wire system gives angle-of-attack and sideslip control, and departure protection. Further pilot workload reduction is given by performance deficit protection, conversion speed window protection and FOD protection warning; and flight test has a watching brief on the requirement for possible tail strike protection during slow landings (currently not considered necessary). Pilot cognitive errors (of trying to control thrust with the throttle) have been mitigated in the design. In the unlikely event of the lift fan failing catastrophically the aircraft would pitch inverted in 0.6 seconds, and the pilot is protected by auto-ejection signalled by pitch rate and attitude (derived from the YAK 38 & 141 systems).

The flying controls are powered by electro-hydraulic actuators (electric power to hydraulic pumps at the control surfaces). The IPP (integrated power pack) is a combined gas turbine and electric starter/generator. After starting the main engine, bleed air keeps the IPP spinning all the time to provide ECS and cooling air and standby power generation. Should the bleed air fail the IPP reverts to a gas turbine mode. To convert from the CTOL to STOVL mode a button push opens the necessary intake doors etc (13 in all), prepares the engine and engages the lift fan clutch which transmits 28,000 shaft hp.

Pit testing over a grid, based on the old Dunsfold design, measured thrust and pitch control power achieved through forward lift fan inlet guide vane adjustment and aft vectored nozzle area, both affected by engine RPM. The effects of opening the 13 doors in conventional flight showed buffet and more drag than expected.

For STOVL testing the F-35B was flown to the NATC at Pax River on Chesapeake Bay where there were 25 BAES flight test people (in addition to the peak number of 160 BAES staff at Fort Worth). Facilities included VTOL pads, a ski-jump, austere strips, hot pits (for refuelling without shutting down), telemetry, chase aircraft and a simulator for mission practice. Testing started with in-flight conversions, decelerating and accelerating at 5,000 ft and 210 kn, fixed throttle. There was no pitching but some mild heave. Testing then progressively approached the hover flying at 200 - 100 kn at 3-5,000 ft followed by slow landings (SL) at 130 - 110 kn ; then decelerations at less than 100 kn blending to the hover followed by SLs at 90 - 70 kn.

Apart from some intake door chatter causing a linkage distortion, and the failure of a flight test antenna, all went well. The Short take-off (STO) mode was checked at altitude followed by 100kn STO and then 80 kn STO, circuit and VL from 150 ft on 18 March 2010. Post touchdown the procedure was all automatic. There were no problems in STO.

Problems in the early development testing, which are addressed in the production aircraft, included: clutch drag in conventional flight, driveshaft length issues due to expansion/contraction, intake door structure, roll post heating (it is a continuous bleed system), sideslip in wind-up turns, nose high attitude in land-aheads from hovers, and HMD vibration and latency issues.

In the following areas where problems might have been expected there were none; hot gas ingestion, ground effects, weight-on-wheels operation (gives signals to aircraft control systems), conversion dynamics, performance, deficit protection and help from mission control.

During questions the lack of VIFF was commented on. Graham replied that nowadays FBW allows 50 deg angle of attack as in, say, an F-18. This lets the pilot generate both high lift and high drag and compensates for the lack of VIFF. On weapons carriage the primary method is in stealthy internal bays with external carriage an option when battle conditions allow. On battle damage vulnerability Graham said that the US Congress has mandated battle damage survival so survivability is a design parameter.

Barry Pegram gave the vote of thanks for this outstanding talk which had been of particular interest to the old ‘Harrier’ men present."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Aug 2011, 01:53

An Update on F-35B and F35-C Testing 07/25/2011

http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=21778

During Second Line of Defense’s visit to Pax River, we sat down with Lt. Col. Fred “Tinman” Schenk to discuss the state of testing on the USN and USMC F-35s and the way ahead.

SLD: Could you give us a sense of your job here at Pax River?

Schenk: I am Colonel Cordell’s deputy and the Government Test Flight Director here. Essentially, my responsibilities are flight test execution. I do the test plan approvals side of the business and try to stay really heavily engaged in the technical piece of the program. I deal with what’s going on with the airplanes and what issues are we working; making sure we’re safe to go execute flight tests.

SLD: How many aircraft are being tested here?

Schenk: We have F-35Bs and F-35Cs. Currently, seven are on the flight line. We have four F-35Bs and three F-35Cs. We’re hoping to get BF5, our fifth F-35B, here in the next week or two. [BF-5 arrived at the F-35 ITF on July 16]

SLD: What is your experience with the C?

Schenk: I’ve only flown the F-35C once, so I don’t have a broad experience base in the airplane. On the one flight, it flew very well. I spent most of my time in the landing configuration, and it flew quite well in that configuration.

We’re just really getting started on the C program, so CF-1 has been here now for a couple of months. We’ve started expanding the envelope. We’ve had it out supersonic already and are starting to push the speed boundary and open up more of the flight envelope of the airplane. CF-2 has been here for month and a half, maybe two.

SLD: What about the Brits? Have they started transitioning from the B to the C?

Schenk: We do have two BAE systems pilots, and we have one Royal Air Force pilot. Squadron Leader Steve Long was here and he rotated back to the UK, and Jim Schofield is his replacement. Steve was initially focused on the F-35B, and now Jim will obviously be more focused on the F-35C.

SLD: “Squirt” Kelly discussed with us the flying qualities of the B and that as an F-18 pilot he has had no difficulty in flying the B. What this may then mean is that you shift test time from just operating the aircraft to spending more time on the tactical training on the aircraft or working on the T and R manual?

Schenk: I think that’s a fair statement, and I think if you looked at the training syllabus that’s being developed you will see that.

SLD: This is an important line to cross.

Schenk: As a Harrier pilot, the F-35B is a major advance. Having grown up as a Harrier pilot and spent many, many hours doing takeoffs and landings and having the requirement to do every type of landing at least once every 30 days in the Harrier, the F-35B is a big improvement.

Because of the augmentation and the automation that’s in the airplane and the models and the simulators, we’ll find a lot less time being spent taking off and landing the airplane and spending much more time doing our mission in the airplane and being able to go get out there and take care of business and take care of the guys that are out there. We will spend more time on actual missions, rather than on re-qualifications.

The F-35 makes the basic flying task easy,
and so now you have what we would call spare capacity to devote to other things, which allows the pilot to focus on the mission and the systems of the airplane. The design of the airplane is intended to fuse information within the airplane — to make that task of managing the system easier.

You don’t have a radar giving you a piece of data. You don’t have a FLIR giving you another piece of data. You don’t have a radar warning giving you yet another piece of data.

What the F-35 gives you is a fused picture of all of that, so you don’t have to interpret separate data streams. For example, my Link 16 is telling me something is here, but my radar is saying it’s over there, and this piece is kind of telling me it’s over there, and this one said it’s a bad guy, but that one is showing it as a good guy, and on legacy aircraft you have to filter what the various systems are telling you. Now, the F-35 system is going to do a lot of that processing for you.

SLD: So you have two trajectories for the plane. One is, it is an easier plane to manage itself and then secondly, your ability to focus more on the decisions you’re supposed to take for your missions and so on and the man-machine relationship.

Schenk: Right. That’s it.

SLD: And this will create a culture shift for the pilots as well.

Schenk: I think that the challenge will change. The F-35 is going to make the flying task a little bit simpler. We’re trying to make the managing the system simpler, but now the pilots are going to be bombarded with more information and it’s sharing that information with those who need to know that information on the battlefield that will become the challenge.

SLD: What about the F-35B and the amphib fleet? What are the testing plans?

Schenk: I’ve deployed on USS Wasp and on USS Nassau. And we will be testing the F-35B on the USS Wasp this Fall.

SLD: In your view as an ARG veteran, what will be the impact of the deployment of the F-35B on the fleet?

Schenk: We will take our ten or eleven carrier fleet, and we now will double the number of capital ships that can deploy a fifth generation fighter.

I saw the media reports on Libya and those kinds of things, and now, instead of having to fly a B-2 from Whiteman Air Force Base, and get refueled to take out certain targets because we needed a stealth airplane for the mission, we’ll have the potential to have an L-class ship with F-35Bs or a CV with CFs on it, carrier F-35Cs, and be able to execute that mission without having to bring those airplanes from CONUS, air refuel them, fly all the way over and then fly all the way back.

You have a Day 1 capability on US Navy ships that you can float anywhere around the world. And that’s a tremendous capability for the Navy, the Marine Corps, and really, the nation, to have.

SLD: With the airplane going to Eglin and to the USS Wasp, the test program will enter a new phase. What are some of the next key threshold tests?

Schenk: We’ve started to get the airplane supersonic. We’ve got the B to 7gs, and I think the C has been to 6.5 or 7g already.

We’ve started to prove those pieces of the envelope. Now we’re starting to stick the airplane into its operational environment. The F-35C is going to Lakehurst here in the next month.

We’re going to start with just jet blast deflector testing, and then in July-August time frame, we’ll migrate into roll-ins, arrestments, and catapults. We’ll do our initial catapults.

We’re starting to stick the C in that environment. And then the B, of course, is focused on getting to the ship."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post13 Aug 2011, 01:55

Interview: Tom Burbage Executive Vice President and General Manager, F-35 Program Integration, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics | Written by: Chuck Oldham (Editor) on July 15, 2011

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stor ... m-burbage/

[F-35B Flying]
"...We felt if we could mechanize it that way it would be intuitively obvious to the pilot that he’s always controlling velocity with his left hand and he’s always controlling altitude with his right hand and the airplane would be simpler to fly and safer to fly. That was our theory.

It’s an unstable airplane like all fast jets are these days, so the fly-by-wire flight control system does a lot of cross-controlling with the control surfaces. The pilot says, “I want to go there,” and the flight controls will do whatever it takes to put the airplane there. The flight controls are much more blended in what they do.

It also has to be able to withstand combat damage, so if somebody shoots off a horizontal tail, you want to be able to reconfigure all the other flight controls to accommodate the loss of that flight control.

All that’s built in. So now when the pilot comes in for landing it goes like this. When you pass below 250 knots, you push a button that says STOVL and the airplane begins converting. You can push the button higher, but it won’t begin converting till you’re below 250.

The doors start opening and the shaft coming off the main engine engages the Lift Fan. That starts the Lift Fan turning as you’re slowing down. And now you’re transitioning from wing-borne flight to jet-borne flight; when you’re above about 120/130 knots, all your lift is coming from the wings. When you’re at zero, all your lift is coming from the engine, and when you’re in between those two numbers you have a combination of both engine and wing lift. The flight controls blend that so the pilot says, “I want to hover” at whatever altitude he wants; he just puts the airplane there. The airplane will slow down. If he doesn’t want to slow it all the way down and he wants to keep forward motion, he just tells it to do that. He selects a little switch movement and the airplane will maintain the 80 knots or 60 knots or whatever you want. You get over the landing point and it goes to zero and when he’s ready to go down, he pushes forward on the stick. The airplane comes down and touches down on the gear. There’s a weight-on-gear switch and when it connects, it pulls the engine to idle. So it’s very simple. The first time my chief test pilot flew it, he said, “You know I could have pulled out my iPad® and e-mailed my wife and told her to come out and watch me in the hover because I wasn’t doing anything.”

Well, that’s great.
I’ll tell you that all the pilots rate the short takeoffs and vertical landings. They give it a handling qualities rating, and none of the STOVL activity has had less than the top rating. Nobody’s found it to be difficult, and we’ve had a significant number of pilots fly the airplane now, including guys who were not trained to be Harrier pilots...."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post19 Aug 2011, 21:14

Going Vertical By Monica Keen Posted 1 July 2009

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=13

"...When a pilot gets to a slow speed during STOVL mode, the sidestick is used to move the plane up or down. When the pilot's hands are removed from the controls, the airplane simply hovers in place.

"The conversion button sets a lot of things in motion," says Graham Tomlinson, a BAE Systems F-35 test pilot who participated in early test runs on the hover pit. "But the complexity is in the airplane and the propulsion system. Converting to STOVL, which is fully automated, is a smooth transition for the pilot...."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post20 Aug 2011, 08:58

The F-35 Pilot 08/19/2011

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-f-35-pilot/ | VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/27918352

"We have interviewed several F-35 pilots. Most recently, we sat down with pilots at Pax River. Comments from these pilots focused on easy of operations, and the ability of the pilot to operate as a deployed decision-maker.

Among the pilots we have interviewed, Lt. Col. Fred “Tinman” Schenk underscored was the following:

As a Harrier pilot, the F-35B is a major advance. Having grown up as a Harrier pilot and spent many, many hours doing takeoffs and landings and having the requirement to do every type of landing at least once every 30 days in the Harrier, the F-35B is a big improvement.

Because of the augmentation and the automation that’s in the airplane and the models and the simulators, we’ll find a lot less time being spent taking off and landing the airplane and spending much more time doing our mission in the airplane and being able to go get out there and take care of business and take care of the guys that are out there. We will spend more time on actual missions, rather than on re-qualifications.


The F-35 makes the basic flying task easy, and so now you have what we would call spare capacity to devote to other things, which allows the pilot to focus on the mission and the systems of the airplane. The design of the airplane is intended to fuse information within the airplane — to make that task of managing the system easier.

You don’t have a radar giving you a piece of data. You don’t have a FLIR giving you another piece of data. You don’t have a radar warning giving you yet another piece of data.

What the F-35 gives you is a fused picture of all of that, so you don’t have to interpret separate data streams. For example, my Link 16 is telling me something is here, but my radar is saying it’s over there, and this piece is kind of telling me it’s over there, and this one said it’s a bad guy, but that one is showing it as a good guy, and on legacy aircraft you have to filter what the various systems are telling you. Now, the F-35 system is going to do a lot of that processing for you.

Another USMC test pilot, indeed last year’s test pilot of the year, “Squirt” Kelly told us what he had learned since our visit last year:

What I have learned for sure since your last visit is how to do a vertical landing. As an F-18 pilot, I don’t have any background in hovering or operating in that whole STOVL world. With probably fewer hours than a guy is going to have going through the training command and doing this through the simulator training to the flight, it was easy.

For guys graduating out of the training command, it was a process of learning step-by-step, follow the procedures, and hover. You can let go of the controls. It just kind of stays where you put it.


QUESTION: So it is not Harrier like at all

Kelly: Not at all. In a hover and in a vertical landing, it’s a no-brainer. It’s push the stick forward. There’s even a descent button in the stick, which you use. The airplane lands itself.

It is very much forgiving to a guy who’s doing it for the first time, and it makes him look good. In a hover and in a vertical landing it’s a no-brainer.


F-35 test flight operations occur at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base in Texas, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. The video captures some assessments from a variety of test facilities.

The video was provided by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Of course, Department of Defense pilot comments do not imply or constitute endorsement of Lockheed Martin, its products or services."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post27 Sep 2011, 07:30

On page 1 of this thread aaam said: "...and the Sea Harrier was trickier to land than the AV-8B-GR7/9...."

For an entertaining "SHAR" read, one cannot go past this tome (only an excerpt below).

The Harrier Story. Sunday, September 18, 2011
The Harrier Story – A Forsaken Legend By Commander “Sharkey” Ward DSC AFC, September 2011.

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2011/09/harrier-story.html

“...11. My Air Warfare Instructor training had taught me that no matter how good you are at fighter combat or weapon delivery, if you don’t keep flight safety and survival in the forefront of your mind at all times, then you are asking for trouble. This served me well during Harrier training because there was one part of the flight envelope that could be extremely hazardous if you didn’t obey the rules.

12. This was when the aircraft was in transition from wing-borne flight to the hover. The transition commences during your approach to hover and land. The aircraft nozzles are placed in the vertical and as the aircraft slows down rapidly, power is increased to make up for the loss of lift from the wings – until eventually you are being supported entirely by the thrust of the four nozzles. During this transition period which lasts for just a few seconds, it is essential to keep the airflow over the aircraft directly in line with the fore and aft axis. A little wind vane sits on the nose of the aircraft in clear view of the pilot to allow the pilot to make sure that he is decelerating directly into the relative wind. If the air stream is allowed to drift away from the nose of the aircraft, a phenomenon known as Yaw Intake Momentum Drag can suddenly set in and without any other warning the aircraft will roll viciously upside down. This puts the pilot ‘between a rock and a hard place’: either ‘stick with the aircraft and burn as you crash’ or ‘use the rocket powered ejection seat to hammer you headfirst into the ground’. Normally there is no escape possible!

13. My superb Royal Navy Sea Harrier Squadron trials team pilots were so well tutored on the vices of the Harrier by the RAF HCU that during our first three years of trials and operations with this “difficult” aircraft, we had no accidents and achieved the best flight safety record of any jet aircraft entering service ever in the UK. And so I am eternally grateful to them. The US Marine Corps had a less fortunate experience. At that time, their attitude was that if you fly one aeroplane you can fly any aeroplane. Aircrew with insufficient training were therefore put into the AV-8 Harrier resulting in many fatal crashes.
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Unread post06 Oct 2011, 13:35

Repeat post from this thread but too good to not put here about 'how easy to fly F-35B in VERTICAL MODE':
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-60.html

'Vertical Validation’ by Guy Norris/Los Angeles
Aviation Week & Space Technology/October 3, 2011

“…Testing has also focused on the translational rate command (TRC) mode, which in the hover allows the pilot to make small positional corrections and which brings the aircraft to a standstill if the pilot releases the controls. “It is used to capture the current longitudinal groundspeed and is important for precise positioning in shipboard operations,” says Wilson.

On the Cooper-Harper rating scale used by test pilots to evaluate handling characteristics, pilots gave an average rating of 1.77 for descent and 2.28 for landing in baseline vertical-landing mode. For the TRC mode, pilots rated descent at 1.52 and landing at 2.04. The scale ranges from 1 to 9, with 1 representing excellent characteristics and a low workload task and 9 representing major deficiencies and intense pilot compensation required to maintain control….”

Youse will have to buy the magazine....
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post27 Nov 2011, 03:29

At beginning of video we see a Harrier 'Running Landing' of sorts and then we see a masterful Harrier display by an expert. Pic is a screenshot from the end of video. Note cold Swiss Altitude.

Switzerland.mpg John Farley Harrier Display Switzerland 1971

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P25OJtXm ... r_embedded

"Uploaded by johnfarley115 on Nov 25, 2011"
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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