6 F-35s land on Wasp for testing

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Unread post29 May 2015, 16:15

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Unread post29 May 2015, 22:25

:mrgreen: The KRAKEN AWAKES - bloody hell that is a shock in early morning. :devil: Good to see 'em preserving their night vision with red lights. That had me wondering earlier with the white lights visible in the F-35C night catapult scenario however I'll guess only those responsible for actions there - look there - whilst others turn away for their night vision on deck? Maybe not - I guess also CVNs have BIG DECKs eh. Some more at DVIDS here:

https://www.dvidshub.net/search/?q=WASP&sort=date
& 1.5Mb PHOTO above download: https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/1964030

FIVE Night Photos Zipped 7Mb: https://www.dvidshub.net/download/gallery/setid/535375
Marines conduct night ordnance load on F-35B at sea
29 May 2015 Cpl. Anne Henry, II Marine Expeditionary Force

"USS WASP, Atlantic Ocean - Marines with various units worked together to accomplish an ordnance load and unload on the F-35B Lightning II as the first operational test of the aircraft winds down aboard USS Wasp May 27, 2015.

For the past two weeks, Marines and sailors have been working together to assess the integration of the F-35B into amphibious operations.

The ordnance exercise gave the Marines the opportunity to verify data and put their skills to the ultimate test by performing an ordnance load and unload of the F-35B in night conditions aboard an amphibious vessel in standard sea conditions. This was the first time for both the Marines and aircraft.

“The purpose of the mission last night was to load the Guided Bomb Unit 12, Guided Bomb Unit 32, and AIM-120 [Advanced Medium Range AIR-to-AIR Missile],” said Gunnery Sgt. Casey Gort, the ordnance chief with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22. “It was ultimately an opportunity to check the suitability of us actually loading that aircraft at night.”

Over the course of four hours, as USS Wasp pitched and rolled in the darkness, the Marines loaded and unloaded all three types of ordnance into and out of the aircraft, testing both their knowledge and teamwork.

“When you do something at night, there are going to be more inherent dangers,” said Gort. “There are more variables that you have to watch out for simply because it’s dark and you are losing a sense. We wanted to see if we ran into any other problems and safety concerns at night that we didn’t during the day time.”

With so many moving parts in the low-light environment, communication was the key to success, according to Gort.

“Since your sight is limited, you have to be very verbal,” said Gort. “Typically when we do this, we have daylight and use hand and arm signals. At night, you can’t do that. It wasn’t necessarily all that much harder; it was just different.”

In addition to working together to accomplish a task in a night environment aboard an amphibious vessel, the Marines also worked with new gear they had been unfamiliar with prior to the exercise.

“We had some new gear on board that we’d never dealt with before,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Beard, the ordnance officer for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Throughout OT-1, we’ve been trying to integrate with the ship to see if any of this new equipment is different from a legacy mindset.”

Overall, the evolution left the Marines with pride in their accomplishment and increased knowledge on the F-35B and its capabilities, according to Gort.

“Last night, we were making suggestions and giving our input,” said Gort. “We are taking a lot of pride in the fact that the information we provide could shape the future of F-35B ordnance. The payoff with something like that is amazing.”

The data collected from OT-1 will be laying the foundation for the Marine Corps’ F-35B initial operational capability declaration this summer, and future F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers."

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/164895/ma ... -f-35b-sea
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 post29 May 2015, 22:45

Marine Corps Aircraft Maintainers keep Lightning II in the sky during OT-1
28 May 2015 Pfc. Remington Hall, Headquarters Marine Corps

"ATLANTIC OCEAN - Vertical landings, low observability, X-ray vision helmets and laser tracking systems are just a few pieces of space-age technology incorporated in the Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II.

The tactical power of this 21st Century jet is another example of how Marine Corps aviation is evolving. But it takes more than one Marine in the cockpit to keep this plane in the air.

“Behind all of that flight time, there are many hours of maintenance,” said Maj. Adam Perlin, an F-35B pilot from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Without the Marines working on the aircraft, I’m not going to go anywhere.”

On May 18, 2015, Marines from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, began working together aboard USS Wasp to support the first phase of Operational Testing (OT-1) of the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

The three teams of enlisted Marines are the real drive behind the operation: the avionics technicians, powerline mechanics and the airframe mechanics.

“In avionics we work with all the communications, navigation, electrical and weapons systems on the aircraft,” said Capt. John Johnson, the officer in charge of the Avionics and Airframe Divisions aboard USS Wasp for OT-1. “The airframes Marines do metalwork and hydraulics; and on this platform, they’re in charge of the low observables, or the stealth properties of the aircraft.”

“Anything involving the fuel and oil system is our responsibility as powerline,” said Sgt. Benjamin Mcintire, a powerline mechanic with VMX-22. “Engines, fuel systems, oil systems, tires and things like that.”

In simpler terms, avionics covers the computers and software of the plane; airframes deals with the outside, or structural side, of the plane; and powerline Marines take care of the aircraft’s mechanical guts.

“We go through pre-flight and post-flight checks of pretty much all the systems, but particularly we have to check the power system before flight.” said Cpl. Jared VanSpeybroeck, an avionics technician with VMFAT-501. “Does he have power; back-up power; batteries; are the systems synced? All of these things can make or break your flight plan.”

Similar to the avionics team’s electronics checks, the powerline team conducts safe-for-flight inspections and after-flight assessments on the structural and mechanical integrity of the plane.

“We make sure each aircraft is safe,” said Mcintire. “It’s a lot of responsibility, performing the in-depth, pre-flight and post-flight inspections, knowing that the life of another Marine is in your hands.”

VanSpeybroeck stated that sometimes the nature of his job as an avionics technician can be very challenging, since the cause of an electronics malfunction can be hard to pinpoint.

“We’re troubleshooters,” said VanSpeybroeck. “The aircraft is a flying computer, so we have to take care of the computer.”

VanSpeybroeck also emphasized that the F-35B requires a joint effort by all maintenance shops in order to run properly.

“If any shop weren’t here, or lacked in capability, then the plane wouldn’t fly,” said VanSpeybroeck. “The F-35 is a finely-tuned machine that requires a broad spectrum of maintenance in order to perform.”

Mcintire recalled a malfunction in one of the F-35’s during OT-1, where the pilot returned from flight with a fuel transfer complaint. After troubleshooting, they discovered one of the fuel boost pumps needed to be replaced. The team had planned for many different maintenance contingencies, and had a spare already packed aboard.

“Airframes removed the panel to access the fuel pump,” said Mcintire. “After our maintenance and testing of the boost pump, the plane returned to service and flew through all of its allotted slots.”


Johnson stated his teams contribute to overall efforts to ensure the aircraft is safe. They confirm the integrity of the aircraft, and that the navigations and the communications systems are all in good order so the pilot can make it back to the ship safely.

“They came together from three different squadrons [based in North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona), and seamlessly transitioned into one solid unit,” said Johnson. “I addressed them yesterday and told them this is the group I would want to deploy on a Marine Expeditionary Unit with right now.”"

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/164785/ma ... uring-ot-1
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 post29 May 2015, 22:56

Marine Ospreys support Lightning out at sea
28 May 2015 Cpl. Anne Henry, II Marine Expeditionary Force

"ATLANTIC OCEAN - As Marines and sailors have been working together to conduct an assessment of F-35B Lightning II integration into amphibious operations over the past two weeks, they are learning to overcome the challenges inherent in maintaining and resupplying one of the world’s most advanced pieces of military technology while out at sea.

One key component of the F-35B Operational Trials, or OT-1, included assessing the maintenance and logistical measures necessary to keep the F-35B flying aboard a U.S. Navy amphibious vessel in standard sea conditions.

The F-35B engine power module found itself at center stage of the OT-1 supply and logistics capability assessment about sixty miles off the East Coast of the United States May 21.

The power module is the largest and most important part of the F-35B’s engine. Weighing about 4,500 pounds, safely transporting this intricate piece of technology from a storage facility on a military base in the States, across ocean waters, and onto the deck of a pitching ship is no easy task. And it had never been done before.

“The power module is the core of the F-35B engine,” said Michael Chotkowski, who is in charge of F-35B deployment integration with Pratt & Whitney. “The engine is broken down into five different modules: fan, augmenter, nozzle, gearbox and the power, which is the number one module.”


Up until a few months ago, there was no way to transport replacement power modules to a ship, or damaged power modules from the ship to a repair facility. That was, until a system was put in place using an MV-22B Osprey, a shipping stand constructed with internal suspension, known as a “buck,” and an overhead bridge crane aboard the ship to insert the power module into the plane.

“Pratt & Whitney had to design and build a shipping buck that could constrain and protect the power module when it is in the back of an MV-22B,” said Jeff Ward, who is in charge of F-35B deployment integration with Headquarters Marine Corps. “The buck, which is the critical piece here, did not exist six months ago. It was created to hold and protect the power module while it is being transported.”

The buck was designed as a portable casing to roll the power module onto and off the Osprey. It also serves to protect the power module in the back of an MV-22B Osprey as it flies across the open sea, where it is subjected to the standard movement and vibrations that are inherent in amphibious flight operations due to high winds and rough water.

“The buck has four solid steel posts and two tools on the front and on the back mount of the engine cases. This provides structural integrity,” said Chotkowski. “It also has vibratory isolators built into it that are tuned to dampen out the frequencies that come from the MV-22B, and could do damage to the bearings in the power module.”

Part one of the operation consisted of loading the power module onto a buck at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Next, an MV-22B Osprey from New River, North Carolina flew into PAX River to pick up the module and buck. Then the Osprey flew more than 60 miles out to the ship, touching down on the deck of USS Wasp, as it rolled with the waves. The team then wheeled the buck out of the Osprey and onto the deck of the ship, with just several inches of clearance on either side.

“The process of unloading the module from the MV-22B is very difficult, because even though the module outside of its container is smaller, it is still very large for the MV-22B,” said David Myersm who is a part of the cargo and special operations team with U.S. Naval Air Systems Command. “It took 16 straps to tie it down in the aircraft. Cargo in the MV-22B needs to be restrained in a specific manor, and it takes a lot of straps to hold down 9,000 pounds.”

The next stage dealt with lowering the power module down to the ship’s maintenance bay, and proving the ability to safely transfer the module from the shipping buck into an existing container. This was accomplished by personnel from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22.

“We had to show that we could use the Navy’s overhead bridge crane [built into the ceiling of the hangar bay] to transfer the power module from the shipping buck to an existing container, where it can be stored for long term if necessary,” said Chotkowski.

The demonstration proved to be successful, allowing for data to be drawn and lessons to be learned for future F-35B deployments aboard amphibious vessels.

“From this evolution, we know that we can now put a power module into an MV-22B and bring it out to an amphibious vessel,” said Ward. “We can now resupply the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force in any environment by using the MV-22B. This is an important milestone for the program.”"

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/164790/ma ... ng-out-sea
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 post29 May 2015, 23:05

PHOTO: “Marines with Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 move a power module for the F-35B Lightning II in the hanger bay of the USS Wasp (LHD-1), at sea May 23 during an evolution part of Operational Testing 1. The F-35B is the future of Marine Corps aviation and will be replacing three legacy platforms; the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anne K. Henry/RELEASED)” https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1961282/ ... ng-out-sea & https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/1961282 (JPG 3.4Mb) & GALLERY 4 photos: https://www.dvidshub.net/download/gallery/setid/535032 (ZIP 9.4Mb)
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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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Unread post29 May 2015, 23:10

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Unread post30 May 2015, 00:00

Here is the OLS Optical Landing System used today aboard USS Wasp (refer earlier pages of this thread re NIGHT landings). I'll post original photo (smaller version) then a crop to the OLS top left.
"Maintenance is performed on an F-35B Lightning II on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) during night operations, a key component of the Marine Corps’ F-35B operational test May 22. OT-1, scheduled from May 18 through May 29, 2015, is evaluating the full spectrum of the F-35B’s capabilities. The F-35B is with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based in Yuma, Ariz. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anne K. Henry/Released) https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1961152/ ... uring-ot-1 & PHOTO: https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/1961152 (1.25Mb JPG)
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WASP OLS NIGHT May 2015cropsmall.jpg
WASP OLS NIGHT May 2015zoom.jpg
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 post30 May 2015, 00:07

Not a good view of the OLS.

From the cockpit it looks almost identical to a fresnel presentation -- two horizontal datums and a ball that moves vertically relative to the datums to show where one is on the glideslope. Eventually, with a coupled guidance system the pilot will be able to push one button to command an automatic hands-off deceleration to a hover position abeam the ship/intended point of landing.
Last edited by quicksilver on 30 May 2015, 13:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post30 May 2015, 00:25

Yes - understand about the view. I have pilot views of other OLSs. Good to see that the other day NavAir stated that in future JPALS will provide full auto landings in any weather (probably not typhoons) that is in the JPALS thread here:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14115&p=291823&hilit=error#p291823

DAPS = Deck Approach Projector Sight

Wayback in the wayback the VACC Harrier carried out the first fully automatic vertical landing May 2005 IIRC.

HMS Ark Royal photo original here: http://i842.photobucket.com/albums/zz34 ... erball.jpg

LUCKY LAST is a screenshot from the VIDEO of the first VACC Harrier (simulating the F-35B controls more or less) VL.

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DAPS-OLSjuanCarlosLHDharrierApproachView.jpg
DAPS-OLSarkRoyalGR9sRAF2010.jpg
LustyDAPSexplanationView.jpg
AutoLandingTopOfFLYCOwindowVACCharrierDAPS-OLSscreenshot.png
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 post30 May 2015, 02:18

The 'fat lady' [not the reporteur] is singing....
Marine Corps F-35Bs depart USS Wasp after carrier tests
29 May 2015 James Drew

"Six US Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighters have departed the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp following a one-and-a-half-week trial that included 108 test sorties and an F135 engine delivery from a V-22 Osprey as the first combat fighter squadron stationed in Yuma, Arizona, prepares to declare initial operational capability this July.

According to deputy commandant for Marine Corps aviation Lt Gen Jon Davis, each of the 10 F-35 pilots involved are now qualified for daytime carrier operations and another three have received their night-time flying qualifications.

The six aircraft have accumulated 85.5 hours of flight time collectively since arriving on the USS Wasp May 18. Two squadrons participated: Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 of Beaufort, South Carolina, and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-121 from the Air Station Yuma....

...The stint aboard the carrier focused on operational flying, but also on the logistics of maintaining the B-model on a ship using the autonomic logistics information system, or ALIS. The team was then able to evaluate the V-22 in its future carrier onboard delivery (COD) role by delivering a spare F-35 engine to the ship using a specially-designed rig. The Osprey flew the engine to the Wasp May 21 and departed with the weighty engine May 27.

The general says the logistics evaluation went well despite some complications like not having all the right parts and tools. The marines also trialled management and maintenance of the F-35’s low-observable coating to ensure its radar-evading characteristics could be maintained. “We proved we could do that at sea as well,” Davis says....

...The programme office is currently making corrections to the aircraft’s software to improve its data fusion capability. Those corrections are currently being tested as part of the Block 3i software load, and if successful those fixes will be installed on the Block 2B jets the marines will declare IOC with.

“We intend on taking that 3i software with the fixes to flight test around the last week of June,” says F-35 programme executive officer Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan. “We’ll be spending about 30 days flight testing those fixes, and if they appear to be good, then we will just leave those in 3i for the future airplanes and port them back into 2B.”

The Marine Corps has a requirement for 353 F-35Bs and 67 carrier-launched F-35Cs. The United Kingdom wants up to 138 F-35Bs for its carriers & Italy hopes to buy 30 STOVLs."

Source: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ts-412909/
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 post30 May 2015, 02:35

Using 3I to fix 2B. Creative.
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Unread post30 May 2015, 02:36

And from last... HOW TO HANG ON TO YOUR VIP STOVL SHOOTER:
http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/geta ... emid=61642
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Unread post30 May 2015, 05:28

Mebbe that is the way to grab a'holt of THERMION [in pic above]? But jokes aside 'still work to do?' - wait - wot?!
‘Fundamental Change In Direction’ For F-35; Kendall Floats Plan To Buy 450 Planes
29 May 2015 Colin Clark

"WASHINGTON: As I watched the seemingly endless string of F-35Bs take off from the deck of the USS Wasp earlier this week, I was struck by how routine it all seemed.

During eight days of flying, the F-35Bs flew 108 sorties, racking up 85.5 hours, deputy Marine Commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told us on the phone this morning, conceding it was “a low number of hours, really, because the jets were light-loaded…” Low hours, maybe, but that’s the first time these planes were put through their paces in anything like regular military circumstances.... [betcha theys seen plenty of action at YUMA for one thing - but you wasn't there huh.]

...Finally, Davis said that the Thermion deck coating applied to the USS Wasp deck successfully handled the incredible beating from the 40,000 pounds [OH PUHLEEZ - wot comes out of the back end during STOVL? - not 40K - try the 25K not in A/B maximum thrust - other stuff comes out the LiftFan sure but it is way cooler] of thrust from the F-35B engine. The coating, though there were visible scorch marks, “performed to standard,” Davis said. “But,” he went on to note, “there’s more work to do.”"

PHOTO: http://breakingdefense.com/wp-content/u ... G_3958.jpg "Thermion coating on USS Wasp May 26 2015"


Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/05/fund ... 50-planes/
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THERMION WASP May 2015 BreakDefence IMG_3958.jpg
THERMION WASP May 2015 BreakDefence IMG_3958 ZOOM.jpg
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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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Unread post30 May 2015, 08:34

Discoloration is not an indicator of a problem.

Harrier does same thing. See picture at link. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q ... 7833840515

Reporter got the "more work to do" wrong contextually. I won't judge whether it was by intent or by virtue of trying to recontruct from crappy notes, but the "more work to do" remark came in the context of datalink connectivity, not Thermion. (I've seen a transcript).
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Unread post30 May 2015, 09:27

Yes 'QS' I thought that last quote 'more work' was not related to THERMION. Why does not anyone explain to these reporter knowalls about the discolouration? It is tiresome to see them write the same old clichés about the heat. I did not bother to check - did anyone note how soon after the VL (noted by BS apparently) that the Deck Chief went over to peruse 'the damage'? I have been told that in the Harrier world the hot spot could be walked upon as soon as the aircraft cleared the area straight after a VL - so that is in boots - and not bare feet.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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