6 F-35s land on Wasp for testing

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Unread post02 Jun 2015, 23:41

PIGskin Gloves seen at the end of this video about 'how to fly the circuit ashore' in a T-2 Buckeye (first version T-2A).

Approach and landing of a US Navy T2J-1 Buckeye trainer aircraft. HD Stock Footage

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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 05:41

A great deal to read if interested in the maintenance issues aboard USS Wasp for the F-35Bs during recent OT-1 - including THERMION - I'll just post pilot info excerpts - however there is a bunch more.... Go read.
Aboard the USS Wasp: Participants in Operational Testing Provide a Progress Report
02 Jun 2015 Robbin Laird

"...Question: What about flying the aircraft on and off the ship? How did that go?
Captain Andrew Smith: The aircraft itself flies fantastically. It’s an incredibly smooth flying airplane that is much easier to fly from a pilot perspective than the Harrier was, especially around the ship and the ship environment.

The training we did for this detachment was much less than the training we did in a Harrier fleet to get to a ship. And that’s just a testament to the ease of the airplane to fly, the pilot vehicle interface, as well as the simulators that we have on shore that allow us to recreate to a high degree of detail the ship environment.

We took pilots from across the spectrum. From East Coast, West Coast, Harrier, Hornet, two-seat, single seat, ship experience, no ship experience since flight school and we put them on this deck very easily in a very short amount of time with a short amount of adapting to the ship environment.

And you saw the results today.

It is a testament to the ease of the airplane, to its design specifications to how they execute those design specifications, and how easy it is for us to just adapt to flying the airplane.

The ship boarding rate is as high if not higher than the Harrier right now. I don’t enough data points to give you an exact number, but I can tell you from experience over a large number of landings in the Harrier and observing in the tower that this airplane is going to have a fantastically high boarding rate.

Question: What is a boarding rate?
Captain Andrew Smith: That’s the ability of the airplane to get aboard the ship without having to divert ashore. It’s something we’re very concerned with because we’re always trying to maintain the ability to divert in case of a problem. Well, we haven’t had any problems.

Question: What is the difference between flying the Harrier and the F-35B with regard to operating on this ship?
Captain Andrew Smith: The takeoff and landing portion of the F35 is seamless with the ship. It is much easier to execute from the pilot perspective as well as the single officer perspective up in the tower.

We were able to, in a very short period of time, smooth out all of our process with the ship, have a team of three organizations come together, fly together for the first time, set up standard operating procedures (SOP) and function around the ship in a seamless manner.

And most of that is due to the fact that the jet takes care of a lot of the task loading that was resident in the Harrier and is not resident in this airplane. So now we are able to pay attention to flying around the ship, and being a good steward of the aircraft and the ship at the same time, and bringing aboard exactly on time, exactly on the fuel safe [state] that I’m looking to be aboard by.

Question: What blocks of software on the six airplanes?
Captain Andrew Smith: There are four block 2B aircraft and two block 3I aircraft...."

...Question: How would compare landing on this ship versus a large deck traditional Navy carrier?
Major Brendan Walsh: The first major thing that I noticed was that the deck is straight line all the way in. In many ways that takes a lot of the variables out of the landing pattern that you even have to do in daytime.

And you use an optical landing system very similar to what we have on the big deck carriers. But then you also get to stop over the ship. And you don’t have that last two seconds of very intense ball flying as we call it, CPM, where a lot of things can go wrong if you’re not very careful with your power settings or hitting the verbal on the backside of the carrier.

So the fact that you kind of get to stop and square yourself way and then you have another landing aid.

The hover position indicator which allows you to stop
, get yourself in position before the landing signals officer clears you to land, its less emotional...."

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/aboard-the-uss-w ... ss-report/
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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 05:48

Thought to make the UK take on THERMION separate - from same article from SLDinfo above:
"...Question: What has the British team learned from these trials that requires more work? What about the deck, for example?
Lt. Cdr. Neil Mathieson: The US and Royal Navies are certainly aware of the impact of the impact of F-35B jet launch on the deck. You will have seen on the flight deck something with a slightly different color coating. That is a product that working with the Naval Research Lab as a research program with regard to high temperature deck coatings.

The UK is working hand in glove with N95 to understand that deck coating improvements and take it across with application on Queen Elizabeth. Commercial and issues involved, there is a company in the UK that does this work as well as a company in the US that does the work.

And it’s really a research program just right now where we are measuring temperatures in the deck structure and learning if that product is going to be good enough to coat with. So that’s one area we are learning every single day. And actually one of many that we’ve seen throughout the week where we see an issue, we’re working the issue and we’re confident that there will be a solution by the end of the day...."
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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 08:30

I do not recall seeing this video before from DT-II in 2013 - it has good quotes from pilots about NIGHT OPS aboard WASP.

OOPs - here it was here earlier - my bad - still a good video for the flavour of recent OT-I: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=24438&p=259867&hilit=Interviews#p259867

Crew Interviews from F-35B Ship Trials
Published on Sep 19, 2013 LockheedMartinVideos

"Hear from the Marine and Navy aviators and maintainers that were aboard the USS Wasp for F-35B ship trials in August 2013."

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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 18:46

F-35 OT-1 By the Numbers
USS Wasp, Atlantic Ocean // June 03, 2015

"Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) conducted Operational Test-1, or OT-1. This exercise was intended to evaluate the full spectrum of F-35B measures of suitability and effectiveness while at sea. Data and lessons learned from OT-1 will lay the groundwork for F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious carriers following the Marine Corps’ F-35B initial operating capability (IOC) anticipated next month. To learn more, check out this quick wrap-up of the tests, by the numbers.

6: The number of F-35Bs aboard the USS Wasp from May 18-29 to conduct USMC OT-1. This marks the most F-35s ever deployed at sea at once.

240: Number of personnel who supported OT-1. This included everyone from maintainers to pilots and engineers to photographers from the Marines’ VMFA-121, VMX-22, VMFAT-501, MALS-13, and MALS-31, as well as a handful of Lockheed Martin employees.

108: Number of sorties completed during OT-1. During these sorties, Marines assessed several aspects of the F-35’s operational abilities, including aircraft-to-ship communications networks tests, and the latest release of Landing Signal Officer Launch and Recovery software.

4: Number of times OT-1 pilots had to take-off and land at night. Pilots flew the night operations without the assistance of night vision goggles or the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System, so communication with the on-board crew was key. According to Maj. Michael H. Rountree, a Marine Corps pilot who participated in OT-1, the jet was easier to fly than legacy aircraft, and he was "a lot less terrified" to carry out a night landing in the F-35B.

30: Number of maintenance demonstrations conducted aboard the USS Wasp. One of special note was the engine transfer test. During this test, Marines flew an Engine Power Module F onto the USS Wasp in an MV-22, unloaded it, and transferred it to the F-35 to stage an engine replacement exercise.

1: Number of Autonomic Logistics Operating System ALIS Standard Operating Units aboard the Wasp. This is the first ALIS unit installed at sea. During OT-1, the Marines assessed the newest version of ALIS, version 2.0.0, and its ability to transfer from land-based operations to sea-based operations. According Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, “ALIS worked very well to achieve our turnaround times.”

0: The number of “show stoppers” that occurred during OT-1, according to Lt. Gen Davis. He remarked that the F-35 is “right at home at sea.” "

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-ot ... he-numbers
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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 19:15

On page 2 of this thread 'Jon' posted F-35B/WASP details. We know one aircraft was replaced by a spare at some time but anyway here is anotherie. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27345&p=291318&hilit=VMFA#p291318
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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 21:27

spazsinbad wrote:.... How 'bout 6 Harriers on a WASP - ever been done? Probably when CarQual/ShipQuals or whatever the STOVLies call it - Op Testing for AV-8Bs? Dunno. I'll not get carried away.


Good Lord, I hope you're not serious...of course its been done plenty of times/deployments...photo's.....

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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 21:40

This is the quote and in context with earlier comments by others (on previous page):
"Post01 Jun 2015 23:16 'sferrin' These Bee pilots can be slagged as much as you wish however are not all of them for the moment experienced? Nuggets do not get into the F-35 system YET. Context will be important in any statement about sorties from a ship. There is no context - except this one (vague as it is - 6 Bees on a WASP). How 'bout 6 Harriers on a WASP - ever been done? Probably when CarQual/ShipQuals or whatever the STOVLies call it - Op Testing for AV-8Bs? Dunno. I'll not get carried away."

'checksixx' I do not know how long you have been reading this forum [20jul2005 I see now] however I distinctly recall posting similar information that you have provided going back to the beginning (AV-8As on USS F.D.R. back in 1976-77) with a post here for example:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=18021&p=215962&hilit=Roosevelt#p215962 (6feb2012 and there are less long informative posts earlier than that)

Now my comment - to explain - was how to compare 6 AV-8Bs ONLY on an LHA - compared to 6 F-35Bs ONLY on an LHA. The circumstance I surmised might be as described. Otherwise an LHA is chockablock with aircraft - or not. Right?

Add-On: Recently tiddly rogeraway posted a story about that FDR thing: http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-ti ... 1692022146
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Unread post03 Jun 2015, 21:52

Screenshot of FIVE Bees onboard from the best quality video version.

F-35B trials in USS Wasp, May 2015, part VI - [low quality video] HIGH QUALITY is here:

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/407436/o ... ke-fighter
&
https://www.dvidshub.net/download/popup/407436

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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 00:00

Here is an old quote from a 2002 article about USMC Harrier AV-8B landings where the 'boarding rate' issue is explained again I hope.
Marine Corps Harriers: Expeditionary firepower from the sea
01 May 2002 Rick Llinares Naval Aviation News

"...Former VMA-542 operations officer Major Steve Hagerty described what it's like to fly the one-of-a-kind jet. "During conventional flight, the handling and flight characteristics of the Harrier are similar to any other high-performance tactical combat aircraft. However, the Harrier's powerful Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine provides nearly 24,000 pounds of thrust. It accelerates quickly, like a dragster, and uses thrust vector control to direct engine thrust downward through four exhaust nozzles, which augments wing lift and results in short takeoff distances. The stick response is very smooth and controlled and with practice the vertical landing becomes fairly routine. Once on deck, the Harrier can again take off vertically and transition to conventional flight at up to 585 knots or 1.0 mach." In a typical daytime approach and landing in the AV-8B, Harrier pilots follow a sequence during the landing process that is not unlike that of their Navy brethren on the carrier. The primary difference is that there is one additional control lever, and the intent is to "Stop and Land" rather than "land and stop." The ability to stop and land provides first-pass boarding rates near 100 percent and allows the routine use of night-vision goggles for night recoveries.

Former VMA-542 skipper Lt. Col. Eric VanCamp described the steps a Harrier pilot goes through to land aboard ship: "The AV-8B pilot approaches the ship at 800 feet and 350 knots. Passing close up the right side of the ship, the pilot extends roughly 10 seconds and snaps the stick to the left, rolling the jet into a 4- to 6-0 turn. Simultaneously, the pilot pulls the throttle to idle with the left hand and then moves the exhaust nozzle lever to the 60-degree position while easing off the turn. "Rolling wings level on the downwind leg (opposite direction of initial heading), the pilot descends to 600 feet above ground level. As the aircraft decelerates through 300 knots, the pilot moves the flap switch to the short-takeoff-and-landing position, which causes the flaps to automatically program with nozzle position once the airspeed goes below 165 knots. The pilot extends the landing gear at 250 knots or less, and adds power sufficient to maintain on-speed flight at about 110 knots.

"The engine water injection switch is then moved to the landing position allowing for added thrust if needed. During takeoffs and landings, water can be injected into the turbine section of the AV-8B's engine to provide an additional 1,500 pounds of thrust if required.

"Continuing the turn, the pilot descends to 450 to 500 feet above ground level behind the ship-- referred to as 'rolling into the groove'--on a line running up the left side of the ship until the jet is at 300 feet above the water. The pilot makes a 'hover-stop' call to the landing signal officer [LSO], who helps talk the pilot down to a safe landing. At this point, the pilot smoothly slides the nozzle lever to hover-stop. This moves the nozzles 90 degrees pointing downward. The pilot then adds power as necessary to maintain glideslope position as indicated on the tower's optical landing system. The pilot controls the deceleration rate by slightly adjusting the attitude of the Harrier's nose. The jet is now alongside the intended point of landing, a mere 120 feet over the water and just 60 feet above the deck of the ship. The LSO says 'clear to cross' and the pilot moves the jet sideways to a hover over the designated spot. Once stabilized in the hover, the LSO clears the pilot to land and the pilot eases gently down and chops the throttles to idle. From this point the nozzles are moved to aft and the jet taxies as directed by the flight director."

Source: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Marine+Co ... a087374258

AND from the Robbin Laird 02 Jun post on top of this page is the F-35B 'boarding rate quote' for comparison:
"...The ship boarding rate is as high if not higher than the Harrier right now. I don’t enough data points to give you an exact number, but I can tell you from experience over a large number of landings in the Harrier and observing in the tower that this airplane is going to have a fantastically high boarding rate.

Question: What is a boarding rate?
Captain Andrew Smith: That’s the ability of the airplane to get aboard the ship without having to divert ashore. It’s something we’re very concerned with because we’re always trying to maintain the ability to divert in case of a problem. Well, we haven’t had any problems...."
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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 01:06

Absent an engine fire, failure of the nozzle drive air motor servo, or lack of RCS duct pressure, one will always come aboard in Harrier. The first pass boarding rate is astronomical compared to jets that come aboard with hooks/wires etc. That's why Farley talks about recoveries with such -- comparatively speaking -- frightfully small fuel states.

Boarding rates are not even tracked in Harrier ops. It is a non-issue.
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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 02:11

Yep I get that - but for the use of 'boarding rate' the issue becomes clouded. :devil: STOVL PILOTS SHOULD SHUT UP - PARTICULARLY LSOs! :mrgreen: Prolly influence of the CTOL types eh. :doh: For example (and I have many re 'CTOL "boredom rates" :mrgreen: ) AND... these are only a few of the many CTOL mentions of that 'boarding rate' thing.
"...In addition to this critical safety task, in the training environment, the LSOs must also track pilot performance,
calculate real-time grade point averages and boarding rates, and make quick decisions as to whether or not to
halt a student’s progress based on their trends. Currently, all of these tasks are being done by hand...." [bankers]

"...(10) Hook skip bolters. Hook skip bolters may or may not count against boarding rate. If the hook skip was pilot induced i.e., fast nose down or dropped nose to land, then the hook skip shall be graded as a bolter and count against boarding rate. If the hook skip was not pilot induced, the pass will be graded as a "no-count" and shall not be counted against boarding rate...."

"...Effects of Deck Motion: Due to basic geometry and the pivot point of the ship’s hull, a Flight Deck heaving 5.5 feet will cause the tailhook touchdown point of an aircraft on a 3.5 degree glide slope to move ±90 feet forward or aft in the landing area. Rough seas that pitch the ship ±3 degrees about its axis can cause over 20 feet of vertical ramp movement. Pitching decks can cause the FLOLS system to exceed its stabilization limits. Boarding rates during heavy seas can plummet below 50%...."

WOW! This quote is from 1990 when new landing aid tech was introduced - prescient huh? AUTHOR: "...instructor at the LSO School, an FRS instructor pilot and an LSO with VF-101. APPROACH Sep 1990 USN Flight Safety Magazine
"...The only problem I foresee with the new technologies is the following scene:
(Paddles enters the ready room for an LSO debrief)

Paddles: “Who was in 103?”
Dangerboy: “I was.”

Paddles: “Let’s see . . . SRD.X HIM CD.DLIC LL NOGRADE 3-WIRE.”
Dangerboy: “NO-GRADE?! I caught a 3-wire!”

Paddles: “So did the rest of the recovery. We had to target the 2-wire for awhile to give the 3-wire a rest. You were high in the middle.”
Dangerboy: “I was only three balls high!”

Paddles: “I know, but you landed THREE FEET LEFT!"

We could live with this."

"...The ultimate objective of every carrier approach is a safe arrested landing, or trap. There are many constraints to the landing task. Structures and safety physically constrain carrier landings, while operational requirements demand a high boarding rate (the percentage of approaches that result in a trap). Off-centerline landings are dangerous due to the proximity of personnel & equipment; short (low) approaches hazard striking the aft end of the ship. High approaches will fail to catch a wire. The structural limits of the hook and cross-deck pendant determine the maximum landing velocity. Sink rate is limited by the landing gear structure. Additionally, hook geometry requires the aircraft to land with a positive pitch angle, optimally five degrees, because the main gear must touchdown first. The positive pitch angle is also necessary for the hook to engage the wire....”

"...BOLTER AND WAVE-OFF OVERVIEW
Not all approaches end in an arrested landing. Midway’s Air Wing strives to reach a boarding rate goal of approximately 95% during the day, and 88% at night (today’s boarding rates are closer to 98% day and 96% night). This means that during the day, at least 95% of all aircraft successfully trap aboard on their first attempt. Unsuccessful landing attempts may be the result of either a bolter or a wave-off...."

"...As for Combat Boarding Rate (CBR), it is calculated by the number of traps divided by the total number of “attempted‟ traps with 90% being the goal for Case I/II and 85% for Case III. Both metrics are related to each other due to the fact that a bolter obviously hurts both your EF [Event Factor] as well as your CBR. Historically speaking, it tends to be a bit harder for Carrier Air Wings to achieve their Combat Boarding Rate numbers...

[earlier]...What are Event Factor (EF) and Combat Boarding Rate (CBR)? Event Factor measures the ability for the flight deck and air wing to work together to maximize lethality and survivability. Here is how it is measured over the course of a launch and recovery: Event Factor = (Total # of Launches + Total # of Recoveries)/(Minutes Elapsed)"

"...8.1.1 Flight Operations in Pitching Deck
When deck motion exceeds the stabilization capabilities of the IFLOLS as determined by the Staff LSO
(approximately 8 feet of total deck movement in less that 4 seconds), utilization of MOVLAS should be considered
for fixed wing aircraft recovery. If the deck is steady for extended periods between deck swings consideration should
be given to leaving the IFLOLS rigged and utilize LSO talk-downs during deck swings. This will maximize boarding rates.

Note
IFLOLS Stabilization capabilities are approximate and may vary depending on CV/N...."
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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 02:56

Perhaps this is what the STOVL pilots were getting at? Difficult for me to say - not having that experience.... Remember also the F-35B pilots were NOT using aids that will help a lot when the new fanglies become available. Footnote 59 'recovery equipment' not so good - will be irrelevant once JPALS is installed on LHAs / F-35Bs.
V/STOL SHIPBOARD RECOVERY: “IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER CARRIER LANDING”
12 Apr 2002 Major A. G. Shorter, United States Marine Corps

"...Conversely, the CV has always relied on the capability to launch a tanker aircraft used to refuel other aircraft if a pilot cannot get aboard for any number of reasons. This provides him the flexibility to continue trying, to attempt to find better weather, or to send the aircraft to an in-range divert. The boarding rate for a Harrier, on the contrary, is 100%, due to the ease of the procedure once the landing spot is visually acquired.58 The lack of a tanker aircraft, therefore, even from the early days when the aircraft was more challenging to fly, has never been a problem. The two questions that emerge from this discussion are:

1. Why are the day and night weather minimums for currency higher for V/STOL than for CTOL?

2. Why are there night field FCLPs required for V/STOL and not for CTOL? [CTOL aircraft practice BEST at NIGHT though - fewer distractions and more realistic land setup to simulate CVN]

The two concerns that could possibly account for higher or more restrictive V/STOL weather minimums for the currency requirements would come from a concern for the L-Class operating environment, which means higher safety margins are required to compensate for less than the precision equipment and its operators. Also, as mentioned earlier, the Harrier pilot must be able to visually acquire the ship in order to realize the 100% boarding rate, and he probably only has fuel for two attempts. In addition, the minimum ceiling is raised for recurrency training to ensure that the ship can be visually acquired earlier to allow for a controlled decelerating approach. A former wing commander, indeed, claims that the ship’s personnel and training are sub-par to that of a CV, and the Harrier Review Panel maintains that both surveillance and precision approach radars are “unacceptable by U.S. Navy carrier standards.”59 The first claim is subjective and debatable, but can be attributed to the aforementioned problems with the L-Class ships’ multi-role nature. The second claim is real, and is another factor that can be attributed to increasing the minimum weather requirements for currency over that of CTOL operations of the CVs.

Night recovery is based on either the Case III (same as the instrument recovery) or on a Case I profile, Case I if using night vision goggles (NVG’s). The difference between the instrument recovery and night Case III recovery is that the pilot never really receives any of the normal daytime cues that he gets after visually acquiring the ship. In the worst case, that of a dark, overcast night, there will be no references to the horizon other than what the aircraft instruments provide. To make matters worse, if there is any significant sea state, the movement of the ship, especially roll, can exacerbate the problem of determining where the level horizon is. [An ex-A4G/SHAR pilot has commented that in this severe case landing opposite the island is NOT recommended.] These are the factors that significantly increase the night recovery workload. Normally, and if within the range of a divert field, an aircraft that does not have a fully operational Gyro platform and a headsup display (HUD) to give the pilot usable artificial horizon position will not recover to the ship at night. At night, inside a mile, the pilot uses two sets of reference lights to establish a hover over the landing spot. Just as in the day, the recovery aircraft speed has been reduced to match that of the ship, albeit more by procedures than with the eye. As long as the pilot is able to scan his HUD for true horizon positioning, he can use the normal ship positioning cues and hover position indicator (HPI) lights to complete the deck recovery.

While instrument and night recoveries in the Harrier community are considered more difficult due to their reliance on the strict adherence to procedures, the final portion, however, more closely resembles a daytime fair weather V/STOL recovery than that of a CTOL recovery. This is where the challenge of finding the ship gets confused with landing on the ship. Why is it, then, that the USMC’s night currency requirements are more stringent than those of the U.S. Navy?...

NOTE 58: The 100% boarding rate is based on landings made once the aircraft has transitioned over the ship’s deck."

Source: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Lo ... =ADA407726 (PDF 110Kb)
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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quicksilver

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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 04:58

Yoohoo, hello...Spaz... :poke:

Boarding rate is not tracked in the Harrier community. It does not mean they dont know what the term means (they all qualified as tailhookers in flight school) -- it is not tracked, period. It is an irrelevant metric.

Tailhook Navy spends alotta time tracking it. Harrier (and now, F-35 guys) do not. It is an irrelevant metric because in practical terms, it cannot be improved.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post04 Jun 2015, 05:56

Fair enough - today - so why was SHORTER mentioning it in the excerpt - to define it as quoted:
footNOTE 58: The 100% boarding rate is based on landings made once the aircraft has transitioned over the ship’s deck."

I'll guess like I have been told in the SHAR world that there are approaches - especially from RAFcrabs & beginners - when they overshoot the ship whilst getting alongside in the high hover, and not able to transition, to do what I believe is called 'an anchor inspection' from which apparently recovery is most difficult, except to 'go around again'. Perhaps if an experienced STOVL pilot made such a beginner error he may be able to hover backwards a bit so to speak - but not a beginner. What does the USMC call these oopsies?

:doh: :mrgreen: BTW tell the F-35B pilots NOT TO MENTION THE BOARDING RATE EVER AGAIN! ForFsake. :devil: :doh:
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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