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Unread post19 Mar 2020, 20:15

Dutch Lightning leader
April 2020 Bob Fischer

"Last October, a first Dutch F-35A to be permanently stationed at Leeuwarden arrived at the base in the north of the country. At the controls was Lt Col Ian ‘Gladys’ Knight, who talked to Bob Fischer about Dutch F-35 numbers and dogfighting in the stealth warplane....

...Fighters compared
Knight considers flying the F-35 even easier than the F-16. “Of course, looking at the flight controls, the fighter is more advanced. But the simplicity of flying gives the pilot more time for the ‘real’ job – the use of the F-35 as a weapon-and-sensor platform. The turbofan engine is more powerful and able to accelerate faster, which can be proved during dogfights and basic fighter manoeuvres [BFM]. When looking at dogfighting capabilities, the F-35 is in between the F-16 and the F/A-18. Another difference is that the F-35 is equipped with an auto-throttle, which functions as a kind of a cruise control. G-forces will be the same as with the F-16 – around 9G.

“Navigation maps are shown on a display on the instrument panel, but paper maps are still used in the cockpit,” Knight added. The pilots use a military variant of the standard civilian approach plates – the printed charts used to fly instrument approaches. “The back-up contains several layers – it looks like GPS or INS [inertial navigation system] and is comparable with the F-16, but it’s more advanced. Pilots’ checklists will also see a digital variant introduced in the future, but today’s version is still paper.”...

...In terms of pilot training, four full-mission simulators are at the base. More will be provided at Volkel Air Base, and these will all ultimately be linked together. No other procedure trainers have been acquired for the F-35...."

Source: AirForces Monthly Magazine April 2020 No.385
Dutch F-35A ACM AirForces Monthly Apr 2020 pp2.pdf
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A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber

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