F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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Unread post19 Mar 2013, 22:39

GAO F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER March 2013 [for the record - apologies if a repeat elsewhere]

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652948.pdf (1Mb) page 9-10

“...The Navy’s F-35C carrier-suitable variant exceeded its number of planned flights and planned test points for 2012. Testing verified the basic flight envelope (demonstrating ranges of speed and altitude), flight with external weapons, and prepared the aircraft for simulated carrier landings. The program also accomplished shore-based tests of a redesigned arresting hook (the hook engages the landing wires on aircraft carriers)....”
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page 11
"...During 2012, the carrier variant Arresting Hook System was redesigned after the original hook was found to be deficient, which prevented active carrier trials. During shore-based tests, the program accomplished risk reduction testing of a redesigned hook point to inform this new design. The preliminary design review was conducted in August 2012 and the critical design review in February 2013. Flight testing of the redesigned system is slated for late 2013...."
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Unread post11 Apr 2013, 04:38

Lockheed promises tailhook fix to Navy’s F-35C 10 Apr 2013 Richard Sisk
"Lockheed Martin has come up with a new design for the tailhook on the F35 Joint Strike Fighters that should allow the Navy variant, the F-35C, to land on carriers and speed the long-elayed process of getting the aircraft out to the fleet, Lockheed and Navy officials said Wednesday.

Navy officials also said that they’ll have to do refits of the big-deck L-class of helicopter assault ships to accommodate the extreme heat and noise generated by the Marine Corps’ vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B....

[Vice Adm. David Dunaway, head of the Naval Air Systems Command]...“I can promise you that problems will occur” in the process of acquiring 260 F-35C Navy versions of the JSF, and 353 [?] F-35B Marine versions, Dunaway said....

...“Our original design was not performing as expected,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president for the F35 Lightning II program. Martin said the “toe” of the tailhook, the part that grabs the wire, had been re-designed along with the “hold down damper” gear that forces the tailhook down on the deck.

“It’s now in line with what the legacy aircraft uses,” Martin said of the new F-35 tailhook. She said the new assembly will be tested this summer at the Navy’s Lakehurst, N.J., facility and carrier tests were expected later this year.

Dunaway said he believed Lockheed Martin had found the right tailhook fix before he beck pedaled and said: “I will be a trust but verify person.” Rear Adm. Randollph Mahr, the deputy Program Executive Officer for the F-35, said “I have high confidence that that tailhook will be catching wires at Lakehurst.”

In other testing, the Navy found that its L-class ships would have to be adapted to the F-35, and “ship change notices are going out now to the L-class ships,” said Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. “We have to adapt the ships to the new environment” that comes with the F-35s, he said.

The Navy was adding thermite [THERMION - thermite will be interesting] coating to the flight decks to guard against the heat blast from the vertical-lift engines of the F-35Bs, Darrah said. Additional baffling will be added to the substructure to lower the decibel level below decks, he said...."

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/04/10/lockh ... vys-f-35c/
_______________

"Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of metal powder fuel and metal oxide. When ignited by heat, thermite undergoes an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction. Most varieties are not explosive but can create brief bursts of high temperature in a small area. Its form of action is similar to that of other fuel-oxidizer mixtures, such as black powder."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite
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 post11 Apr 2013, 06:08

"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post16 Apr 2013, 01:10

A COST EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS OF USING ALTERNATE MATERIALS FOR NON-SKID IN SHIPBOARD APPLICATIONS June 2003 Kurt P. Boenisch, Hector A. Cervantes, Andrew J. Clark IV, Jesse G. Espe, and Erik B. Lohrke
"...ABSTRACT
This MBA project investigated and evaluated the cost effectiveness of using alternative materials in shipboard construction, specifically in the area of non-skid application on surface ships. This project identified the costs and benefits of different alternatives to the currently used non-skid and identified whether these alternatives would be feasible for use onboard Navy ships. The analysis indicates that the Thermion alternative shows the potential for the most significant cost savings across the Surface Fleet, while the Liquidmetal alternative also shows potential for savings compared to the current status quo. It is recommended that both the Thermion and Liquidmetal alternatives be prototyped on Navy warships to better define their costs and benefits and evaluate their suitability for use....

...D. Thermion Coating Process
Thermion, Inc. supplies a aluminum-ceramic core non-skid that is a promising alternative to current Navy non-skid. Thermion’s purpose is to provide a wear resistant surface to steel and aluminum that is long lasting and protects against corrosion.28 The Thermion coating is made up of 54% aluminum and 46% ceramic powder. This makes the coating extremely light, only 0.5 lb/ft², which exceeds the specifications for weight as set by NSTM chapter 634. When the non-skid is applied to a steel surface, the material forms a tough coating that bonds to the metal. The aluminum element in the coating acts as a binder for the ceramic powder, which results in a sealant that is extremely resistant to corrosion and wear.

The theoretical life of the product, based on the properties of the material, is 50 years. However, Thermion’s process has only been used commercially during the past 5 years. As a result, testing data on the useful life of the product are not available to support the contractor’s claim. The contractor recommends a lifespan of 10 years based on the lack of testing data in a harsh naval environment. Therefore, it is recommended that this material be prototyped onboard a Navy surface vessel for testing and evaluation to verify the durability of the material....

...Comparing the ten year costs of each application, reduced to net present value, it is clear that Alternative 1, the Thermion case, is significantly lower in costs than the status quo or Alternative 2. Alternative 2 shows significant cost savings over the status quo as well. Alternative 1 is less expensive than the status quo by a factor of four over the 10 year period, despite a somewhat larger initial investment, and less expensive by a factor of three than Alternative 2 over the same period.

...V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
While our analysis concludes that the Thermion alternative is superior because it exhibits the least cost incurred, it potentially has several other advantages. Thermion has the advantage of reducing topside weight and its effects on a ship’s calculated stability and its coefficient of friction is greater than the standard set forth in NSTM 634. Whenever a naval architect is able to reduce topside weight, a ships stability and seakeeping ability is improved. Thermion’s coefficient of friction is 1.1, which surpasses the NSTM minimum dry specification of .95. Thermion’s improved coefficient of friction has the potential of reducing shipboard injuries and improving the efficiency of topside operations.

Based on our analysis, we propose that Alternative 1 [THERMION] be adopted as a potential replacement for the status quo non-skid on Navy Surface ships. We recommend that the Thermion process non-skid be prototyped on a surface ship to test the durability characteristics in the real world environment. We recommend a two year test of the Thermion coating in a real world environment, with application of both the new coating and the status quo coating on the same ship. The results of that test could be extrapolated to reflect the full useful life of the Thermion coating...."

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA417331 (PDF 0.6Mb)
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 Apr 2013, 01:11

GAO bigwig testimony in PDF format 17 Apr 2013 - just repeated here for confirmation of earlier report seen above about same issue...

F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER
Program Has Improved in Some Areas, but Affordability Challenges and Other Risks Remain

Statement of Michael J. Sullivan, Director Acquisition and Sourcing Management
Testimony: 17 April 2013
Before the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653857.pdf (0.5Mb)

"...3. Arresting hook system—The carrier variant arresting hook system was redesigned after the original hook was found to be deficient, which prevented active carrier trials. The program accomplished risk reduction testing of a redesigned hook point to inform this new design. The preliminary design review was conducted in August 2012 and the critical design review in February 2013. Flight testing of the redesigned system is slated for late 2013...."
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 post25 Apr 2013, 04:19

From Gen Bogdan's prepared statement before the SASC:

"A Critical Design Review was completed in February 2013 on a redesigned arresting hook system and modeling and simulation involving the redesigned hook showed a marked improvement in performance. Ground test of this newly redesigned hook is scheduled at Lakehurst, NJ in the 4th Quarter of 2013, followed by aircraft carrier qualifications in 3rd Quarter of 2014."

http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/st ... -24-13.pdf
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Unread post25 Apr 2013, 05:39

From another thread for sake of archive about hook issues - this quote is repeated: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-23850.html
Lt General Christopher C. Bogdan Program Executive Officer F-35 SASC Written Testimony 24 Apr 2013
"....During land-based ship suitability testing in 2011, the F-35C tailhook did not catch the arresting wire at a rate considered to be acceptable. A Critical Design Review was completed in February 2013 on a redesigned arresting hook system and modeling and simulation involving the redesigned hook showed a marked improvement in performance. Ground test of this newly redesigned hook is scheduled at Lakehurst, NJ in the 4th Quarter of 2013, followed by aircraft carrier qualifications in 3rd Quarter of 2014. Although work remains to be done, I am confident this new hook will meet our needs...."

http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/st ... -24-13.pdf (180Kb)
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 post07 May 2013, 01:20

STRIKE TEST NEWS Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 Newsletter 2012 Issue
"...MISSION SYSTEMS AIRCRAFT...
...CF-3 returned to Patuxent River after completing final finishes in Fort Worth in early March [2012] and continues to perform F-35C mission systems testing, as well as ship suitability events. Initial catapult tests have been executed on standard steam systems as well as EMALS. A tailhook dynamics evaluation was conducted while performing cable roll-overs and roll-in arrestments at NAS Patuxent River and NAES Lakehurst. A new hook point design was validated at speeds up to 100 knots, trapping on each attempt....

http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/index ... oad&id=670 (PDF 2.1Mb)
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Unread post07 May 2013, 05:25

Paddles monthly April 2013 APARTS Revival LCDR Stan “Pleber” Hanley
"...the data is being used to analyze the hook skip bolter rate for the fleet to compare with the future capability of the Joint Strike Fighter. It's something good to talk about over beer...."

http://hrana.org/wp-content/uploads/201 ... il2013.pdf (0.7Mb)
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Unread post08 May 2013, 11:05

Paddles monthly May 2013 | Half-Flap Rhino Brad “Barf” Byers
"...The question is, can we, and more importantly should we, make half-flaps the standard configuration for Rhinos during CV operations?...

...That said, the old adage applies, “there is no free lunch.” The consensus during carrier suitability testing was that there is a slight improvement to handling characteristics at half-flaps (it’s worth noting that, historically, it doesn’t get much easier than landing a Rhino on the boat)....

...To reiterate an earlier statistic, a half-flap Rhino will hit the arresting gear 8 kts faster than a full-flap Rhino, a 7% increase in arresting gear loads and a FLE impact to the arresting gear. With the bulk of our Air Wings now being comprised of Rhinos, this is not a moot point. There are other potential consequences that are worth investigating in addition to arresting gear FLE issues. A Rhino recently taxied out of the LA, following an arrested landing, with its hook point dangling by the hook-point bolt at one end. One end of the hook-point bolt had sheared off completely. This example is the most dramatic of several recent HAZREPS highlighting Rhino hook-point issues. Airframe FLE is also a concern that must be evaluated.

From a layman’s perspective, there could be several causes for these hook point issues. Rhinos selecting burner in the wires, a 480 standard single-weight setting (this shouldn’t be the issue), or (drum roll please) pilots selecting half-flaps on their own after hearing Paddles announce the winds. You heard that right. I recently heard a rumor that some pilots are hearing the winds call and selecting the flap setting that they prefer. This is a serious safety concern that needs Paddles’ immediate attention. If you have individuals in your Air Wing who think it’s OK to select their flap setting based on your winds call, you need to put an end to that yesterday...."


There is an issue with F-35C performing better in FCLP with half flap rather than full flap (an ongoing testing item as I understand) - part of the warp and woof of NavAv eh.
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 post08 May 2013, 18:20

jetnerd wrote:I still don't see the harm in putting CF-3 on the EMALs prototype while it's there at Lakehurst. A program spokeswoman had responded bascially that it wasn't the time to do it (understandable). But even if there's no need to address any issues that may happen to be found with EMALS (i.e. the EM environment and all of the '35's sensors, complex systems) at least it givess a longer time to think/plan about it.


Good idea!

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... 3448FADC23

LAKEHURST, N.J. (Nov. 18, 2011) An F-35C Lightning II test aircraft piloted by Lt. Christopher Tabert launches for the first time from the new electromagnetic aircraft launch system.
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Unread post08 May 2013, 22:48

spazsinbad wrote:Paddles monthly May 2013 | Half-Flap Rhino Brad “Barf” Byers
"...The question is, can we, and more importantly should we, make half-flaps the standard configuration for Rhinos during CV operations?.......There is an issue with F-35C performing better in FCLP with half flap rather than full flap (an ongoing testing item as I understand) - part of the warp and woof of NavAv eh.


... at first pass, AAG and JPALS could handle the "half flap" approach but quickly devolves to "can the hook handle it??". Spaz provided a pic of an a/c hanging over the handrail by the "tailhook", obviously that one handled that incident. The improved (intelligent) deceleration response by the AAG and bi-directional communication by JPALS should give the hook a better chance at surviving a catastrophe, but is the energy capacity of the attachment (connections) up to the mentioned 8-10 knots increase in approach speed and the landing weight; F= Mx Vel(2)?? ....one hopes :wink:
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Unread post08 May 2013, 23:18

Good points 'neppie'. I'll have to dig out the reference to the 'F-35C half flap flap'. JPALS should make a huge difference to accuracy of any aircraft landing; but, remember, the F-35C pilots will probably be flying manual / semi-automatic landings also, where they may make 'slight' AoA/KIAS errors at the last second. I guess it will all be sorted. AAG should make a big difference once it is 'rolled out' CVF fleet wide eventually. In the MEAN time the old Mk.7? arrestor gear may have to be coddled. :D
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Unread post08 May 2013, 23:32

So good to see that EMALS has moved along well enough that it met the installation time frame for CVN 78 and that they are confident enough to test the C models on it.

[Slightly off topic and for the other thread, I know, I wonder if everyone had known for sure that EMALS would successfully reach this milestone that the Brits would have kept the "C"s for the CVF program.]

While a moot point now for the CVF program, going forward, EMALS' success presents the possibility of an allied (non-nuclear) CATOBAR carrier equipped with F-35C's in the future. Is there any country out there besides the UK with the budget and operational need to eventually do it ?
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Unread post09 May 2013, 00:25

'jetnerd' another thread has a lot of info about WHY the UK did not proceed with their 'cats n'flaps' muddle. [ http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... uddle.html ] A minor point would have been EMALS which at the time the flip-flop decision was being pondered had been tested by all the relevant EMALS/aircraft combinations in the USN - there was no risk on that score.

As for any non-USN-Nucklear Carrier? The French just cancelled their PA-2 effort. Brazil may be a future contender (they are getting richer by the day to be able to afford a new carrier one day). The UK will not be building any new carriers (other than the present 2 CVFs) in our lifetimes.

China has an EM test catapult track. They are likely to use their own EM catapult for their new build conventional carriers.
__________________

From another forum (and I do not have enough Francaise to check the French PDF):

"France's White Paper on Defence and Security came out a couple of weeks ago: http://www.gouvernement.fr/sites/defaul ... e_2013.pdf

Implications of France's SDSR on UK
"Relevant key changes:
- Defence budget to be 1.5% of GDP
- PA2 cancelled [new aircraft carrier based on CVF design]
- 4th Mistral cancelled
- FREMMs capped at 9 and FREDA cancelled
- LPD Siroco to be decommissioned
- Capability of 3 naval AEW&C systems maintained
- Retain ability to deploy 40 fast jets abroad
- Rafale numbers capped at 225 over the life and eventually replacing Mirage 2000Ds
- 12 MRTTs vs 13 originally planned"

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... -UK?page=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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