Marine test pilot makes first F-35B night landing at sea

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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Unread post15 Aug 2013, 21:22

Marine test pilot makes first F-35B night landing at sea 15 Aug 2013 By F-35 Joint Program Office Public Affairs | Headquarters Marine Corps
"USS WASP, At Sea -- A key milestone on the path to declaring F-35B initial operating capability for the U.S. Marine Corps is underway.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force from NAS Patuxent River, Md. embarked USS Wasp, Aug. 12, for the second at-sea test of the F-35B Lightning II, the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Developmental Test Phase Two is the second of three planned tests aimed at expanding the F-35B’s shipboard operating envelope for the U.S. Marine Corps. The first shipboard testing phase was successfully completed in October 2011. A milestone many point to as a turning point in F-35B development.

During the 18-day long ship trials, two F-35Bs will conduct a series of tests to determine the aircraft’s suitability for sea-based operations. Pilots will expand the F-35Bs allowable wind envelope for launch and recovery, conduct first-ever night operations at sea, conduct initial mission systems evaluations at sea, evaluate the dynamic interface associated with aircraft operations on a moving flight deck, and further evaluate shipboard sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

On Aug. 14, the first DT-II night vertical landing was accomplished by F-35 Marine Corps test pilot, Lt. Col. C.R. “Jimi” Clift. Clift, a Harrier pilot by training was pleased to be part of the milestone event.

“It all went extremely well,” said Clift. “Eight successful landings in one night, so we’re tracking favorably along the learning curve.”

Preparing for DT- II was no small task. Extensive Field Carrier Landing Practice training and qualifications wrapped up last week for the ITF at Patuxent River. Engineers completed electromagnetic environmental effects testing on the pair of F-35Bs being used in the ship trials. During the past month, F-35 maintainers have completed several actions to ensure the aircraft and support equipment were ready for shipboard operations.

Meanwhile, USS Wasp underwent a series of shipyard modifications to accommodate the F-35B, to include application of a new composite deck coating that offers additional heat protection, movement of some lights and sensors to better support F-35 landings, and installation of equipment to monitor environmental effects and collect data during F-35 operations. major actions taken included an on-site engine removal,which was performed in record time to ensure the aircraft were ready to deploy.

At the conclusion of DT-II, the Navy and Marine Corps team should have sufficient data to support certification for future F-35B Lighting II shipboard operations in anticipation of 2015 deployment."

http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/News/NewsAr ... t-sea.aspx

CAPTION: "CAPTION: "Lt. Col. C.R. “Jimi” Clift makes the first F-35B Lightning II night landing on USS Wasp during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event, Aug. 14. The F-35 Integrated Test Force is embarked on the Wasp for three weeks to expand the F-35B operational envelope in preparation for Marine Corps initial operational capability test in 2015. (Photo by MCSN Michael T. Forbes II, U.S. Navy) (Photo by MCSN Michael T. Forbes II)"

PHOTO: http://media.dma.mil/2013/Aug/15/200070 ... 72-136.JPG
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Unread post15 Aug 2013, 22:02

OMG!
AMAZING!
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Unread post15 Aug 2013, 22:08

Keep in mind that this was done without the new HMDS...
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Unread post15 Aug 2013, 22:32

Do you mean HMDS II (and not HMDS III - future version in some years time)? Landing Aids other than HMDS would have been used also (that are used in daytime - Harrier Landing Aids - that have been modified for F-35Bs I do not know, being used at night also). Will be nice to have more details about the landings. I guess that will come along with a video.
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Unread post15 Aug 2013, 22:46

Yes, HMDS Gen2, the one they have been using for a long time (3 years at least).

HMDS Gern3 is to be the one that goes IOC but is not out yet.
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 00:53

The flight was conducted unaided -- iow without use of the DAS or the NVC. The other HMDS features were fully operative.
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 00:54

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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 01:26

Thanks I heard/read a rumour to that effect. I guess you mean 'NVG' rather than 'NVC'? OR is 'NVC' Night Vision Capability?
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 02:10

The F-35 HMDS has a digital night vision camera, referred to as the NVC. This camera does not feature 'traditional' image intensifiers like NVGs. More technically it is the ISIE-10, the performance of which has created all the hoopla.

See munny's post at -- http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-315.html
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 03:33

the Bee is back at sea? Love it!
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 03:58

'quicksilver' thanks for clarification. I tend to use 'non-standard' terms I guess - so I should use 'NVC as viewed in HMDS'?

NOT using NVC in my head the forum was searched to find very few uses of "NVC" - except recently of course.
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Unread post16 Aug 2013, 22:31

No Night Moves here but some new daytime VLs aboard USS Wasp Video:

F-35B Lightning ll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pThT6DIG ... r_embedded
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Unread post17 Aug 2013, 00:41

Image

Image


Image

Why are these pics on Chinese websites first? :?
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Unread post17 Aug 2013, 01:36

The internet is faster than most of us can keep up - those who sleep anyway - in different time zones no less. Perhaps those Chinese Hackers are in the Twilight Zone? :D

Faster than my speed of thot here is a cropped version of the original 5.5Mb JPG:
"130814-O-ZZ999-390 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe/Released)/Released)"

http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/ ... 99-390.jpg
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Unread post17 Aug 2013, 12:50

spazsinbad wrote:'quicksilver' thanks for clarification. I tend to use 'non-standard' terms I guess - so I should use 'NVC as viewed in HMDS'?

NOT using NVC in my head the forum was searched to find very few uses of "NVC" - except recently of course.


The NVC is an integral part of the helmet -- it is always there. There are a few pics around where one can see it above the edge-roll just above the pilot's brow (top of his forehead).

Conversely, traditional NVGs are temporary attachments that are affixed to one's helmet just for night flying, and removed after the flight is over. For the most part, the only thing retained on the helmet is some kind of attachment device or bracket. Not so with the NVC -- it is always on the helmet -- but because it is so small, it does not encumber the helmet for day flying like a set of NVGs would (do).
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