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 post06 Sep 2013, 08:47

Well you asked a question that needed a response in my view but as always it will be a work in progress. Otherwise I suspect you would get no response. Firstly have you been at sea in a relatively large ship? Here is an example of an RN CVS hitting some large swell somewhere (I do not know the details) from: http://i842.photobucket.com/albums/zz34 ... /jump2.jpg

My personal interest is in the history of the RAN/RN fixed wing aircraft carrier ops with the USN the only game in town these days. However not being in the STOVL world (although many former A4G pilots went there - mostly to the RN) I do have some connections to that history vicariously. As I say I will research the question - be patient.

There is an excellent documentary (often only available to those of the US persuasion sadly) on the internet called 'CARRIERS' I think - on the PBS network anyway - which has a segment about the long Pacific swells causing consternation on a CVN a few years ago. The sea is powerful. Any sized ship is always small by comparison.
__________________

An example of how a CVN is able to move:

"...10 Mar–21 Mar 1992: Hampered by high winds, heavy seas and poor flying conditions, Dwight D. Eisenhower [CVN-69] participated in Teamwork 92, a huge NATO exercise off southern Scotland.,... Appalling weather, including heavy snow squalls that reduced visibility to “near zero,” forced all hands topside to don cold weather gear but kept Russian ship interference to a minimum, though they did monitor operations.... Seven F/A-18C Hornets experienced hard landings, mostly due to the flight deck pitching as much as 35 feet during rolls...."

http://archive.is/YfSk
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Nothing found for USN / USMC LHAs but an inference is building about how ships move at sea.... [search forum for 'Collins' will find similar stories about such matters - onesuch: http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... ins#224188 ]

Flying the Sea Harrier: a test pilot’s perspective By Peter Collins, Flight International 20/04/09
"...Recalling one experience, Collins says: "It was a perfect day, but Lusty was heaving in a massive swell and the flight deck was pitching through 6°. I manoeuvred into my launch position while Flyco [Flying Co-ordination] had a think about it. Through my forward canopy the entire world alternated from completely bright blue to completely bright green (the sea was alive with plankton) as the ship pitched through more angles than I had ever seen before. Refusing the launch is mutiny: it has to be done by the pilot slamming the throttle as the deck starts to pitch down. Thankfully Flyco scrubbed the launch!" Illustrious returned home after two months of duty, with Collins having logged a total of 66 deck landings. "I am immensely proud of my short time with the Fleet Air Arm," says Collins...."

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... ctive.html
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Unread post06 Sep 2013, 12:00

This same old VSTOL NATOPS will be attached also. Meanwhile here is there take on the Harrier Launch Procedure.... [I'll look at AV-8B NATOPS also - which says "Shipboard Procedures 8.1 GENERAL SHIPBOARD PROCEDURES Refer to NAVAIR 00-80T-111 (below).]

V/STOL SHIPBOARD AND LANDING SIGNAL OFFICER NATOPS MANUAL 01 July 2004 NAVAIR 00-80T-111
8.1.4 Day Short Takeoff Procedures. page 8-2
"...6. Pilot shall salute when ready.

7. The launch officer will touch the deck when cleared to launch.

8. Apply full power on the launch signal and hold the brakes until the tires skid.

9. Note maximum rpm and water flow if required.

10. Guard the stick in the preset stabilator trim position throughout the deck run and nozzle
rotation.

11. If the aircraft deviates from the tramline, do not attempt to correct back to the tramline
immediately or PIO may occur. Instead, a correction should be made so the aircraft arrives
at the nozzle rotation line with the nose tire on the tramline.

12. Rotate the nozzles briskly to the STO stop at the nozzle rotation line.

Note
There may be a slight pause depending on
excess end speed before the aircraft rotates.
This is because of the time delay from nozzle
rotation until the flaps fully program. This is
normal, and no pilot compensation is
required.

13. At bow exit, expect a noseup rotation that will tend to increase in rate slightly as the target attitude is achieved. The proper attitude is achieved when the depressed attitude symbol (witch’s hat) is maintained between the pitch carets and the 5_ pitch bar. With the proper trim set, the aircraft will seek the proper attitude. A small forward stick check will be required to stop the pitch rate and maintain the exit attitude. The pilot shall maintain the witch’s hat between the pitch carets and the 5_ pitch bar. Do not pull the nose off the deck.

WARNING
Checking the attitude at less optimum may
result in a sink off the bow.

14. After a positive rate of climb is established, commence an accelerating transition...."

http://www.robertheffley.com/docs/CV_en ... Manual.pdf (1Mb)
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00-80T-111 - VSTOL Shipboard and LSO Manual Jul2004 1Mb.pdf
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LHD-LHAdeckMarksOverheadLaunchLSOnatops.gif
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Unread post06 Sep 2013, 12:25

From the SAC Standard Aircraft Characteristics PDF here are the AV-8B T/O Statistics.

http://www.history.navy.mil/planes/av-8b.pdf (0.3Mb)
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Unread post06 Sep 2013, 19:40

lookieloo wrote:With their relatively low speeds and high freeboard, how often does water come over the bow of an LHD/LHA? I always thought roll was the main issue with such decks.

Water over the bow happen on big-deck CVN carriers, Catapult Officers try and time the movement so they don't send a jet into the water. There is a few photos of Super Hornets being sprayed by water over the bow, but flight operations were put on hold.

Pitch is often the bigger issue landing on a carrier, rolling deck causes line-up deviations and a harder than typical landing. A pitching deck can cause a perfectly good approach to grab the 1-wire and have a near ramp strike. The USN LSOs use MOVLAS to manually guide a jet during heavy movement conditions. Hard landings in difficult deck conditions can occur even with experienced senior pilots.
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 01:51

Another STO view I have not seen before. Original: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3829/9602 ... 6149_o.jpg

15 Aug 2013 USS Wasp DT-II
&
19 Aug 2013 etc: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3727/9614 ... 490a_o.jpg
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F-35B STO 15 Aug 2013 USS Wasp DT-II.jpg
F-35B_STOsideWasp19Aug2013zoom.jpg
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Unread post12 Sep 2013, 12:50

VIDEO: RAF Pilot performs first UK takeoff of F-35B Lightning at sea
"Published on Sep 12, 2013
Squadron Leader Jim Schofield performs the first short takeoff at sea in a F-35B aircraft onboard USS Wasp"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYy0XR6E ... e=youtu.be
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Unread post13 Sep 2013, 01:24

Has anyone posted these videos on the Falklands War?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYO5nfMLTKo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHBevZT23c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A44HHf5f73M

also caught this smaller one on the harrier specifically:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFJ7wRbHRIo

But there seems to be a contradiction about what aircraft took out the runway:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTDYcuoOKkM
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Unread post17 Sep 2013, 21:29

These two videos are the ones I had in mind earlier (but I'm - along with others not of the US persuasion - not able to see them here) about illustrating how a CVN is affected by the sea...

PBS: Carrier - Landing on a Pitching Deck Pt. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gGMI8d3vLs

PBS: Carrier - Landing on a Pitching Deck Pt. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0yj70QbBzg
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Unread post17 Sep 2013, 23:38

spazsinbad wrote:These two videos are the ones I had in mind earlier (but I'm - along with others not of the US persuasion - not able to see them here) about illustrating how a CVN is affected by the sea...

PBS: Carrier - Landing on a Pitching Deck Pt. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gGMI8d3vLs

PBS: Carrier - Landing on a Pitching Deck Pt. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0yj70QbBzg

That part about having to send tankers up -- which increases the number of aircraft that need to trap in difficult conditions -- and the 15 straight bolters, may be something to consider in discussions about using V-22s for COD and tankers.
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Unread post20 Sep 2013, 06:54

VIDEO: Crew Interviews from F-35B Ship Trials
"Published on Sep 19, 2013
Hear from the Marine and Navy aviators and maintainers that were aboard the USS Wasp for F-35B ship trials in August 2013."


___________________

Ship Trials Bring F-35B Capability, Operational Utility Into Focus
"FORT WORTH, Texas, September 19, 2013 - Recent ship trials for the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35B onboard the USS Wasp [LHD-1] underscored the fifth-generation fighter's unique capabilities and operational utility according to Marines and sailors alike.

In a video released today, U.S. Navy Capt. Erik Etz stated, "A fifth-generation aircraft, such as the F-35, will open up threat areas where previous legacy fighters that operate off L-class ships weren't even invited to play. So, an F-35B operating from this type of ship really gives a joint war-fighting commander different options to affect change in the world wherever it is necessary."

Marine Corps Capt. Mike Kingen, an F-35 test pilot, added, "Ship-borne capabilities are important for the F-35B because they are important for the Marine Corps. Having F-35B, having a stealth platform that's organic to that unit will allow us to support the Marines…. The F-35 is going to allow future pilots to worry less about stick and rudder skills and more about executing the mission."

"The fact that the Harrier was not fly by wire at all, there was nothing in between me and the flight controls," said Marine Corps Maj. Michael Rountree, an F-35 test pilot. "So, I could do things in the Harrier that would very specifically get me killed if I did them incorrectly. Whereas in this airplane there is a level of protection between me and those flight control surfaces. So in a mission - you know up and away from the ship - that's going to allow me more time to think about the tactical picture, thinking about how I'm going to support the Marines on the ground."

During the 18-day long ship trials, two F-35Bs conducted a series of tests to determine the aircraft's suitability for sea-based operations. The aircraft completed 95 vertical landings, 19 of which were conducted at night, and 94 short takeoffs. The ship trials, known as Developmental Test-II, were a key milestone on the Marine Corps' path to Initial Operating Capability which is scheduled for 2015...."

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... ility.html
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Unread post21 Sep 2013, 13:33

On page 3 of this thread 'F16VIPER' asked a question about back o helmet logo. "...Also any good shots of the taped HMD helmet? It seems to have the F-35 logo at the back." Here is another go:
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Unread post23 Sep 2013, 13:59

A force of 174,000: Corps will cut Marines to save readiness 23 Sep 2013 James K. Sanborn
"...Aviation
Likewise, in the aviation community, the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and CH-53K heavy lift helicopter remain priorities.

In August, the F-35 underwent sea trials, conducting 95 vertical landings. That was 40 percent more than expected, putting testing for the next-generation fighter ahead of schedule, said Brig. Gen. Matthew Glavy, the assistant deputy commandant for aviation.

Meanwhile, roll-out is on schedule with 16 F-35s to be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., by the end of September, he said. Elsewhere, construction projects to support the new aircraft are on schedule. Next year, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which operates the F-35, will relocate from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C...."

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/article ... /309230003
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Unread post24 Sep 2013, 21:33

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Unread post19 Oct 2013, 11:45

F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts 17 Oct 2013
"...F-35B accomplishes first night vertical landing aboard the USS Wasp (Aug. 14)

Developmental Test II aboard the USS Wasp completed; 95 VLs, 94 STO, 19 Night VLs; 42 flights each by two aircraft in 17 available flying days (Aug. 30)..."

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-18223.html (180Kb PDF)
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Unread post03 Nov 2013, 19:37

F-35B Conducts Second Round of Sea Trials aboard USS Wasp 18 Oct 2013
"In August 2013, the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Conducted the second set of sea trials for the short takeoff and vertical landing variant (F-35B) aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1). Test team members talk about the three-week period and what it means for the development of the F-35B for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. (Lockheed Martin video)"

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