Navy F-35C DT-III Testing

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Sep 2016, 11:18

Another 6 page PDF of entire article attached....
Glad to be Back!
Oct 2016 James DeBoer AirForces Monthly

"After a ten-year gap, the ‘Grim Reapers’ of VFA-101 recently returned to the aircraft carrier. Its mission, as James DeBoer witnessed, was to complete the third phase of F-35C development testing....

...To conduct the daytime CQs, the squadron took five aircraft, 12 pilots and more than 80 maintainers including enlisted sailors and contractors. The squadron was joined by two F-35Cs from the experimental test squadron, VX-23, which, along with the Integrated Test Force (ITF), were working on the final Developmental Test (DT) period known as DT-III. To qualify for daytime carrier landings, each pilot at VFA-101 needed ten traps and two touch-and-goes, the same number needed for Hornet carrier qualifications. This could be reduced though, due to newer technologies such as the Delta Flight Path incorporated in the F-35C. This piece of kit helps improve safety during landing on a carrier deck. The first three aircraft took off from Eglin AFB on the morning of August 14 for the 90-minute flight to the ship. Each of the pilots conducted a touch-and-go before catching the wire. Once on board, the pilots were quickly positioned for another catapult launch, they would then repeat the landing sequence nine more times. Two more F-35Cs from the squadron followed the same day.

“We’re out here developing a syllabus,” said Capt James ‘Cruiser’ Christie, the Commanding Officer of VFA-101. “The carrier qualifications went really well for us. One of our big ‘takeaways’ was that Delta Flight Path is clearly going to be the new standard for precision landing modes (PLM). The PLMs are a remarkable change to how we fly around the ship. This technology will make the average fleet pilots approaches to the ship safer as well as improve their boarding rate”.

The squadron logged 154 approaches to the ship with a 100% boarding rate, with not a single ‘bolter’ or ‘wave-off’, which is when the pilot goes around again.

Additionally, the pilots did not catch a single 1-Wire, the wire furthest aft and considered on the low side of the glide slope. “It’s a pretty big statement to say we had a 100% boarding rate, with no bolters. This all means the [jet’s] hook was touching down where we wanted it to almost all of the time. Over 80% of our landings caught the 3-Wire so that statistic is pretty remarkable” said Capt Christie....

...The squadron helped with DT-III while out at sea. One of its test points was the removal of the engine from an F-35C in the hangar bay while under way.

Capt Christie said: “When the test point came out, we realised there were resources in the fleet that could perform this and that there would be a benefit to all parties involved. An agreement between the head of test and the ship’s Air Boss to have VFA- 101, led to the test being conducted. We had the VX-23 Integrated Test Force out with us to make sure we were capturing what the test guys wanted us to do and for them to properly document all the test points. Our team at VFA-101 is extremely experienced at changing engines on shore, so we were up to the job. I think we exceeded all expectations on how quickly and efficiently we were able to accomplish the task. Many observers were thinking it would take about 72 hours and the team did it in under 20 maintenance hours. That’s a great success”....

...The LSO
Lt Graham Cleveland was serving as a landing signal officer (LSO) with VFA-101 during the carrier qualifications. Lt Cleveland has been part of all three DTs [Delirium Tremens] as an LSO.

He said: “So far, the data looks good. In this round of testing, there have so far been no bolters, when an aircraft unintentionally misses the wire, and no landing wave-offs attributed to aircraft performance or safety issues”.

Lt Cleveland added that all the new technology that helps pilots safely operate around the ship reduces the pilot workload, so the Navy may be able to cut FCLPs from the current 16 to 18 practices to as little as four to six. When it comes to carrier qualification requirements, Lt Cleveland envisages the possibility of reducing the number of needed traps from ten to six. All these reductions would result in huge savings to the Navy: “That’s going to save money, that’s going to save fuel, that’s going to save aircraft life, basically.”...

...The former F/A-18C pilot
Lt Nicholas ‘Fila’ Rezendes flew his F-35C call sign ‘DASH-3’ on to the ship directly from Eglin AFB. With a background in F/A-18Cs, Lt Rezendes is enjoying his F-35 assignment. “Before going to the USS George Washington, we did a two-week period of FCLPs, but they don’t usually compare very well to the ship. We also did some simulator work at Eglin, which, along with the FCLP, helped prepare us very well for the day we actually landed. “Once we got to there we quickly realised that the precision landing capabilities of the F-35 almost made landing administrative-like in nature. It makes the task of landing on a carrier less demanding, and helps the pilot focus on other things, such as being more tactical in the air.”

When asked about his first landing, Lt Rezendes recalled: “Taking off from Eglin we had about a 90-minute flight, so I had plenty of time to think about landing on the ship. I was thinking about general safety. Even though I may have done it a couple of hundred times, landing on a carrier always makes people feel nervous. Most of us were dumbstruck with the first few passes because of how easy it was compared with our experiences in the Hornet.”...

...Pilot’s Landing Workload Reduced
Capt Mark ‘Gerbs’ Weisgerber was one of the 12 instructors chosen to conduct the first round of carrier qualifications. He has flown every model of the Hornet and now serves as the vice commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing, Air Education and Training Command at Eglin AFB. The Wing serves as the home to the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Training Center (ITC), providing flying and maintenance training for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force as well as eight international partners.

Asked about his first day on the ship, Capt Weisgerber said: “After the five guys arrived with the jets on the first day and took care of their work, I hot-seated into one of the airplanes. I had enough time to get seven of the ten arrested landings in before the sun set and we shut down for the day”.

He added: “I have about 875 arrested landings in the legacy Hornet and Super Hornet, but I was really pleasantly surprised by how much the pilot workload was reduced compared with the Hornet. Historically, senior pilots like myself, get better and better as you do more because you can anticipate the conditions behind the ship. Pilots that can anticipate get better grades than the pilots that react, but with the new flight Delta Flight Path control mode, you really don’t have to anticipate.”

Delta Flight Path gives the aircraft the ability to stay on glide slope automatically and minimise the number of corrections the pilot must make and was used on all of the carrier qualifications landings conducted by VFA-101.

Capt Weisgerber continued: “That easiness translates to a better boarding rate, which means not having to practice as often, which is important because we spent a lot of training dollars preparing for landing on the ship. We probably won’t need as much emergency fuel operating over blue water, so hats off to the engineers who designed this thing.”

“Historically we carrier aviators pride ourselves on how well we land behind the boat. ‘Greenie boards’ on the ship display the pilot’s landing grades, for everyone to see. It is a matter of pride [to get a good grade] to be up there at top and if you are not you want to improve, which in turn makes people safer. Now, with the pilot workload minimised when landing, you can still take pride in great grades, but everyone is going to have them, so we will have to find something else to hang our hats on to boost our reputation around the ship.” When asked about the first catapult shot and landing on a carrier, he said: “With the training we got back on land at Eglin, each of us receiving five or six turns practising at the FCLP [Field Carrier Landing Practice fields at Choctaw, near NAS Pensacola, [Florida] and the other one near NAS Meridian, [Mississippi], we all felt up to the task”.

Field carrier landing practices are a series of touch-and-goes, which are observed by a landing signal officer who grades and critiques each landing. “I first experienced the catapult shot on board a C-2 Greyhound. It’s a little different than the Hornet in that it’s a bit more of a violent ride down the catapult,” Capt Weisgerber explained.

VFA-101 currently has 23 F-35Cs assigned to it and recently started training several pilots who will soon stand up a second fleet replacement squadron, VFA-125, on the west coast at NAS Lemoore, California. Although slated for only 15 aircraft, VFA-101 continues to receive aircraft off the production line until the other squadrons, such as VX-9 and VFA-125, become operational with the C model. The aircraft are currently waiting to receive the Block 3F software now in developmental testing, which will provide the air-to-air and air-to-ground mission capabilities. VFA-101 has started training personnel for the first fleet squadron, VFA-97 which should reach IOC by 2018." [Now we know VFA-147 1st]

Source: Oct 2016 AirForces Monthly Magazine No. 343
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F-35C VFA-101 Back CVN AirForces Monthly Oct 2016 pp6.pdf
(1.44 MiB) Downloaded 467 times
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 post20 Sep 2016, 13:12

It seems like F-35 is really designed to minimize the effort required to do all kinds of tasks like landing, maintenance and using all kinds of avionics systems and equipment. Adding all up seems to lead to substantial increases in efficiency, performance and safety. Add all these up for decades over all airframes and the importance of all this in obvious.
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Unread post20 Sep 2016, 13:30

I believe they applied a lot of lessons learned from the Raptor experience.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 19:21

Standing in the rain....
https://www.facebook.com/NAVAIR/photos/ ... =3&theater “The Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF), assigned to VX-23, prepare to launch an F-35C Lightning II from the flight deck of USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a rainstorm August 18. The Patuxent River ITF has been conducting the final phase of carrier suitability and integration testing of the F-35C carrier variant since August 14.” https://scontent-syd1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t3 ... 0171_o.jpg (130Kb)
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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 post22 Sep 2016, 20:37

spazsinbad wrote:Standing in the rain....
...


That has to be photo shopped! Gilmore told me a couple years ago that the plane would melt in the rain ...
[/sarc off]

Is anybody working on a spreadsheet of all the things critics/Gilmore et al have been shown to be wrong on with this deployment, other than the obvious, "tail hook seems to work"... :D

BP
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 21:49

Now, with the pilot workload minimised when landing, you can still take pride in great grades, but everyone is going to have them, so we will have to find something else to hang our hats on to boost our reputation around the ship.


My proposal is to put a dime at where one of the main landing gear should touch down on the deck, then see if the pilot can hit it. Then the pilot gets to say that he can "land on a dime".

Okay, okay, there's probably concerns about FOD and stuff. Maybe just a painted dime then.
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Unread post22 Sep 2016, 21:55

Probably impossible to actually land on a painted dime on the moving deck of a CVN. Remember there are SIX Degrees of Movement of the deck as well as pilot YIPS - no matter how small. JPALS plans to put the hook point through a small box. I'll get the diagrams....
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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 post23 Sep 2016, 02:09

Rest assured, if carrier landings ever do get to the point of "landing on a dime", it won't be the pilot that is actually doing the landing.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post23 Sep 2016, 02:22

JPALS and Magic Carpet talking trash, Organics excluded. :devil:
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post27 Sep 2016, 13:24

From 'popcorn' question on previous page about 'barricades'.... This is a barricade:
Aircraft Carrier Flight and Hangar Deck Fire Protection: History and Current Status
Jan 2005 Robert L. Darwin + others

“...In a situation where a pilot is injured, there is damage to the aircraft, or the aircraft is low on fuel so it may not have enough fuel to go around again should he fail to catch the crossdeck pendants, a barricade consisting of nylon webbing is stretched across a couple of steel pylons (Figure 18). This is erected for a “must-catch” situation. Some manual evolution is involved in this but during drills they usually try to get it up in a couple minutes. Figure 19 illustrates how it works. The airplane comes in and is trapped by the nylon webbing. Usually a little damage occurs to the airplane, but most of the aircraft is salvaged and the pilot is saved....”

Source: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a432176.pdf (6.9 Mb)
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BarricadeInstallation4wireUSN.gif
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 post28 Sep 2016, 06:19

There hasn't (to my knowledge at least) been a barricade arrestment in quite a few years. Not sure when the collective shift in mindset changed, but at least with the F/A-18, the airframe is a write off in 99% of cases whether you take the barricade or just eject alongside (well, I suppose that option has a 100% write off rate to be fair). I have seen some pretty sketchy scenarios…….one example is when a friend of mine hit the cat 4 shuttle cover (known as "fast eddie") with his left main gear when he touched down well left of centerline and subsequently boltered. In the process, it broke the gear assembly and caused what is known in the Hornet community as a "planing link failure". No tankers available (this being pre-deployment CQ using bingo ops), and since he now couldn't raise the gear, he no longer had a bingo option given his fuel state. Some talk was made of the barricade, but ultimately the ship's CO and CAG said "no way jose". Luckily for him, he flew an underline low all the way, settle at the ramp, no grade 1 and stopped. Think he had about a foot of hook to ramp clearance as he crossed the round-down, but paddles kept him coming and it all ended well with one very broken jet craned out of the LA and down into the hangar deck. By the time they decided to try to bring him back aboard, he really only had fuel for that one look/try given night/instrument conditions. Again, not sure when the shift happened, but aside from barricade drills for the deck folks, it really isn't a "thing" these days for what thats worth. Maybe things will change with the F-35C.
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Unread post28 Sep 2016, 06:58

A few years ago now USN LSOs had a newsletter available online where they talked about barricades - 1st Hornet 1997.
Last edited by spazsinbad on 28 Sep 2016, 08:51, edited 2 times in total.
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 post28 Sep 2016, 07:39

spazsinbad wrote:A few years ago now USN LSOs had a newsletter available online where they talked about barricades past - I'll dig it out in about an hour or so....


There are a couple good videos on file at the LSO school, which have also made their way onto youtube. Good stuff. Personally, that would be my choice……..vs a controlled ejection
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Unread post28 Sep 2016, 07:46

I gotta have me dinna again so here is a taste:
FA-18 Hornet Barricade aboard USS Nimitz 1997:
“US Marine Hornet flown to a successful barricade arrestment aboard the USS Nimitz on or about October 24th, 1997 due to nose landing gear hung in the "up" position. Captain Scott Slater was the Marine aviator flying the jet. This was the first attempted barricade arrestment of an F/A-18 in Naval history. Capt Slater's fuel state [300lbs] at time of landing was excessively low. Credit for the successful landing goes to both pilot and the ship's crew for endless hours of training & execution of duties in a high pressure situation. This is incident had a pleasant ending; others do not.”
_________________________

“Mr.Slater (the pilot) kindly answered my questions about that barricade arrestment. First, his right engine rpm's started winding down during the first pass, so what we heard was 'fluctuations on [...] right engine'. And he had 300 pounds indicated in tank 3 and all others showed 0...”
______________

[Slater] “My low fuel state was a result of several things. 1. Dumped fuel prior to discovering my problem in order to reduce total a/c wt. I had bombs/rockets so as ordnance goes up, fuel must go down to arrive at max gross landing weight. 2. Wingman helping me had to trap prior to stripping all wires and rigging barricade 3. Barricade was tangled, so it took some time to get it ready. Meanwhile, I'm running out of fuel.”

HORNET BARRICADE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD_mUwzpUs4



LSO 'Bug' Roach gets an A-6 back on deck into the barricade on a bad moving deck night x 2 videos below - short then long.



Last edited by spazsinbad on 28 Sep 2016, 22:37, edited 2 times in total.
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 post28 Sep 2016, 09:03

'35_aoa' is correctez-vous about no barricades since 1998. Attached is a page from an LSO newsletter about potential....
CVW-2’s Near-Barricade
Mar 2011 LCDR “Jitters” Kircher, Paddles Monthly

"Our special thanks to CVW-2 Staff LSO LCDR “Jitters” Kircher for putting together the following submission for this month’s edition of Paddles Monthly.

As time goes on and the money gets tighter, those who control the purse strings are understandably looking for savings. Recently, the LSO School Staff was approached about the possibility of eliminating the requirement for the barricade on forthcoming CVNs, with the possibility of the capability disappearing entirely. The primary driver behind the push to eliminate the barricade stems from the fact that one has not even been attempted since 1998. However, as CVW-2’s LSO Cadre found out, the next actual barricade situation may be lurking right around the corner...."

Source: http://www.hrana.org/documents/PaddlesM ... ch2011.pdf (no longer available here - see PDF attached below)

Graphic from: MILITARY SPECIFICATION AIRPLANE STRENGTH & RIGIDITY, GROUND LOADS FOR NAVY ACQUIRED AIRPLANES 1993 http://www.abbottaerospace.com/download ... planes.pdf
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CVW-2 Near Barricade LSO Newsletter Mar 2011.pdf
(1.43 MiB) Downloaded 302 times
MILITARY SPECIFICATION AIRPLANE STRENGTH & RIGIDITY, GROUND LOADS FOR NAVY ACQUIRED AIRPLANES 1993.gif
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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