UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 12:38

UK re-forms 617 Sqn for F-35B era
18 Apr 2018 Craig Hoyle

"The Royal Air Force's 617 Sqn – the UK's first frontline unit to field the Lockheed Martin F-35B – has been officially re-formed during a ceremony in Washington DC. Staffed by a mix of RAF and Royal Navy pilots and support personnel, lead elements of 617 Sqn are currently involved in training at MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina, using the UK's current 15 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning IIs.

The Ministry of Defence says the UK's first F-35Bs will arrive at the type's home base at RAF Marham in Norfolk "this summer", with the service having previously outlined plans to transfer nine jets from the USA with support from Airbus Defence & Space A330 Voyager tanker/transports.

Initial operational capability for the F-35B is scheduled to be declared in December 2018 for land-based operations and the Lightning II is also to be progressively cleared for use from the RN's two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers by late 2020...."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ra-447809/

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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 16:26

UK F-35B Damn You Buster HooHaa 6 Page PDF from: Aviation News incorporating Jets May 2018 attached.
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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 12:02

UK’s Royal Air Force Debuts First F-35 Squadron
18 Apr 2018 Tony Osborne & Lara Seligman

"...The “Dambusters,” famous for the wartime mission against German dams in May 1943, reformed during a ceremony at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on April 17....

...The squadron has been training “hand in glove” with the U.S. Marine Corps at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, and is just about ready to transition to its permanent home at Marham this summer, said Wing Commander John Butcher during an interview at the event.

The F-35 “really is a leap forward compared to anything we operated before,” said Butcher, who previously flew Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets. “The fact that it can see and hear at such significant ranges, it has all the sensors and the technology that will support the pilot in the cockpit to make quick, good decisions—that for me is the thing that changes with this platform.”

Nine of Britain’s 15 F-35s are expected to cross the ocean in June in readiness for the RAF’s centenary celebrations, which include a fly-past over London and participation in the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. British F-35s will be operated jointly by the RAF and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm as part of the joint Lightning force to reflect their primary carrier strike mission.

Britain has chosen to call the F-35 the Lightning, rather than the Lightning II, because two aircraft have previously used the same name in UK service.

The RAF plans to declare the F-35 ready for combat, a milestone called initial operational capability, by year’s end, Butcher said. 617 Sqdn. will fly for the first time on the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier toward the end of 2019 or early 2020.

Until now, the majority of Britain’s F-35 fleet and its associated personnel have been part of the U.S. Marine Corps VMFAT-501 “Warlords” squadron at Beaufort. Once 617 Sqdn. leaves Beaufort, a cadre of personnel and aircraft will remain to form 207 Sqdn., the operational conversion unit—a British term for a training squadron—which will transfer to the UK in 2019.

Butcher’s 617 Sqdn. includes a mix of experienced aviators and four brand-new pilots. It is these young men and women, climbing into the F-35 with no preconceptions, who will be key to developing tactics for the new stealth fighter, Butcher said.

The pilots “need to forget what they knew before. They need to come with a new portfolio, a new idea in their heads of exactly what it is they need to do with the platform to make it air combat effective,” Butcher said. “All of the previous tactics and the way we used to fight are very much gone.”..."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/uk-s-ro ... 5-squadron
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 post21 Apr 2018, 22:33

:devil: AAHHH - it is good to be back in the EXTREME HEAT meme - OMG the melting decks are just AWEsome to BEHOLD!

AND YES it has been explained what the THERMIONlike non-skid coating will do, protect itself by heat transfer to deck!
REVEALED: HMS Queen Elizabeth to visit New York on maiden trip to the USA
21 Apr 2018 Tom Cotterill

"Defence secretary Gavin Williamson reveals the plan during a trip to Portsmouth.
Royal Navy’s mighty new warship could arrive in the Big Apple as early as September, Mr Williamson said.
It comes as engineers work to complete a 13-week planned maintenance of the aircraft carrier in Portsmouth...

...Currently, the 65,000-tonne juggernaut is undergoing a 13-week planned maintenance programme at her home in Portsmouth in preparation for the trip to the States....

...Maintenance work needs to be completed on £3.1bn aircraft carrier before she sails for the US.Her flight deck is covered in white tents while engineers give her a new coat of paint and work on the specialised thermal metal spray, designed to protect the ship from the extreme heat of the F-35’s engines as they land.

Scaffolding surrounds her two control towers, to allow access for the ship’s huge funnel badges – her crest – to be fitted, as well as work to be completed on the bridge windows. Elsewhere, work is taking place to prepare the infrastructure to fit the Phalanx close-in weapons system, which is able to spew thousands of rounds per minute at targets like missiles....

Source: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defen ... -1-8470096
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 post21 Apr 2018, 22:41

Oh goody goody goody - here we go again with the 1,500 degree Centigrade STUPID MEME - thanks BillyBobBoySweetiePie.
HMS Queen Elizabeth – preparing to operate fast jets
17 Apr 2018 SaveTheRoyalNavy [& GodSaveTheMEMEs]

"...After returning from rotary wing trials at the end of February, QE is now part way through a 13-week Capability Insertion Period (CIP). When the ship first sailed from Rosyth in June 2017, it was always planned that some of her equipment and systems would be fitted subsequently. During the time alongside between the sea trials phases, additional equipment to support rotary wing, and now fixed-wing aircraft is being added. The hotly anticipated next phase of trials will see F-35 aircraft land on board for the first time which demands specific additional equipment. When the ship was originally designed in the early 2000s, some of the capabilities she requires had not even been conceived, and some were still under development when the ship completed initial construction.

Fixed-wing aircraft landing aids are now being fitted, the most important of which is the US-developed AN/SPN-41/41A Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS). This is an electronic landing aid that broadcasts flight path data to the approaching aircraft which the pilot can see in the Head-Up Display. The ICLS comprises 2 antennas; the azimuth transmitter which will be installed on a sponson at the stern of the ship (slightly to port and below the catwalk), the elevation transmitter will be installed on the rear of the aft island. [JPALS will be installed when ready it has been said]

In order to aid Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL), QinetiQ has developed a system of lights, known as the Bedford Array, that will be embedded in the centreline of the flight deck which will guide pilots when landing the F-35B while maintaining forward speed. This has been in development for some years and was proven using a Harrier test aircraft, with a total of 230 SRVL approaches flown on board the French carrier Charles De Gaulle in 2007 and HMS Illustrious in 2009. The Bedford Array is not being added to HMS Queen Elizabeth at this time, though it will be installed on HMS Prince of Wales, initially as a technical demonstrator.

Tents covering the flight deck are to keep the work area dry while scheduled maintenance of the thermal metal spray (TMS) covered areas take place. TMS has been applied in sections at the rear of the flight deck to protect the steel from temperatures of up to 1,500 °C, generated by the F-35’s jet wash during vertical landing. TMS requires very careful application, done by injecting powdered metal through a jet of plasma at almost 10,000°C. The remainder of the flight deck is coated with textured anti-slip Camrex paint which needs to be renewed every three years, and this work will be carried out in stages during each scheduled maintenance period.

The scaffolding around the two islands provides safe access for the addition of new cabling and fittings, painting, and work being done on the bridge windows and diesel exhaust funnels. Large new funnel badges bearing the ship’s crest are also being added. The incremental fit of the Phalanx close-in weapons system has begun, ensuring the infrastructure is in place for the weapons system itself to be installed and set to work...."



Source: http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/hms-que ... fast-jets/
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Unread post22 Apr 2018, 21:13

Majority of British F-35B fleet to arrive in UK this summer
20 Apr 2018 George Allison

"The Ministry of Defence say the first 9 of the UK’s currently 15 strong F-35B fleet will arrive at RAF Marham in Summer.

It is understood that the jets will be supported on the move by Voyager tankers....." [see 18th April story above]

Source: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/majorit ... is-summer/
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 Apr 2018, 22:26

Um... did they forget about SRVL?
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post22 Apr 2018, 23:21

No. The 8th Sep & earlier post and others say that the SRVL will be carried out but 'what Bedford Array' will be used has me puzzled. Perhaps (like the one installed on a CVS for trials years ago) a portable Array will be installed on the port side. Similarly JPALS has not been installed however earlier reports have said it will be there in future. A lot of confused information comes from UK because they have no money with the MoD constantly reducing equipment or delaying equipment. <sarc> :devil: Frankly I would shoot the MoD and get on with what has been envisaged for ages. :devil: <off>

Previous page 104:
"...The ship will be fitted with additional deck landing aids and other equipment required to support fixed-wing aircraft before she deploys to the United States in the summer, when the first F-35B Lightning will land on-board.""

Perhaps this just means the ICLS will be installed (with the JPALS coming later on)? Even earlier posts have said SRVL will be carried out but of course plans / equipment changes and who knows until it is done or something relevant said....

SRVL TESTS: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=386300&hilit=%5BSRVL%5D#p386300 [FEB 2018 PDF]
HMS Prince of Wales formally named – another step towards renewing aircraft carrier capability
08 Sep 2017 SaveTheRoyalNavy

"... In the later part of 2018 HMS QE will sail with HMS Montrose as her escort to the East Coast of the US. She will embark Royal Marines who will be flown ashore to exercise with the US Marine Corps. Off the Eastern Seaboard of the US, the first F-35Bs will land on HMS QE to begin flying trials. Two specially instrumented “orange-wired” F-35B test aircraft and four pilots will be aboard for 8 weeks of trials and evaluation. Short Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) will be practiced for the first time outside a simulator. This complex manoeuvre will allow the aircraft to return safely to the ship with a weight of unused weapons or fuel. The technique is controversial, many F-35 naysayers expect it to prove unworkable...."

Source: http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/hms-pri ... apability/
Last edited by spazsinbad on 22 Apr 2018, 23:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post22 Apr 2018, 23:39

I was referring to the reference of VLs as the need for coatings but they will be using SRVL.
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 05:12

Sad that the first F-35B Squadron for the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers is from the RAF. :shock:



Which, will be followed by the first deployment with a mix of RAF and USMC Lightnings. :?
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 05:25

1st off the TEST F-35Bs on QE trials will perform VLs to make a SHOL diagram - once all is good there then SRVLs & SHOL.

F-35B SHOL for WASP test: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=24438&p=283226&hilit=SHOL#p283226

PDF with SRVL SHOL info (somewhere there is a 'sort of SHOL' SRVL diagram - JUST SCROLL UP from this link): viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20304&p=381833&hilit=SHOL#p381833

Words Words Words - 617 Squadron RAF is a mixture of RN & RAF - take it or leave it. The UK decided on a JOINT FORCE.

Money Money Money - UK has no money for more than a few 'intended to be ordered F-35Bs' - SHOW THEM SOME MONEY!
Last edited by spazsinbad on 23 Apr 2018, 05:41, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 05:33

I'll leave it......... :wink:


FLY NAVY 8)
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 10:46

The ‘coatings’ are not about temps; they are about longer durability as non-skid (and don’t tell me about all the reporting on this topic because nearly all of it merely reports the meme). For example, temps are in the 1500F range — not C.

Covered ad nauseam on the long thread.
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 10:49

Lining up the approach: RN prepares for F-35B trials on Queen Elizabeth
06 Feb 2018 Richard Scott, Jane’s Defence Weekly

"...Operating envelope
Ship/air integration requires FOCFT [first-of-class flying trials] to validate design modelling and support the production of the full ship/air integration release. In order to achieve these objectives the aircraft must be operated in a wide range of load, motion, wind, and environmental conditions, coupled with the use of instrumentation to capture detailed trials data that can be used to define the limits of the safe operating envelope.

This means carrying out sufficient launches and recoveries in varying conditions of ship motion, relative wind, and relative headings to establish safe operating conditions by day and night; establishing safe operating limits for the ship and aircraft; measuring the dynamic forces and accelerations induced in the undercarriage during landing and take-off; and measuring the control margins while operating under a wide variety of conditions.

RN Commander Nathan Gray is one of three UK pilots who will execute the FOCFT on board Queen Elizabeth (the others being Royal Air Force test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell and BAE Systems’ F-35 STOVL lead test pilot, Pete ‘Wizzer’ Wilson). A former Sea Harrier pilot who later flew the Harrier GR7/9 and, on exchange, the US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II, Cdr Gray currently serves as a developmental test pilot in the ITF at NAS Patuxent River....

...Test points
David Atkinson, BAE Systems’ aircraft-to-ship integration lead, expanded on the progress being made against the test plan. “As a team, we are developing the detailed test points that we need to achieve and where they need to be around the operating envelope that we believe we’re going to be able to release to service,” he said. Explaining that testing will become incrementally more complex, he added, “We will start from the initial ‘heart’ of the envelope, where we always start testing, and we will progress out to the edges of the envelope that we need to reach to give the maximum capability from the F-35B when operating from Queen Elizabeth.

“This has been a progressive piece of work that we started in around 2009, when we laid out the outline plan and the aspirational envelopes, which were the maximum that we expected to be able to achieve from our knowledge of the F-35B aircraft and Queen Elizabeth and what we knew about the ship’s performance at sea and the capability to generate wind-over-the-deck,” Atkinson told Jane’s, underlining that all of those “are important parameters in determining the operating envelope”.

“In the March through to December 2017 period we conducted a very intensive set of flight simulation trials to provide evidence that we are using now to underpin what we believe the test envelopes should be for flight trials,” he added.
Piloted simulation has formed an important part of the ship/air integration process over a number of years. In 2017 BAE Systems commissioned a new facility at Warton to replace the previous motion dome simulator used to support earlier phases of F-35/QEC integration activity.

The new simulator, which represents an investment of about GBP2 million (USD2.8 million), includes a fully representative F-35 cockpit mounted on a six-axis electric motion system housed inside a fixed 3.65 m radius dome. The cockpit is an accurate replica of the F-35B cockpit, including active sidestick and throttle units, a large-area touchscreen display and ejection seat model, all of which are the same standard as those employed in the F-35 full mission training simulators. A flight-standard helmet-mounted display system has also been integrated to provide pilots with flight guidance and navigation symbology....

...Two Strands
...“We’re there to collect flight test evidence,” he continued. “The data extract, and the way the flight test aircraft are configured to allow us to conduct the tests, is critically important. Additionally, the two F-35Bs operating from Queen Elizabeth for FOCFT will both telemeter data back to the ship, so we will temporarily fit a telemetry system to the ship.”
FOCFTs naturally start in the middle of the envelope, in the most benign conditions. “We have already done months of simulator work at BAE Systems at Warton,” said Cdr Gray, “to do those steps to find out where the edge of the envelope is.

“We are so far beyond where we were 20 or 30 years ago,” he suggested. “That enables us to predict where we are going to next – and it enables us to validate exactly where we are, how safe we are operating, [and] how close to the boundary we are. Our most recent [ski-jump] testing has shown that the aircraft reacts in exactly the same way as the model.”...

...Ski Ramp
...A first ski-ramp launch was performed in June 2015 and by the end of June 2016 31 ski-ramp short take-offs (STOs) had been performed to complete Phase 1 testing. Test aircraft BF-01 and BF-04 – both instrumented to measure landing gear loads – were used for testing with internal stores only.

Speaking to Jane’s in 2017, BAE Systems test pilot Pete Wilson explained, “We learned that we had excellent models that did a good job of predicting how ski-jump STO mode performs. However, we saw a couple of imperfections in the modelling that we have now corrected and we also found that we were not positioning the nozzles in the optimum position under all circumstances, which has allowed us to tweak the control law and improve the mode.”

Phase 2 ski-jump STO trials began at Patuxent River in June 2017. While Phase 1 was essentially a de-risking exercise, with internal stores only, Phase 2 incorporated the bulk of the test points required to expand the ski-jump envelope. “The second trials [allowed us] to evaluate handling characteristics with external weapons, including asymmetric weapon loads, crosswinds, and overspeed/underspeed take-offs,” said Wilson. “The results will be used to allow us to take relatively big steps during FOCFT, which means we’ll get through the testing at the ship much quicker and with much lower risk.”

What land-based testing did not fully replicate was the ski ramp on Queen Elizabeth . “The Pax ramp is actually modelled on the 12°, 150 ft CVS ramp profile,” Wilson pointed out. “ Queen Elizabeth has a longer [200 ft] two-part ramp angled at 12.5°, so there will be a little bit of the unknown there.

SRVL testing
While ski-jump launch and VL envelopes will be prioritised in the early part of the test programme, SRVLs have also been included in the plan. “For the first four weeks we will be looking to do vertical landings in fairly benign sea states, working up to higher sea states and then into rolling vertical landings,” Cdr Gray told Jane’s . “Our ambition is to include SRVL in the first portion of testing.”

Pilots making a vertical recovery will use a glide slope and long-range line-up indicator system incorporating two Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicators (ASGSIs). The two ASGSI projectors, situated one forward and one aft on the port side of the flight deck, provide a long-range line-up indication.

The execution of an SRVL has required the development of a quite different VLA known as the ‘Bedford Array’. Originated and initially prototyped by QinetiQ, the Bedford Array uses software-controlled LED lights in the deck tramlines to provide a stabilised glidepath alignment cue and a forward and aft limit line to F-35B pilots carrying out SRVL approaches.

“The Bedford Array will give us a [SHIP?]geostabilised approach for the SRVL so we maintain on glide slope whatever the ship is doing in the higher sea states,” said Cdr Gray. “We also have the LSO [in the FLYCO], who is absolutely critical to flight safety.

“The SRVL [approach] is a very precise profile, which needs to be flown to make it safe and repeatable, so the LSO … will have all the technology, with the glide slope scale, to talk us down and, if necessary, to wave us off so we can go back around and re-attempt. “From our simulator trials we’re confident [that SRVL is] going to be safe and effective,” he continued. “It will allow us to bring back considerably more weapon payload or fuel. If it’s fuel then that makes it inherently safer to operate because it gives us the option to divert, or maybe to make another approach.”

Even so, as Atkinson pointed out, there remains an element of the unknown when it comes to SRVL. “We have conducted a lot of work on the manoeuvre in the simulator, but we have never flown an SRVL with an F-35 to a real ship before,” he noted, warning that “in that case we must progress cautiously; SRVL is in a very different state of maturity than vertical landing. “In the latter case we are absolutely confident we know the capability we can obtain and possibly extend beyond what is already available on the US Navy’s LHDs [landing helicopter dock amphibious ships] because our islands are so much further away from our landing spots, so the airflow characteristics over the deck for a vertical landing ought to be good.”...

Source: http://www.janes.com/images/assets/632/ ... zabeth.pdf (0.85Mb)
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Unread post29 Apr 2018, 17:50

Three page PDF from FRIGHT Internal (Flight International) 01-07 May 2018 'Getting Back in the Big League' QE CVF TESTs.
Getting back in the big league
01-07 May 2018 RICHARD SCOTT

"...Two fully instrumented Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II development aircraft from the Integrated Test Force (ITF) at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, will join the ship off the eastern seaboard of the USA for two development test periods – dubbed DT-1 and DT-2 – running through October and November.

The purpose of the FOCFT [First of Class Flight Trials] activity is to validate design modelling and support the production of the full ship/air integration release. To achieve these objectives necessitates operating the aircraft and ship in a wide range of load, motion, wind and environmental conditions, using instrumentation to capture detailed trials data. These individual test points are used to define the limits of the safe operating envelope....

...Already through rotary-wing flight trials, Queen Elizabeth will set sail from Portsmouth in August to begin the four-month WESTLANT 18 deployment. But while the embarkation of ITF development aircraft BF-04 and BF-05 will mark the first time that the F-35B has operated from the carrier, a nucleus of RN personnel is already familiar with the operation of the aircraft, thanks to a unique ship/air simulation environment built by BAE at its Warton site in Lancashire, northwest England.... [good explanation follows of how the Warton simulator developed over the years]

...DT-1 and DT-2 will each amount to about three weeks of flying, with a week of downtime between. “There are going to be days when the weather doesn’t support flight testing,” says Gray [Test pilot Cdr Nathan Gray]. “So we have to find very benign conditions in the initial stages, and then as the tests progress, we have to go and find the harsher conditions.

“The biggest constraint will probably be the weather, because it only gets so bad on the east coast. Our challenge will be to predict where those sea states are [and] where we believe we are going to get that ship motion and the wind conditions.”

While FOCFT will establish ship clearances for the F-35B, further development and operational testing will be required ahead of the UK declaring initial operating capability (Maritime) in December 2020. A first operational deployment will follow in 2021, with Queen Elizabeth to embark a USMC F-35B squadron alongside aircraft from the UK’s Lightning Force...."

Source: Flight International 01-07 May 2018
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