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Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:36
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:Not being able to see the videos mentioned - although having seen the CARRIER PBS series some time ago now on DVD - I recall as mentioned earlier that the CO of the squadron took the sortie at night in difficult conditions from the new pilot - which is a good thing. Is this the segment of which you speak?

That's the one. Good memory. :shock:

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 03:08
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:Probably. I'll post a screenshot of what I see...

Anyway here is a Utubby Fav. I think the AC/DC soundtrack has been changed though (can't tell now) but at least it shows the deck moving onboard HMAS Melbourne. A4G Super8 film taken late 1970s by Bob Stumpf USN (exchange) who went on to be CO Hornet Blue Angels later. ... O0vgV1h7r4

Wow. That's crazy.

Do I understand you flew the A4 off of carriers?

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 03:22
by spazsinbad
The Royal Australian Navy had at one time almost 3 aircraft carriers (HMS/HMAS Vengeance being on on loan from RN/UK whilst HMAS Melbourne was finished). Two were straight deck (Vengeance & HMAS Sydney which served in Korean War with Sea Furies and Fireflies). MELBOURNE was the first carrier complete with angle deck, mirror & steam catapult combination. Other carriers were usually modified after launch at some point. MELBOURNE's first aircraft in 1957 were Sea Venoms and Gannet ASW. These were replaced by A4Gs/S-2E then Gs in 1969 being their first cruise. My carrier time was around mid 1971 to mid 1971 with VF-805 using A4Gs as 'Fleet Defender' "poor man fighter" as the USN had done a few years earlier with CVS carriers but all that changed for them because of Vietnam War. My RAN time was beginning of 1966 to mid 1975 only.

My only carrier time was in that year. Otherwise I was in the Navy [first year not in the FAA] but learnt to fly with the RAAF Basic and Advanced (on Vampires) which were also in the RAN Fleet Air Arm as training aircraft and briefly in my time the Sea Venoms (1969-70) were only training aircraft. Story in the many variations of PDFs online (along with many more RAN FAA aircraft including all the Skyhawks - if only in brief).

IF you think daytime ops were something then night time was something else again with thankfully not the same amount of night flying onboard but we had to remain current if qualified. We did not have the same requirement to do night flying as the older Sea Venoms; which were F.A.W. Fighter All Weather, with an Observer in the RH seat using the onboard radar to guide the pilot to a close firing solution in any circumstances (initially guided at long range by ship radar).

HMAS Melbourne stopped ops in c.1982 subsequently being sold to China for scrap. The ten remaining A4Gs (out of original 2 batches of 10 each) were sold to New Zealand RNZAF to add to their A-4K fleet in mid-1984. Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:07
by stereospace
"Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5."

Then maybe Australia should order some Bees to fly off the LHDs! Say, an 80/20 split of CTOL and STOVL? What'd'ya think?

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:16
by spazsinbad
stereospace, we are starting to cover old topics now. There are a few threads about this issue: ... lhd#199631

Search the forum for 'LHD' for a few more hits & misses.... ... lhd#199611

Which reminds me David Axe has a good article not mentioned so far:

America's Third Air Force: Future of the Marines By David Axe : June 17, 2011 ... e-marines/

"...When she arrived off the North African coast, Kearsarge functioned as an aircraft carrier, albeit a much smaller one than the Nimitz- and Enterprise-class supercarriers. Her four Harriers -- carrying camera pods, precision-guided bombs and air-to-air missiles -- flew some of the first aerial missions of the now two-month-old intervention. They comprised, in essence, a self-sufficient, miniature naval air force. Those capabilities might pale when compared to a super carrier's 50 fixed-wing warplanes, but they were there when they needed to be and they worked.

Kearsarge had departed her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia, as an amphibious assault ship; she returned in May as a de facto light aircraft carrier -- and a vision of the U.S. Marine Corps of the future."

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:19
by 1st503rdsgt
stereospace wrote:"Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5."

Then maybe Australia should order some Bees to fly off the LHDs! Say, an 80/20 split of CTOL and STOVL? What'd'ya think?

We've already beat that horse to death on Spaz's other thread.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:59
by spazsinbad
Story about USN VSF Squadrons (HMAS Melbourne at beginning of A4G era was considered an ASW Carrier with Trackers and Wessex then Sea King ASW assets):

A4Gs were tasked with everything it could do with 4 X AIM-9Bs and whatever else available but also go out to attack a 'surfaced' sub also (already attacked/damaged by ASW assets) for example.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 23:45
by spazsinbad
How I can imagine what the HMDS F-35C 'NIGHT' Carrier Landing View might look like (of course this is day time view through a Hornet HUD). So use your own imagination. The 'actual' video shows carrier landing starting during base turn onto final - this is not likely to be allowed at night - but it just may be possible with HMDS EO/DAS - early days. Likely all night approaches will be via at least a long straight in... (which is useful today because of lack of horizon, keeping the wings level on a long straightaway really helps make the transition to the ball when possible to fly the last 3/4 to 1/4 NM to arrest).

F18 carrier landing {Imagine you are looking through HMDS instead - at night} ... r_embedded

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 00:54
by stereospace
Ran into this enjoyable little video and article at AOL Defense. It's from July, so apologies if it's been posted before.

A Trip To PAX: ... d=related1

(Looked like a fun day!)

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 01:14
by spazsinbad
Here ya go (search is a good way to find stuff that may have been posted earlier):

F-35B Decision Data Ready Next Summer; First Look at Plane in Flight ... ss-gets-f/
By Colin Clark Published: July 29, 2011
@ ... ion#201677

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 12:12
by spazsinbad
Read the PDF to see how the current night vision degradation will be fixed...

New Sensor Aims to Give F-35 Pilots a ‘Window Into the Night’ August 2011 By Grace V. Jean ... ug2011.pdf

“F-35 fighter pilots will wear a helmet that allows them to peer into the darkness with ease — but only if a new digital sensor proves itself as capable as or better than existing night vision technology....

...“It really is a window into the night,”...

...The helmet-mounted display also incorporates night vision. But that part of the system is falling short of the program’s 20/20 resolution expectations, officials said.

When an F-35 pilot needs to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier or an amphibious ship at night, for example, there are certain functions he has to be able to perform in order to accomplish the lights-out touchdown safely.

“The challenge is making sure we provide that acuity, that sensitivity for him to be able to see in the dark,”
said Casey Contini, director of F-35 electro-optics and helmet systems at Lockheed Martin Corp., the prime contractor for the program.

The fighter’s main night vision capability originally was to be derived from the network of aircraft-mounted sensors called the distributed aperture system, or DAS. The six mid-wave infrared sensors would capture the exterior world in a 360-degree video that would be processed then piped into the helmet. But recent analysis has determined that the clarity of the resulting footage is less than what fighter pilots are accustomed to seeing with their current night vision goggles, said Brugal.

Experts attribute the degraded quality to the limited number of DAS sensors employed to cover the large fields of view necessary for a spherical representation of the airspace.

“If you take a sensor with a fixed number of pixels and you make the field of view too big, then that’s the same effect as having poor eyesight,” explained Bill Maffucci, managing director of Intevac Inc., which manufactures the night imaging sensor that has been embedded in the F-35 helmet. The camera’s primary function is to record missions for evaluation and to augment the head tracker. But it also serves as the F-35’s back-up night vision sensor. Officials have turned to it as a solution for the night acuity problem....”

Earlier PDF outlining night vision problems.

Helmet Display Issues Challenge F-35 Night Vision Feb 17 , 2011 p. 07 Graham Warwick ... eb2011.pdf

As a matter of convenience - go here for more info PDF/articles re this issue:

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 12:45
by spazsinbad
Some old HMDS info relevant to night vision & night carrier landings (if all goes well in development of same)


"...The F-35 helmet provides pilots a unique ability to see through their aircraft. Even though the helmet doesn’t come equipped with x-ray vision, the HMD correlates images from a set of cameras, called the distributed aperture system, mounted on the outer surfaces of the jet. These cameras provide a constant 360-degree view of the aircraft’s surroundings. When a pilot looks down, the image of what is below the aircraft shows up on the HMD. This feature is helpful not only in combat, but also during carrier and vertical night landings with the Navy and Marine variants, respectively.

Through a night vision camera built into the front of the helmet, the F-35 HMD visor can also display flight and targeting information on top of night vision images. “No helmet provided the combination of night vision and symbology at the same time until now,” explains Beesley. “With legacy systems, pilots have to choose between the two capabilities.” This combination is a huge advantage for F-35 pilots because all night vision devices limit peripheral vision. The symbols help pilots interpret more of their environment than night vision capability alone.

For the display to correlate with what direction the pilot is looking, a magnetic field in the cockpit senses the direction the helmet is pointing. A transmitter on the seat emits the field while a receiver on the helmet reads the magnetic flux as it moves in that field. “Most HMD systems require pilots to go through an alignment process before each flight,” explains Beesley. “They may have to realign the system several times during a flight because the systems can drift. This magnetic tracking system makes all the corrections itself, so that we pilots never have to adjust the alignment.”

Additionally, the night vision camera and a day camera right next to it ensure that the images and symbology correctly represent the direction the pilot is looking. “The helmet cameras look out at all times, take a picture of the outside scene, and relate that image to other images from the fixed camera on the glareshield to make sure the line of sight is correct,” says Perkins. “If the two images are even a little bit off, the system self-corrects....”

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 13:30
by spazsinbad
Futuristic fighter jet said to be game-changer August 16, 2011 By David Cenciotti ... 3104.shtml

“...Easier to fly than ever before
Some years ago, under the supervision of a Lockheed Martin test pilot, I had the opportunity to fly, hover and vertically land a F-35B jet in a military flight simulator. I was surprised to discover that the controls of the so-called Cockpit Demonstrator were not as alien or difficult to navigate as I expected. There was a big panoramic touch screen that can be configured at will by tapping the screen with fingers, like a tablet or a smartphone....

...All of this sensor information is sent to the pilot's helmet-mounted display system (HMDS), which combines it with images coming from a set of cameras mounted on the jet's outer surfaces. As a result, it seemed as if I had X-ray vision: I could see in all directions, and through any surface, and all the information I needed to fly the plane and to cue weapons was projected onto my visor.

"The helmet connects the pilot to the airplane," explained Jon Beesley, a former F-35 chief test pilot. "We've taken pieces that are essential for combat operations, such as targeting information, crucial flight measurements, and night vision capability, and merged them into the helmet to give the pilots more complete situational awareness."

Features like the helmet-mounted display system made a difficult maneuver like a vertical landing at night relatively easy. With the Joint Strike Fighter, transitioning from conventional flight to the hovering is done via a switch. The aircraft autonomously directs the engine nozzles and reduces the speed to the predefined value. Once in vertical mode, the aircraft is extremely simple to fly: if you move the stick forward or backward the aircraft climbs or descends; with the rudder, you can point the aircraft nose wherever you want.

Even a novice can fly and land an F-35 with some precision and without major problems. Just like in a flight simulator game....”

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 23:25
by spazsinbad
Good although 1 year old article about HMDS GenII here:

Avionics Magazine July 2010 pp. 20-23

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2011, 01:04
by spazsinbad
Interesting? EBAPS info mentioned above:

EBAPS®: Next Generation, Low Power, Digital Night Vision1 2005 (2,8Mb)