F-35 Program Ramps Up Training for Pilots, Technicians

F-35 unit & base selection, delivery, activation
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Unread post12 Nov 2015, 15:57

Long article with other things other than 'training' NOT excerpted below so go there for all of it....
F-35 Program Ramps Up Training for Pilots, Technicians
December 2015 Stew Magnuson

"The F-35 joint strike fighter program is transitioning to a day when its pilots will come fresh out of flight school and the new jet fighter will be their first assignment.

The services’ cadre of pilots so far have been veterans of other programs such as the F-15, F-16, Harrier or A-10s, said Mike Luntz, director of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 training systems.

“Many of the pilots that we have trained to date have been the more experienced pilots,” he said in an interview. “They typically have over 1,500 hours, maybe up to 3,000 hours of actual flight time in other fighter aircraft.”

Lockheed Martin, in addition to being the builder of the aircraft, also has the contract to provide training for both pilots and maintainers, including classroom instruction, flight simulators for pilots and mock-up aircraft for technicians.

These new so-called “category-one” pilots will have only about 200 hours of flight time in T-38 trainers at flight school and will be asked to take control of the U.S. military’s newest 5th-generation aircraft, which currently cost a little more than $100 million each.

“They just got their wings and they’re ready to move from that trainer aircraft into that fighter aircraft,” Luntz said. Lockheed Martin is gearing up to support the first batch of these less experienced pilots at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina.

During their first flight in an F-35, they will have an instructor flying in tandem, but since the F-35s are all single-seaters, they will be on their own, he said.

“They don’t have as much experience with fighter aircraft so the concern is safety,” he said.

The general feedback Lockheed Martin has received from the experienced pilots who have flown the F-35 so far is that it is easier to handle than earlier generation fighters. The complexity comes in all the missions it must perform, Luntz said.

“In general, the pilot of the F-35 is going to transition from someone that is very proficient at flying a complex aircraft to flying something that is much easier to fly, but now they are focused much more on the mission and the advanced capabilities that the F-35 brings. [The pilot] is really more of an information manager and absorbing that information and making decisions based on the sensor fusion capabilities of the aircraft.”...

...Along with pilots, maintainers must be adequately trained for the program to move forward. They too begin with classroom work, but their simulators are computer-game based and done on desktops, Luntz said. They are given a number of scenarios where they must understand the joint technical data and all the maintenance procedures such as how to change a wheel.

The scenario allows them to select the tools and processes they need to change the wheel and tire, and then actually go perform that in the virtual system, Luntz said. If they don’t have the right tools, the system won’t let them proceed.

“So when they go to the aircraft for the first time they have complete familiarization with how to perform that procedure,” he said.

There are also mock-ups that allow the technicians to practice on parts of the F-35 without risking damage to the real aircraft.

The weapons load trainer lets them practice inserting munitions in the bomb bay doors.

The ejection system maintenance trainer is the full height of the actual canopy and is used by both the pilots and the maintainers.

Pilots use it for ingress and egress training — “how to get in and out of the cockpit without damaging themselves or the equipment,” Luntz explained. The technicians learn to maintain the ejection seat and the canopy. There are pyrotechnics involved in the seat, so it is a delicate process.

There are three more mock-ups in development, he said. One will teach how to remove and replace the integrated power pack. The other two are for removing and replacing the engine lift fan and maintaining the landing gear. They are slated to be delivered in the 2017 timeframe, he said. A total of 223 pilots and 2,322 maintainers have been trained as of early November, according to Lockheed Martin figures...."

Source: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... cians.aspx
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Unread post13 Nov 2015, 11:22

LIGHTNING PROGRESS
2016 Jamie Hunter USAF Yearbook CAM

"...Col Christopher Niemi is the commander of the 33rd Operations Group. A seasoned F-15E and F-22 pilot, few are better qualified to provide an overview and evaluation of the F-35 training program. Speaking of his time flying the F-22, Niemi comments: ‘It was very helpful coming into this community’. He’d been flying the F-35 for 17 months at the time of our meeting and was frank about the challenges that face his team at Eglin on a daily basis, not least those presented by the concurrency issue. ‘I didn’t know anything about the F-35 before I came here... there’s a lot of similarity [with the F-22] but also some significant differences....

...The current Block 2A-standard training was written for experienced flyers. It broadly involves 210 hours of classroom training and 14 flights in the advanced F-35 simulators — the Eglin simulator incorporates a 360-degree visual display. As to what these students can expect when they arrive for F-35A training, Col Niemi says: ‘It’s a building-block approach. They do the academics first, where we teach them what they need to know as a pilot about the hydraulics system, the avionics, the way that they interface with the jet, and then we build on that to go to the EPs [emergency procedures] and we reinforce those lessons in the simulator’. The advent of the F-35 has placed more emphasis on simulator work than ever before, due to fidelity, aircraft availability and the sheer capability of the fighter itself. The majority of a new pilot’s early simulator ‘flights’ are dedicated to handling the range of EPs.

A desktop trainer is used to master the art of changing radio frequencies and handling the large-area cockpit display. It all culminates in an EP simulator check ride before they get let loose on the actual aircraft, to give both the instructors and the new pilot the confidence that they are fully equipped to handle any emergencies that may happen on that first sortie, since there are no two-seater F-35s.

Col Niemi explains the pilot’s first live flight in the F-35. ‘On the first flight the real goal is to safely start the aeroplane, take off and land it. We introduce them to more elements, but that’s what we’re really trying to do because it’s the first time they will have done everything end-to-end.

You go through the mission brief, signing out the jet in ALIS [the autonomic logistics information system], putting on the life support equipment, strapping into the jet, etc. There’s a lot of things that are just new and different on that first sortie. So, we get that all out of the way and taxi out. We do an airborne pick-up; we don’t want him to be by himself. The instructor takes off and comes around and picks the student up as he gets airborne. They then fly out to the airspace — the student gets a feel for the jet, doing some handling, and puts the undercarriage down for some circuit pattern work at altitude. They come back for a straight-in overhead pattern — they also practice the flame-out pattern. If on sortie two they have a serious engine malfunction they need to be able to come back and glide in from that pattern. ‘The first four sorties are dedicated to handling and instruments, with ride four being the instruments check ride. We start to fly the jet tactically from the fifth flight onwards. On the fifth flight, the pilot employs the radar in the air-to-air mode, simulating the use of the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. On the sixth, the pilot uses the radar for simulated air-to-surface work, simulating the use of the 500lb GBU-12 laser-guided bomb.’...

...MATURITY
Clearly, the maturity of the F-35 presents something of a rolling issue for the trainers. Improvements to the aircraft standard are happening relatively quickly. For example, night flying was a limitation in early-standard jets, but, as Col Niemi explains, that is no longer the case. ‘Block 2A was the first software standard to allow us to fly at night. We do one night mission now where the student looks at the external lights, the cockpit displays, and at our DAS, which is essentially an infra-red globe around the aircraft [...] projected into the helmet. With the Gen 2 helmet and with 2B software we can also start using the night vision camera [in the helmet], but the camera in Gen 3 is better. At the flip of a switch I can now go from flying in the day with a JHMCS [Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System]-like capability to night flying with an NVG-type capability.’

‘The upgrades and capabilities are coming fairly quickly, and that’s exciting, but it’s something of a challenge to keep up in terms of the syllabi and what we’re going to teach. For example, the 2B software that we’re flying now is the first time we are able to share tracks between the aeroplanes for tactical targeting, so if you see an air track I see that same air track and now we can engage cooperatively on it. That opens the door to new tactics and new things we need to teach the students. They’re all part of the game plan as we roll towards IOC [initial operating capability], then onwards towards Block 3F and Block 4.’

Niemi expects to see new pilots straight out of training some time between IOC and the advent of the Block 3F software standard. ‘The types of things we’re considering draw on our past experience with the F-22. It’s important to normalize your manning, so we need to bring in young lieutenants as early as we can in order to fill out the squadron manning appropriately — who is going to lead our squadrons in 2030, for example? The more experience those individuals have, the better-equipped they’ll be to handle those challenges when they get there.

‘At the same time, because the aeroplane is still maturing and because our training systems and syllabi are still maturing, we have to tailor that to make sure we’re ready. It’s an easy airplane to fly, but much like any other aeroplane there are plenty of ways to get yourself into trouble as a young, relatively inexperienced pilot. ‘What I do worry about a little bit is the airmanship. It wasn’t uncommon with a young F-22 pilot to absolutely slay the adversaries in the simulated scenario that we were operating in but then come back and allow his fuel to get too low, because he didn’t have that sense that it was a real aeroplane. Although we’re shooting fake missiles, you can run out of real gas.’...

...Much recent talk has focused on the air-to- air capabilities of the F-35. A leaked report into a within visual range (WVR) engagement between an F-16 and an early F-35A in testing drew criticism when the F-16 appeared to maintain the upper hand in the dogfight. Niemi comments: ‘As a fighter pilot, if you ask me ‘would I rather have a 7g aeroplane or a 9g aeroplane’, I don’t have to think for long about it before I say 9g. But that’s not the question. The question is, would you rather have 7g and this capability or would you rather have 9g and give up that capability. When we look at those real-world trade-offs I think we’re making good decisions, but sometimes that gets lost in the discussion because the assumption is that we just gave up 9g to 7g for no gain. In every one of those cases it is a real gain that was based on the capability that’s going to be most useful. You weigh all that together and you make an informed decision and then you prioritize.

‘When you look at the macro trend over the past 40 years, the number of dogfights involving post-merge maneuvering has greatly diminished. Even in the F-22, which is a tremendous dogfighter, the great majority of engagements in an LFE [large-force exercise] like ‘Red Flag’ weren’t decided after an F-22 turned for 720 degrees and finally beat an inferior-turning airplane. They were decided two miles from the merge where the guy didn’t even know the F-22 was there and he shot him in the lips! I’m very comfortable with the F-35’s capabilities for air-to-air combat. I think we’re going to continue to see the macro trends point towards less post-merge maneuvering and towards the importance of stealth, so they don’t know you’re there, and the importance of highly maneuverable missiles like the AIM-9X.

‘It’s fun and useful to train a fighter pilot to maneuver their jet from a neutral merge so they can gun-track an adversary, but the utility of that, even in an F-15 or F-16, is being steadily undermined by advances in missiles. The last thing you want to do is anchor with an adversary in air-to-air combat, because it makes you vulnerable to getting popped by his wingman or someone else that’s stumbled across your furball.’"

Source: Combat Aircraft Monthly USAF Air Power Yearbook 2016
Attachments
F-35 USAFAPY2016 pp10.pdf
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Unread post04 Dec 2015, 01:12

Similar/same same source but different ingredients so I'll also attach the EIGHT PAGE PDF artickle for youse delectations. Remember your training - youse haven't heard it until you heard it three times - y'all ya'hear?!
GOING LIVE!
Jan 2016 Jamie Hunter, Combat Aircraft Monthly

“...Col Christopher Niemi is the commander of the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin. As an experienced F-15E and F-22 pilot who was part of the cadre of initial USAF operational test and evaluation pilots for the Raptor, he is well-qualified to appraise the F-35 as it stands today....

...Col Niemi adds: ‘The 2B software that we’re flying now is the first time we are able to share tracks between the aeroplanes for tactical targeting, so if you see an air track I see that same air track and now we can engage co-operatively on it. That opens the door to new tactics and new things we need to teach the students. They’re all part of the game plan as we roll towards IOC, then onwards towards Block 3F and Block 4.’

Turning and burning
Recent criticism has been leveled at the F-35 over its capabilities in a dogfight in terms of its agility. A leaked report into a within visual range (WVR) engagement between an F-16 and an early F-35A in testing drew criticism when the F-16 appeared to maintain the upper hand. Niemi comments: ‘As a fighter pilot, if you ask me would I rather have a 7g aeroplane or a 9g aeroplane I don’t have to think for long about it before I say 9g. But that’s not the question. The question is, would you rather have 7g and this capability, or would you rather have 9g and give up that capability. When we look at those real-world trade-offs I think we’re making good decisions, but sometimes that gets lost in the discussion because the assumption is that we just gave up 9g to 7g for no gain. In every one of those cases it is a real gain that was based on the capability that’s going to be most useful. You weigh all that together and you make an informed decision and then you prioritize.

‘When you look at the macro trend over the past 40 years, the number of dogfights involving post-merge maneuvering has greatly diminished.

Even in the F-22, which is a tremendous dogfighter, the great majority of engagements in an LFE [large-force exercise] like ‘Red Flag’ weren’t decided after an F-22 turned for 720 degrees and finally beat an inferior-turning airplane. They were decided two miles from the merge where the guy didn’t even know the F-22 was there and he shot him in the lips! I’m very comfortable with the F-35’s capabilities for air-to-air combat. I think we’re going to continue to see the macro trends point towards less post-merge maneuvering and towards the importance of stealth, so they don’t know you’re there, and the importance of highly maneuverable missiles like the AIM-9X.’

Pilots admit that things like rear-hemisphere visibility from an F-35 are not as good as an F-15 or F-16. However, as Niemi argues, this is just one of the compromises that are part and parcel of fielding a stealthy multi-role fighter, and which need to be taken in context. ‘When I first started flying F-15s, we used to do an exercise called ‘cap and tap’ where you would fly as a two-ship in a visual formation and fly around a bull’s-eye. An adversary aircraft would then start from 15 miles away and try and get in close to us unobserved. The whole point of the exercise was to make us look out of the window; four sets of eyeballs in an F-15E two-ship… very rarely did we spot the adversary, even when we knew it was going to happen. It’s just really hard to pick out that little dot with the closure rates you’ve got.

‘In an LFE I don’t remember ever getting ‘jumped’ in an F-22, and that wasn’t because I could see behind me and clear my six o’clock like we trained to do in the F-15 — it was because my sensors were so good that no-one could get there. We are working together in networked groups. I might not have a radar that’s looking out behind me, but the way we operate means my wingman is looking there and so it isn’t a factor. Would I like to be able to check my six better? Absolutely. Am I comfortable that given the limitations we have in the F-35, and in the F-22 for that matter, that it won’t contribute to a significant number of losses — I am.’

Commenting on the wider argument about the modern dogfight, Niemi said: ‘It’s fun and useful to train a fighter pilot to maneuver their jet from a neutral merge so they can gun-track an adversary, but the utility of that, even in an F-15 or F-16, is being steadily undermined by advances in missiles. The last thing you want to do is anchor with an adversary in air-to-air combat because it makes you vulnerable to getting popped by his wingman or someone else that’s stumbled across your furball.’...”

"...A-10 replacement? [this bit'll go in the youknowwherelongrunningthread]
The Air Force leadership says it no longer needs the A-10 Thunderbolt II. It wants to strip funding from the A-10 to help it fully support the newer F-35A. But have they all got it all wrong, and is it imperative to save the A-10? Predictably, opinions are divided. It seems that no other aircraft in the US inventory currently causes so much debate and emotion as the A-10. The USAF is trying to retire a number of aircraft types, while Congress strives to halt its plans.

The argument surrounds the ability to conduct CAS. The A-10 is built around the 30mm General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger hydraulically-driven seven-barrel Gatling-type cannon. A quick check of any A-10 HUD camera footage will quickly answer any questions about how rock-steady the ‘Hog’ is in a strafing dive and how lethal that gun is. The F-35’s internal GAU-22/A is a four-barrel derivative of the GAU-12 Equalizer 25mm caliber cannon with 182 rounds. This is considered a small supply of ammunition compared with 500 rounds in a typical F-16.

Col Niemi says: ‘The conversation has focused quite a bit on the CAS mission. The F-35 was designed with the CAS mission in mind, but it wasn’t optimized for CAS. It was optimized, if anything, to go into a high-threat environment with advanced surface-to-air missile systems and use very advanced air-to-surface sensors to find targets and kill them. It will do that fantastically.’

The F-35 is like the F-16, in that it was designed to be able to cover the full spectrum of missions — and there are trade-offs when you do that. Niemi says: ‘[The F-35] is more like the F-22 than anything else the USAF is flying. The things you will do in an F-35, based on what I’ve seen, in many ways are going to look like what we do in an F-22.

‘The F-22 was designed and optimized for the air-to-air mission and it can employ a JDAM very effectively, particularly in a high-threat environment. The F-35 is the mirror image of that. The majority of its capabilities are focused on the air-to-ground mission; it’s going to be a great SEAD aircraft, very good at going into high-threat areas and attacking a target, plus flying CAS and all the air-to-ground missions, and that’s where it’s focused. It can also do air-to-air, but it wasn’t primarily designed to do air-to-air. We are going to use the F-35 for more air-to-air than we originally planned because we weren’t able to acquire sufficient numbers of F-22s.’

Lt Col Michael Gette is the commander of the 61st FS. He began his transition from the F-15E community to the F-35 in 2010 at Eglin. Gette says: ‘Our flying right now involves a lot of basic surface attack, basic air-to-air intercepts, SEAD, CAS, and opposed surface attack tactics, the latter being opposed ingress into a target area with simulated enemy aircraft, so we fight our way in, drop a simulated weapon and then fight our way back out. This aircraft has an innate capability as a SEAD platform, so we are going to add that into our syllabus, and that will shift us to more of an air-to-ground focus. That said, our pilots are going to be trained in the air-to-air [role].’

F-35 training units are out flying CAS on a daily basis. There is a particular emphasis on ensuring that if the A-10 goes, the F-35 and its fellow fighter types will be able to pick up the slack in that role. It could be argued that, in a permissive environment where the A-10 can execute its role with impunity, so too could a range of attack helicopters and lighter, cheaper counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft. But in an era in which even asymmetric insurgent forces have heavy anti-aircraft guns and, potentially, modern ‘double-digit’ SAMs, the opportunities for actually employing traditional COIN aircraft are relatively limited. Though the A-10C remains an extremely useful and capable aircraft, it represents a niche capability — and that niche is becoming increasingly narrow for the US.

Col Niemi sums up: ‘There are a lot of airplanes that can do CAS in a low-threat environment. The A-10 happens to be probably the best at it based on the number of weapons it can carry, its legs, and things like that. But the F-35 can do things that an F-16 can’t do, [and] an A-10 can’t do, because they simply aren’t survivable based on the threats that we see as we go forward."


Source: Air Force Monthly Jan 2016
Attachments
F-35A USAF IOC C_A_M_2016-01 pp8.pdf
(1.89 MiB) Downloaded 1197 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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