Why 2 seats are important

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

maus92

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1663
  • Joined: 21 May 2010, 17:50
  • Location: Annapolis, MD

Unread post11 Jan 2012, 20:48

"Intriguingly, Romig said that if the US Air Force returns to the days of "back-seat" electronic warfare officers, the F-35 could control a swarm of four "buddy" UAVs. He didn't directly say that Lockheed is considering two-seat F-35s, but the possibility tanatalises. (Two years ago, we reported that Israeli industry officials already anticipated the emergence of a two-seat F-35 eventually.)"

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... ghter.html
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 11273
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post11 Jan 2012, 23:29

I believe the RAAF are interested in this development (controlling UAVs) with their Super Hornets. One reason why we are likely to KEEP the Growlers at least once the F-35A fleet is in service in Oz. I think there is an earlier reference to this idea on this forum somewhere. Nothing other than my reference so here is an outside reference (for reference):

Drop the Pilot In New World of Warcraft
(Source: The Australian Online; published October 15, 2011)

http://www.defense-unmanned.com/article ... ralia.html

"...Australia plans to buy up to 100 JSFs and it's possible the final of four squadrons could comprise unmanned combat jets.

Unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs, would be used on heavily defended targets to avoid losing pilots. They would be controlled from the ground, by satellite or from another aircraft, such as the RAAF's two-seater Super Hornet.

UCAVs have a long range, can refuel in mid-air and could conceivably stay aloft for days.

Still being developed, UCAVs have some advantages over a conventional aircraft. They are the size of a normal fighter yet are much more manoeuvrable and lack the constraints of G-forces on pilots."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 12 Jan 2012, 00:31, edited 1 time in total.
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
Offline

arkadyrenko

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 313
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2011, 19:40

Unread post11 Jan 2012, 23:52

Two seats will become more visible, especially as the USAF envisions its fighters operating inside a hostile AA/AD network. I noticed that the Boeing F/A-XX variant, for the Navy, has two seats. http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/Boeing%20Concept%20FAXX%20July%202009.JPG

I wouldn't be surprised to see a two seat/ stretched F-35 variant for long range operations come along once the the airplane reaches IOC. Given that long range networks will come under heavy attack during a fill on superpower war, UCAV control may default to local aircraft. The stretched body will help the F-35 recover some of its lost range and push it to the 800nm mark, making that variant a possible replacement for the F-15E.

(Also, wouldn't a NGB command variant be something interesting? Stealthy, with 2+ person crew, and controlling a host of attending drones. Talk about persistent power inside the enemy's airspace....)
Offline

lb

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 241
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 04:30
  • Location: USA

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 01:57

The F/A-XX was renamed NGAD (next generation air dominance). It's not Boeing putting in two seats but rather a reflection of the USN requirements. If a derivative of the F-35 is to compete for NGAD it too will require two seats. NGAD was supposed to go to technology demonstration in 2013. The F-22 follow on is supposed to share some systems with NGAD.
Offline

tacf-x

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 461
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2011, 02:25
  • Location: Champaign, Illinois

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 04:18

F-X is meant to be the Air Force's version of F/A-XX that is in the 60,000 lb. class vs. the Navy's 40,000 lb requirement. They are indeed supposed to share a lot of systems but the disparity in weight could be an issue. The 2 man crew is certain to help with managing all of the unmanned off-board systems that will become available to the manned fighter in the next generation so an extra person is needed to coordinate these systems.
Offline

maus92

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1663
  • Joined: 21 May 2010, 17:50
  • Location: Annapolis, MD

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 05:25

Local (datalink vs. satcom) control of UCAV is where the Navy is going. One indication is the number of -F Super Hornets the Navy is purchasing. Another is developmental testing. Back in October, a MH-60 linked with a Fire Scout rotary winged UAV, receiving its ISR datastream.

"While the Sea Hawk drills were focused on moving data from the Fire Scout, the success of those tests opens the door to further integration of the drone into MH-60R operations, according to Kimble. Sea Hawk crews could end up controlling Fire Scouts from the helicopter, according to Kimble. Naval Air Systems Command could build a Fire Scout command and control system for the MH-60R based on results from the data transfer drills, he said."

"But Navy officials still have a long way to go before Fire Scouts can be flown from MH-60Rs, Kimble warned. Navy engineers have yet to find a way to fit all the equipment needed to fly the Fire Scout into the MH-60R. Even if they could fit it all into the Sea Hawk, the helicopter doesn't have enough power to run a Fire Scout control system and the HM-60's systems simultaneously. "We're working that issue," Kimble said."

http://defense.aol.com/2011/11/09/navy- ... ned-helos/
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 11273
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 06:26

Probably best to read entire article at source as it is long and detailed.

Unmanned Combat Aircraft Tests Move Quickly Dec 2, 2011 By Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ll&next=20


...The Navy may be late to the unmanned-aircraft game, but it is pushing the technology in terms of both capability and autonomy. In addition to UCAS-D, the service is launching the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (Aacus) program to prototype advanced capabilities for vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Just as Aacus is expected to feed technology into the Navy’s program to deploy the shipborne VTOL Medium-Range Multi-Role UAS by 2019, UCAS will inform its plans to field the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System (Uclass) by 2018, and develop a sixth-generation F/A-XX to replace the Boeing F/A-18E/F after 2030.

Operational studies under the UCAS program have shown that a long-endurance, aerial-refueled unmanned combat aircraft could significantly extend the surveillance and strike reach of a carrier battle group. But first the Navy must get comfortable with bringing an unmanned aircraft on to the flightdeck....

...Confidence in the [X- 47B] aircraft’s behavior will be crucial at Pax, where the Lockheed Martin F-35B and C are being flight-tested and where disruption to normal operations when the X-47B is flying must be minimized. “When we begin flying there, operating an unmanned aircraft from an active naval air station, it will be a significant step forward,” says Johnson....

...“We’ve exercised all the functionality with the surrogates,” says Engdahl. The Eisenhower tests included straight-in, or Case 1, instrument approaches where the unmanned system took over control 8 nm behind the ship; and visual, or Case 3, approaches where the system took over as the F/A-18 passed the carrier on the downwind leg and then turned the aircraft on to its final approach.

The autonomous landings demonstrated the precision-GPS ship-relative navigation technology at the heart of UCAS-D. The carrier sends its GPS position to the aircraft via a low-latency, high-integrity Tactical Targeting Network Technology data link. The aircraft, which has triple-redundant GPS/inertial navigation systems, calculates its position relative to the moving ship and guides itself to a touchdown on the flightdeck....

...Surrogate trials also validated the distributed control concept, in which a UCAS mission operator on the ship always has positive control of the aircraft, but the carrier air traffic control (ATC) center, primary flight control (Pri-Fly) or “air boss” in the tower, and landing signals officer (LSO) on the flightdeck can send commands to the unmanned vehicle as they would to a manned aircraft....

...Key to the control philosophy is a level of air-vehicle autonomy beyond that in today’s unmanned aircraft. “UCAS-D represents a new generation of UAS due to the level of autonomy developed to do a carrier landing or automated aerial refueling,” says Johnson. “Other systems are remotely piloted, and only do what they are told from the ground. All the decisions are on the ground, and the system architecture makes it hard to move to a higher level of autonomy....

...As with envelope expansion, clearing the X-47B to land on a carrier is expected to benefit from the vehicle’s predictability. “A pilot can get off-nominal but, because of the digital interface with the ship and real-time updates to the vehicle, an unmanned aircraft is not going to get very far off track,” says Johnson. But as it will be the first tailless aircraft to land on a carrier, tests are focused on ensuring the X-47B has good flying qualities, says Engdahl..."
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
Offline

uranus

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2011, 20:03

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 15:36

I'm all for two seats! Too much "stuff" going on in the battlespace for one steely-eyed fighter pilot to manage. With two seats, less task saturation and an extra set of eyeballs to look inside and out. Regarding looking outside, I support Moody Suter's Janus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus ) concept of situating the rear cockpit GIB/WSO/RIO facing backwards.
Offline

destroid

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 58
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2011, 11:20

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 17:31

Does facing rear seat backwards do anything detrimental for the pilots ability to handle G-loading?
Offline

Prinz_Eugn

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 930
  • Joined: 03 Aug 2008, 03:35

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 18:25

destroid wrote:Does facing rear seat backwards do anything detrimental for the pilots ability to handle G-loading?


Probably not, since the main vector would still be down towards his feet. There were plenty aircraft with rear-facing gunners and whatnot (Ju-87 Stuka comes to mind). I guess it could be more disorienting at modern G-levels.
"A visitor from Mars could easily pick out the civilized nations. They have the best implements of war."
Offline

firstimpulse

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 313
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2012, 18:21

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 18:28

I would assume so, although I haven't looked into the subject. The seats in the 16' are reclined for better G handling right? So a seat facing backwards doesn't seem right to me. I think all the other modern 2-seat fighters got it right, imho.
javascript:emoticon(':whistle:')
Also, getting back on subject, I'm a little queesy about UCAVs being controlled at all. If all they are is glorified RC jets, whats stopping someone from tapping into the system (e.g. the Iran RQ-170 incident). I believe that before sending UCAVs into the extremely complex EM environment of air combat, they should be fully-autonomous.javascript:emoticon(':mrgreen:')
Offline

southernphantom

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 825
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011, 17:18
  • Location: Somewhere in Dixie

Unread post12 Jan 2012, 19:29

firstimpulse wrote:I would assume so, although I haven't looked into the subject. The seats in the 16' are reclined for better G handling right? So a seat facing backwards doesn't seem right to me. I think all the other modern 2-seat fighters got it right, imho.
javascript:emoticon(':whistle:')
Also, getting back on subject, I'm a little queesy about UCAVs being controlled at all. If all they are is glorified RC jets, whats stopping someone from tapping into the system (e.g. the Iran RQ-170 incident). I believe that before sending UCAVs into the extremely complex EM environment of air combat, they should be fully-autonomous.javascript:emoticon(':mrgreen:')


Fully-autonomous anything just isn't feasible, and probably won't be for a very long time. Having a force of uncontrolled, unsafe aircraft loaded with several tons of ordnance aboard buzzing around potentially bombing anything that moves (IFF bug) is a monumental act of stupidity.

I would just add in an encrypted key that accompanies the data stream to the UCAV. If it authenticates properly, execute the order. If not, no-go. If the stream is interrupted, execute a safety procedure. No idea on the specifics of either, I'll leave that to the techno-wizards.
Offline

destroid

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 58
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2011, 11:20

Unread post13 Jan 2012, 03:44

Has a virtual WSO been tried, who sits at a base like a UCAV operator?
Offline

tacf-x

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 461
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2011, 02:25
  • Location: Champaign, Illinois

Unread post13 Jan 2012, 05:14

I don't think so. Then again, I am hardly an insider of the Navy or Air Force or anything of the sort. I just don't think a a virtual WSO was ever tried. However the issue remains regarding comms jamming and the like. If the comms are jammed again then the WSO would be unable to provided assistance to the pilot.
Offline

uranus

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2011, 20:03

Unread post13 Jan 2012, 17:49

Sitting backwards under high G is not disorienting. All the stick actuators (pilots) out there can confirm because at some time in their dog-fighting careers, they have fought through high G gyrations while their craniums were turned aft with eyes focused on the bandit chasing them--none I know of experienced any form of spacial disorientation.

Regarding the essence of the discussion--feasibility of fully-autonomous shooter UAVs in the ECM world: Appears without a tailhook or two-seat JSF, the best ordnance delivery mode distills down to conventional ballistic missiles. If we don't allow our advancements in missile defense to atrophy, we could probably claim the lead in missile attack/defense arena.
Next

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 2 guests