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Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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quicksilver

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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 18:05

SV, I don't doubt that a sim operator said it, only the veracity of the operator's claim. One can do any left-hand Harrier thing one wants with the F-35 throttle, and the result is that one only goes faster or slower.

Literally, it is so easy your grandmother can do it -- the very first time.
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delvo

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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 18:09

It is interesting that the way the controls are set up is called "intuitive". I can see how it's similar to flying a normal plane that's always moving forward, because pulling the stick back is how you go higher and pushing the throttle is how you accelerate forward. So I understand that it's what would come naturally to someone who's flown planes for a while. But it's counterintuitive to me, with my lack of experience flying planes. If I'm in a hovering vehicle that uses engine power to stay up, and think of what pushing the throttle should do, I'd expect it to increase engine power and thus move the vehicle upward. And if I think of what pulling back on the stick should do, I might expect nothing at all (because moving flaps & ailerons & such is futile at zero air speed), or I might expect the machine to do whatever it has to do in order to pitch nose-up. (More thrust from the lift fan & less from the nozzle?... but that implies a slipping clutch, which sounds unhealthy...)

No argument, of course, it's just interesting how pilots' experience must shift their "intuition", and in a way that this plane's designers could predict.
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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 18:27

delvo wrote:It is interesting that the way the controls are set up is called "intuitive". I can see how it's similar to flying a normal plane that's always moving forward, because pulling the stick back is how you go higher and pushing the throttle is how you accelerate forward. So I understand that it's what would come naturally to someone who's flown planes for a while. But it's counterintuitive to me, with my lack of experience flying planes. If I'm in a hovering vehicle that uses engine power to stay up, and think of what pushing the throttle should do, I'd expect it to increase engine power and thus move the vehicle upward. And if I think of what pulling back on the stick should do, I might expect nothing at all (because moving flaps & ailerons & such is futile at zero air speed), or I might expect the machine to do whatever it has to do in order to pitch nose-up. (More thrust from the lift fan & less from the nozzle?... but that implies a slipping clutch, which sounds unhealthy...)

No argument, of course, it's just interesting how pilots' experience must shift their "intuition", and in a way that this plane's designers could predict.


Remember, they're not building the jet for people who have no experience flying aircraft.

Part of the Harrier challenge is that on top of the additional control you have to manipulate (nozzle lever), the 'rules' for what one does with ones hands change a bit once you enter STOVL flight. F-35 doesn't eliminate that consequence but certainly minimizes it.
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Unread post15 Mar 2012, 21:10

In STOVL mode the F-35B flight computer restricts what the pilot can do in an effort to make that flying safe in case the pilot tries to make really stupid control inputs. In a Harrier sideslip is deadly (hence wind vane in front of pilot eyes outside front glass) but this is not such an issue in F-35B for example.

Just about any comment made about the STOVL flying qualities of the F-35b always stresses how easy it is to fly.
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Unread post16 Mar 2012, 01:47

Salute!

Having only flown a coupla helos for a few hours, I see the Harrier harder in some respects. Old choppers used a twist grip on the collective for motor power and up/down for pitch of the rotors and the cyclic did what normal planes did in roll, but pitch was "tilt" forward and back.

The F-35 seems to eliminate the need to manually adjust the throttle for vertical motion and uses the FBW system to increase/decrease lift by using the stick ( Hornet has an auto-throttle feature as well as many commercial airliners) . So once you hit the VTOL button, you use stick for left/right and up/down, and use throttle for forward/back.

I say again, the pilots at Eglin claimed the system was very easy to use and that previous Harrier folks adapted very quickly.

For anyone that wants to see a similar implementation, go fly an RC quad-rotor or similar helo. Rate and attitude sensors keep those suckers stable as can be.

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Unread post16 Mar 2012, 09:32

Another F-35B 'real world' pilot impression.... VL + Auto STO...
Marine Corps demonstrates F-35B at sea By Dave Majumdar - Staff writer Oct 18, 2011

[...]

The aircraft has flown very well during the sea trials, said Lt. Col. Matt Kelly, lead F-35 test pilot at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md. While he couldn’t compare the jet directly to the Harrier since he was an F/A-18 Hornet pilot, Kelly pointed out that the sea trials are his first experience operating from an amphibious assault ship, which is a testimony to the F-35B’s excellent handling characteristics.

“I have found this airplane to be just a really nice airplane to fly in the shipboard environment,” he said. “Prior to two weeks ago I had never landed or taken-off from this type of ship… It’s a pleasure to fly.”

Kelly added that the F-35B is easier to handle on the flight deck than he had imagined it would be. The challenge is not landing the aircraft but rather “putting the nose tire in a 1-foot-by-1-foot square box,” he said.

In up and away flight, the F-35 handles magnificently, similar to a clean F/A-18 Hornet with more power, Kelly said. Additionally, during daylight hours, the aircraft’s previously troublesome helmet-mounted display is now performing very well unless displaying video imagery, he said.

For getting off the ship, Cordell said that there are three short take-off modes that the team tested: manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic. Originally, the test team had only planned to do manual take-offs, but soon expanded the scope to include the other modes. Kelly said he had flows about a half-dozen automatic mode take-offs himself.

[...]

Source: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/20 ... ea-101811/
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