UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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Unread post09 Feb 2018, 09:04

Hangar first for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she weathers stormy seas in Biscay
08 Feb 2018 RN PR

"For the first time ever a giant RAF Chinook helicopter has been stowed in the hangar of a British aircraft carrier. With the nose protruding over the edge of one of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s two mighty aircraft lifts, the 99ft-long helicopter from RAF 7 Squadron was moved from the flight to the hangar deck. So large are the lifts and hangar spaces on the new Portsmouth-based warship that there’s no need even to fold the rotors....

...The painstaking process to bring the Chinooks in for the very first time took almost two hours, with the nosecone hanging precariously over the aircraft lift (powerful enough to raise or lower two F-35B Lightning II jets or half the 700-strong ship’s company). With practice it will take a fraction of that time.

“Even though HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest ship the Royal Navy has operated, she still moves around in the seas especially with the swell and winds in the infamous Bay of Biscay,” explained Cdr David Scopes, head of the carrier’s air engineering department. “We have very precious aircraft onboard at the minute, packed with special equipment to take the readings we need during our flying trials, so we have to look after them.

“As well as our non-slip decks, the aircraft brakes are supplemented by chocks on the wheels and the use of lashings between strong points on the aircraft and the deck, in carefully-calculated patterns to make sure they don’t move around and get damaged. We do this to all equipment in the hangar as we don’t want any of that being loose and hitting the aircraft either.”

The ship has faced her toughest conditions yet, transiting through the notoriously stormy conditions of the Bay of Biscay. The feared waters whipped up to a Sea State 7 as the 65,000-tonne ship cut through, with waves of six to nine metres or more at times. The transit was watched carefully inside the ship by engineers and ship’s company to see how she handled.

“These conditions are useful for us to see how the ship handles, and to see if there are any structural issues,” said Scott Maclaren, Senior Sea Trials Manager. “We look at whether things still work as they did before, also, how does it affect the crew? Bad weather can cause seasickness and fatigue, so we’re looking at how the human factor might be impacted. She’s a big ship though and doesn’t actually move too much. Her stability will only increase as more personnel and equipment is embarked”...."

Source: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-l ... -qe-hangar
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 post09 Feb 2018, 09:30

Investing in those Chinook blade-fold kits might be worthwhile....
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Unread post10 Feb 2018, 06:44

Where's WALLY? Where the ROCK APES live: http://images.europasur.es/2018/02/09/g ... 67x375.jpg
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 16:54

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Unread post21 Feb 2018, 11:12

Lightning Force takes shape [5 page PDF of entire article attached below]
March 2018 Alan Warnes

"There is now real momentum behind the UK’s F-35 Lightning programme and 2018 will see further key milestones. Alan Warnes spoke with the Lightning Force commander about a pivotal year for the fifth-generation fighter....

...Both runways are being modernised, with 90% of the surfaces being resurfaced or replaced. Air Cdre Bradshaw, a former Harrier GR9 pilot, continued: “The 6,000ft secondary runway will be ready for use by the spring, suitably constructed to take a battering from the F-35’s jet pipes when the pilots are sharpening their short-field practice. We can then shut down the longer 9,000ft runway so it can be modernised. Three concrete landing pads will also be in place by the end of the year.”

In addition to the airfield work, new constructions in the No 617 Squadron area and Integrated Training Centre (ITC) should be completed later this year, as will the Lightning HQ and Final Finish Facility (FFF). The No 207 Squadron Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) facilities are a little further behind completion. They are located next to the ITC so that students at the OCU won’t have to travel too far to do their simulator/synthetics work....

...One of the nuances of working with VMFAT-501 at Beaufort is that the Lightning Force functions according to US Marine Corps procedures, but over at Edwards processes are being run ‘the UK way’. As a result, engineers are being sent to the California base before returning to the detachment at Beaufort and then heading to Marham....

...Carrier trials
As well as No 617 Squadron working up towards IOC Land, and No 17(R) Squadron involved in operational test of the weapons, there is the milestone of first-of- class flight trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This is expected to start in the autumn, off the US northeast coast. It is being conducted by test and evaluation specialists such as Sqn Ldr Andy Edgell, an RAF test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, home to the F-35B Integrated Test Force (ITF). Edgell, who was in London during mid-January for a Lockheed Martin F-35 cockpit demonstrator event, was also an RAF Harrier GR9 pilot until Joint Force Harrier disbanded in 2010.

His Harrier days saw him serve with No IV (Army Cooperation) Squadron and 800 NAS at RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, where he worked with many of the key players now in the Lightning programme.

In 2012 Sqn Ldr Edgell qualified with the US Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) at Pax River and he’s been serving with VX-23 since 2013. In theory, he should have finished his posting to the unit in 2016, but he stayed on.

“I embarked on the USS America in 2016, to do the final developmental test phase of the F-35B at sea. As the guy with embarked F-35B experience, it made sense to stay on but focusing on the first-of- class flight trials on Queen Elizabeth Carrier [QEC].”

If he had a formal title it would be MOD Test Pilot for First-of- Class QEC Test Trials. Two other British military test pilots – Cdr Nathan Gray and Sqn Ldr Ben Hullah – work with him, plus ten military maintainers.

Sqn Ldr Edgell added: “We are all gearing up towards the trials in the autumn. It is under-appreciated by many that there is a lot of work done by a small team, many of them working with BAE Systems, who are contributing to the tests. I speak to them weekly, if not daily.”

BAE Systems plays a key role in the design, development and manufacture of both the aircraft and the aircraft carrier, and at the same time leads the work to ensure both are integrated seamlessly for the UK military. The trials will continue to inform the F-35 programme and its engineers on both sides of the Atlantic. These include flight test engineers based in the US and BAE engineers at Warton, Lancashire, who are developing and testing the latest technologies for the aircraft.

BAE Systems’ David Atkinson, an engineer working on the aircraft to ship integration, who was also present at the F-35 cockpit demonstrator event, summed up his role as providing information to Sgn Ldr Edgell and his team to enable the F-35/Queen Elizabeth class carrier relationship to mature.

Of the trials, Atkinson told AFM: “They are going to open up the operating envelope of the aircraft. That will involve working with varying wind speed, direction and motion of the ship. We will use the information that we gain from the trials to feed into the aircraft’s release-to-service document.”

Source: AirForces Monthly Magazine March 2018 No.360
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UK Lightning Force Takes Shape AirForces Monthly Mar 2018 pp5.pdf
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Unread post22 Feb 2018, 16:25

B type Acceleration fast! :D
https://raf-beta-public.org/news/raf-f- ... -training/
RAF F-35B PILOT EXPLAINS THE AIRCRAFT AND TRAINING
22 Feb 2018
The pilot destined to command the F-35B Lightning Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) explains the new aircraft and the training of those who will fly and engineer it.

Wing Commander Scott Williams will become Officer Commanding 207 Squadron when it reforms in the summer of 2019. He is currently the UK’s Senior National Representative at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the South Carolina base where more than 150 RAF and Royal Navy personnel are learning to fly, fight and engineer the F-35B. On 13 December last year, he also became the latest pilot to fly the Lightning.
------
“My first flight in the F-35B was incredible and certainly exceeded expectations. On take-off, the responsiveness and power of the engine were extremely impressive and the jet accelerated rapidly without afterburner. Once airborne, I was immediately struck by how smooth and agile the aircraft was to fly, and how seamlessly its sensors and mission systems gave me the information I needed – a real testament to the aircraft’s design. There were many airborne exercises to get through but I can confidently say that the Lightning does a great job of easing the workload in the cockpit and is a real pleasure to fly.”
Wing Commander Scott Williams
------
SIMULATORS
With no two-seat F-35s the training of pilots is heavily reliant upon simulators as Wg Cdr Williams explained:
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“Traditionally we train with the instructor in the back seat and the student in the front seat. If things don’t quite go according to plan then there’s someone over your shoulder who can take control, provide help and advice, and encourage the student to try again."
Wing Commander Scott Williams
------
“We can’t do that in the live environment on F-35 so the synthetic environment becomes crucial. Fortunately, the F-35 Full Mission Simulator allows you to train everything from the most basic skills, all the way up to teaching and assessing students in tactical formations against potent enemy threats.”

“Many legacy simulators have lacked the fidelity needed to train to high-end tactics, techniques and procedures but contemporary simulators can, and in future, we’ll use networks to train collectively in large virtual environments. That’s where we’re heading.”

OCU
This summer F-35s and personnel of 617 Squadron will arrive at RAF Marham. They will then undergo an intense phase of training to be able to declare a land-based Initial Operational Capability by the end of the year. The Lightning OCU, 207 Squadron will follow and occupy new buildings adjacent to the new Dambusters facilities at the Norfolk base in due course.
------
“We’re not just training pilots on the OCU. Cutting-edge facilities being built at RAF Marham, including our ‘School House’, will train engineers and ops support personnel destined for the Lightning Force. Next year we take what we’ve learned in the USA to the UK and re-form a historic squadron that will begin training all our future Lightning sailors and airmen. It’s a significant and exciting challenge.”
Wing Commander Scott Williams

In the UK, 207 Squadron will initially operate five to six aircraft and within about two years have a full complement of eight F-35B. Until then UK personnel will remain an integral part of VMFAT-501, 'Warlords', the sole US Marine Corps F-35B training squadron. Commanded by a USMC Lieutenant Colonel, the UK provides a third of the unit’s manpower and a significant number of its instructor pilots.

“That’s a great relationship. Every day, US and UK personnel are flying and engineering each other’s aircraft in one large ‘pool’, which is brilliant" said Wg Cdr Williams. “Ultimately, it means the UK and USMCS can train faster than would otherwise be possible, and we learn a great deal more from each other’s experiences of operating this new jet.”

ENGINEERS AND MISSION SUPPORT
At the moment, Lightning engineers and mission support personnel are trained at Eglin AFB, Florida. The engineering personnel also use synthetic trainers and learn on equipment that is a step change from what they were taught on at RAF Cosford as Wg Cdr Williams explained:

“When you start peeling back what’s in this aeroplane it’s definitely next-generation stuff, right down to piping conduits and how your repair defects. There are some real engineering improvements from the ‘old school’; it’s a huge jump for the guys and girls on the team.”

One of the innovations of F-35 is the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) which gives F-35 operators the ability to plan, maintain and sustain the aircraft’s systems. Wg Cdr Williams: “The engineers pull off the joint technical data from the ALIS system and it tells them ‘if this happens, this is how you fix it’. They follow the process and ALIS ticks the aircraft as ready to fly. When all the ticks are completed the aircraft can be released for flight.”
------
“In so many ways it’s a different way of doing things that we’ve done for Tornado, Harrier and, to an extent, the Typhoon as well. The F-35 is certainly a game-changing capability for the UK but it wouldn’t happen without a team of dedicated Airmen, Sailors and Marines who work hard every day toward the mission. It’s a huge privilege to be part of that.”
Wing Commander Scott Williams
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Unread post23 Feb 2018, 17:17

First fixed wing pilots join HMS Queen Elizabeth
23 Feb 2018 RNFAA PR

"The first fixed wing fighter jet pilots have embarked in the Royal Navy’s new carrier as she prepares to receive the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter later this year....

...Whilst the ship continues trials and prepares to return to the UK for upgrades and maintenance, the focus is switching from rotary wing trials to the first embarkation of fixed wing aircraft in the Autumn; the first F-35B Lightning II fighter jets will be flown from the carrier for the first time off the east coast of the USA....

...Colonel Phil Kelly, Royal Marines, is one of four fixed wing pilots to have joined HMS Queen Elizabeth in recent days, to set the conditions for the future integration of fixed wing squadrons. As Strike Warfare Commander for the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG), and a former Harrier, Sea Harrier and F-18 pilot, his aim is to ensure that the lay-down of the carrier air wing is the most efficient it can be for future flying operations.

He explained: “This ship and its capability has been decades in the making and I am here to help bring together the air strike battle aspects. I have flown from all of the Invincible class carriers and from the American Carriers USS Bush, Truman and Reagan. This is now my seventh carrier, so to be able to bring my previous experience back here to be able to set this ship up ready to receive strike fighters, and hopefully in the future to be able to come back and fly them, is an immense privilege.”

Also joining the ship is Commander James Blackmore who takes up the role of Commander Air, more affectionately known as ‘Wings’. Joining HMS Queen Elizabeth directly from Command of the Fixed Wing Force at RNAS Culdrose, and having the privilege of piloting the last ever Sea Harrier to launch from HMS Ark Royal, he will oversee the integration of the Joint Strike Fighter and its supporting elements.

“This is something we have all waited for about 20 years to see, it’s very exciting and a real privilege to be a part of”, he said. “The main challenge for us is getting focused on bringing a jet to sea again, and that’s not a simple prospect. There are only a handful of nations in the world who operate aircraft carriers and aircraft at sea.

“In simple terms, when an aircraft leaves the deck, it leaves its runway and the runway isn’t where it left it when it comes back. The runway pitches, rolls, heaves, moves, gets covered in waves – all those things are at play when you bring an aircraft onto the deck. That will be a unique thing for many of our people, and we need to train to understand and work with the challenges involved in conducting our air operations safely”.

Col Kelly and Cdr Blackmore are joined on board by Cdr Mike Mullen, on exchange to the Carrier Strike Group from the US Navy, and Lieutenant Commander Ed Phillips RN, between them bringing the experience of thousands of deck landings and multiple worldwide combat operation tours.

Cdr Blackmore says co-operation with the US Navy and Marine Corps in particular has been of real value to the integration process. He explains: “Co-operation and integration with our coalition colleagues is absolutely fundamental for us going forward. It is part of the reason we have had pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft handlers and intelligence officers in the States, and with the French, operating from their carriers, pulling in the knowledge of how they operate. Of course we can do it on our own, but as we enter into coalition task groups in the future, those relationships and the knowledge we are gleaning now is critical”."

Source: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-l ... -elizabeth
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 post23 Feb 2018, 19:58

spazsinbad wrote:
First fixed wing pilots join HMS Queen Elizabeth
23 Feb 2018 RNFAA PR
....
Cdr Blackmore says co-operation with the US Navy and Marine Corps in particular has been of real value to the integration process. He explains: “Co-operation and integration with our coalition colleagues is absolutely fundamental for us going forward. It is part of the reason we have had pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft handlers and intelligence officers in the States, and with the French, operating from their carriers, pulling in the knowledge of how they operate. Of course we can do it on our own, but as we enter into coalition task groups in the future, those relationships and the knowledge we are gleaning now is critical”."

Good find Spaz, (as always)

Not sure if this Ocean story was posted at the time but along these lines the Brits have integrated over the last few years with US Navy Task Force operations in preparation for HMS QE taking her place in Carrier rotations. I have found the completeness of this approach of interest.

For example, they used HMS Ocean last year to practice having HMS QE be the flag ship replacing US carriers in rotation. The crew/command staff of Ocean exercised commanding a US Navy Task Force integrating along with their own escorts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQZQ5qCflH8 That part has been done a year ago.

Considering the Brits shut down naval aviation (Harriers and Invincible Class) capability, more than a few years ago, they still should transition back to Carrier ops very smoothly, as seen in Kelly's experience on USS Bush, Truman, and Reagan. They are very close to being able to take over a rotation, much as the French Charles de Gaulle has done on occasion.

Certainly if you throw together a couple US Navy CVN's and HMS QE you have a Desert Storm class fleet. The UK is probably just months away from having that capability, IOC 2020 not withstanding. This is dot the "i", cross the "t" type stuff now. If a Falkland type crisis happened today, she'd sail ... and with LIghtning IIs. MHO anyway.

FWIW,
BP
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Unread post28 Feb 2018, 22:38

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Unread post28 Feb 2018, 22:49

Successful flight trials period vindicates design of HMS Queen Elizabeth
28 Feb 2018 Save the Royal Navy

"HMS Queen Elizabeth returned to Portsmouth today after 25 days away. During this time she visited Gibraltar, conducted rotary wing flying trials and met up with RFA Tidespring for her first Replenishment at Sea.

56 aircrew, analysts and engineers from the Air Test and Evaluation Centre (ATEC) at MOD Boscombe Down have been on-board the aircraft carrier for the past month with two Merlin Mk2 and two Chinook Mk 5 test aircraft. Just 8 months after she first put to sea, HMS Queen Elizabeth has already successfully conducted 1,000 deck landings in a range of sea and weather conditions. The Chinooks and Merlins flew an average of 10 hours a day, gathering data about how the aircraft perform operating from the ship. Chinooks performed 450 deck landings while the Merlins made 540. QinetiQ will process this information over the coming months and will eventually provide the Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) that will specify in what conditions helicopters can fly from the QEC carriers in the future....

...RN test pilot and Detachment Commander for the trials team, Commander Matt Grindon said: “We’ve been learning about the wind patterns on deck, this is a new design of ship and the way wind moves across the deck and affects flying is something that we’ve focused on in these trials. Whilst turbulence is normal, one of my pilots has described it as the ‘Hand of God’ grabbing you and pushing you down onto the ship, which obviously requires a big power demand to stop the aircraft descending, so that’s given us some interesting insight.”...

...While making her way back toward Portsmouth the first Replenishment at Sea (RAS) trial was conducted with the new support tanker RFA Tidespring. A line was passed across to the tanker from the deck of QE but the evolution was abandoned due to the conditions. Poor weather would not normally prevent RAS if really needed, but while undertaking an initial trial with two new platforms it is sensible not to take unnecessary risks. The QEC are equipped with 4 refuelling points, 2 on each side and the Tide class tankers have dual probes so diesel and aviation fuel can be passed across simultaneously, reducing the time needed for the replenishment.

On arrival in Portsmouth, the QE was berthed on Princess Royal Jetty with her bows pointing south for the first time. This will allow maintenance to be conducted on the Port side of the ship. Eventually, she will ‘wind ship’ and be turned 180º so that her starboard side is adjacent to the jetty which allows better access to the engineering teams via lowered aircraft lifts. 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."


Source: http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/success ... elizabeth/

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Unread post28 Mar 2018, 04:14

https://www.forces.net/news/f-35-pilots ... -elizabeth

F-35 Pilots Get Ready To Land On HMS Queen Elizabeth

Training is taking place at BAE Systems using simulators to rehearse the process of getting the F-35 aircraft safely on and off Britain's new aircraft carriers.

The two new mammoth warships, equipped with a fleet of F-35s, will form the backbone of the UK's defence in the upcoming years.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has recently undergone trials with both Merlin and Chinook helicopters.

But this autumn the UK's first F-35 stealth fighters will land on her decks...

The training in Lancashire has now completed and in June, HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail to the eastern seaboard, where she will begin the landing tests for real.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post28 Mar 2018, 04:38

KEWL - I'll post the viddy soonish.... https://www.forces.net/sites/default/fi ... ill001.jpg

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Unread post06 Apr 2018, 10:48

RN carrier team prepares for F-35B trials
05 Apr 2018 Richard Scott

"UK Royal Navy (RN) personnel have completed a first period of simulator-based training and operational development ahead of F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flight trials from aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth scheduled for later this year.

Undertaken at BAE Systems’ ship/air integration facility at Warton in northwest England in mid-March, the week long trial was intended to mature standard operating procedures ahead of fixed-wing first of class flying trials (FOCFT) planned for the last quarter of 2018. As well as key members of Queen Elizabeth ’s air department, the trial also involved RN pilots drawn from No 17(R) Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, and an RN test pilot from the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

Designed to de-risk ship/air integration for the F-35B and the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) ships, the simulation facility at Warton integrates two components. It takes a fully representative F-35 cockpit mounted on a six-axis electric motion system housed inside a fixed radius dome featuring a high-fidelity model of the QEC carrier together with a realistic and dynamic sea-surface and mates it with an adjacent facility which simulates the environment within the flying control (FLYCO) office housed in the carrier’s aft island superstructure. The latter, fully integrated with the piloted simulator, includes a replica of the landing signals officer (LSO) workstation and a widescreen projection system showing the outside world scene, including a selection of prerecorded takeoffs/recoveries or ‘live’ flight being conducted by the pilot in the flight simulator."

Photo: "Test pilot commander Nathan Gray ‘on the deck’ in the F-35B simulator. Source: Richard Scott/NAVYPIX" http://www.janes.com/images/assets/039/ ... -_main.jpg


Source: http://www.janes.com/article/79039/rn-c ... 35b-trials
[/quote]
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Unread post15 Apr 2018, 21:48

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Unread post15 Apr 2018, 23:40

:shock: :devil: Computer says NO: "BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues." :doh: :roll:
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