AV-8B/Expeditionary (F-35B) Basing on AM-2 Matting Exercise

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Unread post25 Aug 2011, 21:49

The Harrier and Expeditionary Basing 08/25/2011

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-harrier-and- ... ry-basing/

"During a recent exercise of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the USMC honed their skills at landing Harriers on AM-2 matting, loading the aircraft with the pilot in the cockpit and ready to go after loading the aircraft with both weapons and fuel. After getting “a bag of fuel” and weapons, the Harrier takes off and re-engages.

This core competence of the USMC combines what a V/STOL aircraft can do with innovative combat operational approaches.

Earlier on our website, General Walsh explained the overall approach in an interview entitled “The Harrier and Flexible Basing.”

General Walsh explained that the ability to operate close to the battlefield, always the Harrier to provide considerably greater sortie rates in support of the ground forces.

The presence capability we’re having increases time on station to be able to observe them, pounce, provide presence: whatever the effect is you’re looking for, the STOVL being closely based not only gives you the responsive time, but it also gives you that increased time on station by being closer to the battlefield, as opposed to an aircraft which has been traveling a long distance away, may only have 20 minutes to be on station to drop ordnance, and then, has to leave and get back to the base because it is out of fuel. By being closer there, you have more time on-station, and by being more on-station, you’re able to loiter longer and have more of a patience profile : you are then more in a position to wait there for precise targeting, as opposed to be in a hurry to get out of there.


However, time on station in this presence concept rules, because what we are doing today isn’t a deliberate attack and isn’t driving forward on conventional operations. Many times, it is just waiting for the ground forces to say that they need an effect. It may also be the enemy reacting to what we’re doing that drives that reaction. So it’s not always that we’re developing a plan 72 hours out on when to attack targets, in which one launches into a window and has 10 minutes to drop ordinance and get out of there. We may actually not drop any ordnance. But it’s that presence piece – that loiter time – that is critical. You can loiter much longer over the area you need to loiter over, if you’re parked right next to it.

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-harrier-and- ... -op-tempo/

During the exercise Lt. Col. Williams discussed the exercise of this core competence and its use in operations.

Lt. Col Williams is the Commanding Officer of VMA-231. Marine Attack Squadron 231 (VMA-231) is a United States Marine Corps fixed wing attack squadron that consists of AV-8B Harrier (V/STOL) jets and 1 TAV-8B trainer jet. The squadron, known as the “Ace of Spades”, is based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and fall under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14) and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW).

http://www.marines.mil/unit/2ndmaw/mag1 ... fault.aspx

In the first part of the interview, Lt. Col. Williams focused on the exercise and the basic approach. The first part of the interview can be seen in the video below.

http://vimeo.com/28158125

In the second part of the interview, the Commanding Officer explained how the exercise reflected real world operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The second part of the video can be seen in the video below.

http://vimeo.com/28157749

For a related interview with USMC officers who craft the expeditionary airfields in operational settings please go to http://www.sldinfo.com/the-expeditionar ... rations-2/
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 post27 Aug 2011, 20:53

I'd like to see the F-35B do some trials with the matting, similar to JBD testing the Navy did with the -C at Lakehurst.
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Unread post27 Aug 2011, 22:16

AFAIK the runup to the ski jump at PAX River is matting, both built before Brits changed their mind about B model. Easy enough to test matting at Pax River. Heat testing has already been done with potential new matting to be manufactured. See very long thread.

EAF enables JSF landing anywhere, everywhere 29-Jun-09

http://www.navair.navy.mil/press_releas ... site_id=15

"Although the AM-2 matting is serving its purpose as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) pads and a 1,900 x 96-foot runway for the EAF/STOVL testing, it also doubles as the run-up for a test “ski-jump” used in conjunction with JSF testing for the British Royal Navy. The AM-2 matting and the 12-degree ski-jump ramp were installed at the centerfield area last month. [2009]"
___________________________

OR some info in these online PDFs:

Ramping Up for AM-2’s Replacement
Air Force CIVIL ENGINEER Vol.13 - No.3 - 2005

www.afcesa.af.mil/shared/media/document ... 27-019.pdf

"...“AM-X” Battlelab Initiative
In April and June, the Air Warfare Battlelab (AWB) managed two operational demonstrations at Tyndall AFB, Fla., of six matting prototypes with the potential to be “AM-X—the next generation of airfield matting.” Simulated F-15 gear load support tests were conducted in July. As part of the Rapid Parking Ramp Expansion (RPRE) Program to find a replacement for AM-2, AWB and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) experts worked together to select the most promising materials and designs for testing and evaluation of the RPRE risk reduction phase...."
________________________

Analysis of Heat Effects on Marine Corps AM2 Mat Mechanical Properties

http://www.springerlink.com/content/f04 ... lltext.pdf

This study mentions STOVL aborted vertical takeoffs. Not likely for the F-35B when STO is the way to go. However vertical landings are assured with minimal effects very similar to Harrier VL effects.

"Discussion
A feasible solution to avoid the potential damage of the STOVL aircraft is to apply thermal coatings on them. Wilhelm et al. (Ref 2) studied the effect of eight different combinations of coatings, which were applied on the AM2 mats to evaluate which coating/s was/were best suited for use on mats exposed to exhaust from STOVL aircraft. Mats coated with NiAl bond coating, Al2O3-ZrO2 heat resistance coating, and NiCr-SiC non-skid coating outperformed other coating combinations. Further testing was carried out on these coatings with varying thicknesses to optimize their performances (Ref 7).

Conclusions
Based on the investigation, we conclude that
1. The visible discolorations on the surfaces of the AM2 mats correlate to the drop in yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, and hardness. However, the electrical conductivity values remain the same.

2. The decreases in yield strength values are within the minimum AMS requirements.

3. The decreases in ultimate strength values in some portions are below the minimum AMS requirements, and the decreases in the hardness values are also below the typical values.
_______________

Researchers Develop Lightweight Next-Generation Airfield Matting System
by Heyward Burnette AFRL/ML

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story_prin ... =123090148

"3/13/2008 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Researchers from AFRL and Webcore Technologies, Inc., made significant headway in the design and development of a strong, lightweight composite-based airfield matting system for forward aircraft deployments. The next-generation matting system touts a 36% weight reduction over the extruded aluminum (AM-2) panels currently in use and has twice the operational life. The lightweight system's simple connection method and optimized shipping size will enable the Air Force (AF) to deploy aircraft more rapidly via considerably faster expansion of parking aprons and connection of taxiways and maintenance areas. Several years of extensive testing and analysis have effectively demonstrated that the new matting system meets loading and weight requirements.

The AF's renowned capacity to respond quickly and decisively anywhere in the world relies on myriad combat support activities that occur on the ground. Typical deployments to remote locations require a large number of aircraft sorties to transport equipment, personnel, and supplies. As a military operation intensifies, the available taxiways, parking space, and aircraft maintenance areas are quickly exhausted. Conditions range from extremely austere dirt strips to commercial airports and fixed military installations. Parking aprons at many of these potential airfields are not adequate to support large contingency operations, a problem further complicated by the fact that the soil types at many sites are unknown.

Maximum-on-ground (MOG) requirements represent a major aspect of assessing airfield capabilities. MOG assessment entails two categories: parking and working requirements. Whereas parking MOG refers to the number of aircraft that can be parked at an airfield and is dependent on the specific mission, working MOG is based on the available parking space, the size and type of crews, and the equipment available to service aircraft. Working MOG thus has significant impact on the overall speed at which a bare base can be established.

Increasing MOG capabilities at airfields supporting forward military deployment operations is essential. This is why AFRL engineers, in conjunction with Webcore Technologies, have undertaken to design and develop a new composite airfield matting system that addresses not only technological issues, but cost savings concerns as well. Composite materials are up to 10 times stronger than conventional matting materials but weigh considerably less. In significantly advancing the AF's capability to perform contingency operations from bare bases and austere airfields, composite airfield matting systems will have an immediate and positive impact on mission success. AFRL researchers are continuing research and development efforts, to include advancedcomposite hybrid material concepts, towards further improving the new system's performance."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 28 Aug 2011, 11:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 Aug 2011, 08:57

Engineered to innovate Core materials — and the ways they are used — evolve to meet new challenges.
Article From: High-Performance Composites September 2006, Ginger Gardiner

http://www.compositesworld.com/articles ... o-innovate

"...WebCore's TYCOR also is finding use in construction of lightweight, portable aircraft landing strips. WebCore has worked with the U.S. Air Force since 2001 to develop a lightweight alternative to AM-2, the U.S. military's workhorse airfield mat system, in use for more than forty years. The AM-2 system is currently comprised of 2-ft by 12-ft (0.61m by 3.66m) aluminum panels, which are 1.5-inch/38-mm thick aluminum extrusions with extruded end connectors along all four edges to provide a locking mechanism. WebCore's AMX composite mat system will offer lighter weight, improved joint design and easier assembly. A typical airfield large enough to support a fighter squadron requires 480 pallets of AM-2 matting, weighing around 1.3 million lb (about 590 metric tonnes). The AM-2 system weighs 6.4 lb/ft2 - roughly 150 lb/68 kg per 2-ft by 12-ft panel. The target weight is 3.2 lb/ft2, a 50 percent reduction. "We can offer significant weight savings with a composite structure,"states Banerjee, VP of business development for WebCore. "Our current design is a 4-ft by 7-ft [1.2m by 2.1m] panel with aluminum extrusion joints on four sides."WebCore is also working on new joint designs that will ease assembly, including some made from composites, for further weight savings. WebCore's new AMX airfield mat system has a simpler connection design, enabling efficient transfer of loads and quicker installation. WebCore's airfield mat solution uses a carbon noncrimp fabric/epoxy skin with a custom-designed TYCOR core made with carbon fiber reinforcement and high-performance PMI foam. The panels are molded via RTM or infusion. Large-scale testing by the Air Force began this August, involving more than 1,000 ft2/93m2 of panels, installed over soft soil to maximize structural stress and subjected to simulated landings by the F-15 fighter jet and the C-17 Globemaster III cargo transport. The F-15 produces a 35,000 lb (15,875 kg) single wheel load while the C-17's combined wheel loads total more than 500,000 lb (about 226,800 kg). Airfield mat panels must withstand 1,000 passes from each aircraft. If the new composite AMX system passes the test, the next step will be an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, leading to a 10-year production contract, starting in 2008...."
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 post28 Aug 2011, 14:34

maus92 wrote:I'd like to see the F-35B do some trials with the matting, similar to JBD testing the Navy did with the -C at Lakehurst.


They have been landing F-35Bs on the same AM-2 at Pax nearly everyday -- to the tune of 130+ VLs this year.
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Unread post28 Aug 2011, 14:34

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Unread post28 Aug 2011, 18:50

'quicksilver': How do you know this 'fact' please. Thanks. AFAIK the F-35B lands on the 'concrete landing pad' according to news reports. However see the very long thread: (Is the dark area in photo the AM-2 matting OR is it the grey area [which I had assumed was the hover pit]?) The odd photo from above of a vertical landing usually shows the F-35B over (what I thought was) concrete. There is one showing a 5 minute hover that I'll post also. Is the grey area with markings AM-2 matting?

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-435.html

Centerfield Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (STOVL)

http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/index ... 38819A5C10

"The Centerfield STOVL (Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing) was completed in 2009, to support the developmental testing of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35B STOVL aircraft. Located in the centerfield area at NAS Patuxent River, the STOVL Centerfield Facility consists of an AM-2 Expeditionary Airfield (EAF), an AM-2 Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) pad within a painted LHD deck outline, a Ski Jump, and a grated Hover Pit.

The EAF and VTOL Pad AM-2 surfaces are representative of current US Marine Corps austere/forward deployed basing capabilities. These surfaces will be used to test F-35B compatibility during Short Takeoff (STO), Vertical Landing (VL), and Slow Landing (SL).

The Ski Jump, built to match the profile of the UK HMS Invincible Class Ships, will provide a land-based test site for unique ship compatibility. The Hover Pit was constructed during the X-32/X-35 concept demonstration phase of the JSF Program and has supported operations with British Sea Harrier aircraft.

The Hover Pit also provides a means to perform STOVL mode engine runs without ground effects by ducting exhaust thrust away from the aircraft through a series of vanes below the top grating of the pit."

http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad/img/u ... 0Site1.jpg

Image
_________________________________________

BF-1 Completes Longest Hover – 16 February 2011:

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=69

"BAE test pilot Peter Wilson made the longest hover during the ninety-fourth flight of F-35B BF-1. On the final vertical landing, Wilson spent more than 5 minutes in hover, with almost 6 minutes elapsing from entering the hover to touching down. The flight consisted of 3 other vertical land-ings, 5 short take-offs, & 1 slow landing.”

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zHVD ... 4_8138.jpg

Image
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Unread post28 Aug 2011, 19:28

Another view of the 'hover/VL/SkiJump' area (there is a zoom version on this forum somewhere): [I'll attach another version showing centrefield facilities along with the LHA deck marked out on the right of this ZOOMie version of the JPG.] Added a recent airfield diagram from: http://naco.faa.gov/d-tpp/1104/00314AD.PDF

Added an old 2007 Google Earth centrefield + zoom photo showing LHA deck etc.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_3ueurlMIZI/T ... 4_3314.jpg

Image
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PaxRiverCentreFieldLHAdeckF-35CarrivalZoom.jpg
PaxRiverMay2011.gif
PaxRiverCentreLHAdeck2007.jpg
GoogieErfPaxRiver2007.jpg
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 post01 Sep 2011, 15:33

At last an overhead view of AM-2 Matting. Looks like the grey area with crop circle symbols is AM-2 matting in the VL long time F-35B photo above with the one above that also showing same matting (undesecrated).

Prepping The Ground http://www.sldinfo.com/the-expeditionar ... rations-2/

http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... 6/pic2.jpg

"AFGHANISTAN - Marines with MWSS 271, attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, NATO International Security Assistance Force, lay down AM2 matting while in the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. This AM2 matting will be essential in the support of aircraft while conducting operations in support of NATO."

Image
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Unread post22 Sep 2011, 21:46

Ever elusive - that NAS Patuxent River Ski Jump location. Here is another contemporary view:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5184/574 ... 1239_o.jpg
Look to top right of ZOOM photo version for the jump with what looks like an LHD deck layout at top of photo - L to R

Second ZoomER pic shows Ski Jump with Hover/Vertical Landing area on right (probably AM-2 matting not down OR might be seen vaguely there also)

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PaxRiverLHAlayoutSkiJumpZoom.jpg
PaxRiverLHAlayoutSkiJumpZoomER.jpg
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Unread post25 Sep 2011, 22:07

I should pay more attention to SLD.info :D

Continuing to “Work” the Problem By Ed Timperlake | August 30, 2011

http://www.sldforum.com/2011/08/way-ahead/

"...The story Under Fire treats the issue of the future of naval aviation from the perspective of the Tac Air memo we cited earlier.

http://www.sldforum.com/2011/08/under-s ... -air-memo/ [IRRELEVANT to AM-2]

With regard to the article, we were surprised to see the only photo in the story as showing an F-35B landing on AM-2 matting at Pax River. And here we learn that “Aluminum matting is used to protect the surface from the F135 engine exhaust.”

Having watched many Harriers land on AM-2 matting last week at an airfield in North Carolina, we were surprised to learn that AM-2 matting in the photo was being deployed for engine exhaust of another aircraft.

So we decided to call the USMC HQ specialist on the matter. Major Brad Alello and he told us that “AM-2 matting has been used by the USMC since BEFORE the Vietnam War.” But for Av Week’s imaginative purpose they make this a modification for the F-35B. Perhaps some facts checking in the rest of the article might be called for...."
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 Oct 2011, 06:19

Anyone confirm that the screenshot from the end of the video shows the AM-2 matting 'edge/corner' please? Thanks.

F-35B BF-2 Vertical Landing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt6GXVD8 ... r_embedded

"Uploaded by LockheedMartinVideos on Jan 11, 2011
The second F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing jet, BF-2, descends to its first vertical landing on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Fred Schenk piloted the aircraft during the flight."
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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 13:15

Yep.
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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 14:06

tnx
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Unread post23 Oct 2011, 22:58

Aahh the intertubes are a wonder eh. Here is the picture caption referenced by SLDinfo complaint above. Aviation Week & Space Technology 29 August/ 05 September 2011 caption: "The second F-35B performs a vertical landing at NAS Patuxent River, Md. Aluminum matting is used to protect the surface from the F135 engine exhaust." 'Under Fire' Article author Bill Sweetman. And reference to matting noted as such. Cool. 8)
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