Canadian F-35 Aerial Refuelling Considerations

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spazsinbad

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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 07:44

The article is very positive about the F-35 from the Canadian Test Pilot Billie Flynn (by CDR writer Joetey Attariwala) viewpoint with interesting insight into whys and wherefores particularly excellent serviceability and flying qualities etc. YMMV.

Canadian F-35 Aerial Refuelling Considerations (excerpt from 'Flying the F-35')

http://f-35.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/ ... t-2012.pdf (0.7Mb)

"...According to Lockheed Martin, Canada has conducted a study to examine options for F-35 aerial refueling techniques. Lockheed Martin officials were not able to say what conclusions the Canadian study yielded.

Currently, the RCAF employs hose and drogue aerial refueling provided by CC-130H (T) and CC-150 aircraft. If the F-35A is adopted without any change, the Canadian way of aerial refueling would not be compatible. If one assumes Canada will retain its currentt aerial tanking technique, the options are to keep the current F-35A aerial refueling system and add the hose and drogue refueling piping.

The F-35A apparently has the space to accommodate this addition, however it would add weight to the aircraft, and would change the aircraft's center of gravity to some degree. We are unsure what implication the added weight and change in center of gravity would cause. Additionally, if the standard F-35A aerial refueling piping is retained, there would be maintenance required to keep that system functioning, even if it's not used.

If the standard F-35A aerial refueling piping is removed and only the hose and drogue piping installed, a change in the center of gravity would again need to be addressed and certified.

Regardless of any of these options, it is unknown what costs would be associated to such modifications of Canadian jets...."
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Another way to approach the same PDF info...

Flying the F-35, Canadian Defence Review, October 2012

http://f-35.ca/2012/flying-the-f-35-can ... ober-2012/

"In the October 2012 issue of Canadian Defence Review, Joetey Attariwala interviews former RCAF CF-18 pilot Billie Flynn who is now a Lockheed Martin test pilot on the F-35."
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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 10:13

Another excerpt from above PDF/article...

"...Flynn: "I have been on this program for two years and I've spent hundreds of hours in the simulator, but to get the best appreciation you need to be in the airplane. I'll tell you that flying the airplane was exactly as I expected. Lighting the afterburner was really impressive, and it was a flawless airplane in formation - the best I've ever flown. It was magical to see it. The only surprise in my first flight was my landing. I had no idea I was on the ground until the throttle moved back to idle. I actually said 'wow' over the intercom to the control room. I was really fortunate. I flew BF-5, which is a mission systems test jet of the STOVL [Short Take-Off Vertical Landing] variant - it's a full-up system with everything working. To go out the first day and see all the magic work - to have my helmet up and working, to see the radar magic work, was really, really impressive and such a treat to see that it actually does work and is not just a powerpoint slide. I thought that was a great introduction to the airplane...."
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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 11:05

Enjoy it while you can Flynn. Most Canadians would rather stuff you into an Su-35.
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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 11:42

Flynn is an LM Test Pilot now. That was almost a jackpot to rail against eh. Canuck Airforce (NO!) but an F-35B was mentioned! YES. :roll:
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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 11:52

I would imagine that they will order the jets with whatever refueling system they want when they decide what will best suit them. The aircraft can be built with either or both. This option was addressed YEARS ago. Sounds like the Canadians are just evaluating what they want in the long run.
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Unread post31 Oct 2012, 12:01

Another excerpt or three from same source above....

"...Flynn: I was a Eurofighter Typhoon test pilot at precisely this phase of Typhoon's development. I grew up in the F-18 which was fragile in the beginning. I've been around the F-16 development, and I've watched the Raptor being developed. This [F-35] is the only airplane I've ever seen as stable and robust at this point in its development. We have more than 40 airplanes flying and everything works when you step into that airplane. I flew AF-20 twice in one day, with a 3 hour gap between; everything worked through the end of the second flight. That is absolutely unheard of. It's not bragging rights, it's just unheard of in the development of a fighter airplane that's this sophisticated. The helmet, the radar, the EW [Electronic Warfare], the DAS [Distributed Aperture System], it doesn't seem possible that we are doing as well as we are - it's remarkable. I think that bodes so well for what we are talking about in introducing a sound design. We're way better than anything I have ever seen in a fighter airplane...."
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"...Flynn: In my experience of tanking, the Air Force way is dramatically easier. I can tell you that every guy that does the hose and drogue way of refueling has a bar story of how things did not quite go so well, it's just a harder way of doing it...."
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"...CDR: If you were to speak to your Canadian CF-18 [former] colleagues, what words would you share with them about the F-35?

Flynn: On the first time a pilot gets in the airplane, I think the first impression is going to be that this is a big, powerful, solid, honest airplane to fly. It's going to do exactly what he expects it to do right from the get-go. I think he's going to be very impressed by the situational awareness from the first time he takes-off and looks down at the two displays or looks through his helmet. I think he's going to feel like he is actually flying something new, because that's what I felt like on day one - I thought this is an entirely different experience from what I'm used to. I'm used to flying fast jets, I'm used to being overwhelmed with lots of screens, I'm not used to looking down and having that kind of situational awareness the first time out."
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