DT-III aboard USS America

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Unread post11 Dec 2016, 03:58

This is the abstract & introduction from F-35B LHA Modelling PDF above/on previous page now.
Computational Analysis for Air/Ship Integration: 2nd Year Report
Susan A. Polsky US Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Patuxent River, MD

"Abstract
This paper documents the accomplishments from the second year of a three-year Grand Challenge Project focusing on the application of computational fluid dynamics to predict coupled ship and aircraft aerodynamics. Unstructured chimera techniques were used to simulate the coupled ship and aircraft systems. Dynamic aircraft maneuvers were prescribed with the intention of building simulations with an auto-pilot-in-the-loop. All simulations were computed in a time-accurate fashion due to the unsteady nature of the flowfield, and used the commercial flow-solver Cobalt. Analyses for both vertical shipboard landings of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and rotary-wing aircraft are discussed. Internal components of the JSF lift-fan were added to the model to increase the solution fidelity.

1. Introduction
While many aspects must be taken into consideration to ensure safe shipboard flight operations, a primary factor is evaluation of turbulent air-wake effects on aircraft performance and pilot workload. The air-wake is a product of wind passing over ship structures creating non-uniform, turbulent air flow. The US Navy conducts shipboard dynamic interface (DI) testing to evaluate ship air-wake effects on aircraft operations. These tests result in wind-over-deck (WOD) flight envelopes that prescribe in what wind conditions an aircraft can or cannot fly. The WOD flight envelopes are part of the operating procedures for all ship-based aircraft. Testing is required to generate WOD envelopes for each model of air vehicle operating from a given ship. The DI tests are performed at-sea, typically over the course of several weeks.

Application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to predict the turbulent ship air-wake has been studied in the past with considerable success[1–4]. This has resulted in the use of CFD as an analysis tool to “diagnose” air-wake structures that may impact air operations for both current and future ship designs. These diagnoses are accomplished by linking stored CFD-generated air-wake data with offline aircraft models, controlled by either a pilot model or some other autonomous controller. For this “one-way coupled” approach, the air-wake data is imposed on the aircraft model; however, the presence of the aircraft does not feed back into the air-wake data. While this approach has proven very useful, there are limitations to its applicability. When employing CFD data generated from a ship in isolation, the underlying assumption is that the presence of the aircraft will not affect the air-wake from the ship structures. In the case of a small uninhabited air vehicle (UAV), this is likely a valid assumption; however, for an aircraft that produces a large wake of its own (such as a helicopter), this assumption becomes less-and-less valid as the aircraft comes in closer proximity to ship structures. The interaction of the ship air-wake and the aircraft wake is generally referred to as ship/aircraft coupling. Aerodynamic coupling is a concern for both fixed-wing and rotary-wing shipboard operations.

As mentioned above, past research developed methods to accurately predict ship air-wake and laid the groundwork for prediction of coupled ship & aircraft predictions. Research executed in the 2006–2008 time-frame demonstrated the feasibility of modeling both stationary aircraft and aircraft with prescribed-motion immersed in ship air-wake. The aircraft types examined included fixed-wing (F-18) and rotary-wing (V-22, H-60). The present work builds upon past research in coupled ship/aircraft modeling through support from the Office of Naval Research “Coupled Aircraft Ship Simulation for Improved Acquisition” (CASSIA) program and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The goal of the CASSIA program is to understand the physical and numerical modeling deficiencies that prevent the application of current dynamic interface simulations for flight-envelope prediction. Analysis of an H-60 helicopter with a DDG (destroyer)-class ship was continued in the 2nd year (Figure 1). The motivation for the DDG/H-60 analysis is to understand where (in regards to proximity to a ship) aerodynamic coupling becomes important for rotary-wing vehicles. This knowledge, along with the coupled DDG/H-60 CFD data will be used to develop methods to account for aerodynamic coupling suitable for man-in-the-loop simulations (i.e., methods that run in real-time).

Analyses of the short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) JSF on L-class US Navy ships (Figure 2) were also conducted. The JSF CFD analysis was required to prepare the ship for JSF testing. In particular, analyses were required to examine whether JSF outwash during vertical landings (VL) would damage critical (and costly) ship systems, either due to exposure to hot jet exhaust or due to the force of the jet exhaust. During an approach to a landing spot, the aircraft core nozzle passes near many large hull-mounted systems, such as radars and weaponry, and passes directly over the catwalk and flight deck. Although sub-scale experimental studies of the STOVL outwash field were conducted, these experiments were for zero ambient wind-speed with exhaust impingement on flat plates. It was recognized that the air-flow patterns would likely be affected by surrounding ship structures and prevailing wind-speed and direction. Therefore, the CFD analyses included the ship hull, island superstructure, and many of the larger ship systems in the area of concern (Figure 2). The CFD analyses were used to help determine whether steps should be taken to move or shield deck-edge equipment and replace it with instrumentation to gather data during flight-test at-sea. In the 2nd year of this project, short takeoff (STO) scenarios were also examined. In addition, the fidelity of the JSF model was significantly increased to include most of the internal lift-fan structure...."

Source: https://www.hpc.mil/images/hpcdocs/news ... _small.pdf (24.2Mb)
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Unread post12 Dec 2016, 03:02

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Unread post23 Dec 2016, 02:14

Oh NO! More words about Navy stuff - cor blimey guv! The good lads at AIR International have dun it agin. BZ! 6 page PDF attached of the entire article (which is not just about Navy stuff - but youse know me by now).
Another Year Done
Jan 2017 David C Isby & Mark Ayton

"At the close of another year of test and front line ops for the F-35 Lightning II programme, David C Isby and Mark Ayton cover some recent events...

...F-35B DT III On October 28, seven F-35Bs landed on the flight deck of USS America (LHA-6) at the start of what was called Developmental Test Phase III at sea or DT III. This was the final evolution for the F-35B in its current configuration during 21 days at sea that concluded on November 17.

DT III involved seven F-35B Lightning IIs: two from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) ‘Salty Dogs’ based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland; two from Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1); and three from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) ‘Wake Island Avengers’.

DT III Objectives
• Day carrier qualification (CQ)
• Initial pilot CQ
• Flight deck crew familiarisation
Night operations with Gen III helmet-mounted display

Shipboard Launch and Recovery Expansion
• Short take-off flying qualities an envelope expansion
• Vertical landing flying qualities and envelope expansion
• Vertical landings to spots 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9
• Vertical landing and short take-offs with symmetric and asymmetric external stores carriage
Vertical take-off
• Increased deck motion operations in solid sea state four conditions up to +/-5.5° roll and +/-2° pitch
• Joint precision approach and landing systems testing

Logistical Test and Evaluation
• Engine
• Lift fan
• Maintenance support
• Footprint support
• Weapons loading

Flight Deck Ops
DT III was technically known as an operational test (OT) assist development test (DT) event, in which qualified OT test pilots conducted some of the DT test points.

The primary objectives of the 21-day period were shipboard launch and recovery expansion test points focused on the evaluation of flying qualities at various aircraft weights, crosswinds, sink rates and high sea states, and clearing the F-35B for maximum gross weight take-offs involving a lot of missions loaded with externally carried stores, a load configuration not done on previous F-35B detachments DT I and DT II. A high sea state was key to meeting test objectives on DT III, a step-change from fairly calm sea states and the resultant steady deck present during DT I and DT II. F-35 Chief Test Engineer Andrew Maack said the team wanted to be able to test up to +/-5° roll and +/-2° pitch movement of the flight deck: “We easily found those conditions that were new for the F-35B, but it performed very well: 60 flights; 53.5 flight hours; 128 vertical landings; 126 short take-offs; and two vertical take-offs.” Weapon loads comprised various combinations of 1,000lb GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions carried internally; 500lb GBU-12 laser-guided bombs carried externally on the wing stations; and AIM- 9X Sidewinders carried on the wing tip stations.

Gabriella Spehn, an F-35 weapons engineer from the F-35 Integrated Test Force based at Patuxent River, said: “We’re augmenting the existing weight centre of gravity effects of the aircraft to expand the envelope with wind over deck, and different lateral symmetry and asymmetry configurations.”

The DT III weapons team tested all of the take-off and landing worst-case scenarios and endpoints. Spehn said the only way to increase the endpoints is to test on board a ship for sink rates and high sea states. Explaining the test effort, Andrew Maack said: “We conducted max load-out launches, looking for the short take-off spotting position on the deck to enable us to determine the absolute minimum performance acceptable for the aircraft. We produce the performance bulletins to be used by the fleet.”

The other critical stage of flight that asymmetric loading can affect is the vertical landing. In the fleet, external asymmetrically loaded stores are brought back to the ship either because the pilot did not have cause to expend the stores or because reasons dictated an inadvertent bring-back. Andrew Maack explained that the most critical variable for the build-up of asymmetric loads and the associated handling qualities are the environmental conditions in which the test is conducted: the wind direction relevant to the aircraft, either down the deck or a crosswind. Consequently, the critical build-up was in the environmental conditions, rather than a regimented set of different asymmetries. However, the primary driver for max load-out take-off conditions tend to be performance oriented, as Maack explained: “We’re looking for the minimum short takeoff performance and those tests require a steady deck. A moving deck makes it difficult to sort the data and map to models, which is ultimately what we are trying to do.”

Maintenance
There were multiple maintenance test events conducted. One involved a dedicated spare engine placed on board for the purpose of evaluating an engine module replacement; an intermediate level maintenance procedure on the engine that would be done in a maintenance back shop evolution. Other big maintenance procedures were an engine removal and installation on one of the jets, and a lift-fan removal and installation on another jet. Andrew Maack said there was also a considerable amount of publications verification conducted, much of which involved evaluating the publications used by fleet maintainers to ensure processes are being done in the most effective manner and the documentation is adequate for a fleet maintainer to be able to conduct the procedure at sea.

Operational testers VMX-1 had a deployable ALIS unit on-board, which was evaluated by a team led by the ALIS testers from the Pax-based ITF. ALIS is the acronym for the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System. ALIS SOU Version 2 was delivered to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) ‘Green Knights’ in June 2015. The system is not fully mature, but in the configuration now fielded proved its capability during DT III aboard the USS America.

The ALIS servers have been reconfigured to disassemble into man-portable sections, and are now the primary system used by operational F-35B squadrons; this type of server was used on board USS America.

Maack gave some perspective: “The amount of logistics test and evaluation conducted on DT III was more than we had done on all the previous detachments combined. This was a function of the OT team being on board and dedicating an aircraft to support the effort.”

Summing up DT III, Maack said the big thing was testing in high sea states with stores: “Once all of the data is analysed, it will determine operating envelopes for the F-35B that will be used by the fleet for decades. The F-35 is a tremendous capability. Just the touch-down dispersion and accuracy when the pilots put the aircraft down during all of the demanding conditions was remarkable.”

Proof of Concept Demo
Once the 21-day DT effort was complete, VMX-1 started a three-day Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration on November 18–20 with an F-35-heavy Aviation Combat Element. Twelve F-35Bs were involved from three units: the Salty Dogs of VX-23; Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) ‘Wake Island Avengers’, based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona; and the F-35 detachment of Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1), based at Edwards Air Force Base, California. However, for the first time during a period spent at sea by the F-35B, the Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration also involved other types from a Marine Expeditionary Unit. VMX-1 deployed two MV-22B Ospreys, one UH- 1Y Huey and one AH-1Z Cobra.

The Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration was designed to evaluate the F-35B’s suitability and effectiveness at sea alongside other Marine Air to Ground Task Force assets to the maximum extent possible. Specifically, assessment was made of the F-35B while operating across a wide array of flight and deck operations, including mission systems, support equipment and procedures, maintenance operations and logistical supply chain support in an at-sea environment.

Operational testers also conducted risk reduction demonstrations in the shipboard environment, in preparation for upcoming operational missions.

Demo Objectives
• Execute numerous day and night take-offs from and landings on USS America
Operate in the Block 2B, Block 3i, and Block 3F software configuration aboard USS America with applicable sustainment support and infrastructure
• Execute and assess standard day and night extended range operations
• Assess aircraft-to-ship network communications interoperability
• Assess the efficacy of the F-35B landing signals officer’s launch and recovery software
• Assess the crew’s ability to conduct scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities
• Assess the suitability of F-35B maintenance support equipment for shipboard operations
• Assess the integration of the F-35B alongside other MAGTF assets
Execute and assess day and night weapons loading including live ordnance releases
• Assess all aspects of the logistics and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea

Flight Ops
Flight operations focused on routine mission sets from sea, such as strike missions, close air support, armed reconnaissance, assault support escort and maritime strike.

For the final event, VMX-1 conducted a combined mission to San Clemente Island, a multi-platform mission off the ship into an objective area. In addition to mission sets, other operationally relevant tests were performed to evaluate interoperability of the aircraft-to-ship network communications: F-35B landing signal officer’s launch and recovery software; the crew’s ability to conduct scheduled and unscheduled maintenance activities; the suitability of F-35B maintenance support equipment for shipboard operations; day and night weapons loading, including the first live ordnance drops from sea-based F-35s; and all aspects of the logistics and sustainment support of the F-35B while deployed at sea.

For the weapons loading, USS America’s weapons department assembled 72 GBU-12s and 40 GBU-32 JDAMs. Armament Marines assigned to VMX-1 then used the assembled munitions to undertake day-time and night-time weapons loading. From the arsenal of assembled weapons on board, some were live and were dropped by VMX-1 test pilots for the live fire events. Over two consecutive days VMX-1 dropped six GBU-12s on a live weapons range in Yuma, Arizona.

VMX-1’s Commanding Officer, Colonel Rowell, said: “We learnt a lot of valuable lessons about ALIS: the configuration of the brief and debrief facility; which landing spots are convenient for the F-35; how we move F-35s around the deck and the hangar bays; and a lot of maintenance knowledge.”

Data and lessons learned from the demonstration are now being used for developing the concept of operations for F-35B deployments aboard US Navy amphibious assault ships beginning in 2018.

Demo Facts
• Dubbed the next phase of the F-35B Lightning II’s advancement in naval integration
• November 18–20
• Explored the best way to integrate a larger package of F-35Bs into the current Navy-Marine Corps structure to bring the most power projection from the sea
• Ratified procedures between the US Navy and US Marine Corps in preparation for upcoming deployments in 2018
Carrier-qualified 19 Marine Corps pilots in a three-week at sea period. Prior to the demo, only eight Marine Corps F-35B pilots had carrier qualified in the last four years

Accomplishments
At the conclusion of the DT III, the longest at sea period undertaken by the F-35B, the combined DT and OT teams accomplished: the first integration of ALIS SOU version 2 aboard a ship; the first engine and lift fan removal and installation aboard an amphibious assault ship; the first live ordnance operations aboard a ship; the first F-35B integration with AEGIS; the first F-35B integration with MV- 22B Ospreys, a UH-1Y Venom and an AH- 1Z Viper aboard a ship; the most F-35s ever embarked aboard a ship (the previous record was six); the first time Block 3F OT at sea; and the first Royal Navy F-35B pilot became carrier qualified. At the end of 2016, F-35s had been handed over to Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and three of the US armed services. In 2017, the F-35 System Design and Development phase is expected to finish, the initial operational test and evaluation will begin and the US Marine Corps will deploy the first F-35 squadron to an overseas location. Much work still has to be completed on the jet, but based on comments given to AIR International by DT, OT and front-line pilots at this early stage of its service career indicate the F-35 to be a world-beater.

Source: AIR International Magazine January 2017 Vol.92 No.1
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F-35B DT-III AIR International Jan 2017 pp6.pdf
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Unread post24 Dec 2016, 04:56

Chains but this time a Super Hornet. Chains can make maintenance difficult. See the external AoA Indexer Lights for LSO.

http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/D ... 61_No2.pdf (3Mb)
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 14:43

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwoGkDGDtS8

around the 25-sec mark...to paraphrase.." 6, 8 12 F-35s on this ship represent the most powerful concentration of combat power ever put to sea in the history of the world". Them's fighting words/ :D
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 15:11

:applause: :shock: 8) :devil: "...in the history of the world...." :doh: FOOKIN' A! :mrgreen: :roll: 8) :applause:
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 15:36

The RN will claim bragging rights soon enough!
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 17:32

popcorn wrote:The RN will claim bragging rights soon enough!


Will the RN get the rights if they're USMC planes though? :wink:
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 20:21

The Brits will take plenty of credit.

As far as most of them are concerned they have brought dignity to what would otherwise be a dull dreary affair lol
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Unread post27 Dec 2016, 22:40

and, somehwere, a tear rolls slowly down a CAG's cheek... :D
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post29 Dec 2016, 20:43

I'll plonk this one here becuz it does have some dirtyBritDT-III innit.
Shaping a 21st Century Assault Force From the Sea: The Perspective from VMX- 1
29 Dec 2016 Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake

"Col. Rowell is the first Commanding Officer of VMX-1: Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1. VMX-1 includes the operational test & evaluation (OT&E) and science & technology (S&T) activities that have supported Marine Aviation from HMX-1, VX-9, MACCS-X and MAWTS-1....

...VMX-1’s F-35Bs are at Edwards AFB as part of the Joint Operational Test Team which is working with their developmental test counterparts to evaluate and integrate the ongoing upgrades of the aircraft. The VMX-1 F-35Bs will come to Yuma in 2018 and will be the center of excellence for global F-35Bs as well after the Block 3F software is complete. VMX-1 will continue to shape the demand side for the F-35B community with regard to upgrades as well.

We asked about how integrated the British have been with Rowell and his Marines. He [Col. Rowell] noted that there is very close integration.
“It is crucial. We carrier qualified a Royal Navy pilot onboard the USS America in USMC airplanes. We are exchangeable. There is no light between the Brits and the Marines. On the America, you had UK maintainers, and you had observers from HMS Queen Elizabeth on board the USS America as well.” “It is very important for the community to remain focused on commonality. There is widespread recognition of this requirement. The Marines are a key stakeholder in this process with the services and the allies. We are well tied into the community to shape commonality for upgrades and shaping the way ahead.”

This applies in strategic terms to shape integrated airpower from the UK to Norway to Denmark to the Netherlands and operating off of US and UK seabases. “The interoperability between the USMC and the UK is a key thread in that effort with our ability to operate off of each other’s ships. It is like flying with someone else nationally but part of your own squadron.”

How did the maintainability go aboard the USS America during your recent tests?
“We took an aircraft and pulled the engine, drive shaft and lift fan – then reinstalled and flew it off of the ship in sea state three. We validated many of the toughest maintenance tasks at sea with that maintenance evolution, and that jet was one of the first planes off of the boat during the Lightning Carrier demonstration. The two Yuma squadrons plus VMX-1 were working the maintenance and almost all of the maintainers had never been to sea as well. Availability and maintainability was good. We did not lose any flying time due to maintainability. Very unusual for an aircraft at this stage of the game.”

The test community is shifting its focus on airframe testing to the software upgradeability dynamic. “We are internalizing that. The biggest item I saw was the growing realization of what a software defined and upgradeable plane is all about. Many of your hardware dynamics are also about software. For example, with regard to the fuel pump, what it does and how it performs is software driven. You have to tweak the software a bit and you can get the fuel pump do what you want to do with it.”..."

Source: http://www.sldinfo.com/shaping-a-21st-c ... rom-vmx-1/
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Unread post06 Jan 2017, 10:36

Six + 2 PDF pages of NavAv LHA goodness re DT-III etc. And an auto VL coming to a flat deck near you SOONish whenever.
COMING TO AMERICA
Feb 2017 Jamie Hunter

"US Marine Corps F-35Bs headed back to sea in October and November 2016, this time aboard the USS America, for the third phase of developmental test (DT-III) and a proof-of-concept demonstration....

...The first DT-I and II sea trials for the F-35B were conducted aboard the USS Wasp in 2011 and 2013 respectively. DT-III marked the first stint aboard USS America, and there were some specific test points that the ITF team was going after. ‘There was really good weather for DT-I and DT-II’, says Lt Col Richard Rusnok of VMX-1. ‘So, the big thing was about going after higher deck motion events. Being on the West Coast and out on the Pacific tends to be [rougher] than the Atlantic, and actually we were able to find some pretty significant deck motion. They were really good test points.

‘I was LSO [landing signals officer] for some of those deck motion points and we were doing the exact opposite of what you would normally do as an LSO. We were intentionally trying to launch the test jets into the absolutely worst deck motion. So, we’re holding them on the deck, getting the launch signal, then we’re watching the wave cycles come at us waiting for the best time to launch [the best time being the most challenging time].’

As well as the pitching deck, external loads were carried in relation to the Block 3F software load. The loads enabled the ITF to drive the aircraft’s center of gravity to extremes, while the jets also flew with asymmetric loads to analyze the impact of this on operations. ‘You’ll see that we had pylons and weapons on one side only specifically to drive the asymmetric conditions’, Rusnok added....

...With a background in the program, Rusnok was able to participate in combined DT/OT of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS). ‘We pushed hard to get our jet BF-19 into upgrade. It came to us from the factory with TR-1 hardware, which means it couldn’t accept the new Block 3i or 3F software. We managed to put the jet into a four-week modification in August to add both TR-2 hardware and simultaneously upgrade it to Block 3F software standard. We were able to get a special flight clearance and that meant we had a second jet at the same standard as BF-05, both of which were capable with JPALS.’

This meant VMX-1 could augment the test team for the JPALS work on DT-III. ‘Essentially, the JPALS system aboard the USS America and the Block 3F software in the aircraft allows them to talk to each other’, Rusnok explains. JPALS is a differential GPS-based precision landing system from Raytheon that guides aircraft to carriers in all weather conditions and in surface conditions up to sea state five, using an encrypted, jam-proof datalink. In 2018, the Marine Corps plans to declare early operational capability on two amphibious assault ships to support F-35Bs. All three F-35 models will have JPALS capability embedded in their Block 3F software, although the US Air Force pulled out of the project.

The system should enable the F-35B to auto-land on the amphibious assault ship, although that ambition is still some way off. ‘BF-05 did fly auto-decelerations to the ship this time around and they started to refine that process’, says Rusnok. ‘The fleet pilots are manually flying the jet at the moment but we can still plug the ship’s speed into the autopilot. So, we are essentially flying formation with the ship at 10 to 15kt. The jet will ultimately communicate via JPALS with the ship to get that speed and set a GPS offset to the location we need to hover abeam the spot. Eventually the aircraft will do a completely automated landing.

...Preparing for the real world...
...The ‘Green Knights’ of ‘121’ are expected to embark the USS Wasp in February 2018 as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). VMFA-211 ‘Avengers’ at MCAS Yuma is set to deploy with a ‘southern California’ MEU in June 2018.

‘With the Block 3F software we will have full ordnance clearance — that means [the F-35B will be able to carry] 4,000lb more than a Marine Corps F/A-18’, enthuses Davis....

...The time spent on the America enabled the Marine Corps to carrier-qualify (CQ) 19 pilots, plus the first Royal Navy pilot, Lt Cdr Ian Tidball. ‘We worked up our FCLPs [field carrier landing practice] from late September; then the VMFA-211 guys did their work-ups while we were at sea in the first part of DT-III’, says Rusnok. ‘Of those 19 pilots, only four of us had flown on the ship before in the F-35. Eight of them had never flown to a LHA/LHD class carrier before. We qualified five LSOs as well, which was one of our main objectives — four of those were training LSOs, which allows us to build fleet pilots in that role.’..."

Source: Combat Aircraft Monthly February 2017 Vol.18 No.2
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F-35B DT-III USS America 6-8pp Combat Aircraft Feb 2017.pdf
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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 20:43

4 page PDF of this article attached below.
F-35B Completes At Sea Developmental Testing
Winter 2017 NAN Naval Aviation News

"Seven F-35Bs assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, Marine Operations Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 took part in three weeks of testing, which began Oct. 28.

The third developmental test phase, known as DT-III, evaluated the fighter’s short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) performance during high sea states. Operations included vertical takeoffs and landings, short takeoffs, night operations, symmetric and asymmetric internal and external weapons loads, and the first engine and lift-fan removal and replacement at sea.

A cadre of test pilots, engineers, maintainers and support personnel with the Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF), assigned to VX-23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, conducted the developmental testing and established the boundaries of safe and effective operations for F-35Bs outfitted with new Block 3F software, which provides 100 percent of the software needed for full war-fighting capability....

...During the three-week detachment, the test team logged 53.55 flight hours across 60 flights, conducting 126 short takeoffs, 128 vertical landings and two vertical takeoffs—an operational volume equivalent to at least four months of operations during a routine deployment at sea. Testing featured solid Sea State 4 conditions with high sea states featuring plus/minus 5.5 degrees of roll, plus/minus 2 degrees of pitch, up to 40 knots of headwind, and up to 18 knots of starboard crosswinds.

During the three weeks, 19 Marine Corps pilots qualified with the F-35B. Eight had qualified in the previous four years....

...“There is a slight difference in handling the AV-8B Harrier and the F-35B,” Posada said [Chief Petty Officer Phillip Posada, V-1 Division’s crash and salvage leading chief petty officer]. “The Lightning II packs more of a punch when it takes off. Because of that, our handlers know to plant themselves firmly and grab a pad eye, if necessary, to steady themselves. Another attribute is that it has a sharper turning radius, so we are able to taxi the aircraft easier.”

The plane also handles much differently while landing vertically. “I think the best adjective to describe it is that it’s awesome,” Dirk said. “You could parallel park this thing, it is so accurate. You’ve got a 40,000-pound aircraft that you have control over within a foot.”...

...The Patuxent River ITF and VMX-1 embarked on America with an aggressive test plan featuring a broad array of milestones, including shipboard launch and recovery expansion test points focused on evaluating flying qualities at various aircraft weights, particularly with regard to crosswinds, sink rates and high sea states.

Pilots intentionally conducted test flights under unfavorable environmental conditions to test the aircraft’s limitations and capabilities.

“As we all know, we can’t choose the location of the battle, so sometimes we have to go into rough seas with heavy swells, heave, roll, pitch and crosswinds,” Edgell said. “The last couple of days, we went and purposely found those nasty conditions and put the jets through those places, and the jet handled fantastically well. So now the external weapons testing should be able to give the fleet a clearance to carry weapons with the rough seas and rough conditions. We know the jet can handle it. A fleet clearance will come—then they can go forth and conduct battle in whatever environment.”

...The squadrons followed DT-III with a three-day proof-of-concept demonstration Nov. 18-20. The 12 F-35s aboard America during the demo were the most on a single ship—the previous high had been six.

The Lightning IIs flew alongside two MV-22B Ospreys, a UH-1Y Venom and an AH-1Z Viper, solidifying procedures between the Navy and Marine Corps...."

Graphic: https://scontent-syd2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ ... e=59279E1D

Source: http://navalaviationnews.navylive.dodli ... 17_web.pdf (7.7Mb)
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