F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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outlaw162

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Unread post04 Sep 2020, 15:23

....did away with much of the stress on pilots flying behind a ship—and PLM Version 40 (V40) intends to do away with most of what remains.


The end of (to quote JB) 'manly' carrier landings? ...."Just a walk in the park, Kazansky."

AI comes thru again. :mrgreen:

edit: First BFM, now carrier landings....(actually I guess the first thing to go was manual bombing)

"Why yes, young lady, I'm a fighter pilot."

"....yawn"
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Unread post09 Feb 2021, 18:45

Some recent PLM posts on previous page so here's anotherie. Yes 'Virginia' technology does make things easier & why not.
Navy Brings ‘Precision Landing Mode’ Carrier Landing Assist Tool to New Fighter Pilots
09 Feb 2021 Megan Eckstein

"The Navy is in the final stages of fully adopting a Precision Landing Mode for fighter pilots, with young fleet replacement squadron pilots for the first time conducting carrier qualifications with the tool that significantly cuts down on the work required during an approach to the back of an aircraft carrier at sea.

Capt. Dan Catlin, the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106, this week brought some newly winged pilots out to USS Gerard R. Ford (CVN-78) to conduct their first landings at sea in an F-/A-18E-F Super Hornet, both in the daylight and at night. “I will say that, without a doubt, hands down, Day 1 yesterday was by far the smoothest evolution, best performance we’ve seen from our students ever – and that’s by an awful lot,” said Catlin, who personally oversees all his students’ carrier qualifications.

The Precision Landing Mode – a software tool added to the jet’s flight control and mission computers that significantly reduces the number of inputs a pilot has to make on final approach – was first used at sea by test pilots in 2015 under the program name MAGIC CARPET and saw its first usage in a fleet squadron in 2017. The Navy hasn’t been comfortable teaching new pilots how to use the landing tool, though, since there were so many failure modes that could arise on the jet that would prevent the plane from using Precision Landing Mode. Thanks to a software update tested and approved last fall, brand new pilots are finally able to learn how to land with this tool that will make them much more successful with much less work.

“You’ll see the white knuckles, the shaky knees, and you can see the expression on the face of somebody who’s just landed on an aircraft carrier at night for the first time – we didn’t see that last night,” Catlin told reporters today in a call while aboard Ford. “What we saw was a lot of confident aviators who realized that technology is really making something that was supposed to be incredibly hard actually a little bit of fun – not a lot of fun, flying at night is never anyone’s first choice – but the expression on their face really told the story of what this capability brings. They were confident, and quite frankly I think they had a good time out there.”

Catlin explained that, prior to PLM, a pilot would make an average of about 300 minor adjustments during the final 18 seconds on approach to landing on a carrier – having to balance how fast the aircraft was going, whether it was on the right glide slope to land on a moving aircraft carrier, and whether it was properly positioned laterally. “That’s a lot of corrections on the stick and the throttle,” he said.

With PLM, that figure can be reduced down to single digits. The pilot manually inputs the ship’s speed, and then the PLM system automatically computes the proper 3.5-degree glide slope for a safe landing. Once a pilot gets on the ball – not coming in too high or low – the PLM system locks in and maintains that trajectory by managing the throttle.

“What that allows the pilot to do, especially a young, inexperienced pilot, is spend a lot more time focusing on the scan of where that pilot is on the glide slope and where they are on lineup,” Catlin said.

“Landing on an aircraft carrier is the most dangerous thing you can do in all of aviation, that’s across civil and military. It’s no small feat to land on an aircraft carrier at night, with a pitching deck, and after a long six-and-a-half-hour-long combat mission. It’s an incredibly dangerous evolution,” he continued. “What PLM allows us to do is to make that evolution much, much more safe and more efficient.”

Capt. J.J. Cummings, Ford’s commanding officer, said on the call that he had used PLM for about 20 landings himself and was amazed at how few changes he had to make with the stick while coming in for a landing. He said he had seen video of test pilots landing with their hands up, not touching any controls – but Cummings and Catlin stressed that this isn’t meant to be an unmanned landing tool, but rather it significantly cuts down the workload for the pilot.

“The precision landing mode, it’s been eye-watering to watch [newly winged pilots] go behind the boat, day and night,” he said. The young aviators made about 40 passes on Sunday, he said, with just a small number who bolter – when the landing gear hits the flight deck but doesn’t latch onto the arresting gear to stop the plane – and just a few were called by the landing signal officers to make adjustments on their approach.

“I recall one student, his first night trap ever in F-18 Super Hornet, he flew what’s called a rails pass: basically essentially a perfect pass to what’s called an OK 2 wire for his first trap at night in a Super Hornet, and it was staggering to observe,” Cummings said. “This PLM system is amazing for the stability that it provides the aircraft on glide path, and we’ll see increased boarding rates for these aviators and then get folks to the fleet sooner, because generally you have about 5 percent of the fleet replacement pilots will disqualify because of boarding rate or lane[??? is this LINE UP?] performance. With PLM, we’re going to see that number drop significantly and possibly to zero.”... [then further explanation]

...Though pilots would likely want to retain their ability to land on a carrier manually – Catlin said there’s just one failure mode that would prevent PLM from working, and though that failure mode is almost unheard of in Super Hornets, it could still potentially occur – Cummings said the fleet would see great benefits from students learning to fly with PLM...."

Photo: "Rear Adm. John Meier, commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic, communicates with pilots assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 from the landing signal officer platform on USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) flight deck, Feb. 7, 2021. Meier is onboard to observe Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106’s inaugural use of precession landing mode during carrier qualifications(CQ). Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting CQ. US Navy photo.
" https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... 7-1165.jpg
&
"Rear Adm. John Meier, commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic, and Capt. J. J. Cummings, left, USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) commanding officer, observe flight operations from the ship’s landing signal officer platform, Feb. 7, 2021. Meier is onboard to observe Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106’s inaugural use of precession landing mode during carrier qualifications(CQ). Ford is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting CQ. US Navy photo."


Source: https://news.usni.org/2021/02/08/navy-b ... ter-pilots
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Unread post13 Feb 2021, 02:56

Even OLDER PLM quote but nice reference for 'how to deck land':
PLM: A REVOLUTION AROUND THE BOAT
Jun 2019 CDR 'Blue' Hadler

"Based on technology that was originally developed for the F-35C, the Super Hornet's 'Magic Carpet' system is now known as PLM - precision landing mode. It's a landing mode with enhanced flight control logic that is designed to make landing on an aircraft carrier easier and more predictable for the pilot. 'PLM allows you to quickly add or subtract lift without changing AoA [angle of attack]; explains Hadler. Ultimately, PLM is designed to make a big difference long-term when it comes to training pilots to land on the ship.

LT 'Quitter' [LSO] says, 'PLM is a mode of the autopilot. It uses flight control logic to fly a much smoother profile on the 3.5° glideslope, all the way to touch-down in the groove. From a pilot perspective it means a lot fewer control inputs - up in the Arctic Circle it really helped us out when we had a pitching deck. From an LSO [landing signal officer] perspective, I see a lot more 'passes' that are safe and more consistent - the boarding rate across air wings has gone up significantly. There's some emergencies that mean we can't use PLM, such as a flight control system issue, so once a month we fly a traditional approach to the boat'.

Explaining the approach to the carrier, 'Quitter' says, 'What we're looking for on the 'meatball' improved Fresnel optical landing system [IFOLS] is the datum, a single row of green lights across the center. The 'ball' in the middle projects where you are on the glideslope: if it's high you're too high, and if its low you're too low. There's also a set of wave-off lights. The LSO can wave you off by clicking the hand-held pickle - that's the visual cue. You're looking to put the 'ball' in the middle of the lights, and that will put you on target for the three wire.

'With PLM, you click into an autopilot mode and instead of the usual velocity vector you see a ship-referenced velocity vector. We still reference the 'meatball' and use stick inputs to make sure it's centered, but the jet will fly to the point on the deck where that velocity vector is pointed'. The ship-referenced PLM allows for the fact that the ship is moving.

Source: Combat Aircraft Magazine June 2019 Volume 20 Number 6
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