Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by janner, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    This video link is fresh (for the public). It was made just six weeks ago in the Atlantic, just off Newport News ( Hampton Roads), Virginia .

    These are the latest sea trials of the F-35B on the USS Wasp. They were very successful, with 74 VL's and STO's in a three week period.

    The media and the program critics had predicted that we would burn holes in the deck and wash sailors overboard.

    Neither of which happened. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the ship as the jet rotates.

    That was an intentional part of the sea trials.

    No catapult... No hook.... It’s a new world out there!

    The shape and scope of warfare – worldwide – just changed.Click your cursor here on:> F-35B

  2. Thanks Janner, that vid made my wee go all white.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Awesome, I really hope the 'new' RN gets this aircraft.
  4. That is a cracking bit of kit!
  5. Just goes to show what a bit of foresight, and investment ( Zillions ) I know, plus how far the RN has fallen behind in all things to do with naval aviation. Lovely clear and well filmed footage though.
  6. There's a fan in the dorsal position of the ACs body for vertical take-offs/landings... and so we find the flaps above it are raised when the AC is doing such actions.

    So why are the dorsal flaps/hatches raised when it takes off down the flightdeck? Does it need that fan for additional lift?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  7. Watch the jet pipe just before take off.

    Harrier does something similar for short take off. See first few second of Video nozzles move from aft to 45 deg.
  8. Interesting! These AC operate different to how I'd envisioned. That f35 was flying away from the ship with the rear nozzle pointing down at the sea... in fact in some shots the seas surface gets ruffled by the blast. You'd you expected it to be more back (for speed), than down (lift) as it is already airbourne!

    The F35 is looking good! How does it compare speedwise with it's non-VERTOL competitors?
  9. Won't that reduce the weapons load? Same with the ski-jump, wouldn't the addition of a SJ theoretically improve the weapon/fuel load?
  10. pm Pontius, he is an old and bold ex Harrier pilot.
  11. There is a significant reduction in payload and fuel with the B-variant when compared to the A or C. There is also an issue with landing back-on with weapons still carried. The RN wanted a larger bring-back payload than could be achieved, hence they were messing around with a SRVL (shipborne rolling vertical landing) which was a bit dangerous when compared to a straight down vertical landing.

    Apart from inter-operability with other major navies (France, US), the smaller payload and range as well as the small bring-back payload are some of the reasons why we are not getting this version. Cost is also an issue, as it is the most expensive variant.

    Regarding take-off - the F-35B gets airborne in the same easy the Harrier does, a combination of wing-borne and jet-borne lift. The nozzle-stop on the Sea Harrier was set a 55 degrees on take-off, and the pilot would slam the nozzles to the 55 degree position when the nose-wheel hit the lip of the ramp. Once airborne, the nozzles were fully retracted back so that the lift was purely wing-borne.

    But I was just an engineer - I'm sure Pontius the jet jockey can set me straight :)
  12. What you wrote looks good to me, Off. Okay, so 55 degs of nozzle was off the runway, whereas the ski-jump was a bit different but that's me just being a quibbling nonce and your description is far more accurate than the understanding many of my current work colleagues have :thumbup:

    To expand just a little and answer TeeCeeCee's query on why the nozzle was ruffling the water surface, this is because the aircraft is still in the transition between jet-borne/wing-borne flight and totally wing-borne. The nozzle is not vertical, as it would be during a vertical landing, but set at an angle which assists the wing when the airspeed is too low to provide sufficient lift. The doors open on top of the aircraft to allow additional air into the engine at low speed, when the engine needs the mass flow of air to produce the thrust necessary in non-wing-borne operations. This was a perennial problem with the Harrier; it had to have big intakes so the high volume of air could enter the engine during VSTOL operations but those same intakes became a pain in the bum when operating like a 'normal' aircraft because they produced SO much drag. Lockheed's solution was to have small intakes doing the job during normal ops and then open big doors to let more air in when it slows down.

    Really quite an amazing aircraft and I loved the video from the Wasp. I'm not quite as old as Scouse would suggest :-D but I'm disappointed that I'll never get to have a play with the F35. Ho, hum, I'll just have to content myself with sipping tea in my air-conditioned Boeing :sleepy2:
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  13. The "big door" just aft of the cockpit is actually for the shaft-driven lift fan which provides the lift component fwd of the CofG. I think the two smaller doors behind it are for any intake augmentation to the engine itself. You can see what moving from a "four-point thrust" engine (a la Pegasus) combined with the need to be Low Observable does to the complexity of the aircraft. Hence impact on empty weight and cost, which is one of the reasons the UK has gone away from STOVL back to cat n'trap - right decision IMHO. As OLA points out, we were looking at some bizarre Rolling Vertical Landing technique to regain bringback weight, which was just an accident waiting to happen. Just highlights how difficult STOVL actually is and what an achievement the Harrier was.
  14. Just looking at the WASP vid ... is it just me or does the nose wheel look a bit flimsy on the "nose on" landing shots????

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