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F-35B sea trials round 2 and other updates

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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The F-35B has begun round two of sea trials on board the USS Wasp (the Navy's Amphibious Carrier that never goes anywhere). If progress on the overall program goes well, then the Pentagon may authorize a ramp up of production later this year.

In the meantime, two F-35Bs, flown by 2 Marine pilots, one UK pilot, and one BAE developmental pilot, are operating off the USS Wasp, for three weeks that started on August 12th. The UK pilot is the first to land an F-35 at sea.

Testing will include night flying around the ship (the first night vertical landing has been completed), flying, landing, and taxiing in higher winds, and rougher seas than the first time around. The goal is to stress the aircraft's flight system. They will also test the aircraft handling with various weapons loads around the ship.

At the same time, software development is coming along, although not as well with some versions as was hoped. The Block 2B software integration testing is 64% complete, while roughly 65% of the Block 3 developmental testing is complete. Right now they're porting other blocks into Block 3, which will start flight testing around the end of the year. The second phase of Block 3 adds 840,000 lines of code, along with additional weapons. The 3i, which will be used for international customers is farther along than the 3F (61% compared to 34%). The 3i will start flight testing by the end of 3rd quarter, and enter production on LRIP 6 aircraft, while 3F will start in September of 2014, and LRIP 9.

The Gen 2 helmet has been tested on a Cessna, and reportedly has shown huge improvements over the current helmet. They switched to a new camera, and that appears to have solved the problems with that. The current testing on the Wasp is using the original helmets, and the DAS night vision system.

The jitter problem with the helmet has a software fix that is being tested at Edwards, and the new tail hook has begun certification testing. The new tail hook will begin roll testing early next year at Pax River. Preparations for sea trials will take place next summer, and the new tail hook will be incorporated in LRIP 7.

AvWeek




posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:32 PM
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Is this the successor to the F-22?



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by gikari
 


No. The F-22 won't have a successor for years yet. This is supposed to replace the F-15, F-16, A-10, AV-8B and complement the F/A-18 in US service.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by gikari
 


No. The F-22 won't have a successor for years yet. This is supposed to replace the F-15, F-16, A-10, AV-8B and complement the F/A-18 in US service.


What are the operational capabilities that make the F-22 and F-35 different?



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Dustytoad
 


The F-22 is like the F-15A-D, where it's an air superiority fighter, with a secondary limited ground attack capability. Its primary mission is to establish air superiority for other aircraft to operate in the area safely.

The F-35 on the other hand, is more like the F-15E, where it has some air to air capability (supposedly better than the E though), but its primary mission is going to be ground attack, and tactical bombing.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by Dustytoad
 


The F-22 is like the F-15A-D, where it's an air superiority fighter, with a secondary limited ground attack capability. Its primary mission is to establish air superiority for other aircraft to operate in the area safely.

The F-35 on the other hand, is more like the F-15E, where it has some air to air capability (supposedly better than the E though), but its primary mission is going to be ground attack, and tactical bombing.


I noticed that you mentioned the F-35 as being intended to compliment the F/A-18. I am curious if you are aware if that is the plan as far as the Canadian forces are concerned if they end up purchasing the F-35? As far as I know the plan was to replace the current fleet of CF-18's with the F-35 but to me it would make more sense to upgrade the CF-18's and keep them in service alongside the new F-35's for as long as possible given the limited size and versatility of Canada's air force.Of course, it is Canada, and there are probably budget concerns


Would you be able to shed some light on that?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


As far as the Canadian purchase goes, the F-35 would replace the CF-18. Canada still flies the older versions of the Hornet, and they intend to replace them with either the F-35, or whatever else they decide to buy.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 03:18 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I get your last answer.
Ok I have another question.. What makes the Hornet so special?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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A lot of progress being made which is really good to see.


By combing through the assumptions — some of them deeply questionable — undergirding the Defense Department’s official cost estimates for the F-35B and refining them, the Marines say the plane should cost 16.6 percent less per flight hour than the current estimate. Since the F-35B is the most expensive plane to operate, lowering these cost estimates for the Joint Strike Fighter’s Marine version would have a substantial impact on the program’s overall costs.

breakingdefense.com...



Don’t Ask ALIS, Yet; F-35 Wing Drop Issue Fixed

On the other hand, wing drop is no longer a performance issue for the F-35, contrary to claims in some quarters, our authoritative source at the Pentagon tells us. The issue is, as almost always, much more complex than that simple statement indicates, but it’s been 18 months since the issue surfaced and software fixes leave the Joint Strike Fighter in fine shape, this source says.

What happened? Basically, new algorithmns were written, tested in the trans-sonic envelope where most of the problems occurred and the services found a solution that didn’t completely eliminate all drop at all times but left the plane performing to the highest standards achievable. In short, they found a problem and fixed it to a standard all three services could live with.

breakingdefense.com...
edit on 22/8/13 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by Dustytoad
 


Pretty much nothing. If you look on paper, the Hornet and the Super Hornet look great. Maneuverable as hell, decent weapons load out, good fuel fraction, etc. However, every Hornet pilot I've talked to has brought up one thing. The jet has no legs. The biggest complaint about the Hornet is that the range on it is horrible.



posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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As of August 29th, BF-1 and BF-5 had conducted 94 short take offs, and 95 vertical landings, including 19 night sorties, with a 90% availability rate. Both aircraft were down on August 28th, with BF-1 (instrumented test model) having a faulty cooling fan in the nacelle, and BF-5 (production model) had a problem with the thermal management system.

At one point, the BAE pilot landed one of the aircraft half on the new Thermion deck coating, and half on the regular anti-skid coating. The regular coating was burned, quite noticeably, while the Thermion coating didn't have a mark on it.

The aircraft were flown with inert weapons loads in the internal bays, including JDAMs, AIM-120s, and Paveways.


The U.S. Marine Corps invited the media Aug. 28 to visit the USS Wasp amphibious assault ship where the second set of developmental test trails for the F-35B are taking place. Being the savvy PAs that they are, USMC shipped us out and back on their newest rotorcraft, the Bell/Boeing MV-22 to see their newest fighter. (They also happen to be the Pentagon's most expensive rotorcraft and fighter).


Here are few statistics they shared:
As of the morning of Aug. 29, the BF-1 and BF-5 had conducted 94 short takeoffs (STOs) and 95 vertical landings (VLs).
They also conducted 19 night sorties, including STOs and VLs.

DT-2 is a follow on Aug. 12-30 to expand the envelope for the aircraft operating around the ship to include night operations, and landings using various headings on the aft parking area of the USS Wasp.

Officials reported a 90% availability rate of the two aircraft during the trials as of Aug. 28, but unfortunately both BF-5 (left) and BF-1 (right) were both down in the morning when we were on the ship owing to maintenance issues.

AvWeek



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 09:40 AM
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Another rumored difference between the F-22 and F-35 is that the F-22 is stealthier by more than a factor of 10 than the F-35. And the price reflects that!



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


Yeah, from what I've heard, they didn't want to put the top of the line stuff on the F-35 since it's an export, but it had to be better than what others could come up with on their own. So they developed a hardier coating (that will move to the F-22 on the next round of RAM replacement), that doesn't quite live up to the F-22.





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