F-35B sea-trials aboard the USS Wasp

bf1-1200-1This past Wednesday, I was onboard the USS Wasp to observe the Lockheed Martin F-35B conduct its second set of sea trials. Overall, the tests are going quite well and should be ending today—though the US Marine Corps did suffer a bit of a setback since aircraft BF-1 was unable to fly during our visit due to a mechanical glitch. It did manage to fly shortly after we left.bf-5-1200-1

As of Wednesday, pilots had flown 90 short take-offs and made 92 vertical landings on board the Wasp during this detachment. Nineteen of those vertical landing were made at night. Speaking of which, progress is being made on fixing the helmet… still lots of work to be done though.bf-5-1200-st

An interesting factoid, one of the USMC test pilots mentioned this little tidbit—they have to use a modified Rutowski profile in order to get the F-35B and C up to Mach 1.6. Basically, you do one push over, unload the jet and accelerate, get up to 1.2, turn and repeat until you hit 1.4 Mach, turn and repeat till you hit Mach 1.6. It just barely gets there and barely has any gas left over afterwards. The kinematics are basically F/A-18C-like, though that was apparently exactly what was expected.wasp-1200

Here are some photos from the trip.v-22-wasp-1000

9 Responses to F-35B sea-trials aboard the USS Wasp

  1. jeff check 31 August, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Do you think the A model F35 will have to go through that same push over method to hit 1.6 mach? if so.. it shows how this plane really should be considered a transonic aircraft.

  2. great f-35 pictures 31 August, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I appreciate the news you release on such a short time. Meantime have a look:
    F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Pictures

  3. Bjørnar 31 August, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I concur, great shots. Gives an imperssion of what it’s like to see the F-35 up-close, which is rather unique compared to traditional fighters.

  4. http://meemi.com/AaliyahEld/profile 31 August, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I relish, result in I found exactly what I used to be looking for.
    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  5. JJ 31 August, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Would it be possible to place a fuel tank in one of the weapons bays or smaller tanks in each bay to get the extra mileage out of the F35 and still be able to carry weapons internally?

  6. SMSgt Mac 31 August, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    RE: “Do you think the A model F35 will have to go through that same push over method to hit 1.6 mach? if so.. it shows how this plane really should be considered a transonic aircraft.”

    Yeah. Just like the F-18C/D is really just a ‘transonic aircraft’:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/hornet-driver-pushing-the-limits

    Now. Guess which of the two can go above M1.2 with 2 x 1K Bombs and 2 x AMRAAMS on board?

    If you want to diss the plane. Al least read the whole article. Like the part at the end:
    “The kinematics are basically F/A-18C-like, though that was apparently exactly what was expected.”

    As to whether or not the A or C model would use the technique, for the F-35A — I doubt it. the F-35A is lighter and without the lift fan bulge, it is also more streamlined.

    • jeff check 2 September, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      SMSgt Mac, are you kidding me? I am not dissing the F35 in any way.. I read every freakin article here the day its released, i’m a junkie!! I think the F18 performance goal is just fine. I only pointed out that its transonic and that would stop some people from trying to say it can super cruise and compete with the EF or F22 or Pak FA as an air superiority fighter. If you read my response, I was careful not to inject any type of fanboy or hater comments.

      Transonic seems to be the sweet spot for fighters of the new millennium, its also the most complex region to handle efficiently. Russia is more concerned with its new F35 competitor than the Pak FA mega fighter because the high kinematic interceptor / pure dog fighter is less and less relevant for a bunch of reasons.

  7. RC 2 September, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Hmm, let me ponder this:

    The USMC will be operating F-35Bs from Wasp-class LHDs, but the USN is not going to equip those ships with ski-jumps, despite the fact that it would dramatically improve the performance of such onboard assets.

    Meanwhile, the Australian Navy is getting two ski-jump-equipped Canberra-class LHDs, while strenuously denying any intention to acquire fixed-wing combat aircraft, never mind the F-35B (just like the Italian Navy had “no interest whatsoever” in getting Harriers when the Garibaldi was launched).

    Is it only me or does anybody else also share the impression that:

    a) The USN hates the F-35B with a passion, and would love to see the Marines leave the whole business of flying combat airplanes from ships altogether;
    b) Australian sailors are really lousy liars; and
    c) Naval appreciation of embarked STOVL fighters and the ships from which they operate seems strongly dependent on which service actually gets to play with those planes…

  8. Harry 13 September, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    1. Australia cannot afford to run an aircraft carrier

    2. The Canberra LHDs internal bays, as is the ship, designed for amphibious warfare and helicopter operations

    3. Australia may not be able to afford more than one or two squadrons so 24-48 planes… even though they originally desired 100 – this is because of cost blow outs!

    4. With only one or two squadrons why would Australia put them on two fat ugly boats that stick out like saw thumbs as an easy sweet enemy target and not up north to defend the air-sea gap.

    5. Thus it is unlikely Australia would get the F-35b and most probably should quit the program all together due to the cost and just resolve itself to equip ageing 4th-gen fleets or beg the US to restart the F-22 program. The planes after all basically cost the same now. But its defence they will muddle through the most incompetent way how.

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