Old 9th Sep 2008, 17:51
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hants
Posts: 62
Sorry Double Zero but you're a bit off beam.

What makes you think F-35B won't do a ski-jump? Do you think CVF has a bow ramp simply for fun? F-35B most certainly has thrust-vectoring and most certainly uses it.

Many years ago, enlightened souls convinced the MoD to put its hand in the taxpayer's pocket and fund an experimental programme to answer the question "Yeah, but what has active-control-technology ever done for V/STOL?". "Well, there's autostabilisation". "Obviously, but apart from autostabs etc etc". Anyway, the point is that XW175 has tested, ashore and at sea, some pretty fundamentally different ways of doing the V/STOL thing. The option judged to be the best (not by everyone, not without reservations, not without some serious discussions) has been selected as the basis for how F-35B does it. Of the options I've seen (and indeed flown), I happen to agree with that selection. One legacy of all the effort is that UK happens to have pretty much the right tool for the job of actually going to sea and having a look at how something that flies like an F-35B would actually do an SRVL. So we did. Last year on the Charles de Gaulle, with our software tweaked to make XW175 as good a match for the rather heavier F-35B as we could (and if you do ever get to look in XW175's rear cockpit, you'll note it has un-Harrier like things like a sidestick and a whopping-big linear-slidey left-hand "make plane go fast now" control, plus a thing that sayeth "It is now safe to switch off your computer" upon its screen. Verily, I kid you not).

Now I would think that if there were something horrifically wrong with how the F-35B control strategy deals with SRVLs (we did NOT change the strategy from the "Unified" control scheme), we'd have noticed it at some stage in the process of preparing for that activity (or perhaps even in the trial, because if you knew exactly what was going to happen in a flight trial there would be no point going would there? Apart from the food and climate obviously). I might be wrong of course, but "Unified" to me seemed to be pretty much just the job for SRVLs, as of course its originators back in 1980 or so knew it would be (and they'd never heard of SRVLs, but they knew about V/STOL and fundamental pilot-throttley-rudder-stick-stuff and were also a bit clever, which makes the job of those that followed-on, like me, rather easier).
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