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RAF test F-35 pilot carried backward landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth

According to www.royalnavy.mod.uk website RAF test F-35 pilot carried backward landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth

RAF test F-35 pilot carried backward landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth
Photo By Dane Wiedmann | NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN–The first aft-facing vertical landing made by a fast jet onto a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier was achieved on Nov. 16, 2018, during the first of class flight trials (fixed wing)

A British F-35 pilot has pulled off what the Royal Navy called a “milestone” maneuver, executing a backward landing on the deck of Britain’s largest warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell flew his specially-adapted stealth fighter facing the stern, not bow, before bringing the jet to a hover, slipping it over the huge flight deck and gently setting it down.

The ‘back-to-front’ maneuver, described as “like driving the wrong way down a one-way street” is intended to give pilots and the flight deck team more options to safely land the state-of-the-art stealth fighter in an emergency.

Related Link: Royal Navy invented a new way to land F-35s with heavy payloads

During her maiden jet trials off the eastern coast of the USA, the ship has already completed conventional landings (with the pilot/aircraft facing the bow) and a rolling landing (the Lightning approaches the flight deck at low speed and gently rolls to a halt, without the need for arrestor wires).

It was briefly bizarre to bear down on the ship and see the waves parting on the bow as you fly an approach aft facing. – Squadron Leader Andy Edgell RAF

 

The wrong-way landing was a slightly surreal experience, said Squadron Leader Edgell. “It was briefly bizarre to bear down on the ship and see the waves parting on the bow as you fly an approach aft facing.

“It was also a unique opportunity fly towards the ship, stare at the bridge, and wonder what the captain is thinking.”

Once alongside the landing spot however, the act of setting the F-35 down is almost identically – except for nudging the jet left, not right – and “the aircraft handled beautifully.”

The aviation achievement is intended to give the carrier crew additional options in the event of an emergency. Given the nature of the aircraft, the landing was not radically different from more conventional alternatives.

This maneuver, like the previously executed conventional landings and rolling landings, was part of a nine-week intensive training program that began off the US east coast.

The first landing was carried out September 25, when Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Grey landed an F-35B on the deck of the carrier. It marked the first time in eight years that an aircraft had landed on a British carrier. The UK had previously acquired the F-35, and its new carrier set sail last year. The combination of the two was championed as the dawn of a new era for British sea power.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is coming to the end of nine weeks of intensive jet trials with the second period, since she left New York last month, focused on pushing the boundaries of the F-35, the ship and ship’s company to see how the aircraft perform launching and landing in different weather conditions and carrying various payloads.

Article Source: www.royalnavy.mod.uk

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