The "ball" is gyro-stabilized to help with swells. But there are limits. Pitching deck ops are when you near those limits. That's when the LSO's really earn their pay (night time also).
Navy, especially carriers, are bad ***. It's like living in NYC, it never sleeps. Plus, you're always on a semi-wartime footing. For one thing, the operations are just plain hazardous. On top of that, the slightest little thing happens somewhere in the world and there you are. There were two reasons I went Navy instead of AF back in the day:
1. Tougher training (I spent nearly two years in flight school and a year at the F/A-18 RAG before hitting the fleet);
2. Tougher ops . . . you're going to actually use what you learn.
With the big wars we've had lately, there has been combat for all of the armed services. But, under normal peacetime, it's the Navy and USMC that shoulders the load.
I remember back in the late-80s, I flew down with a wingman to Homestead AFB to be an aggressor for a day. They had F-15 squadrons down there. Huge, 40-pilot squadrons with beautiful, luxurious buildings and all the trimmings. All the AF guys wore ascots and looked prim and proper. After one of the debriefs, I asked them where they normally deployed and what their main mission was (I had just gotten back from a 6 month deployment). They were like "What's a deployment? We're here permanently to protect South Florida from Cuba." I think I laughed out loud.
I just completed primary at whiting field and selected Helos. Reading through this has me all motivated and geeked out. I wanted jets but got passed up, any words about the helo community for a noob?
In the Navy, fighters are the glamour job. Always have been and, until completely phased out by UCAVs, always will be.
But, Helos are darn cool. Ironically, most of what I do now revolves around helicopters (I'm writing code for the TH-57D as we speak).
They fulfill a critical function in the Navy, and they fulfill equally critical functions on the outside. A jet guy is pretty limited in what they can do flying-wise on the outside -- mostly airlines. Not so for Helo guys. Recently, I've flown with guys and gals doing police work, utility work, forestry and firefighting, medivac, you name it.
So, keep going. You're doing great. Also, make use of those Navy auto hobby shops on base. I'd give my left nut for a lift.
I thought this had the most business being here of any thread.
This video 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.
The USS Wasp is an amphibious assault ship designed to embark a Marine Expeditionary Unit. It is capable of simultaneously supporting rotary and fixed wing STOVL aircraft and amphibious landing craft operations. For this test deployment the USS Wasp was outfitted with special instrumentation to support and measure the unique operating environment as the F-35B conducted short takeoffs and vertical landings.
Seen that F-35B video before, so badass. They make it look easy...just like Battlefield 2. There's 6 of the F-35A's at the base I'm at now, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm somewhere else by the time they get things spun up and the jets flying.
When I was on Nimitz, we did a little show and tell for a few groups who were in the F35 program... brought them up to the flight deck during flight ops and what not. I learned a lot that day, but the engineers who'd worked on the plane for a decade had never been in the "environment"... they learned plenty.
The thing that will surprise you is this.
The F35B STOVL weighs about 38k-40k when it lands vertically at the end of it's mission.
The CH53 Sea Stallion has a max takeoff weight of 74k lbs. The amount of air a 53 moves when doing it's thing is something that can't be described. They are so massive, and to be standing next to one with those enormous rotors whipping around is enough to make you religious right on the spot. H60's by comparison are mere toys.
Burning holes in the deck was never a concern. Harriers weigh well under 20k when landing vertically and the seawater:heat converter panels in the flight deck have functioned fine on them for years. It's not like the planes sit there for minutes or hours on deck blasting away vertically. They only rotate the nozzle immediately prior to applying power. The front fan has no exhaust heat coming from it.
Back in the day, it was Ospreys that were going to be be burning holes in decks... nothing could be further from the truth. You can walk right up to the nacelle of a turning Osprey in shorts and be fine. They do hang a motor over the side because of deck spacing issues, but not due to heat generated. It's not even remotely a concern. They've even gone so far as to put a shielded venturi device on the exhaust that draws air in and mixes it with the exhaust to additionally cool... just take a look at your average F250 diesel... same thing on the exhaust tip except the truck uses it to disperse the exhaust visibility.
Hell, I've only ever had one hangfire... that's when I push the button to launch the plane and nothing happens. It was a Superhornet, afterburner takeoff... and he sat there for 53 seconds on the JBD (jet-blast-deflector) and it wasn't an issue. The technology to dissipate the heat is old-skool and foolproof. And the heat from a modern Hornet was nothing compared to a Tomcat or Phantom.
I though only the AF had the F-35, or am I thinking of something else?
There are 3 VERY DIFFERENT versions of the F35. Below is from Wikipedia... there are also a few export versions that other countries will buy.
Note the internal fuel of the F35C... thats more internal fuel than a Hornet with 3 droptanks.
F-35A AIR FORCE
The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant intended for the US Air Force and other air forces. It is the smallest, lightest F-35 version and is the only variant equipped with an internal cannon, the GAU-22/A. This 25 mm cannon is a development of the GAU-12 carried by the USMC's AV-8B Harrier II. It is designed for increased effectiveness against ground targets compared to the 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon carried by other USAF fighters.
The F-35A is expected to match the F-16 in maneuverability and instantaneous and sustained high-g performance, and outperform it in stealth, payload, range on internal fuel, avionics, operational effectiveness, supportability, and survivability. It is expected to match an F-16 that is carrying the usual external fuel tank in acceleration performance. It also has an internal laser designator and infrared sensors, equivalent to the Sniper XR pod carried by the F-16, but built in to reduce radar cross section.
The A variant is primarily intended to replace the USAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon. It is also to replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II starting in 2028.
F-35B MARINE CORPS
The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine with lift fan, roll posts, and rear vectoring nozzle, as designed for the F-35B, at the Paris Air Show, 2007
The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft. Similar in size to the A variant, the B sacrifices about a third of the other version's fuel volume to make room for the vertical flight system. Takeoffs and landing with vertical flight systems are by far the riskiest, and in the end, a decisive factor in design. Like the AV-8B Harrier II, the Bís guns will be carried in a ventral pod. Whereas the F-35A is stressed to 9 g, the F-35B is stressed to 7 g. The F-35B was unveiled at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant on 18 December 2007, and the first test flight was on 11 June 2008.
The F-35C carrier variant features larger wings with foldable wingtip sections, larger wing and tail control surfaces for improved low-speed control, stronger landing gear for the stresses of carrier arrested landings, a twin-wheel nose gear, and a stronger tailhook for use with carrier arrestor cables. The larger wing area allows for decreased landing speed while increasing both range and payload. With twice the range on internal fuel as the F/A-18C Hornet, the F-35C achieves much the same goal as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.