Feeds

And now - new stealth jumpjet makes first hover landing

'Cobblestones' effect reduced, says Brit test pilot

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Royal Navy's running-jump-jet landing technique may not be required after all

The US Marines, the main planned buyer of the F-35, will be using it primarily as a strike plane - but the Royal Navy, which will have no other jets, will also use it as air cover for the fleet and will need it to get back on deck without dumping weapons. The Sea Harrier's inability to do this in hot climates** was the reason the legendary fighter was taken out of service some years back, limiting the Royal Navy today to Harrier GR9s that have no fighter radar and carry only short-range Sidewinder missiles as opposed to the Sea Harrier's arse-kicking beyond-visual-range AMRAAMs.

The Royal Navy have even gone so far as to develop a new landing profile for jumpjets which they call Shipboard Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL), where a Harrier or F-35B can come down still going forward fast enough to use wing lift as well as engine/fan thrust - and yet slowly enough to halt before falling off the side of the ship, even without use of arrester wires.

Senior naval aviators have told The Reg that the Royal Navy will probably use SRVL regardless of the F-35B's vertical landing performance, as it will allow still more load to be carried and will mean that engines don't have to be run at maximum redline power in the hover so much.

That said, rolling SRVL landings will take up a lot more room on a carrier's deck than hovering ones, and jumpjets have had to land on other ships than carriers in the past, so the RN may yet be glad to have the full vertical-landing option.

Despite yesterday's success, however, serious question marks still hang over the F-35B and indeed over the whole F-35 programme (there are also A and C versions of the jet, intended for runway and catapult-carrier operations).

Today, though, worried Pentagon project bureaucrats and manufacturers in the US and UK*** will simply be happy to have some good news to tell us for once. ®

Bootnotes

*The big fliptop lid covers the top of the fan tunnel; the small dorsal doors behind it let extra air into the engine for high-thrust hover operations. There are more doors on the underside to let the jet exhaust twist downward and to cover the bottom of the fan tunnel when not in use.

**Jet engines lose thrust when sucking hotter air.

***The F-35's lead maker is Lockheed of the US, but quite a lot of work - especially on the F-35B - is being done in Blighty. BAE Systems' UK operations make significant parts of the plane (Tomlinson is a BAE employee, too) and Rolls-Royce make the thrust fan, swivelling exhaust pipe and the under-wing minijets which stop the plane rolling over in the hover. Rolls is also working on an a new engine, the F136, which is meant to be offered to F-35 buyers in future as an alternative to the current F135 from Pratt & Whitney.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.