Marines MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft lands aboard Japanese ship – Washington’s PR campaign? June 18, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Aircraft Carriers, Helicopters , 1 comment so far
On Jun. 14, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey made a landing aboard a Japanese ship near U.S. West Coast.
The Osprey landed on a Japanese heli-carrier-destroyer Hyūga, during a 18-day exercise.
Taking into the consideration the unfavourable opinion of the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Japan, stemming from the crashes involving CV-22s in Florida and Morocco this is an important step forward, possibly a part of a Public Relations campaign aimed at advertising the Osprey as a safe aircraft.
A campaign that has achieved some important results, at least domestically, as Boeing has recently been awarded a $6.5 Billion Order for 99 more Ospreys: 92 MV-22s and 7 CV-22s.
The PR campaign carried out since last year included showing off M/CV-22′s capabilities in many combat scenarios (and airshows).
It was after additional warranties were given that Japanese government accepted the fact that 12 Ospreys are to be stationed in Okinawa.
Deploying the Ospreys to Okinawa resulted in a large social protest in that region, as people were afraid one of the planes might crash in some of the densely populated areas over there.
Image credit: US Navy
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist
[Video] U.S. Navy launches its killer drone off the deck of an aircraft carrier. A new era has begun. May 14, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Aircraft Carriers, Drones , 1 comment so far
A new era for naval aviation has just begun.
On May 14, the US Navy successfully launched the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time. A breakthrough for robotic aviation and military Implementation of unmanned systems.
The video, just released by the U.S. Navy shows the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Systems (UCAS) demonstrator – please note that both UCAV and UCAS acronyms are used for this drone, being taxied and then catapult-launched from the flight deck of USS G. W. Bush.
Ship-board testing had started on Dec. 9, 2012.
On the flight deck the X-47B (that on Nov.29, successfully completed its first land-based catapult launch from Naval Air Station Patuxent River) is controlled using an arm-mounted control display unit (CDU).
The new gadget is a special remote control for moving the X-47B on flight decks which attaches to the wrist, waist and one hand. Through the device, deck operators ahve access to a display and can control the aircraft’s throttle, tailhook, steering, brakes and perform several other functions associated with maneuvring an aircraft on deck.
British fighter pilot will soon attend the famous Top Gun school for the first time ever May 13, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Aircraft Carriers, Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
British Royal Navy Lieutenant Stephen Collins will be the first ever British pilot to attend the famous Top Gun school.
Image Credit: Royal Navy
He was selected after an internship which included a tour on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) aircraft carrier.
He must have proven his guts, because soon after the U.S. Navy offered him the opportunity to be involved in the Top Gun, which is officialy known as United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Course.
It is even more astounding, taking into account Collins’ age: he’s only 26.
Stephen Collins is by no means entering the Top Gun School by accident. His father was a pilot during the Falklands War, later on he moved to Red Arrows aerobatic team. We might suppose that Stephen has talent in his genes.
For the last five years he has flown in the US Navy, being a partaker of an exchange programme the purpose of which is to allow the British aviators get used to aircraft carriers operating conditions.
Even Collins himself emphasised that element:
The U.S. and the Royal Navy have worked together very closely on the Joint Strike Fighter program. The ultimate aim is for us to get some experience flying a jet with very similar capabilities to that one. It’s a good trade, the U.S. gets a pilot out of it and the Royal Navy gets the experience.
Here’s a BBC interview with mr. Collins, where he elaborates on how his training looked in practice and how he ended up in Top Gun Fighter School.
As he says, the California weather is definitely better than in the UK:
Jacek Siminski for The Aviationist
Some of the best F/A-18E Super Hornet images ever: Air Power Demo over USS John C. Stennis April 26, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Aircraft Carriers, Military Aviation , 5comments
The following images show scenes that have little (if not nothing) to do with “usual” flight ops.
Two F/A-18E Super Hornets from the Tophatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 overfly with extended landing gear and hook (hence, in landing configuration) the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during an air power demonstration taking place over the flattop as the it returns from an eight-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Air power demo include aircraft belonging to both the embarked squadrons and take place in the vicinity of the aircraft carrier for all the personnel to see.
Here are two more pictures, most probably taken from the cargo door of a C-2 Greyhound, showing the “Rhinos” (nickname for the Super Hornet used on U.S. supercarriers) over or near USS Stennis.
Image credit: U.S. Navy
This is how naval aviators prepare for actual arrested landings aboard aircraft carriers April 22, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Aircraft Carriers, Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
Marine Aircraft Group 31 pilots conduct field carrier landing practice (FCLP) aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC, on Apr. 16, 2013.
Before pilots can actually land aboard aircraft carriers, they have to practice in the simulator and at the field during FCLP.
Performed on a simulated aircraft carrier ashore, FCLPs provide pilots with realistic training (except the runway is 10,000 ft by 200 feet wide, versus an actual carrier deck that is only 700 by 100 feet).
FCLPs are a series of approaches followed by touch-and-goes, which are observed by a landing signal officer who grades and critiques each landing. A normal FCLP consists of about eight to 12 touch-and-goes and lasts about 45 minutes.