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back to article And now - new stealth jumpjet makes first hover landing

Following yesterday's initial hover, the new F-35B Lightning II - world's first supersonic stealth jumpjet - has now made a vertical landing. British test pilot Graham Tomlinson said the aircraft is much easier to set down than today's Harrier. “Today’s vertical landing onto a 95-foot square pad showed that we have the thrust …

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Silver badge

Uh-Oh

Wasn't the Lightning one of the craft used by X-Com in UFO: enemy Unknown / X-Com: UFO defense.

*Runs in fear of the inevitable Sectoid/Muton horde*

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Alien

a title

I think the 'Lightning' was a bit crap.

The 'Avenger' was the one you really wanted to have.

*Looks out old copy of X-Com to play this weekend*

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a title, again

I also liked the 'Firestorm', which was a little copied flying saucer jobbie.

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Thumb Up

Skyranger to replace the Hercules?

Aah X-Com. Now I want to play it again. Goodbye, productivity.

IMO, the Lightning and Firestorm were both pants. Personally, I'd be happy with an X-Com Interceptor - they could VTOL, carry a full weapons load half way around the planet and back and do so at over Mach 3. And they were available in 1999 for $2M apiece. Our defense biz is failing us. What we need is a good old alien invasion and threat of global enslavement to get their arses into gear...

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Silver badge

hmm

5000lb of fuel and ordnance at what temperature? Arctic? A nice option for emergencies or REAL boonies work but I think the navy really needed proper catapults if it wants to play with the big boys.

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not catapults, arrestor wires

To land with more stores they'll need arrestor wires not catapults which just increase the take off mass.

Still 5000lbs isn't bad after all, that's about a quarter of the take off weight of a fully loaded Sea Harrier. Certainly you could RTB with some air-to-air stores a couple of 1000lb bombs and have enough fuel for recovery, it's not like STOVL aircraft need to make multiple attempts at landing!

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Good grief

So what you're saying is "Eyewateringly expensive piece of new defence kit in 'works better than expected' shocker?"

That's not something you see every day.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite a step into the unknown?

Bit disingenous of them to say this is a step into the unknown - the basic principles (front lift engines, rear tilting main engine) was the approach used by the Soviets, both the Yakolev 38 and 141 worked like this.

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Anonymous Coward

yak 38

wasn't that a bit of a knock off of the German VFW VAK 191B?

The difference is that its a big fan not engines - vertical engines being deadweight while flying.

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Alert

Uh Oh...

Forget the sectoids, I'm more worried about the Chrysalids. How long still we get the Avenger?.

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Bronze badge

chrysalids?

The Chrysalids? They're easy. The Ethereals, while they don't have much armour are freakin' psychic.

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Alien

Ethereals

Nah not a problem.. Well not for my Psi squad.. 4 60+ units (cant be psi-ched) 4 hover plasma tanks and 4 80+ Psi amp operators each with 75+ TU (thats 12 aliens to control) oh and two blaster launchers for fun and getting in through ship roofs..

have taken down several landed BS's in only 4 turns.

still playing... in dosbox.

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And in real life?

> under-wing minijets which stop the plane rolling over in the hover

How much combat damage can this take before returning to the carrier means ditching umpteen gazillion $$ of plane in the sea beside the carrier because there's an extra hole in a wingtip?

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As much as the Harrier

which uses a similar system and managed perfectly well in the Falklands. Actually probably more as the fly-by-wire controls should be able to alter the control laws to compensate for battle damage freeing up the pilot's capacity.

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Silver badge

Like the Harrier

The Harrier has a similar "Reaction control system", so the F35B is no different in this respect.

There is also a good chance that any non-VSTOL plane with similar damage would have have to ditch rather than risk a carrier landing. Possibly more so as a conventional aircraft is relying 100% on its wings to provide lift during landing, whereas an F35B doesn't.

It would still be more prudent to ditch the plane than risk pilot and carrier, however.

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Pint

If You Love...

...drag racing:

**Jet engines lose thrust when sucking hotter air. So do internal combustion engines.

Some dragsters use ice bath to cool engine input air.

Better use of ice bath... chill my 211.

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Silver badge

Water cooled.

The Harrier uses a water cooling system. It carries enough water for a 90 second hover at full rate (in the tropics).

IIRC the problem is caused by hot exhaust gasses being drawn into the intakes during hover. I think F35B system (shaft driven lift fan blowing cold air) keeps the hot exhaust away from the engine intakes.

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Grenade

CGI Video??

Am I the only one to think that video of the landing is CGI. The aircraft is too clean, the colours are too sharp for the rest of the scene, the landing was too quick, the sound didn't sound right, there are transparency issues around the edges of the aircraft especially around the open fan covers on the top of the plane . And that was what I picked up just off the 1st viewing!

*AC cos I don't want one of these prooving the video was real on top of my house!

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Paris Hilton

CGI doh!

You, sir, have two problems:

1. you've watched too many Michael Bay movies

2. you have no idea how digital video works (artifacts, etc)

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Flame

Erm, AC............

You forgot to actually click the AC button.

And no, it's not CGI. Which will be proven above your house at about 10.15pm tonight..............

Flames cuz your roof, your roof, your roof is on fire

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Bronze badge
Flame

Exhaust

"**Jet engines lose thrust when sucking hotter air."

I know that a degree of mixing will occur, but most engines have a problem when forced to suck their own exhaust - lack of oxygen tends to make them a tad less efficient., and as for heat, it is actually the density of the air that matters most, which actually brings me back to point (a) lack of oxygen to mix with the fuel.

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Stop

Re: Exhaust

Plenty of oxygen left in the exhaust I would think as turbine engines operate very "lean" by design, it's the temperature (i.e. density) that counts.

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Silver badge

Must be time

if the plane is working properly for the government to cancel the carriers. Of course Labour won't scrap them because they're needed to bribe the electorate in Scotland, but have the Conservatives committed to buying two white elephants?

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WTF?

"jumpjets have had to land on other ships than carriers in the past"

Yep, like this one from 1983: http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1983/1983%20-%201110.html

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Boffin

Not that unknown

The demonstration version of the jet (X35B) performed several VLs (and VTOs) way back in 2001. Yes there are a lot of differences between that and the production version, but the principles for the powered lift are very similar.

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Joke

Bump

That landing looked a bit jumpy. Maybe his new moniker will be "Captain Kangaroo".

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