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Footage shows F-35 fighter pilot’s view of landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth

This is the view that an F-35 fighter jet pilot sees from his high-tech helmet as he lands on the UK’s most powerful warship. 

Approaching the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at up to 57mph, the pilot sees the flight deck through a Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) equipped with night-vision technology and infrared cameras. 

It allows him to see the deck as if he had X-ray vision, looking straight through a cockpit rail that would otherwise be blocking his view. 

In the video he carries out a special kind of rolling vertical landing which Royal Navy chiefs say will save fuel and weapons that would otherwise have to be jettisoned when returning to the ship. 

Coming in to land: This is the view that an F-35 fighter jet pilot has from his high-tech helmet as he lands on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth 

Previously, the jets carried out regular vertical landings, hovering by the side of the ship before gently coming down. 

However, they could only bring back a limited payload and would be forced to dump expensive equipment into the sea. 

The new kind of ‘Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing’, which increases that payload and uses less fuel, was first carried out in a test run last year. 

It is also hoped the manoeuvre will reduce wear and tear on the fighter jet’s equipment.  

‘It’s an inherently risky manoeuvre,’ test pilot Peter Wilson said at the time of the test last October. 

‘We have always understood that it is safer to stop before you land than it is to land before you stop and the prime reason for that is that if something goes wrong with the airplane it is far better for it to be stationary than a rolling wreckage.’  

It is not known exactly where or when the footage was filmed but it was shared on social media yesterday. 

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to deploy to the east coast of the United States later this year to train alongside American forces. 

Infrared cameras allow the pilot to see the deck as if he had X-ray vision, looking straight through a cockpit rail (seen on the far left of this image) that would otherwise be blocking his view

Infrared cameras allow the pilot to see the deck as if he had X-ray vision, looking straight through a cockpit rail (seen on the far left of this image) that would otherwise be blocking his view

The F-35 jet (pictured), which is made in the U.S. but also used by the British armed forces, can carry out 'rolling landings' on the aircraft carrier

The F-35 jet (pictured), which is made in the U.S. but also used by the British armed forces, can carry out ‘rolling landings’ on the aircraft carrier 

The deployment, known as ‘WESTLANT 19’, will see the ship and her crew conduct deck and warfare trials with UK F-35 jets. 

She will also welcome F-35s from the United States Marine Corps on deck while on the other side of the Atlantic.   

In his helmet, the pilot sees real-time displays from six infrared cameras which are mounted around the aircraft, according to F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin. 

The technology allows the pilot to ‘see through’ the cockpit rail which would otherwise block his view.  

The display in the helmet includes information about the fighter jet’s airspeed, altitude and power output as well as targeting information.     

The HMD is described by its manufacturers, BAE Systems, as the ‘world’s most advanced helmet-mounted display’. 

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured in New York in October last October, will return across the Atlantic later this year

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured in New York in October last October, will return across the Atlantic later this year

It ‘provides pilots with remarkable situational awareness, next generation night vision, 3D audio and target tracking technology’, they say. 

Using optical sensors in the aircraft, the helmet immediately calculates the pilot’s exact head position and angle, the manufacturers explain. 

This means that no matter where the pilot is looking, their helmet displays accurate targeting information, they say. 

The HMS Queen Elizabeth’s flight deck is 306 yards long and 77 yards wide, enough space for three football pitches. 

Around 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled. 

The ship was hit by scandal earlier this year when its captain Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest was removed from the vessel in a row over his use of an MoD car. 

Cdre Cooke-Priest was flown off the ship in May this year while it was anchored in Scotland.  

Britain has committed to a £9.1billion programme to buy 48 of the F-35 jets from U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin by 2025. 

They intend to buy 138 of the jets in the longer term, which will be jointly operated by Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots. 

Inside Britain’s most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth 

At 306 yards long, with a lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.

Here are the facts and figures behind the vessel which was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy on December 7, 2017. 

  • The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.

  • A number of ship building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Wirral, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.

  •  A total of 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.

  •  It is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.

  •  The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.

  •  There are nearly 400,000 yards of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 61 yards, more than Niagara Falls.

  •  Facilities onboard include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, staffed with GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.

  •  There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardiovascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.

  •  Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck, with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp.  

  •  There are five galleys on the warship which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.

  •  The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.

  •  Its flight deck is 306 yards long and 77 yards wide, enough space for three football pitches.

  •  The entire ship’s company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action stations.

  •  Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Royal Navy game of Uckers.

  •  Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.

  •  The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – each weighing 33 tonnes and with a combined 80MW output of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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