Video: More F-35B JSF Ops Aboard the Wasp

Here’s some more video (after the jump) of the Marine Corps’ F-35B Joint Strike Fighter performing short take-offs and vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp on Monday. Remember, Monday’s flights marked the first time the F-35B has operated from a ship (and may very well be the first time that a stealth jet has ever flown from a ship).

Check out what may be a special heat resistant coating applied to the Wasp’s landing strip in the picture above (compare that image to the picture below showing MV-22 Ospreys taking off from a similar spot on the Wasp’s deck). The coating is likely there to protect the flight deck from the massive amount of hot air generated by the F-35’s massive Pratt & Whitney F135 engine — one the most powerful fighter engines of all time. Hey, maybe it’s just a fresh coat of anti-skid, but I doubt it. Also notice how that deck-side radome visible in the picture below isn’t in the picture showing the F-35B landing. I Wonder if it was removed due to the possibility that it could be damaged by the F-35’s exhaust?

  • VTGunner

    Lets hope those billions pay off…

  • Jimbo

    Looks like the radar dome has been gone for months by looking through the Navy Photo site, but that doesn’t do enough to answer the question of why it was removed.

  • Ed!

    The Radome Removed is probably from the Sea Sparrow. According to the wikipedia article, it had modifications done during 2011, starting in July, in preparations for the F-35B flight tests including removing a Sea Sparrow for observation equipment.

  • Wild Bill

    Of course……the rotor wash from the Osprey blew the radar dome off of the ship………..haha

  • Yep

    I hope it is a new coating. New coating = new tech (hopefully) I love seeing the envelope for engineering and design pushed.

  • Pat

    “the F-35’s massive Pratt & Whitney F135 engine — one the most powerful fighter engines of all time.”

    It’s actually THE most powerful fighter engine of all time. Both in dry and wet thrust. Runner up goes to the F-22 engine, from which the F-35’s was derived.

    • Ed!

      Yeah the F119 for the rptor delivers 5,000 lbs of thrust less than the F135, but the F-22 has 2 of ’em.

  • EJ257

    Anyone else think the lift fan door is backwards? I know that’s probably how they designed it but why can’t it open the other way, like the F-15 speed brakes?

    • jonathan

      because that would starve the fan of air in forward flight. my guess is that it’s done that way to force extra air into the fan. Things aren’t put on planes for esthetic purposes.

    • Ed!

      You would want the door to open that way as opposed to the opposite direction. The reason is that this is not used in high speed operations, rather it is only used in VTOL mode which means the speed is already down. If the door opened towards the rear of the plane, it would be harder to close when you speed and plus if it was opened that way, debris that happens to hit that door would be like hitting the backboard in a basketball game. Havint it open toward the cockpit prevents debris from hitting the lift fan and allows it to close easy.

      • Guest A


      • Wooly

        Some of what you say seems to make sense, but after the second sentence…

      • jonathan

        no sense at all, you should try and not enlighten people on stuff you know nothing about.

    • TLAM Strike

      IIRC The lift fan door prevents hot gas ingestion from happening to the rear intake door that provides additional airflow when in hover. it is angled forward to prevent hot gas from flowing over it and being pulled in to the engine.

    • Wooly

      I was thinking the same thing. I am not concerned about looks, but aerodynamically, it looks unwieldy. Looks like opening and closing would work better if the hinge were mounted forward rather than aft. Looks like it is “backward” for transitioning to forward flight… wait, gotta get this forward opening door to close… Seen some explanations that seem to make sense, but I do not know all the other aspects of this outstanding airplane. Cannot wait for my Marine Aviators to prove it when it is most needed.

  • Michael

    It’s a relatively new coating of non-skid. I was talking to a friend of mine who is assigned to the ship a couple of months ago and he mentioned they’d redone all the non-skid on the flight deck.

    • Frank

      The Heat Resistant Non-Skid coating is a patented process of Thermion Inc. it starts as a core wire made of aluminum and ceramics, it is then arc sprayed onto the deck using a Thermion Deck Robot mounted with two Thermion Arc Spray Machines, check out web

  • Lance

    Cool but there must be a way to reduce heat signature SA-7 could even go after a hot engine like that. Like the cool looking canopy though.

  • Brian Black

    A fresh deck coating would give a baseline from which to measure any possible damage to the surface. There’s not necessarily anything ‘new’ been put down.

  • Kski

    Well at least its getting some where. I still say fund a super harrier program.

  • orly?

    Guys, I hate to say it, but while there IS fresh nonskid, that spot could easily just be oil as well.

    Look at photos of other ships, nonskid on flight decks very rarely stays spotless.

  • m-1

    It’s “deep fried bug juice” coating- it can stand anything

  • GWiz

    The dome that was removed is not part of the Sea Sparrow system. It protects a large communications antenna/dish, it is not a rader. It makes sense that it was removed (and hopefully installed somewhere else). The problems is the downwash from the jet. The landing pattern has the plane cross over the deck edge from left to right and is supposed to miss that antenna. However, that is not always the case and it is very succeptable to damage if the jet passes directly over it or even just overlaps it a little. I saw a harrier’s jet wash crunch the top of one of those domes a few years ago. Luckily just the dome was damaged and ship’s force repaired it. Worked pretty well and we had a new one flown out and installed overseas. The jet wash of the F35 would really mess it up and more than likely smash the dish underneath. Good idea to move it.

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