Commentariat(tm) Underwater Obstreperousness Agent Patrick Slattery sent me this story, to brighten my day. Because, unlike some of you, I probably didn’t pay for it. The Brits, apparently have figured out what to do with their F-35s.
Let’s just start with the good part, shall we?
Well thank God he is still with us! That’s all I can say. pic.twitter.com/YtL6f0BFAm
— Seb H (@sebh1981) November 29, 2021
It looks as though the Brits have built a Russian-style ski jump on the front of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and have decided that they are going to launch F-35s using a combination on vectored thrust and fling-launch. I assume some test pilot did this safely a few times and figured out all the angles and now they’re teaching the rest of the pilots (we few, we tiny band of brothers that fly F-35s) – I bet this is really fun when the deck is pitching in a storm. This occurred in the Mediterranean, where presumably the Brits are enjoying the relatively calm seas and the French beaches.
The story is reported in various places, but this seems as thorough as everyplace else: [sky] Nobody has posted any better video.
In fact, the video is an interesting story – you can tell from the frame that the video appears to be someone pointing their phone at a surveillance camera’s output. My guess is that the leaker has already been identified and is already in A Lot Of Trouble for embarrassing her highness, or something.
You can see that the aircraft has its hood scoop up, which means that the vertical lift fans are engaged. So, the operation appears to be a sort of “all or nothing” leap off the end of the carrier, at which point the pilot will light the afterburners and gain forward momentum before the plane falls into the water, like this one did. Here, the pilot appears to have figured out that something was wrong and they didn’t have enough forward speed, and ejected in time so that they will be able to tell their friends at the pub, someday, that they were there at the center of one of the most expensive aviation accidents in the navy’s history. The UK currently has about 20 F-35s deployed, so that would mean 5% of the F-35 complement just got launched into the Mediterranean.