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Anybody up in Norfolk see hear them land?

The UK’s newest £100M Fighter jets have just been delivered and touched down in the last hour or so.

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Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Lovely evening here in Norfolk with clear skies and I have been outside the last couple of hours pottering about and didn't see them unfortunately.

Can't be on the flight path for Marham.

 

chipp

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Hi, as you may have seen from my intro I have just left HMS Queen Elizabeth after over two years from build to delivery into service. Ask me anything!

 

Bravo73 they are going to be a mixture of FAA and RAF pilots, but Marham will be the on-land home for the UK jets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm afraid that I think the entire carrier thing is a complete mess up, particularly by politicians ignorant of their subject. What they have is a couple of flat topped barges which helicopters and one type of very compromised jet can land on. The carriers should have had angled flight decks with cats and traps from the start. In that way they could accommodate any one of a number of carrier spec aircraft. It would then have been some use to our allies. The StoVL F-35 offers very reduced range and payload because of it's very complicated lift system, when compared to the F-35 A or C versions. With proper carriers much more affordable aircraft could have been purchased or leased, as well as the security of being able to operate Hawkeye AWACS aircraft. I have no doubt that all those who have been involved in the design and construction of the ships have done an excellent job within  their remit. The problem, as always, is politicians making decisions on things they know absolutely nothing about.  The result is a half-masted effort that will never be able to do the intended job effectively.

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All valid points, but we're stuck with them now, so have to make the best of it. It's still better than the nothing at all we've had for the past few years.

I must admit though, that there is absolutely no reason to supply the RAF with the more expensive and less effective STOVL "B" model. As soon as the Navy carrier "B" complements and a few extras for their training and reserves have been supplied, we should switch all the RAF orders to the cheaper land-based "A" model only. As I understand it, that decision has still not been made, which I find incredible.

Edited by LotusLeftLotusRight
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Very true, but it would have been better to have something much more flexible, rather than a one trick pony!...     I notice that the only other combat jet that could operate with the ski jump would be the SU-33, but I don't think  Putin would sell any to the UK!

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Quote

On 19 October 2010, the government announced the results of its Strategic Defence and Security Review. The review stated that only one carrier was certain to be commissioned; the fate of the other was left undecided. The second ship of the class could be placed in "extended readiness" to provide a continuous single carrier strike capability when the other was in refit, or provide the option to regenerate more quickly to a two carrier strike ability. Alternatively, the second ship could be sold in "cooperation with a close ally to provide continuous carrier-strike capability".[44]

It was also announced that the operational carrier would have catapult and arrestor gear (CATOBAR) installed to accommodate the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter rather than the short-take off and vertical-landing version.[45][46]

The decision to convert Prince of Wales to CATOBAR was reviewed after the projected costs rose to around double the original estimate. On 10 May 2012, the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, announced in Parliament that the government had decided to revert to its predecessor's plans to purchase the F-35B rather than the F-35C, and to complete both aircraft carriers with ski-jumps in the STOVL configuration.[47] The total cost of the work that had been done on the conversion to a CATOBAR configuration, and of reverting the design to the original STOVL configuration, was estimated by Philip Hammond to be "something in the order of £100 million".[48] In later testimony before a parliamentary committee, Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel, revealed that even though the carriers had been sold as adaptable and easy to convert for CATOBAR, no serious effort had been made in this direction since 2002.[49]

 

Talk about the crooked military industrial complex. Muppets.

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5 hours ago, Breeze said:

 I notice that the only other combat jet that could operate with the ski jump would be the SU-33, but I don't think  Putin would sell any to the UK!

Oh, I bet you he would love to sell them to us, once we are out of Brexit and then leave NATO as the EU forces incompatibility with our systems like GPS etc, we'll be Putin's best buddy. Renting him airbases so he can reach the US :)

 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I might be wrong, but I think this is the jet that Australia is not allowed to purchase due to the fact we have a multicultural defence force now.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

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My understanding is that Oz is planning on 3 Squadrons, some 72 F35A's have been ordered but one of you Senators, Jim Molem? Is not convinced they are good enough to counter the Russians.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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There is still capacity in design to incorporate cats and traps to the QE class carriers. An angled flight deck is not required. Bearing in mind I think it's broadly expected that these ships have a lifespan of 50+ years, it might be something we see during their lifecycle. 

 

There are much greater problems with the aircraft than the variant. Problems with operating it that exist regardless of the variant. We will not be taking full advantage of the airframe for years, if ever.

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I can't see them ever being modified to cats and traps at this late stage. If they did though, surely an angled flight deck would be essential, otherwise they wouldn't be able to have any other aircraft up on deck, without risk of accident. I think a combination of cost and Politics means that cats and traps are now a no go.

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The QE was originally designed to have a catapult launch system. But you guessed it - the politicians got involved and decided that to save money they would remove the catapults and ordered a redesign.  Building in the catapults a build time would have cost a few hundred million where as retrofitting will cost over a Billion per ship. I doubt any retrofit will ever happen. I have not found any info on the cost of the redesign but I bet it is probably about the cost of the catapults.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/sep/12/catapult-cut-cost-aircraft-carriers

https://www.quora.com/How-much-more-costly-would-the-Queen-Elizabeth-aircraft-carriers-be-if-they-were-fitted-with-catapults

 

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1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

My understanding is that Oz is planning on 3 Squadrons, some 72 F35A's have been ordered but one of you Senators, Jim Molem? Is not convinced they are good enough to counter the Russians.

Interesting. A mate of mine that was in the Australian Navy told me. I may well have the wrong plane.

And I must say, as if Jim Molem (whoever he is) would actually know. I detest politicians.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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23 minutes ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

I can't see them ever being modified to cats and traps at this late stage. If they did though, surely an angled flight deck would be essential, otherwise they wouldn't be able to have any other aircraft up on deck, without risk of accident. I think a combination of cost and Politics means that cats and traps are now a no go.

There is definitely the capacity to build it in and having been in briefings where the Air team brief external visitors from media to Ministerial... no-one has ever mentioned an angled flight deck. 

The problem will be if the provision by design spaces for catapult equipment is subsequently used (permanently) for other capabilities. For example Amphibious/landing force planning/accommodation. That said there are many issues surrounding that type of conversion, not least the fact that those spaces aren't acoustically insulated from the flight deck immediately above, and to do so would add significant cost. Those spaces are currently used on a temporary basis for various things from gym spaces to storage/training. But there is basically a significant amount of empty real estate below the flight deck for cats and traps.

I agree by the way with you both that cats and traps were the way to go. 

Success or failure of that decision will largely be down to our next major conflict and the type of warfare therein. The fact that QNLZ is designed to operate in the oceanic region rather than the littoral tells you a lot about how difficult troop lift and amphibious assaults will be. 

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3 minutes ago, David85 said:

There is definitely the capacity to build it in and having been in briefings where the Air team brief external visitors from media to Ministerial... no-one has ever mentioned an angled flight deck. 

Jeepers, so they would have been happy with planes landing directly in line with those about to take off or parked up? Or have I missed something fundamentally basic here?

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They'll never be parked up along that stretch, it is a massive deck, plus we don't have a lot of jets really do we! I don't think we'll ever see a jam packed flight deck like you do on the US carriers (stand fast WW3). If the sorties are managed effectively I don't think it is that much of an issue.

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