An F-35 has conducted the first Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing on-board aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) is a British endeavour—a capability at least a decade in the making—that will allow pilots to return to ship with more stores on the aircraft after a mission.
It is a process designed to land jump-jet aircraft that uses both the vertical thrust from the jet engine and lift from the wings, thus maximising the payload an aircraft can return with and stopping the financial waste that comes with dropping expensive weaponry in the sea in order to land vertically.
Since June, The F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team had focused on live flying workups refreshing their skills on day and night field carrier landing practices, ski jump takeoffs and vertical landings in preparation for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Earlier in the year, the team also conducted rolling vertical landings in preparation for trials on HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to a recent release.
“[Rolling vertical landings] are an important phase of the workups because another unique aspect of going to the Queen Elizabeth Class carrier is that we will be conducting experimental testing of a novel recovery landing technique—the Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing” said Royal Air Force Sq. Ldr. Andy Edgell, FOCFT (FW) lead test pilot at the Pax River ITF.
“SRVL tests are truly experimental. It involves landing a fast jet onto an aircraft carrier with forward relative speed but without the braking assistance typically provided by an arresting gear and hook. It’s going to be a really rewarding moment for British aviation to watch that procedure actually take place.”
It can also reduce the level of wear on the lift engines and extend their operational life. Similarly, it can reduce the amount of wear upon the deck surface of a carrier caused by the downward jet exhaust from vertical landings.