HMS Queen Elizabeth has completed the second phase of flying trials (DT-2) with F-35B jets.
We have just dispatched the last #F35 for 2018.
187 vertical landings, 15 SRVL’s including the Worlds first
75 hours in the air & 54 Training Weapons dropped
A monumental year for 🇬🇧 Carrier Strike supported by our closest ally.
— HMS Queen Elizabeth (@HMSQnlz) November 19, 2018
DT-2 wrapped up on 18 Nov, with jets disembarking to Pax yesterday. Exceeded test thresholds by some margin. Success of the test campaign attributed to huge amount of planning and preparation stretching back a decade. pic.twitter.com/s1oOvrFU14
— Richard Scott (@rich_scott2) November 20, 2018
The goal was to test the aircraft in more challenging wind conditions and to practice the ship in handling and loading of the aircraft with weapons.
The test team—comprising nearly 175 ITF members aboard the ship— already completed several needed parameters during DT-1, including day and night short-takeoffs and vertical landings with minimal deck motion, in varying wind conditions and with and without internal stores.
“I’m very proud of the test accomplishments by the combined team of the 1,500 personnel comprised of the ITF, the carrier strike group and the crew of HMS Queen Elizabeth with her embarked 820 and 845 squadrons,” said Andrew Maack, the F-35 Pax River ITF’s chief test engineer.
“It was impressive to see the excellent teamwork at all levels of the organisations.”
During DT-1—which were performed within the same flight envelope as will be used in the first operational test phase—the ITF also conducted about half of the testing that fell under the DT-2 threshold, or the flight envelope needed to reach initial operational capability (maritime), speeding up the now completed second phase. The second phase concentrated on external stores testing, minimum performance short-takeoffs and SRVLs, and night operations.
A third developmental test (DT-3), followed by operational testing, is scheduled for 2019. Together, the tests will help the Ministry of Defence reach F-35B initial operating capability (maritime) in 2020.