5
$\begingroup$

This answer suggests the FPV is aimed ahead of the ship. But it doesn't make sense.

enter image description here

(Picture from linked answer.)

A runway running away at 25 knots, is the same as a stationary runway plus 25 knots headwind.

The relative ground speed is the same, i.e., the rate of closure, and the glide-slope is consistent. Shouldn't the FPV be targeted at the touchdown zone?

Perhaps a bit to starboard, toward the island bridge, because that runway is crabbed. What am I missing?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The picture comes from a FSX sim forum, not sure this is the way it is done actually. $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 1 '16 at 6:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ No, the FPV shouldn't be on the touchdown spot. This is because the ship is moving. It really isn't the same as a 25 knot headwind because a headwind slows your approach ground speed, it doesn't change your touchdown point. You have to imagine that the runway you are about to land on isn't where it is right now, it will be where you are aiming for (in the water) when you get there. If you chase it with the FPV you are going to be very low. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jul 1 '16 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1: As I watch that video, it does appear to me that the FPV is ahead of the ship, especially around 20 seconds, all the way up to about 30 seconds. It is only just before touchdown that it moves closer to the actual touchdown point. In the screenshot in this post, the FPV is way too far ahead of the ship, but its reasonable for illustration purposes. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Jul 2 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1, no, in that video there is a completely new symbol that compensates for the cross-wind and runway motion, so that one is on the deck. It is not FPM, however (it looks quite similar, but the centre part is a trapezoid (resembling the runway) rather than circle used in FPM). $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jul 4 '16 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ Back before HUDs, the pilots somehow managed to land in the carriers. Lineup, ball, airspeed, AoA. No FPV needed. Rate of closure takes care of itself if you are "on" with those four parameters. No cheap shots regarding HUD cripples will be made, since the HUD/upgraded T-45C substantially increased boarding rates among aviators on their first CQ: it makes the job easier. $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 19 '16 at 15:35
8
$\begingroup$

enter image description here

Hopefully this is a better view of what one should see on approach to a carrier.

Above is a typical textbook case approach to a carrier in an F/A-18E strike fighter. I chose a picture at dusk as it is a little easier to see all the symbology and optical lights more clearly.

Note the jet is aligned with the centerline of the landing area. The optical landing sight or 'ball' can be seen to the left of the landing area with the center amber light aligned with the green row of lights, indicating the jet is on a 3° glide-path and should allow it to touch down between the #2 and #3 cross deck pendants for a good 3-wire approach.

The flight path marker is centered in the 'E' bracket indicating an ideal Angle of Attack for the approach; this is also verified by the amber AoA indexer light to the left of the HUD.

The pilot will do a cyclical scan of the line up, ball and E-bracket, making corrections to the control inputs on each pass. In close, over the ramp, and in the wires this cycle shifts over to a focus on the ball, tracking it all the way to the deck such that touchdown should come as a surprise.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome Carlo! The site doesn't work like a forum with posts interleaved. You should have only one answer. You may edit your first answer using the editbutton below the answer body. In theory, you could post two answers in some cases, to express two different views, but this is not the case here. $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 1 '16 at 6:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just to further clarify @mins' point in the above comment, as this answer is currently net voted +1 and your other answer is net voted 0, and as I sort posts by votes, this (later) answer appears above the (earlier) other answer. Depending on answer acceptance (the accepted answer to a question is always at the top, unless the accepted answer is a self-answer), community voting and user preferences, the relative order of answers to a question will keep changing. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 1 '16 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the FPM in the video is not right on the centerline of the landing area; only so as the jet passes over the ramp, as would be expected. The pilots does track a course just ahead of and to the right of the landing area. Again, don't concentrate on the position of the FPM; it's not very relevant to a good trap, only a general - and a trend - indicator. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jul 2 '16 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ That's an experimental upgrade program for the F-18E/F and I don't know if that has been integrated into fleet Rhinos just yet. It looks like it dramatically improves a standard carrier approach and reduces pilot workload. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jul 2 '16 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ No he's not; the FPM is off to the right of the centerline and the video is mid course to close in, so it would appear fairly close; the other segment has the FPM off to the left as the pilot attempts to correct for the fact that he's left of centerline. At any rate the FPM is a trend instrument and not a primary item in the scan; it should not be relied on for correct alignment with the groove. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Jul 3 '16 at 0:25

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.