What is it like to fly an F-35 fighter jet? Well… like a computer game

Ian King shows no sign of nerves as he takes the stick and attempts to be an F-35 Top Gun on an RAF simulator

It’s no shock that Squadron Chief Andy Edgell, the take a look at pilot for the brand new F-35 fighter jets being purchased by the RAF and Royal Navy, says the pc recreation era take to the £92m plane so simply.

As a result of climbing into the cockpit of one in all these planes, which is able to type the spine of the UK’s airborne defences for the subsequent few many years, is rather like getting into an enormous pc recreation.

The pilot is surrounded by graphics from all sides, offering instantaneous evaluation of the velocity at which the plane is travelling, navigational aids, mapping and terrain info, together with digital camera pictures from all sides giving each conceivable view from the plane.

This latter issue successfully allows the pilot to “see by way of” the plane and take a look at the land under them.

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What’s it prefer to fly an F-35 fighter jet?

Focusing on info, navigation and altitude info is in a single place, on one display screen, making it exceptionally easy for the pilot to evaluate the state of affairs. It is referred to as ‘sensor fusion’.

And added to and enhancing that info is a helmet that’s wired into the airplane that permits the pilot to see, always, the place of enemy plane and any incoming missiles they might have fired, in addition to pleasant plane.

When the pilot strikes their head to the left or proper, the information goes with them, so at no level is there any blind spot.

All of that makes it exceptionally simple for pilots like Sqn Ldr Edgell to fly the plane.

Touchdown the airplane is simplicity itself, even for somebody like me, who has by no means flown earlier than.

The plane handles exceptionally properly and solely the slightest contact on the controls will coax the mighty beast on the course set by the pilot.

Touchdown a fighter jet on an plane provider in the course of the ocean would possibly sound like making an attempt to position a soccer on a sixpence from the opposite finish of the sphere however the airplane does the entire work.

The “raise fan” on the plane, mounted simply behind the cockpit, implies that the jet cannot solely take off from a really brief distance, however can even “hover” above the deck previous to touchdown, like a Harrier leap jet, making vertical touchdown attainable.

When taking off or touchdown, the pilot can even see a picture of the raise fan, serving to them know exactly the place they’re within the course of.

As for the cockpit itself, it’s gentle and comfy, as a result of the goal of the producer has been to make sure the consolation of the pilot always.

Which is comprehensible: in case you’re caught up in a dogfight with the enemy, and even merely patrolling the nation’s airspace whereas armed to the enamel with an array of lethal laser-guided missiles, you need to really feel snug.

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