NSA2: Interesting Adventures.

Interesting people, interesting places, interesting organizations, interesting electro-mechanical systems, interesting planes and missiles, good jobs and interesting work {well beyond the threshold of boredom and the norm}.

Flight Test of the Viking new Digital Flight Control Computer on the Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier.

The Viking:  AFC 273, Digital Flight Data Computer upgrade, began in May 2000 on the West Coast [the East Coast will follow], and completed in 2002. The AN/ASW-33 Digital Flight Data Computer is a direct replacement of equipment. Differences in weight and balance are negligible. Maintenance capability at the organizational level is significantly enhanced due to incorporation of a highly comprehensive Built-In Test Equipment (BITE) capability. AFC 273 directs the replacement of the CP-1074A/ASW-33 Flight Data Computer with the more reliable CP-1074B/ASW-33 Digital Flight Data Computer.   {http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/s-3-upgrades.htm}


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Automatic Carrier Landing System on the Viking.


Aircraft carrier landings are highly automated

Today President Bush will fly aboard a US Navy S-3B Viking to USS Abraham Lincoln, hundreds of miles west of San Diego. The Viking is a four-seat jet aircraft that makes cable-arrest landings on carriers, just as fighters do.

Carrier landings are highly automated nowadays. The toughest things pilots have to do to land safely is make sure they are flying straight down the centerline of the landing strip on the carrier deck and make sure their rate of descent onto the deck is correct. When these things are done right the plane hits the deck and its arrestor hook grabs one of the cables across the deck that slow the plane to a halt within a couple hundred feet or so.

Squaring up on the centerline is not as easy as it seems. Modern carriers are “angle deck” ships, meaning that they are designed to launch and recover aircraft at the same time. Launching aircraft are catapulted off the bow straight ahead, but landing aircraft fly onto a part of the flight deck that angles off to the ships port (left) side. Hence a pilot cannot line up straight down the ship. (The angle deck can also launch as well as recover.)

The further away pilots can square on the centerline, the happier they are. But even enormous aircraft carriers appear too small from about a mile away to offer visual clues to line up. Lights aboard the ship called drop lights are effective inside a mile, as is the visual image of the ship itself, called the “carrier box.” A laser system called Long-Range Lineup System uses eyesafe colored lasers to guide the pilot well over a mile away. Seeing an amber laser means that the plane is on centerline, right means green and red means left. This system is installed aboard Abraham Lincoln.

NOTE:  A natural over simplication as it is difficult to get use to all the sloppy yoke movement between the knees during an automatic carrier landing.

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