The Role of Modelling and Simulation in the Preparations for Flight Trials Aboard the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers

Kelly, MF, Watson, NA ORCID: 0000-0003-0316-8266, Hodge, SJ, White, MD ORCID: 0000-0002-8611-9525 and Owen, I ORCID: 0000-0001-5642-736X
(2018) The Role of Modelling and Simulation in the Preparations for Flight Trials Aboard the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. In: 14th International Naval Engineering Conference and Exhibition, 2018-10-2 - 2018-10-4, Glasgow.

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<jats:p> This paper provides a brief overview of how modelling and simulation has been used to inform preparations for First of Class Flight Trials (FOCFT) aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the United Kingdom’s two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, from the perspective of a collaborative research programme undertaken by industry and academia to develop high-fidelity simulations of the carrier’s ‘airwake’.  Computer modelling of the unsteady air flow over the carrier, and of the aircraft flight dynamics, have been integrated into high-fidelity flight simulators at BAE Systems Warton, and at the University of Liverpool.  The Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) carriers have primarily been designed to operate the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter aircraft and will also operate a range of rotary-wing assets.  Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been used to compute the time-varying air flow over and around the 280m long ship, along the F-35B landing approach path and up to 400m astern of the ship.  The paper shows a selection of results from the full-scale CFD analysis, and the results from a small-scale experiment that was conducted to provide confidence in the validity of the computed airwakes.  The QEC airwakes have been employed by BAE Systems in its fixed-wing flight simulator at Warton, where test pilots have conducted simulated deck landings for a variety of wind over deck conditions, so providing experience for F-35B test pilots and the ship’s Flying Control (FLYCO) crew ahead of FOCFT, which will be conducted later this year.  Airwakes have also been implemented in the HELIFLIGHT-R flight simulator at the University of Liverpool, where helicopter landings to the QEC have been simulated using a generic medium-weight maritime-helicopter model. A selection of results from the helicopter flight simulator trials is presented in terms of the workload ratings reported by test pilots, and these are related to the characteristics of the computed airwake at the landing spots tested.  The paper demonstrates how modelling and simulation can be used to reduce both the risk and cost of flight trials, by informing the FOCFT planning process, and by highlighting, in advance of the trials, which wind speed and azimuth combinations may require more focus.  </jats:p>

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Unspecified)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2018 09:20
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 01:13
DOI: 10.24868/issn.2515-818x.2018.037
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