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SKYHOOK Harrier Carrier.

rabid stoat

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The topic title is self explanatory, I think. I thought I'd post this now rather than later, since the electronics fit has me stumped. I just don't know enough about British electronics to be sure what the illustrated equipment is. Can anyone fill me in?

Note: this is why there are no masts at present. No, I did not just forget them!

Anyway, its not finished, but I thought I'd get some opinions regarding the SkyHooks (and everything else) before I went any further.

Do you think the launch rail looks too blocky? I may be able to make it thinner and less solid looking...

Obviously only the first pic is my work, the other two are from the net.
My Masterpiece (?):


See attachment for clearer picture!

And the originals:

 

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elmayerle

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Hmm, I'll definitely have to scan the Skyhook brochures that I have. Lots of good details.
 

Michel Van

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the SKYHOOK is invented by Heinz Erwin Frick (Test pilot form Swiss) at BAe
and with specification No.2104014 was filed with the British Patent office in 1982





More here http://www.geocities.com/strategicmaneuver/





Source http://www.geocities.com/strategicmaneuver/
copyright on Picture Patent Heinz Erwin Frick, rest Picture BAe?
 

Antonio

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Michel, could you please attach the pics with the "Aditional Options" tool you'll find in the "Post reply" window?. The latest drawings can't be seen :(

Thanks a lot

Antonio
 

Michel Van

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sorry
i link the Picture from here http://www.geocities.com/strategicmaneuver/
some time there Server has Problems and No pic :-[
 

rabid stoat

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Michel Van said:
sorry
i link the Picture from here http://www.geocities.com/strategicmaneuver/
some time there Server has Problems and No pic :-[
Site unavailable :(
 

rabid stoat

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Finished the radar (as best I could), also tidied up, added details, Exocet instead of VSeaWolf (wasn't sure of dimensions/appearance of Seawolf silo tops, plus I like seeing ASM forward of the bridge), added harrier on revamped launch ramp/catapult, etc. Now HMS Courageous looks a little more seaworthy.

Thanks Mihoshik. BTW, did you know the Perrys/Adelaides/etc over at shipbucket have the crane for the RIB sticking through the upper deck railings?

 

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rabid stoat

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I'm not really interested in defending or attacking the Skyhook concept, I just like it. Here is the history and technical aspects though. I think the Foch landing took place in November 1973... unless there were several...

'The Harrier story' P. Davies & S. Thornborough:

"An even more radical proposal to estab­lish the need for a dedicated flight deck was proposed by BAe/Dowty Boulton-Paul in the late 1980s. SkyHook's origins apparently lay in a conversation between two BAe test pilots and a designer. John Farley had just returned to Dunsfold from an unpleasant deck landing on the French carrier Foch. The rolling motion of her slip­pery deck had almost caused his Harrier to slip overboard after the landing was completed. Farley expressed rather strongly to designer John Fozard his feel­ing that there should be some means of 'grabbing' a V/STOL aircraft once it had made deck contact and securing it imme­diately in heavy seas and bad-weather landings. Test pilot Heinz Frick said, 'Why not grab it while it's still in the hover?'. He worked on the notion and formulated a shipborne crane device which could swing out over a ship's side. Its 'hook' end was stabilized over the sea bed and a Harrier simply had to be hovered in its usual pre-deck landing position, but immediately beneath the end of the gantry. Frick de­signed a simple visual aid, giving the same visual cues that all pilots use in close-for­mation flying, for the pilot to position his aircraft within a couple of feet of the 'hook-on' location. The crane then low­ered and locked on to the Harrier using similar space-stabilizing principles to the Boeing 'Flying Boom' aerial refuelling sys­tem.
Having securely 'caught' the Harrier, using sensors which extended a jack-rod
to lock into a fixed pick-up probe built into the aircraft's spine, the crane then swung it inboard and placed it, either on its un­dercarriage or 'wheels up', on a tresde which could be pre-loaded with weapons or fuel tanks ready for immediate attach­ment to its pylons. Once the aircraft had been swung over the deck the SkyHook's robotics switched from 'space stabilisation' (over the sea bed) to stabilisation relative to the ship. Mobile trestles with aircraft aboard could be moved easily to hangar spaces, on or below decks, and 'parked' more tightly than conventionally stowed aircraft.
'Take-off' from the SkyHook was ac­complished by swinging the aircraft over the side, starting up and running cockpit checks. With nozzles pointing down, the pilot then signalled for the central jack-rod of the supporting gantry, connected to his aircraft's pylon, to extend the sus­pended Harrier downwards and away from the four sway-brace pads which steadied it on the gantry. At full power, the Harrier was gently 'pushed up' a little. The crane, sensing an up-load, unlocked and withdrew its extending jack-rod upwards, leaving the aircraft in the hover and free to move away. Two SkyHook assemblies could be installed on larger ships to in­crease the sortie rate. The technology used to stabilize and operate SkyHook was well established—essentially a flight simulator motion base (upside down), and a veloc­ity sensor. Land-based trials with G-VTOL and other Harriers, conducted by Heinz Frick and two other pilots, with the hover 'visual aid' device mounted on a fire service hydraulic turntable, showed that it was quite easy to position a Harrier in the correct 'grab' situation, even in gusty con­ditions."


I like the 'quite easy' part. you wouldn't think so at first, but I see what they mean. It goes on to state briefly that no buyers have been found for SkyHook but the Japanese have expressed considerable interest...

Because I could:
 

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Mike Pryce

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Great images Mr Stoat!

See also: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1304.0.html

These small SkyHook ships are analogous to the land-based Harrier's forward bases, allowing dispersed operations and the possibility of basing some aircraft closer to the main threat, without risking the 'main base' (i.e. CVS) unduly. The issue of maintenance 'overheads' is a bit of a red herring - the idea was to use the CVS for major servicing, as with a Harrier main base on land, and to 'circulate' aircraft to the 'forward' SkyHook base. In the Falklands CAP duration was limited until the FOB (HMS Sheathbill) at San Carlos was built. SkyHook allowed the use of small ships that had too much motion in rough seas for conventional deck landings to function as a FOB.

I always thought the VT SkyHook ship was a nice idea, incorporating the skeletal ski-jump (as opposed to BAe's own ship 'designs', or to frigates with 'bolt on Skyhook, without a 'runway' for added STOL payloads) but it does seem to me that it posed the following problems:

- Getting Sea Harrier onto the rails involved swinging them up and over the Sea Dragon CIWS - potential prang, and momentarily added lots of topweight.
- The rails passed between the funnels, limiting wing span for future aircraft.
- The rails and SkyHook were very close to the main radar - potential EM issues, especially for later, FBW aircraft
- The side doors from the hangar look very exposed to spray in rough seas, and therefore damage - the BAe 'design' used a scissor lift inboard, which would have been less wet at least (plus allowed 2 hangar decks).
- The position of the funnels meant that the SkyHooks were both aft of the ship mid-point (adding extra motions to be cancelled out) and rather close to the funnel exhausts when heading into wind.
- Why a 4.5 inch gun? Surely another CIWS or more Sea Wolf missiles forward would make sense in a 'picket ship'. And some stealth would help too when deployed 'up threat' of the main fleet.

I assume that attempts to limit topweight meant some of this 'tight' packing was needed. But to me it seems that a trimamran like VT's later Triton (or Cerberus - see http://defence-data.com/dsei/pageds1001.htm) would have solved many of the problems, giving more beam and therefore space, as well as allowing higher masts to move radars away from aircraft and reducing rolling motions. In addition, the wave piercing hull form and staggered funnels/masts of the VT Sea Wraith (http://defence-data.com/rnbaee/pagern8.htm) could have reduced pitching, so possibly allowing operations in sea states higher than 6, and freed up more top space too. The proposed Type 43 (Brown & Moore book), with the 'landing spot' amidships (and ahead of the funnels in the 'Harrier Carrier' version) also offers some useful features, if expensive/complex.

Hmmm, any Shipbucket takers for a stealthy, trimaran, wave-piercing, Skyhook/skeletal ski-jump mini carrier with a dash of Type 43 added in (with P.1216/F-35B)!?
 

rabid stoat

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Thanks for the insight there harrier, it all seems so clear now...

Here's my take on a FCS-style catamaran version. Not the mast etc is offset to starboard, but I'm not sure if the rail is offset to port. I'm not very keen to attempt a plan view to find out if it all fits!
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u94/rabid_stoat/Skyhook/GBCVS_TrimaranSkyhookAU2.gif
 

Mike Pryce

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Blimey, that was quick! Looks like an impressive vessel.

Understand what you mean about a plan view - in a side elevation things can be assumed, but food for thought is no bad thing. I would assume the rails would be down the centre still to minimise any strange motions for the aircraft coming off the ramp if the ship is rolling a bit, although trimamran reduces roll.

Are those Aster missiles? Exhausts through a 'mack' or between the main and outboard hull? Hmm, lots of permutations possible, I guess.
 

rabid stoat

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Based on a pre-existing profile, so that helps - a lot. The mack seems to include a small exhaust, so I kept that - and yes that is Aster.

I keep catching flak because the 'flightdeck' is too short for F-35 and there's no skyhook cranes. I had assumed cranes wouldn't work for F-35 and the 'rail' is a catapult but I fear the truth may be that F-35s just wouldn't work on a ship like this. I think I'll try a catamaran version with Harriers instead soonish (busy for the next few weeks).
 

flateric

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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290314978394&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
 

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Grey Havoc

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Land based testing of the concept:

An artist's impression of a proposed land based version, courtesy of harrier:
 

riggerrob

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F-35 could probably be modified to accept Skyhook. Consider that F-35B's forward lift fan is well forward of the centre of gravity, leaving space to bolt Skyhook hardware top dead centre.
You would need to be extra careful to avoid whacking the hatch (forward lift fan) on the Skyhook. A camera (attached to the top of the fuselage and connected to the HUD would help. A second alignment aid could be a simple optical target hung above the windshield. In the long run, they would probably develop an electronic auto-hover system focused on short-range radio transmissions from the Skyhook crane.
The closer the base of the crane is to the ship's centre of motion (e.g. amidships near the waterline) the simpler the stabilizer.

Master Corporal (retired) Rob Warner, CD, BA, a couple sets of jump wings and plenty of experience working on the flight decks of HMCS Athabaskan and Iroquois
 

riggerrob

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Did anyone offer a Skyhook model - or conversion kit - for a small-scale, static, plastic model?
 

TomS

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F-35 could probably be modified to accept Skyhook. Consider that F-35B's forward lift fan is well forward of the centre of gravity, leaving space to bolt Skyhook hardware top dead centre.
You would need to be extra careful to avoid whacking the hatch (forward lift fan) on the Skyhook. A camera (attached to the top of the fuselage and connected to the HUD would help. A second alignment aid could be a simple optical target hung above the windshield. In the long run, they would probably develop an electronic auto-hover system focused on short-range radio transmissions from the Skyhook crane.
The closer the base of the crane is to the ship's centre of motion (e.g. amidships near the waterline) the simpler the stabilizer.

Master Corporal (retired) Rob Warner, CD, BA, a couple sets of jump wings and plenty of experience working on the flight decks of HMCS Athabaskan and Iroquois
True. But OTOH, with the F-35 flight control system "hands-off" VL is now possible; the plane will track a designated landing spot and fly itself down without manual intervention. Maybe you don't need Skyhook, just something like a Harpoon deck lock.
 

Ron5

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F-35 could probably be modified to accept Skyhook. Consider that F-35B's forward lift fan is well forward of the centre of gravity, leaving space to bolt Skyhook hardware top dead centre.
You would need to be extra careful to avoid whacking the hatch (forward lift fan) on the Skyhook. A camera (attached to the top of the fuselage and connected to the HUD would help. A second alignment aid could be a simple optical target hung above the windshield. In the long run, they would probably develop an electronic auto-hover system focused on short-range radio transmissions from the Skyhook crane.
The closer the base of the crane is to the ship's centre of motion (e.g. amidships near the waterline) the simpler the stabilizer.

Master Corporal (retired) Rob Warner, CD, BA, a couple sets of jump wings and plenty of experience working on the flight decks of HMCS Athabaskan and Iroquois
True. But OTOH, with the F-35 flight control system "hands-off" VL is now possible; the plane will track a designated landing spot and fly itself down without manual intervention. Maybe you don't need Skyhook, just something like a Harpoon deck lock.
Yes but does that flight control system allow for deck movements? And how would it track them?
 

TomS

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True. But OTOH, with the F-35 flight control system "hands-off" VL is now possible; the plane will track a designated landing spot and fly itself down without manual intervention. Maybe you don't need Skyhook, just something like a Harpoon deck lock.
Yes but does that flight control system allow for deck movements? And how would it track them?

So, JPALS is basically a set of multiple differential GPS base stations on the ship and a datalink to the aircraft. Combine with Magic Carpet and you can in theory put the plane on the deck within an 8-inch (20-cm) box.
 

Purpletrouble

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I think the idea of skyhook fitted behind the lift fan misses the auxiliary air inlets for the core engine by the way.

The problem putting it on the deck is that even with the above, deck motion has to be predicted, hence there will always be a margin of error. The other problem is that this all requires the aircraft to be in hover mode for vertical landing. The problem we have with F35 is not landing space (pretty much everyone just goes "air is free, steel is cheap" and builds bigger), but landing it with bringback, and bringback of expensive and rare weapons. Hence the UK SRVL work to get round that.

I don't think btw that the F35 will fly hands-off to a deck or even ashore landing - I don't think the systems are in the ILS category of accuracy and reliability?
 

riggerrob

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Dear Purpletrouble,

I half-agree with you, but still believe that a new optical aid (?) will still be needed to guide the last half metre (15 inches) to the Skyhook.
The pilot could use a stock in-flight re-fuelling drogue as his final docking reference. Hanging the Skyhook from the port (left) rail improve situational awareness while also reducing the risk of collision with the ship. Like flying tankers, the drogue will retracted unti the last couple of minutes before docking. In-flight icing does not seem to be a problem with in-flight re-fuelling. Frigate crews can be trained to clean up any FOD on deck .... heck! ... most sailors spend half their careers at cleaning stations!

Since all the auxillary intakes are forward of the centre of gravity, you can still bolt Skyhook receiver hardware at the centre of gravity, but might need bi-fold doors to reduce the risk of snagging.

We are still talking about frigates or oilers because few second world navies can afford full-sized aircraft carriers. Remember that part of the goal of Skyhook is to sell VTOL fighters to more navies ... especially those navies that cannot afford full-sized aircraft carriers.
Even if a frigate only tops up fuel, it still vastly increases range and endurance of VTOL fighters.
 
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Purpletrouble

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Sorry I wasn’t clear - the skyhook misses that the aux inlets are in the way, so not feasible. (Not that it misses them - bad england!)

The issues of water, ice from the hook, let alone any other FOD, ingressing to either the lift fan or core also preclude this in my view.

I still don’t see the advantage - we’ve learnt after 40+ years of STOVL just build a bigger ship, you need that anyway for numbers, fuel, bombs etc. And VL bringback although better than nothing (Harrier...) is always going to massively reduce the interest in that. Pilots also need to do the same thing all the time to be safe at it - hence SRVL plan as routine to achieve all of this.
 

riggerrob

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F-35B just needs an in-flight re-fuelling drogue hung from the Skyhook crane.
Hanging the crane off the port rail improves visibility and reduces collision risk.
You still need a hard-point amidships to attach Skyhook. That might require re-designing auxiliary air intakes ... a task for F-35 Mark 2.
 

Purpletrouble

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Having done some of the work, (a small, tiny fraction of a huge project over 10 years), good luck redesigning those inlets!

Why IFR from a crane? why not just land and fuel then? At least then you are on idle, as no refuelling rate will match that of the burn rate in the hover, and this is before CofG issues pumping stuff in the front end...

Generally though, refuelling hot is done on various types (on the ground), but never liked. The idea of doing it in the air with all those inlets open immediately behind the probe/basket and at max chat sucking air in, and being aware of how often fuel, bits of basket, probe (the tip is designed to sheer if it gets stuck) end up going backwards - then loss of aircraft seems a very high price to pay!

I once watched a Merlin doing a hover refuel on a Type 23 in the Indian Ocean, it lasted a fair old time, and I asked if that was because the rate of refuel was not much higher than the rate of burn. They said no, the rate of burn was higher, so it was nominally pointless, they were only doing it to qualify the currency and the time reflected both pilots getting their time in!
 
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