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Visual Landing Aids mature for
Future Carrier
Adoption of a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) manoeuvre
for recovery of F-35B Joint Strike Fighters to the UK’s CVF is driving
development and testing of a new stabilised visual landing aid
(VLA) concept.
anding aids are an important is now also an intention that F-35B manoeuvre), the CVF design includes
part of the ship/air interface, Lightning II aircraft should be able a Glide-slope and Long-range Line-up
providing visual cues to assist to execute an SRVL so as to increase Indicator System (GLIS), a Height
the pilot during approach and recovery ‘bring back’ (in terms of ordnance and Indicating Hover Altitude Thermometer
to the ship by day or night. CVF has fuel fraction). (HIHAT) and Light Emitting Diode
been designed for short takeoff vertical As baselined for STOVL operations (LED) flight deck lighting. AGI
landing (STOVL) operations, but there (with emphasis on a vertical recovery has been contracted by the Aircraft
Carrier Alliance (ACA) to supply these
equipments as part of a £7.5 million
(US$11.5 million) contract for the supply
of VLAs for both fixed- and rotary-
wing aircraft.
The GLIS system, based on two night
vision goggle-compliant stabilised
Glide Path Indicator (GPI) units, is
the primary source of information
available to the pilot for establishing
and maintaining the correct glide slope
during the approach. These GPI units
are positioned at either end of the ship,
in the port catwalk level with the flight
deck. High-intensity drop-line lights,
mounted on the stern of the ship, provide
a source of line-up cues.
Each GPI is essentially a high-intensity
sectored light projector. The glide
slope of the aircraft, relative to the
GLIS, determines which coloured
light sector is visible to the pilot. If the
pilot is flying down the optimum glide
slope (nominally 3
) a steady green
light is visible. If the approach is too
high a flashing green light is visible.
Alternatively, if the approach is too low
a red light will be visible. A steady red
light indicates a slightly low approach
and a flashing red light indicates a very
low approach.
Lighting arrangement
GLIS uses two stabilised Glide Path Indicator projectors, situated one fore and one aft on HIHAT consists of 11 lights fitted
the port side of the flight deck, to provide a long-range line-up indication. in a vertical stack with two standard
26 Warship Technology January 2009
WT_Jan09_p26+27+28.indd 26 12/23/08 2:24:19 AM
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