Saturday, April 8, 2017

Navy pilots train for carrier landings using the Magic Carpet and praise the ride

Super Hornet jet pilots at Lemoore Naval Air Station have a new flight simulator that trains them to use a new flight guidance system for landing on aircraft carriers.

The Navy calls the new guidance system Precision Landing Mode.

But it was originally dubbed the “Magic Carpet,” short for (take a deep breath) Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies, according to Naval Aviation News.

The media likes Magic Carpet because it has a nice ring to it.

Whatever it’s called, it will be the norm for carrier landings by 2019.

Pilots must train and get qualified. Lemoore has a trainer, as do the naval air stations at Whidbey Island in Washington and Oceana in Virginia.

Using software on each aircraft that controls flight control surfaces, including flaps, pilots can more easily adjust their landing approach, or glidepath, onto the moving aircraft carrier.

It works well, especially for night landings, said Lt. Brant Schmall, a pilot and landing signal officer at Lemoore. When onboard, he communicates with pilots as they land.

“I would say a large percentage of pilots are happy using it,” he said. “It is absolutely appreciated – the task level is reduced, and that’s helpful … the biggest thing is when you make an adjustment, there’s a near-instantaneous correction.”

Previously, pilots would also increase or decrease power, but now that’s set to be nearly constant.

To be clear, the pilot still flies the plane. It’s not automated flying, he said.

The new system promises safe, predictable landings and so far, the number of successful landings with no need for a second pass is going up, he said.

Precision Landing Mode was rolled out for all aircraft carriers in September, and Lemoore pilots in Carrier Wing 9 started using it on the USS John C. Stennis in November in the Pacific Ocean.

It’s also used by the EA-18 Growler, a Super Hornet version for electronic warfare. The new F-35C aircraft also has a similar system.

Original article can be found here:

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