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Frazer-Nash celebrating successful QEC flight trials

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  • Company’s work helped to ensure safety of personnel and critical equipment on catwalk and flight deck during jet take-off and landing
  • Frazer-Nash provided over ten years’ support to the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier (QEC) programme

As UK jets land on the Royal Navy’s future Fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth (QNLZ) for the first time, systems and engineering technology consultancy, Frazer-Nash, is celebrating the continued success of the F-35B flight trials.

The ship has successfully completed further flight trials in the west Atlantic this month, with UK jets landing and taking off from the carrier’s deck. Frazer-Nash Naval Architect, Richard Lawrence, who spent five weeks onboard QNLZ during the first of class flight trials (Fixed Wing) in the West Atlantic in 2018, ensuring that Frazer-Nash’s work on mitigating jet engine blast effects on the ship’s deck and equipment was proving effective, said:

“Frazer-Nash has been involved with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance QEC programme over the past 18 years, including 10 years investigating and providing mitigations for the harsh effect the F-35B jet efflux – the blast force generated behind the jet engine – has on the ship during short take-offs and vertical landing (STOVL) operations.

“We supported the ship’s crew, and the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD’s) Warship Approving Authority authority, by contributing to the developmental testing of the QNLZ’s F-35B flight trials. Through measuring the jet efflux environment in the catwalk after STOVL operations, we were able to prove the effectiveness of our design and engineering work in protecting the safety and operationally critical equipment on the catwalk. The measurements also provided more accurate environmental design data for any future modifications to the catwalk, or for other ships that may operate with the F-35B jet.”

Our involvement in the QE Carrier programme

Frazer-Nash has been involved with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance QEC programme for 18 years, delivering support to QNLZ for ten years.

Frazer-Nash Group Leader, Richard Lawrence, said: “Our involvement in the QNLZ F-35B flight trials included providing expert advice on the Thermal Metal Spray (TMS) flight deck coating, which is designed to resist the high temperatures and pressures of the F-35B’s vertical landings whilst protecting the steel deck from corrosion.”

“We provided support as the ACA Aviation Team Technical Lead for TMS. This included the completion of initial TMS certification sample testing, liaison with the US Department of Defense to extract TMS information; and final TMS certification sample testing and deck surveys. We were in an ideal position to provide this advice, following our four years of working with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) testing and certifying the TMS for the MOD.

”We also worked with the ACA Aviation Team, undertaking jet efflux data analysis; and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the catwalk jet efflux, to predict the temperatures and velocities of the exhaust. We used thermal modelling to inform the risk posed by jet efflux to the equipment in the catwalk, and completed a mitigation study to categorise the risk to the catwalk equipment in the catwalk and make recommendations. We then implemented these catwalk mitigation solutions over a five-year period. This included the design and trials of a float free liferaft shield and antenna shield.”