Rolls Royce F35B Lift System

A collection of images from Rolls Royce of the F35B Lift System.

Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
Rolls Royce F35B Lift System
41 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
FinneyOnTheWing
FinneyOnTheWing
September 8, 2014 11:51 pm

Impressive but it looks scarily heavy, helps you understand why the A and C variants will have markedly superior performance

Martin
Editor
September 9, 2014 1:18 am

It’s how big?

Easy to forget what a big beast F35 is until you see one of its components laid out like this.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 8:21 am

Markedly?

There’s been debates done to death about the practical use of the aircraft.

External carriage of the Joint Strike Missile is currently the only significant (and upcoming) operational difference compared to the A or C that the B suffers from with UK ordnance and concept.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 12:04 pm

TOC,

You mean apart from the inability to carry a 2,000lb bomb internally and the markedly reduced range right?

RCT(V)
RCT(V)
September 9, 2014 12:59 pm

What else can it do . . . ?? The Rolls Royce engine of the “F35B Lift System” I mean, not the aircraft !!

As well as “lifting” vertically, the whole engine can/could be rotated through 90 degrees – with the shaft(s) installed horizontally – so that it can “push” a “conventional” TOL aircraft.

Any prospect of a naval/maritime utilisation?

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 1:12 pm

Does the RAF operate GBU-31?

At what point of fuel requirement is AAR applied to mission planning?

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 2:00 pm

TOC,

Is JSM? Why not just refuel after every 15 minutes of flying, then you can have tiny fuel tanks, yay!

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 2:05 pm

Already mentioned JSM.

Also mentioned done to death as well. Search TD for the discussions, calculations and conclusions over the last two years.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 9, 2014 2:05 pm

@Hohum

“Is JSM”

A bit difficult to operate something that is not even in service.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 2:15 pm

TOC,

I knew you were wrong all along, thank you for the tacit admission. Have fun with your shorter range smaller payload F-35 variant UK!

Good job you will be using exactly the same ordnance in 40 years time as you do now…..

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 2:20 pm

Heh. Nice try. Keep reading.

EDIT: Happy to re-discuss if you’re genuinely interested.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 2:30 pm

Keep dreaming Chris, F-35B, less range and less payload.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
September 9, 2014 2:30 pm

@RCT(V)

Could you not marry it up with a turboshaft engine to power some sort of tilt rotor? If they were inbedded in the wings you could dispense with the complicated folding mechanism on the Osprey.

An S3 Viking type aircraft fot the carriers? For AEW, ASuW, ASW and AAR.

RE F35

When was the last time we had long range strike from our carriers? Does it matter?

Mark
Mark
September 9, 2014 2:30 pm

Given a number of comments over a few threads is hohum the new bob?

Tom
Tom
September 9, 2014 2:34 pm

Mark – You weren’t the only one thinking that about Hohum.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 2:37 pm

and @Mark: Indeed. Hence “genuinely interested?”. Only reads the brochure Top Trumps ratings.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 2:46 pm

Haha,

Knew it was only a matter of time before “top trumps” or “brochure” appeared- didn’t think you would be desperate enough to blow both those on one post though.

Small problem with fuel allowance and payload- its a thing, its real and its relevant, it can not simply be ignored, if a fuel tank is not there you can not magically make up the difference. And the key point is that the B has a substantially lower fuel capacity and a smaller payload.

DavidNiven- F-35B will be performing long range strike from land bases and carriers.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
September 9, 2014 3:00 pm

@Hohum
‘F-35B will be performing long range strike from land bases and carriers.’

Only in conjunction with AAR and as we have not possessed that on our carriers for some time, plus it’s replacing the Harrier (which was not a long range strike aircraft) and not the Buccaneer on the carriers, does the smaller range/payload really make a lot of difference to the way we have/will use our carriers?

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 9, 2014 3:02 pm

It is a shame the Boeing X-32 JSF was so ugly it got dropped, as its Harrier type lift system on the STOVL version was probably a better solution than the soviet lift fan we are now stuck with on the F-35B.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 3:04 pm

@Hohum/Bob

Yet this is how you base your opinions. You put no effort into the meaning behind the headline values (Hint: Payload capacity and configuration). You’re not genuinely interested in the why and resort to personal attacks when challenged to put in some effort.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 3:08 pm

Hartley

It suffered from the same problems as Harrier, primarily hot gas ingestion. It would also have likely required a cooling solution similar to the Harrier’s water reservoir which would have put a consumables time limit on hover duration (90 seconds for Pegasus 107 IIRC).

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 3:11 pm

Clarification I should have written Pylon capacity instead of the Payload capacity typo above, apologies.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 3:29 pm

TOC,

There is no great conspiracy here, the headline values are not some lie. The F-35A/C have a much higher fuel capacity than the B and a more flexible payload configuration due to larger internal weapons bays and higher pylon capacity on stations 2 and 10. The F-35A has 5,100lbs more fuel than a B, the C has another 1,000lbs beyond that.

F-35B is STOVL and that is useful for a country than can not afford CTOL carriers, but the trade-off is an aircraft with less fuel and less payload.

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 9, 2014 3:32 pm

TOC. Maybe, but the greater bypass of the x-32 engine allowed a greater combat radius than the F-35B. 60 to 150 miles more, depending on which source you look at.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 4:07 pm

@Hohum

You are correct on having the higher values. My point is practicable difference, certainly in terms of payload, for the UK.

When you start loading up the pylons with UK ordnance and tanks, you don’t hit the payload threshold and trends are for lighter precision payloads with more efficient warheads (c.v. 10kg directed fragmentation blast warheads outperforming 15kg blast fragmentation warheads).

Range is harder to argue and you have to start deducting and then dividing remainder tankages by publicly available operation limits before it begins to become clear. When you do so, you reach single digit percentage differences in practice. Don’t forget to factor in a full (yet effective) UK payload is lower than theoretical maximum.

The moment you apply AAR the differences become moot due to placement or operation of tankers.

Worth remembering that the UK is receiving an aircraft with 50% more range than their previous STOVL jet and current carrier-born strike solution (AH1 Apache).

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 4:22 pm

TOC,

The trend is temporarily for smaller warheads and intermediaries (stand-off devices), the main driver for this though is operational scenario- the target set in the past decade or more has been small targets, usually soft, under very strict RoI’s with the aim being the very minimum of damage outside the direct target (Hilux, mortar team, even sniper) and with complete air superiority. Any shift back towards the conventional end of the spectrum will push a return to larger weapons in order to increase survivability and hit hardened targets- JSM being a case in point. F-35 will be in service for over 30 years- munitions requirements change.

Yes, range is a function of many factors, but the fuel load difference between an A and a B is so dramatic that the former will always go further with the same payload and the same mission profile- based on what has been said publicly probably about 30% more. Tankers are a finite resource, less fuel on-board the fast jet requires more of them, there are also places they can not go (being big and rather defenceless)- they do not make anything moot.

However, on the topic of moot, your last point certainly is. F-35B will be a major step-up for the UK, nobody is denying that, and it will allow the maintenance of a carrier strike capability but the trade-off is shorter range and less payload compared to the A or C. The UK has made the best decision it could given the circumstances it created for itself with decisions dating back to the 90s, nobody should be arguing with that now.

Rocket Banana
September 9, 2014 4:32 pm

With the same payload (and cutting the GAU-22/A out of the A) you should see a 40% difference… even more if you don’t budget loads of fuel for taxing around the airbase and have a fuel truck near the launch point.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 4:34 pm

I disagree on trend, we’re in a vastly improved situation with regards fusing allowing for genuinely clever penetrator devices as well as selected effects.

In addition there’s huge investment (and more to come) on ISTAR to allow for identification of where to place and live assessment.

I do appreciate where you’re coming from though.

If the UK wanted to go heavier than 2,000lbs (Storm Shadow aside), is F-35 really the right platform? Is this where Son of Taranis fits in? Less of an “ISTAR with Paveway” and more of a “Smaller LRS-B”?

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 4:43 pm

@Simon

40%! I’m so glad you don’t calculate fuel for flight plans! ;)

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 4:44 pm

TOC,

The point is, the UK will not even be able to carry 2,000lb internally, it will be limited to 1,000lb which means anything that requires 2,000lb will result in a substantial RCS increase and range loss (increased drag).

I don’t dispute that every aspect of A2G munitions has improved spectacularly in recent years (and the UK is doing some of the most interesting stuff with Brimstone/SPEAR and Paveway IV)- general precision has made life considerably easier too. But defended airspace still requires stand-off capability and means fuel and a motor which rapidly ups the size (see JSM, of which I am a very big fan) and there are still those with a love of hardened facilities.

Observer
Observer
September 9, 2014 5:05 pm

On something similar and slightly related, anyone seen the stupidity that is the US’s next generation Tac Air project?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 9, 2014 5:15 pm

@Hohum

JSM is 25cm shorter than air launched harpoon and weighs just over half as much. It is actually smaller than the NSM. It is also a primarily Anti Shipping Missile. It has a 125KG warhead and a range of about 150 NM so land attack is definitely a secondary role.
The trend is smaller and more accurate.

Hohum
Hohum
September 9, 2014 5:21 pm

APATS,

It is sized to go in F-35A/C weapons bay, that is what defines its size and in large part its range. Kongsberg have been very clear in their briefings that it is intended for Land Attack as well as AShM.

MOAB and MOP tell a different story. The trend has been smaller because we have been worrying about smaller things. When we have to worry about bigger things we will become interested in bigger warheads again.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 9, 2014 5:41 pm

@ hohum

Kongsberg are of course going to talk up its secondary purpose but as someone who has seen tasking and targeting in the real world it is so definitely a secondary purpose.
MOP and MOAB are never going to be carried internally by any sort of F35 and what we learnt about hardened targets from libya is that storm shadow worked which will also never be carried internally by an F35. So what we actually have is the inability to carry an anti shipping missile internally which has a very secondary land attack role compared to proper land attack munitions which cannot be carried internally by any variant.

Observer
Observer
September 9, 2014 6:02 pm

Is a 2,000 pound bomb really that big a deal? If you got a target that warrants a 2,000 pound bomb, why not use a Tomahawk instead?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 9, 2014 6:18 pm

@ Observer

Tomahawk only delivers a 1000lb warhead and it is non penetrating. better range but less capable than storm shadow, frustrating that one missile has the range and the other the warhead. Given todays tech it should be not beyond the wit of man to develop a 1000NM plus air launched cruise missile with stealth, data link and a 500KG penetrating warhead.

The Other Chris
September 9, 2014 7:02 pm

@APATS

Closest I can think of would be the extended range AGM-158B. Similar warhead size and style to Storm Shadow, 500nm range.

Using that as a base would likely give you a 4,000lb+ class weapon. Engine and fuel increases would mess with dimensions somewhat.

Would you be happy with 500nm at 3,000lb? Although does suggest that MBDA could put together a Storm Shadow ER.

Think El Sid said it was the basis for LRASM A equipped with a different seeker.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 9, 2014 7:08 pm

Hohum and APATS both seem to have split personalities, the ever so patient APATS copying his previous responses in (under the orders to make this site seem neutral over the referendum) and Hohum is now not only an army expert,but into geoopolitics (actually playing the fool, and teasing out the more refined arguments).
– am I right… Or am I right?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
September 9, 2014 7:17 pm


Or maybe somethings just wind me up :)

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
September 10, 2014 11:55 am

DavidNiven said: “Could you not marry it up with a turboshaft engine to power some sort of tilt rotor? If they were inbedded in the wings you could dispense with the complicated folding mechanism on the Osprey.

An S3 Viking type aircraft fot the carriers? For AEW, ASuW, ASW and AAR.”

The planned Bell V-280 does something like that. The rotors tilt but the engines stay horizontal.

Liftfan technology is something that I would be keen to see exploited as far as is practical. Imagine it made smaller and applied to a Chinook – you could have a compound aircraft mixing shaft and thrust power as required. A dumpy carrier cargo/AEW/tanker with two jet engines and two lift fans. A UAV built around two lift fans at the front and one bendy jet nozzle at the rear. That sort of thing.

Beno
Beno
September 10, 2014 2:59 pm

I think the engineering on the lift system is just amazing. By rights the B should be the version that is WAAAAY behind and encountering problems left right and centre. It is so so complex when you consider the software and all the “transformer” parts.
It is undoubtedly the coolest, and rather the poster boy for the F35 program.
It hops on and off ships as if it were born to it.
The C continues to be a land lubba. ( Its going to need a hell of a range increase to reach ISIS from the continental US, LOL )
The B has totally failed so far to blow itself up ! ( sorry A but couldn’t resist )
Cost wise it continues to improve far beyond estimates. And I can’t help but mention it has exactly the same statistics in terms of top speed and RCS as the A (which the C cannot claim)
Critically it has some stupendous advantages thanks to good old RR in terms of austere basing, sortie rate and the ability to operate at higher sea states when a Nimitz shuts down.
I’m afraid I just refuse to accept that we have taken the cheap cop out decision by “being forced to choose STVOL” if that’s what is being implied.
Finally ON TOPIC I would love to see RR complete work on their engine F136 which was promising up to a possible ( staggering ) 35% fuel efficiency and a power increase. Then let’s see who has the best range speed and payload !
( lets not forget RR have already nearly doubled the F35’s power to weight ratio with the crazy contraption above before we dismiss claims from them )
Beno