Naval Air: The Electromagnetic Marvel Actually Works

Archives

December 27, 2010: U.S. Navy plans to equip future aircraft carriers with electromagnetic catapults took a big step forward on December 18th when, for the first time, an electromagnetic catapult launched an F-18E (from a land base equipped with the test version of the catapult). Earlier this year, tests had been put on hold for a bit, while software problems were fixed. The mechanical aspects of the electromagnetic catapult were pretty much solved, but the test model the navy was working with has been having some serious problems with the control software.

The plan to put electromagnetic catapults into the next carrier (CVN 78, USS Ford) cannot be dropped, because the Ford is under construction, and a massive (and expensive) redesign would be needed to make room for the bulkier steam catapult.

EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) is preferred because it puts less stress on launched aircraft (it moves the aircraft forward more gradually), requires fewer people to operate, and is easier to maintain (not much plumbing, fewer mechanical parts and lots of sturdy electronics). The gentler treatment of launched aircraft now means that smaller aircraft can use the catapult.

 

 


Article Archive

Naval Air: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close