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Subject: Bridle launch techniques
DropBear    8/15/2005 1:59:11 AM
Can somebody explain to me why the CDG doesn't have protruding bridle launch bar pontoons similar to older USN carrier designs? The French operate the Super Etendard in this way, whilst the newer Rafale uses conventional nose gear launch equipment. I have noticed through pictures and models that the CDG has only a relatively small netting device and this doesn’t seem adequate. Or is it? Older designs on USN carriers had both the fore and angled decks covered with pontoons that stuck out substantially, in order to collect the rather valuable bridle once it had fallen away from the plane/catapult. Does anyone have any thoughts on this apparent lack, or why the French Navy can afford to lose/replace said bridle after every Super-E launch?
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violentnuke    no more 100 launches, then back to portRE:Bridle launch techniques - Thanks guys   8/29/2005 12:04:32 PM
IT were a scandal in the 80s that they could not do more than 100 launches and had to go back to port to get bridles and repair the equipment!
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Hibou    RE:no more 100 launches, then back to portBridle launch techniques - Thanks guys   8/29/2005 3:10:11 PM
Once again Violentnuke I cannot let you write this bull. In the 80's, all the aircraft were launched by bridle (etendard and Alize), so about 50 cat shots a day. Do you really thing the carrier was going back to port every 2 days??? It's true there was a limited cat shot number before a regular check-up of the catapult but it was a lot more than 100. But why do you really think they would take bridles onboard only 100 by 100 ???? That make no sense, there is room for thousands !!! Hope you are a bit enlighted now ?
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DropBear    Why stock so many???   9/2/2005 1:00:25 AM
Why not just have a couple of dozen that can be reused more than once and have appropriate netting pontoons like older USN boats? Surely the French Navy could employ one of their crew to collect the bridles in between launch/recovery slots? Doesn't seem cost effective to just lose good metal into the ocean. Recycle, recycle, recycle.
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nominoe    RE:Why stock so many???   9/5/2005 5:40:01 AM
i can answer, though i'm not a specialist i saw on TV that the bridle is actually lost after each launch. in fact, they explained that the bridle is not safe for more thant one launch, it's a matter of security. bridles are cheaper than planes after all :) about the stock, bridles are not very large, i don't think it's a problem to have many of them onboard. i think you will go out of kerosene before going out of bridles.
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violentnuke    RE:Why stock so many???   9/5/2005 3:26:34 PM
I dunno, what I remember is launches were in the hundreds, not thousands order. or was it a rumor within the French Navy to make for more funding? It certainly were a criticism amongst circles. It had to do with catapults and the bridle technique limitation.
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caseydoo    US NAVY Carriers   5/1/2009 12:17:08 PM
I worked on catapult crews abourd the USS America, USS Forrestal & USS Saratoga during the 80's. From 1979 on, the only aircraft that used bridle launching were the F-4 Phantom & the A-3 Vigilante (Whale). All other aircraft used a nosewheel mounted hydraulically actuated bar to attach to the shuttle. As for bridle retrieval & the "potoons" at the end of the cat track: The bridles had ropes tied to the eyebolt ends and both sides of the throat. These were tied to small brass sliders that were attached to a 3.19mm x 57.16mm copper strap that ran through a brass track either side of the catapult. When the shuttle was launched, the bridle ropes pulled the strap out to the end of its track (at the pontoon) and it stopped, thus catching the bridle. When the shuttle retract mechanism (the "grab") was sent foward to attach to the shuttle, it hit a sensor switch that activated the retraction of the copper starp, pulling the bridle back to launch position. Bridles were reused for up to 100 launches (their lifespan) and then they were logged out and thrown overboard.  We CQ'd (carrier qualified) French F-8's in '83 during a NATO exercise. I had never worked with that bird before as it was retired from US inventories. I did hold back, and it scared the crap out of me. You have to lie on your back with the holdback pendant up between your legs and on top of your chest. They taxi the bird up within inches around you untilit's lined up for launch. You open the small door on the belly and slip the end of the holdback bar in. When they take tension, and go to full trhottlr, the bird squats down, and almost crushes you. You have to fight to get out from underneath. I dreaded an accident as I was sure I would die under there.
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french stratege       5/1/2009 12:32:47 PM
A bridle cost a very small part of the cost of an hour of jet flight.Much less than the fuel only.
Having resuable bridle means better and more costly bridles and some men for managing them and checking them which adds cost of manpower.Useless I think.
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DropBear       5/9/2009 5:43:45 AM
Interesting insight. Thanks." align="absMiddle" border="0" alt="" />
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