U.S. Navy Testing The Extremely Powerful Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System

We’ve all seen footage of the Navy’s aircraft carriers slinging planes ...

We’ve all seen footage of the Navy’s aircraft carriers slinging planes off the end of the deck using the power of the steam catapult built under the deck. This system works well and has been used for decades, but as with most everything, technology has created a new way of doing things, and our military is at the forefront of this new tech.

Using high powered electromagnets, the new catapult system has far fewer moving parts and generates more pulling power than the steam-powered system. The Navy had a demonstration aboard the PCU Gerald R. Ford, the newest in the naval fleet, to show off the new launch system. Using weighted carts to reproduce the weight of the aircraft it will be launching, the new system – dubbed EMALS for Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System – sent the carts flying off the end of the vessel at impressive speeds, even causing one of them to “skip” across the surface of the water below. The new EMALS catapult has higher capacity, increased reliability, and more efficiency than the outgoing steam system. It will also allow better control over the acceleration and top speed of the hook over the previous design, meaning the speed can be adjusted based on the requirements for each aircraft.

The new design also takes up less space beneath the deck of the aircraft carrier and weighs far less, providing an overall benefit to the whole vessel in weight and space savings. This design will be implemented on all future carriers in the naval fleet and will be able to launch all current and future aircraft that will be launched from the deck. We can’t wait to see the finished design in action sending our naval aviators into the air with little more than an electric hum to send them skyward.

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