PDA

View Full Version : U. S. Navy Electromagnetic Aircraft Launcher



MFolks
12-21-2010, 07:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euLsg_viWW0

RB211
12-21-2010, 08:22 PM
Whats wrong with the steam catapults they use now?

Dr Stan
12-21-2010, 08:47 PM
Whats wrong with the steam catapults they use now?

When I toured the USS Intrepid in NY harbor several years ago there was a display of the "future US Navy aircraft carrier" which included the electromagnetic catapult. If my memory is correct they should be more energy efficient, more reliable, and can cycle faster than the current steam cats. It is anticipated it will be an improvement comparable to the change from hydraulic to steam cats.

precisionmetal
12-21-2010, 08:51 PM
Nothing wrong with steam, however electric catapults could potentially have many benefits:

No plumbing (gotta have wires though, of course)
VERY adjustable (with keystrokes instead of valves moving)
Probably a much lighter shuttle assembly which is easier to stop
Cleaner
Potentially less maintenance
etc.

..... and without the steam, think how much better you'd be able to see the aircraft than this:

http://www.muller.net/pete/pics/launch.jpg

:-)

Weston Bye
12-21-2010, 08:55 PM
This didn't seem as energetic as the I remember the steam catapaults being. Probably more precisely controlled, though.

jugs
12-21-2010, 09:20 PM
linear electric motors were developed by Eric Laithwaite
1950 onwards.

Another application HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEgU2klnXjc) @18sec & 50secs

john
:)

lazlo
12-21-2010, 09:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euLsg_viWW0

If anyone wants 2 minutes of their life back, skip to 1:50 of the video :)

Interesting concept, but like Wes says, it doesn't seem anywhere near as powerful as the steam catapults.
I wonder if the EM pulse from the linear rail affects the avionics?

Bruce Griffing
12-21-2010, 10:42 PM
I am guessing that it is a linear motor rather than a railgun. So I doubt that there are any significant fields by the time you are a few feet away from the track.

alanganes
12-21-2010, 10:51 PM
Whats wrong with the steam catapults they use now?


According to the description, clipped from the youtube video:

"Newer, heavier and faster aircraft will result in launch energy requirements approaching the limits of the steam catapult, increasing maintenance on the system. The system's technology allows for a smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier's ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter. EMALS will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms from lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles to heavy strike fighters."

Evan
12-22-2010, 12:15 AM
This didn't seem as energetic as the I remember the steam catapaults being. Probably more precisely controlled, though.


Very much more precisely controlled. The acceleration profile is entirely different. They have been testing it on land for some years now. The steam system produces a massive initial surge and then tails off as the cylinder volume grows and the pressure drops. The linear motors provides a smooth intitial pull and then ramp up the force exponentially. It is probably a much smoother ride and will make for better control. Normally the pilots don't even have their hands on the controls during the launch. With this system they may be able to keep hands on.

The steam system has a dedicated reactor just to produce steam for the catapult and a backup as well. The electric system will be able to use ship's power instead. I will guess that they are using flywheels to store energy that is then dumped via alternators to the linear motors. I also suspect that it will allow the ship to steam into the wind faster than before and that will reduce the amount of kick needed for launch.

.RC.
12-22-2010, 12:55 AM
Big boat that one :)

Weston Bye
12-22-2010, 06:08 AM
Very much more precisely controlled. The acceleration profile is entirely different. They have been testing it on land for some years now. The steam system produces a massive initial surge and then tails off as the cylinder volume grows and the pressure drops. The linear motors provides a smooth intitial pull and then ramp up the force exponentially. It is probably a much smoother ride and will make for better control. Normally the pilots don't even have their hands on the controls during the launch. With this system they may be able to keep hands on.

The steam system has a dedicated reactor just to produce steam for the catapult and a backup as well. The electric system will be able to use ship's power instead. I will guess that they are using flywheels to store energy that is then dumped via alternators to the linear motors. I also suspect that it will allow the ship to steam into the wind faster than before and that will reduce the amount of kick needed for launch.

Having been stationed on both the USS America (oil powered) and the USS Enterprise (massively overpowered nuclear), I can say that I saw no difference in catapault or steaming performance - both could steam effortlessly at 30 knots for days - except that the America needed to refuel. The aircraft needed 30 knots of headwind down the deck for launch, so the ships had to be capable of 30 knots in a dead calm for air ops.

The cats made use of superheated steam that, in addition to the initial surge from opening the valve, continued to expand as the shuttle advanced. The result was a force proportional to the needed load while increasing in velocity.

As to pilots launching with hands off the controls, I don't think so. The planes don't fly themselves. The second most critical time of flight is launch (the first most critical being landing) and the idea of groping for a flailing stick on launch is, well, silly. Indeed there are g-forces to be contended with, but the pilots train for such things, and the usual position for the stick is full back for maximum nose up rotation immediately off the cat with quick correction after leaving the deck. Excessive delay in correcting or inadvertent aileron movement could be disasterous.

The pilot (and other aircrew) does, however plant his head firmly against the headrest during the catapault launch.

The g-forces are similar during an arrested landing but in the opposite direction. THe launch and recovery (velocity change from 0 to 150 or 150 to 0knots) take place in about the same space. The pilot does not let go of the stick during these g-forces, as he must be in full control of the aircraft in the event of a bolter. (missed cable)


While on the ships I watched literally hundreds of launches and landings. Although I never had the personal experience of a catapault launch or arrested landing, I did have a flight in an RA-5C, and was impressed with the skill and stamina of the pilot. I found the flight strenuous just as a passenger.

Evan
12-22-2010, 08:47 AM
As to pilots launching with hands off the controls, I don't think so. The planes don't fly themselves.

The planes do indeed fly themselves. This is an excerpt from the launch operations sequence for the F-18.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/catapult.jpg

topct
12-22-2010, 09:25 AM
The planes do indeed fly themselves. This is an excerpt from the launch operations sequence for the F-18.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/catapult.jpg

Are those instructions from a flight sim?

"Salute (shift g)"?

Evan
12-22-2010, 09:47 AM
It is for a flight sim but the instructions are from the flight manual for the F-18. I was watching a video about carrier operations recently and they pointed out specifically that the pilot has a grab bar on some aircraft that he hangs onto to ensure he doesn't touch the controls.

lazlo
12-22-2010, 09:53 AM
Are those instructions from a flight sim?

"Salute (shift g)"?

LOL! This board keeps getting funnier! :)

If you Google "Catapult stroke hands-off" (http://lmgtfy.com/?q=catapult+stroke+hands-off) the very first link is that "Carrier Launch and Landing Sequence" Pdf that Evan quoted: instructions for Microsoft Flight Simulator :D


"All you need is: A PC Gaming Machine, Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold or the
Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe with Flight Simulator X Acceleration Expansion Pack."

topct
12-22-2010, 10:06 AM
It is for a flight sim but the instructions are from the flight manual for the F-18. I was watching a video about carrier operations recently and they pointed out specifically that the pilot has a grab bar on some aircraft that he hangs onto to ensure he doesn't touch the controls.

I only have Flight 2004 but even that seems to be fairly accurate as to certain aircraft operating instructions.

Evan
12-22-2010, 10:08 AM
Watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/d-edZjGM-JY?fs=1&hl=en_US

Dr Stan
12-22-2010, 10:33 AM
While on the ships I watched literally hundreds of launches and landings. Although I never had the personal experience of a catapault launch or arrested landing, I did have a flight in an RA-5C, and was impressed with the skill and stamina of the pilot. I found the flight strenuous just as a passenger.

While stationed on board the USS Coral Sea CVA-43 I was a passenger on a C-2 for a flight just east of Singapore and just north of the equator to Cubi Point Naval Air station. I too was very impressed with the pilot on take off, however he did not do that well on landing. I guess he was thinking in terms of an arresting wire when he made his first attempt at Cubi Point. We smacked the tarmac so hard I think we bounced back up to the level of the control tower. :eek: Had to come around again for a proper landing.

Evan
12-22-2010, 10:54 AM
I only have Flight 2004 but even that seems to be fairly accurate as to certain aircraft operating instructions.


It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.

precisionmetal
12-22-2010, 11:52 AM
The F-18 is, I believe, the first Navy aircraft with systems designed for hands-off launch. Its predecessor (F-14) was definitely hand flown during takeoff.

Auto-land systems have existed for many years, however to the best of my knowledge every single landing is always hand flown.

PM

Weston Bye
12-22-2010, 01:19 PM
Well. I confess ignorance, but then I was in the Navy after the time when "ships were made of wood and the men were made of iron", but during the time when men still flew airplanes.

Any other auto launchers, or is the F-18 the only one? Ah, the miracle of modern technology.
The plane I worked on in the Navy, the RA-5C, was the first true "fly-by-wire" aircraft, ahead of it's time, and a terrifying situation when pitch augmentation faltered - especially on final approach.

Evan
12-22-2010, 02:03 PM
Apparently it isn't a new procedure. The UK Blackburn Buccaneer was launched hands off in the 1950's.



Commander R. M 'Mike' Crosley DSC & Bar RN

This book covers the author's flying career from the finish of World War 2 until his final appointment as CO of the Naval Test Squadron at Boscombe Down. Having had an outstanding wartime record 'Mike' Crosley became heavily involved with the introduction of Britain's first carrier-borne jet aircraft. The book explains how modern techniques, such as the angled flight deck, steam catapult and deck-landing mirror sights were developed and tested. At Boscombe Down he developed the 'hand's-off' launch technique for the Buccaneer which saved it from probable cancellation at a very difficult time for British naval aviation. There is ample technical detail in this book for those who wish to get deeper into the subject and he pulls no punches in his response to the cancellation of the CVA01 project in the 1960's



http://www.faaba.co.uk/FAABA/FAABA_Books.htm


Obviously it doesn't require modern autopilot systems.

RB211
12-22-2010, 02:48 PM
The British as I understand were the first to develop autoland for an airliner on the Trident.
Collins Radio with Lockheed hired the engineers and created the first airplane in the USA to have autoland down to IIIC conditions with the L-1011.
From experienced pilots, some who are still lucky enough to fly the L1011 today when it is nearly extinct, proclaim the autopilot and autoland works better to this day than any of the newer systems.
Must be the Direct lift control allowing for precisely stabilized speed, pitch attitude and descent rate.
Would explain why it works better than anything newer since anything newer does not have DLC for reasons of fuel savings and lesser complexity.

PeteF
12-22-2010, 05:49 PM
It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.

By whom? A whiteboard is an "approved" training aid, and possibly more useful.

I have spent just under 20 hours this week alone in a $25 million full flight simulator which does an excellent job of simulating the real aircraft, however even they are deficient in certain areas. MS FS is a game and nothing more, while the modeling is amazing, I can assure you any resemblance between it/real aircraft is purely coincidental.

Weston Bye
12-22-2010, 06:56 PM
...and the usual position for the stick is full back for maximum nose up rotation immediately off the cat with quick correction after leaving the deck. Excessive delay in correcting or inadvertent aileron movement could be disasterous.

Memory failed me.

I went back and viewed several you-tubes of the "old days" and saw well modulated elevators during launch, with rotation only after the plane left the deck, indicating (to me) that that the stick was being held during the g-force of the launch. I was in error about full-up elevator, but many planes were fully "hands-on" during the launch.

Weston Bye
12-22-2010, 07:10 PM
Just gotta share...

http://zoome.jp/fatcat/diary/1284

So far, the best I've found of the RA-5C ops that I was most familiar with, and on the ship (Enterprise, CVAN-65) I was on, to boot.

Rousing music, too. And from a Japanese website, yet.

You guys may be getting tired of this.:D

wierdscience
12-22-2010, 08:01 PM
Watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/d-edZjGM-JY?fs=1&hl=en_US

Hehehe...hands off ....until about 5 feet off the end of the deck:)

Evan
12-22-2010, 08:44 PM
By whom?
MS FS is a game and nothing more, while the modeling is amazing, I can assure you any resemblance between it/real aircraft is purely coincidental.



The FAA doesn't think so. This runs Microsoft FS X Deluxe Edition and is a qualified PCATD.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/hotseat.jpg

http://www.techchee.com/2008/03/22/hotseats-faa-approved-flight-simulator/

PeteF
12-22-2010, 09:10 PM
Evan you may like to read this:



One of the most common misconceptions about Flight Training Devices (not simulators, which is another category) is that FAA (or other agency) approval is based primarily on flight models.

In fact, the FAA approves several levels of Flight Training Devices, and in most cases, a generic flight model--even one based on fictitious aerodynamic data--is sufficient. (For example, according to the FAA, “Levels 2 and 5 need control forces and control travel only of sufficient precision to manually fly an instrument approach.”)

The FAA is much more concerned about whether an FTD has controls such as flap and landing gear levers—no point-and-click mice allowed—than it is about the fidelity of a flight model.

Years ago, when I did my initial instrument rating, even back then we had analogue "procedure trainers" that could be used to teach and practice basic instrument procedures, and yes that time was able to be logged as well. Their resemblance to any real aircraft was essentially zero, nor did it need to be anything better. Indeed one could go further back again to the old Link Trainers (fortunately I've never had the "pleasure" though I have one available to me if I ever feel the need) which were even further removed from anything one was likely to see in the real world. Your assertions that these trainers need to accurately replicate real aircraft is completely false, nor does the FAA anywhere suggest they need to.

I will emphasise again, these "flight simulators" are nothing of the sort, they are games and anyone who believes they accurately replicate the real deal is kidding themselves. With a LOT of expensive hardware they're able to be used as basic procedures trainers that don't in any way rely on flight fidelity to function in that role.

precisionmetal
12-22-2010, 09:12 PM
Just gotta share...

http://zoome.jp/fatcat/diary/1284

So far, the best I've found of the RA-5C ops that I was most familiar with, and on the ship (Enterprise, CVAN-65) I was on, to boot.


The Vigi is a HUGE plane -- even though it doesn't have the span of the F-14 with wings full forward, it just looks gigantic. Might be because it was on the flight deck with A-7s and F-4s, and also because it's so darn long.

The Navy guys I know that flew in Vietnam all say that if they were heading to Subic for R&R, the guys in the Vigis were parked and already in the bar by the time they'd get there in the F-4. LOL!

The Artful Bodger
12-22-2010, 09:24 PM
You dont need much expensive hardware to build a flight simulator!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Antoinette_sim_1909.jpg/220px-Antoinette_sim_1909.jpg

PeteF
12-22-2010, 09:47 PM
You dont need much expensive hardware to build a flight simulator!

That looks like Link Mk I :D

When I joined the company I'm presently working for they showed me a Link trainer they had hooked up in a corner and said it was available "if I wanted to practice". I laughed thinking they were joking ... which didn't win me a lot of friends in the training department at the time as they were serious. Given the choice between booking time in $25 million flight simulator or POS link trainer it wasn't exactly a tough choice :rolleyes:

Despite my dismissing of the MSFS game, it does a remarkable job all things considered, indeed the graphics are much better than real simulators. However from my experience with them the handling is dumbed down a LOT to make it possible for the average Joe to fly them. Many things are uncannily accurate, many things are definitely not. The problem is unless the person had experience on the real aircraft or high fidelity simulator it's difficult to know where the facts end and the fiction begins. I've seen and heard many people who have been seduced into believing they're accurate in virtually all respects and that's definitely not the case.

Evan
12-22-2010, 10:28 PM
Evan you may like to read this:


It is still an approved training device that uses MS Flight sim. The flight Sim is very important for procedure training, especially such items as ATC comm, radio operation etc, and learning to trust your instruments on IFR. I said it is approved and it is. For that reason the descriptions of aircraft operating procedures are taken directly from the manuals. I am fully aware that the purpose of the flight sims in that class are to familiarize one with the operation of the aircraft, not how to fly it. One of these days when I am in Vancouver next I am going to book some time on one of Air Canada's class D flight simulators. When they aren't busy they make them available to the public at reasonable rates.

BTW, I have "flown" a Link many years ago. On my first attempt I managed to take off, climb to altitude, do a procedure turn and land back on the runway. No flight sims back then either, just a very good instructor.


handling is dumbed down a LOT to make it possible for the average Joe to fly them By default, yes. It is adjustable to a real flight model.


Your assertions that these trainers need to accurately replicate real aircraft is completely false, nor does the FAA anywhere suggest they need to.


Where did I ever say that?

PeteF
12-22-2010, 11:12 PM
By default, yes. It is adjustable to a real flight model.

You may think it is, and you believe whatever you like, what I can say, based of having flown many thousands of hours in the real heavy aircraft they model, is it does not actually model the real aircraft accurately. If it did, airlines wouldn't spend 10s of millions of dollars on flight simulators!!!


Where did I ever say that?

Well, right here Evan :rolleyes:


It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.

No it doesn't, nor is it.


The FAA doesn't think so.

No they don't think that at all.

Evan
12-22-2010, 11:59 PM
Well, right here Evan


Quote:
It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.


Short on reading comprehension?

the statement in context:


I only have Flight 2004 but even that seems to be fairly accurate as to certain aircraft operating instructions.

ME: It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.

Flight sim fidelity was never mentioned by me or anybody else. You brought it up apropos of nothing.


The FAA doesn't think so.


No they don't think that at all.

Yes they do. Again, nobody mentioned the flight model until you did. They approved it as a PCATD, which is what I wrote.

Roy Andrews
12-23-2010, 12:37 AM
while i can't comment on simulation i have 10 years on carriers. Forrest fire, Nimitz and Carl Vinson. most of that on the flight deck. the steam cats are very violent and the linear electrics will be much nicer to the aircraft. the steam cats require a ton of maint and cause many fires. the most limiting thing though is the fact that even with nuclear power it is hard to maintain enough steam for rapid heavy launching. when doing Alpha strikes we were always limited and had to shuffle light aircraft into the mix to maintain launch rates. hands off launching is the norm for high speed jet aircraft. f4s and f14s suffered a lot of losses due to stalls and pilot induced oscillations. while pilots are allowed to lands hands on if they request it the norm is hands off. in bad weather it is required in all cases.

PeteF
12-23-2010, 12:46 AM
Flight sim fidelity was never mentioned by me or anybody else. You brought it up apropos of nothing.

Yes they do. Again, nobody mentioned the flight model until you did. They approved it as a PCATD, which is what I wrote.

Evan this is clearly an area in which you know nothing about, though I notice as per usual you'll try to argue regardless. For your information fidelity MEANS accuracy in this respect. THIS is what you wrote Evan, nothing wrong with my comprehension I can assure you


It has to be very accurate. It is approved for ground training.

MSFS does NOT have to accurate to be approved. Indeed in my experience it is NOT especially accurate in many respects, despite what you may like to think. I labour that point because I see many people, yourself apparently included, who feel that since they can "fly" a game they would be equally capable of flying the real thing. In fact I'd suggest that is a long way from reality.

Now as fascinating as it may be to see you once again trying to weasel your way out of inaccurate statements in another area where you clearly know zero about yet try to pretend the complete opposite, I'm afraid I have to continue preparing for my check ride tomorrow so I'll leave you to argue with yourself to your heart's content!

Evan
12-23-2010, 01:16 AM
You definitely have a comprehension issue. The only accuracy I have mentioned is in respect of the flight manual. I have not addressed the fidelity of the flight model and have no reason to do that. You are the only one writing about it so what we have is the sound of one hand clapping. As usual, the only sound it makes is is a faint whistling sound as it completely misses the point.

I have no idea why you are trying to turn this into an argument but it is your typical behaviour. So far there is no argument, just a lot of noise from your corner that isn't relevant to the discussion.

If you would like to discuss the utility and accuracy of the flight manuals included with MS flight Sim then we might have something to speak about. I don't care about the flight model as I don't use the program or even have a copy. The manuals however are licensed directly from the aircraft manufacturers so it is a pretty good bet that they are accurate, which is what I said in the first place. If you had read the first few posts then you should have realized what the discussion is about. If you did read them and don't understand the context you should probably give up flying. If you do understand the context then you are simply trolling.

The Artful Bodger
12-23-2010, 01:38 AM
BTW, I have "flown" a Link many years ago. On my first attempt I managed to take off, climb to altitude, do a procedure turn and land back on the runway. No flight sims back then either, just a very good instructor.


You landed the Link? Now that must have been a cool experience, I am not familiar with any of the Link versions but I was under the impression that all you would have been able to confirm was that the aircraft was somewhat on the runway. Did they have any provision to indicate if you landed below the runway or stalled in from 50'?

Still, it is really satisfying to learn some new skill especially something like flying. On my first solo I found myself at about 3000' with no power but the airfield was in sight though slightly upwind. I was able to gain some altitude using my knowledge of orographic lift then make a dash for the airfield arriving overhead with plenty in hand to head downwind and to turn onto final approach with such a margin above the glide slope that I had to dump a lot of lift to hit the runway threshold. There was only one wheel down but that was enough and the wingtip did not hit the ground until I had stopped.

My waiting instructor congratulated me but scarsely anyone else seemed to notice anything noteworthy.

PeteF
12-23-2010, 01:47 AM
You landed the Link? Now that must have been a cool experience, I am not familiar with any of the Link versions but I was under the impression that all you would have been able to confirm was that the aircraft was somewhat on the runway. Did they have any provision to indicate if you landed below the runway or stalled in from 50'?

You're quite right, but let's not spoil Evan's fantasy.

Incidentally Evan, the procedures trainers are typically based on a generic aircraft, aircraft manuals and the accuracy (or otherwise) are completely irrelevant and have even less to do with the situation than the flight modeling fidelity. But of course in your vast experience in the area you'd know that :rolleyes:

Evan
12-23-2010, 02:20 AM
You landed the Link? Now that must have been a cool experience, I am not familiar with any of the Link versions but I was under the impression that all you would have been able to confirm was that the aircraft was somewhat on the runway. Did they have any provision to indicate if you landed below the runway or stalled in from 50'?


I don't recall what model it was but it did keep track of altitude, airspeed and chart position. It was all plotted on a flat bed plotter during the exercise including your position on a map sheet in the plotter. At least I have "flown" one, unlike Pete. :rolleyes:


Incidentally Evan, the procedures trainers are typically based on a generic aircraft, aircraft manuals and the accuracy (or otherwise) are completely irrelevant ...

Sure. Unless you happen to be studying to actually fly a real aircraft. You know, the kind that has certain limits like stall and Vne.

I see that you may have realized your error and are now trying to weasle out of admitting it. Too late.

dfw5914
12-23-2010, 02:42 AM
Mention of the AutoLand system reminds me of a list of humorous log book entries and the corresponding maintenance action entry:

Defect:
AutoLand landing very rough.

Corrective action:
This aircraft not equipped with AutoLand.

PeteF
12-23-2010, 03:00 AM
I
Sure. Unless you happen to be studying to actually fly a real aircraft. You know, the kind that has certain limits like stall and Vne.

I see that you may have realized your error and are now trying to weasle out of admitting it. Too late.

This just keeps getting more bizarre by the minute. Give it up Evan, you're just digging yourself deeper and deeper into the NFI hole. Evan for the final time, these are NOT Flight Simulators, they are procedure trainers. They DO NOT simulate any particular aircraft, if you'd actually been in one, or even seen one for that matter, you would know that. Why do you argue about this when you clearly don't know anything about the subject? It's just bizarre :rolleyes:

Ian B
12-23-2010, 05:09 AM
fwiw, Evan's correct that the Buccaneers were launched from carriers with the pilot's hands off the stick - I think this came about after a pilot pulled back on the stick too early and stalled the plane. Can't comment on any other aircraft.

Lovely aircraft, I worked on the full scale fatigue test rig at the end of the 1980's at BAE's Brough plant.

Ian

Evan
12-23-2010, 06:14 AM
This just keeps getting more bizarre by the minute. Give it up Evan, you're just digging yourself deeper and deeper into the NFI hole. Evan for the final time, these are NOT Flight Simulators, they are procedure trainers. They DO NOT simulate any particular aircraft, if you'd actually been in one, or even seen one for that matter, you would know that. Why do you argue about this when you clearly don't know anything about the subject? It's just bizarre

Who said anything about them being flight simulators (other than you)? Aircraft manuals for specific aircraft contain procedures specific to that aircraft. There isn't much point in drilling a student on lowering the landing gear when he is flying an aircraft with fixed gear.

You really are sounding desperate today. You need to relax and enjoy Christmas. At least you have given up arguing with yourself over the fidelity or lack of it of the flight models. :rolleyes:

Weston Bye
12-23-2010, 06:54 AM
The Vigi is a HUGE plane -- even though it doesn't have the span of the F-14 with wings full forward, it just looks gigantic. Might be because it was on the flight deck with A-7s and F-4s, and also because it's so darn long.

The Navy guys I know that flew in Vietnam all say that if they were heading to Subic for R&R, the guys in the Vigis were parked and already in the bar by the time they'd get there in the F-4. LOL!

Yep, 66,000 lbs launch weight, the heaviest plane launched or recovered from a carrier. They didn't call the squadrons Reconnaisance Heavy Attack ( RVAH-13 was my squadron) for nothing.

The planes were fast, too, as you noted. They were equipped with the same J-79 engines the F-4s had, but were more aerodynamic and had huge fuel capacity so they could spend a lot of time in afterburner, and on a good day exceed Mach 2. During my one ride, out of Subic Bay, we spent 4-5 minutes at Mach 1. On recon flights over Viet Nam it was customary for the Phantom escort pilots to beg the Vigi pilots to slow down.

krutch
12-27-2010, 05:24 PM
Should they perfect these launchers and put them into service, the chance of cooking the launch crew when steam pipes rupture will be reduced. It doesn't happen often, but has in the past and will in the future. I never was around any cat systems, but I know that any time steam systems are used there is a possibility of burst pipes or joints and live steam will cook ya quick. And with the pressures and impulse jolts used with catapult launchers it could cut someone in half. Any shipboard job is dangerous. If the new system works, safety will be one of the benefits for the crew.

Roy Andrews
12-28-2010, 12:13 PM
to the best of my knowledge the A3 skywarrior that we on the fight deck referred to as the whale was the heaviest plane launched and recovered. at 82,000+ it was indeed a whale. it also held the distinction of most landing crashes due to that weight and the slow speeds required for landing. the Tomcat also regularly launched over 70,000 with a max i ever saw of 73,500. the Vigis were before my time so i have no direct experience with them but i have read 63,000 was there max launch weight.

Evan
12-28-2010, 12:44 PM
The heaviest plane to land and take off from a carrier was the C130 at 121,000 lbs. It didn't need a hook or the catapult and was actually able to land full stop and then take off without repositioning. It also didn't need RATO but I have seen them in action and with RATO it will take off in about 150 feet. The main factor that allows the C130 to take off in such short distances is the blown flap system. The engine exhausts are deflected down by the flaps and that produces a lot of direct lift. For landing they use Beta prop for braking and can easily land on a football field. The C130 is one of a few aircraft that can back up when taxiing.

http://www.theaviationzone.com/factsheets/c130_forrestal.asp

The Artful Bodger
12-28-2010, 01:55 PM
The B170 Bristol Freighter was a very common sight in NZ skies for several decades.

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:bVz9VfoR8qiZsM:http://i104.photobucket.com

Read more about them at
http://rnzaf.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=Airshows&action=print&thread=11951

With a typical 30knot wind straight down the runway at Wellington they could do a vertical takeoff merely by turning into wind and cracking the throttles open. Landings were a pin point affair.

The aircraft may have changed but the winds at Wellington International are still the same...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_LaAkAyoz0

Weston Bye
12-28-2010, 02:42 PM
Well, there we go. Another fond squadron ledgend dispelled. I should have known about the A-3 Whale, as that plane was originally used in the VAH/RVAH squadrons before they went to RA-5C's. Indeed, they were refitted and passed over to electronic warefare squadrons, and a few operated off the America while I was aboard, but I never knew the weight.

The F-14's were after my time, but I am not surprised at their weight.

The C130, though technically the heaviest to land and takeoff from a carrier, was a one-time experiment - just a couple of takeoff/landings according to the article Evan referenced, from a naked deck - never in an operational capacity, certainly never on the ships I served on.

Evan
12-28-2010, 04:45 PM
Twenty nine touch and goes plus 21 full stop landings and take offs both empty and fully loaded in heavy seas. That's a bit more than "just a couple". They proved the practicality of it but they didn't like the margin of error since the wing came within 15 feet of the bridge.

You can bet that the testing hasn't been forgotten and that the C130 is an alternative that will be used if the need arises. It can deliver 25,000 lbs to a ship 2,500 miles away, something that is impossible with any other carrier rated aircraft.

lazlo
12-28-2010, 05:54 PM
Well, there we go. Another fond squadron ledgend dispelled.

Yes, but you were probably much more productive in the three hours he spent Googling something he could contradict you with.

Evan
12-28-2010, 05:59 PM
I have had the wings off C130s. I know the history Robert. You are one to talk being the Google Child Exemplar.

lazlo
12-28-2010, 06:07 PM
I have had the wings off C130s.

In the 12 months you were a helicopter airframe bullet-hole patcher in the bay area?

So you were involved in the C-130 experiment on the Forrestal? And that's why you're quoting Microsoft Flightsim manuals to refute veterans who served on the carriers?

Weston Bye
12-28-2010, 06:08 PM
...You can bet that the testing hasn't been forgotten and that the C130 is an alternative that will be used if the need arises...

...Yep, after 46 years, and no publicicized attempts since then, but it's still possible... 'Course, they could always launch a second Dolittle Raid with B-25 Mitchell bombers if the need arises, as they have recreated that event.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_Raid

I wonder if they train regularly with the C-130's for such contingencies. Even that's possible, as they used to paint carrier decks and have arresting gear (not necessary, in this case) on some Naval Air Station runways... probably still do... maybe.

Evan
12-28-2010, 06:30 PM
You can really be an idiot Robert. I worked in the aircraft industry for four years after I was in the military. I have worked on numerous aircraft types from homebuilts to business jets to transports. You already know this.

I also didn't quote any manuals to refute anybody that served on a carrier.

lazlo
12-28-2010, 06:34 PM
I have had the wings off C130s In the 12 months you were a helicopter airframe bullet-hole patcher in the bay area? You can really be an idiot Robert.

Wow, resorting to ad hominem in the second post! I'll get the popcorn! :)


I worked in the aircraft industry for four years after I was in the military.

So you had the wings off C-130's after you left the military? :confused: