EMALS for X-Mas & F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 02:20

Navy’s magnetic launch system a success By Christopher P. Cavas Dec 20, 2010

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/12/n ... ss-122010/

"The U.S. Navy’s new electro-magnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) — perhaps the most critical unproven element in the first new aircraft carrier design in four decades — launched its first aircraft Dec. 18, manufacturer General Atomics has confirmed.

The launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet supersonic strike fighter took place at Naval Air System Command’s facility at the Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N. J., Navy officials confirmed. One launch was conducted on Dec. 18, while several more launches took place the following day.

A lot is riding on the successful development of the new launch system. EMALS is a critical piece of technology that will be installed in the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, the first of which is now under construction. If the system isn’t ready in time, the Navy would have to revert to older steam catapults to launch aircraft from the ships, a move which would mean costly delays and re-designs.

An official announcement by the Navy confirming the launches is expected to be released Dec. 20.

More than 722 launches of test loads have been made at the Lakehurst facility this year, at speeds up to 180 knots, the highest end-speed requirement for the system.

Other Navy carrier aircraft, including C-2 carrier-on-board-delivery (COD) and T-45 Goshawk jet trainers, will be part of the EMALS test program in 2011, said Rob Koon, a spokesman for NAVAIR."


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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 02:26

Navy launches first aircraft using EMALS

http://www.navair.navy.mil/NewsReleases ... ew&id=4468

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – The Navy made history Saturday when it launched the first aircraft from the Naval Air Systems Command, Lakehurst, N.J., test site using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, technology.

The Navy has been using steam for more than 50 years to launch aircraft from carriers. Saturday, the Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) program launched an F/A-18E Super Hornet using the EMALS technology that will replace steam catapults on future aircraft carriers.

“This is a tremendous achievement not just for the ALRE team, but for the entire Navy,” said Capt. James Donnelly, ALRE program manager. “Saturday’s EMALS launch demonstrates an evolution in carrier flight deck operations using advanced computer control, system monitoring and automation for tomorrow’s carrier air wings.”

EMALS is a complete carrier-based launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford [CVN 78] and future Ford-class carriers.

“I thought the launch went great,” said Lt. Daniel Radocaj, the test pilot from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) who made the first EMALS manned launch. “I got excited once I was on the catapult but I went through the same procedures as on a steam catapult. The catapult stroke felt similar to a steam catapult and EMALS met all of the expectations I had.”

The current aircraft launch system for Navy aircraft carriers is the steam catapult. Newer, heavier and faster aircraft will result in launch energy requirements approaching the limits of the steam catapult system.

The mission and function of EMALS remain the same as the steam catapult; however, EMALS employs entirely different technologies. EMALS will deliver the necessary higher launch energy capacity as well as substantial improvements in system weight, maintenance, increased efficiency, and more accurate end-speed control.

“I felt honored to be chosen as the Shooter to help launch the first live aircraft tested on the new EMALS track at Lakehurst,” said Chief Petty Officer Brandon Barr, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Test Department, Lakehurst. “It was very exciting to knowingly be a part of naval aviation history. Petty Officers 1st Class Hunsaker and Robinson, Petty Officers 2nd Class Williams, Wong, and Simmons, were the sailors on my team who worked together to help make this test a success. We all look forward to seeing this cutting edge technology deployed on the Gerald R. Ford."

“I’m excited about the improvement EMALS will bring to the fleet from a capability and reliability perspective,” said Cmdr. Russ McCormack, ALRE, PMA-251, deputy program manager for future systems. “EMALS was designed for just that purpose, and the team is delivering that requirement.”

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.

The system will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned to heavy strike fighters.


Engineers will continue system functional demonstration testing at NAVAIR Lakehurst. The team will expand aircraft launches with the addition of T-45 and C-2 aircraft next year."
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neptune

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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 04:02

Maybe soon, we will see a C-130J as a COD. :twisted:
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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 04:54

Too big and would require clearing the decks to land. How about the C-27J?
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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 05:03

Maybe.
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Unread post21 Dec 2010, 05:06

Thankfully... As a consolation to the already massive costs of Ford class CVN, it has to be welcome news.

Now if General Atomics can only stretch that electro-magnetic track to say, oh... DC and perhaps northward to Boston. They could get into the high-speed rail industry as an offshoot!

God speed.
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Unread post22 Dec 2010, 00:21

Navy launches first aircraft using EMALS VIDEO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euLsg_viWW0

"LAKEHURST, N.J. (Dec. 16, 2010) The Navy launches the first aircraft, an F/A-18E Super Hornet, from the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) at Naval Air Systems Command, Lakehurst, N.J. The Navy has used steam catapults for more than 50 years to launch aircraft from aircraft carriers. EMALS is a complete carrier-based launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford [CVN 78] and future Ford-class carriers. 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. The first ship components are on schedule to be delivered to CVN 78 in 2011. (U.S. Navy video/Released)"
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Unread post22 Dec 2010, 13:57

can't wait to get CF-3 up there, bitter sweet though not really doing any MS work :wtf:
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Unread post22 Dec 2010, 23:20

I am curious about Lt. Radocaj's comment, "The catapult stroke felt similar to a steam catapult." I am sure he was speaking generally, and this is only EMALS 1st A/C launch, and I'm sure there will be more detailed comments later on the beneftis of the new system for PR sake.

That being said, My brother served as a carrier pilot on Nimitz class carriers & Enterprise and remarked a few times to me that, from the cockpit, the cat stroke feels more more gradual, less brutal on the newer carriers. (he mentioned neck problems as a regular hazard among aviators) I know one of the many benefits of the EMALS system would be a similar leap in the ability to fine-tune the cat stroke to possibly mitigate the stress on airframes and pilots during launch as well as be able to launch smaller loads (i.e. UAV's).

I was hoping Lt. Radocaj might have hinted about any positive differences in how it felt, and I hope successive testing will bear that out in future comments from those testing. I believe EMALS will revolutionize carrier ops in ways we might not even predict yet because of all the doors it opens - not just from being able to throw a combat-loaded F-35C into the air with only 5kts over the bow.
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Unread post22 Dec 2010, 23:32

jetnerd: "...being able to throw a combat-loaded F-35C into the air with only 5kts over the bow." Where does that detail come from please? Thanks.
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Unread post22 Dec 2010, 23:57

Spazsinbad -

I should have qualified that remark, sorry. I was only speaking (hyperbolically) in terms of some of the original design requirements / touted benefits to EMALS. I meant to make no claim of knowledge of on any specifications or performance, just to speak generally towards the intended ability to throw heavier loads into the air in sometimes less-than-ideal conditions.
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Unread post23 Dec 2010, 01:25

jetnerd - fair enough - just curious - I'm always on the lookout for public NavAv F-35 details. Here is a 100th US NavAv Catapult Video:

100th Anniversary First Shipboard Launch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqD3l135hlU

"Courtesy: Naval Air Systems Command

Watch the first shipboard aircraft takeoff anniversary event held at Patuxent River, Md., that commemorated the day Eugene Ely took off in a Curtiss pusher from USS Birmingham Nov. 14, 1910."
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Unread post23 Dec 2010, 05:11

It's my understanding that there are no plans to retrofit the EMAL on carriers built before the U.S.S. Ford (the Ford not needing a retrofit as CVN-78 and up have it built in from the start - obviously). But I wonder how much that would take to replace the steam catapult with an EMAL. I understand electrical power is one possible stumbling block (and limits Britain's carrier(s) to steam if I'm not mistaken). :shrug:
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Unread post23 Dec 2010, 06:17

spazsinbad wrote:100th Anniversary First Shipboard Launch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqD3l135hlU


I had no idea superbugs had serated panel edges. Makes it a little cooler that australia has em.
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Unread post23 Dec 2010, 06:32

FlightDreamZ, the modified for EMALS (probably made by Converteam) for CVF will not have a power issue. STEAM is a PROBLEM for the CVF because it does not have it. Anyway here is something found about F-35 & EMALS for USN by BS - of all people:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 228803.xml

"Emals will deliver energy more flexibly than Nimitz-class steam catapults. The F-35C Joint Strike Fighter demands more launch energy than the F/A-18E/F, and Emals will allow the Ford to launch the JSF at maximum weight with less wind-over-deck."
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