EMALS for X-Mas & F-35C

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 02:20
by spazsinbad
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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RE: EMALS for XMAS & F-35C

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 02:26
by spazsinbad
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."

EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 04:02
by neptune
Maybe soon, we will see a C-130J as a COD. :twisted:

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 04:54
by SpudmanWP
Too big and would require clearing the decks to land. How about the C-27J?

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 05:03
by bjr1028
Maybe.

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 21 Dec 2010, 05:06
by geogen
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.

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2010, 00:21
by spazsinbad
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)"

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2010, 13:57
by f35phixer
can't wait to get CF-3 up there, bitter sweet though not really doing any MS work :wtf:

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2010, 23:20
by jetnerd
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.

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2010, 23:32
by spazsinbad
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.

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 22 Dec 2010, 23:57
by jetnerd
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.

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 01:25
by spazsinbad
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."

RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 05:11
by FlightDreamz
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:

Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 06:17
by munny
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.

RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 06:32
by spazsinbad
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."

Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 07:13
by geogen
spazsinbad wrote: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."


Awesome, Spazs! It would be a true honor if a member of Naval Air Systems Command had read my posted 'Airpower-thread' entry here on F-16.net: under "A Century of ship-operated Aviation". :salute:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-14750.html

From post: "14 Nov. 1910 - Civilian pilot Eugene Ely flew off the Light Cruiser USS Birmingham's makeshift wooden deck as a demonstration of capabilities in his cutting edge Curtiss Model D pusher... the first aircraft take-off from a ship."

RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 07:32
by spazsinbad
The first pic is said to be a landing (on original site) but I think it is clear it is a takeoff.

RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 07:49
by spazsinbad
Linear motor outperforms steam-piston catapults
Replacement for naval-aircraft launch system offers host of tactical and operational benefits
By Terrence Lynch, Northeast Technical Editor -- Design News, October 22, 1995

http://www.designnews.com/article/2503- ... apults.php

"...If approved for production, EMALS would bring a host of improvements to ship design and Naval aviation. With a maximum design thrust of 290,000 lbs, EMALS offers 28% greater launching capability than steam catapults. This improvement may allow flight operations regardless of whether the carrier is turned into the wind. That thrust is fully controllable, allowing compensation for wind gusts and more precise matching of thrust to aircraft weight than is possible with steam. Closed-loop control of thrust will produce less wear and tear on pilots as well as aircraft. By one study, the reduced stress from "soft starts" could extend airframe life as much as 31%."
__________________

http://dvice.com/archives/2010/12/electromagnetic-1.php

"...EMALS is a linear induction motor that's capable of accelerating a 100,000 pound aircraft to 240 miles per hour in the space of 300 feet."

RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 08:05
by madrat
If it works that well they should be using them for land-based takeoffs, too. Saves you a lot of fuel on takeoff. Does it give you time to put her back down on the same runway you took off from?

Re: RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 08:13
by geogen
First aircraft landing aboard ship (the armored cruiser Pennsylvania) by Ely...

Jan 18, 1911

http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/PART01.PDF

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 08:23
by geogen
And before there was EMALS... they needed to crawl. :)

12 November, 1912. The Navy’s first successful test launching
of an airplane by catapult was made at the
Washington Navy Yard by Lieutenant Theodore G.
Ellyson in the A-3.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 08:31
by spazsinbad
Another good source for Cat & Arrest & LSO information is here: http://www.robertheffley.com/docs/CV_environ/

Specifically for this next pic: http://www.robertheffley.com/docs/CV_en ... 685823.pdf

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 13:00
by StolichnayaStrafer
Imagine being in the first F-35C to make the first launch off of the Ford...

GO NAVY!!! :applause:

Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 16:02
by bjr1028
FlightDreamz wrote: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:


The QEs are electric ships which make them perfect for electromagnetic catapults. They would have to add an auxiliary boiler for stem cats. There's space for one in the design, but it easier to just plug them into the ship's power grid. The increase in reliability and launch rates doesn't hurt either.

The Nimitz-class on the other hand, would have to find a way to harness excess steam into electricity.

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2010, 16:07
by jetnerd
StolichnayaStrafer wrote:Imagine being in the first F-35C to make the first launch off of the Ford...

GO NAVY!!! :applause:


Just made me ask myself a question: will there be any serious compromises in fuel / loadout from F-35C's launching from Nimitz class carriers? On doing some quick math (source is Wikipedia, so take the #s for what they are), I am starting to think the opposite. Nimitz carrier ops will be normal, CVN 78 carrier ops more flexible with the greater launch energy from EMALS - i.e. maybe the 5kt over-the-bow launches will be possible. Plus room for internal "growth" (i.e. addition of directed energy weapons, more sensors, etc)

+ F/A-18E max launch wt ~ 66K lbs
- F-35C empty weight ~ 35K lbs
- F-35C Internal fuel ~ 20K lbs
- 2x 2000lb class weapons ~ 4K lbs
= ~ 6K lbs for AAMs, pilot

ps - Spazsinbad - thanks for the link on NavAv history and for finding that Sweetman article. Very interesting.

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 01:13
by FlightDreamz
Thanks to Spaz and bjr1028 for the info - much appreciated. So British carriers will accept the new catapults while the old Nimitz class carriers will not (pity). I knew that Englands carriers had room left in the design to accept catapults instead of being strictly STOVL capable, I didn't know WHICH catapult the design left room for.
And Spaz LOTS of useful infomation posted (more so than usual!) thanks for that. :)

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 01:46
by SpudmanWP
The new English carrier was dependent on an EMALs systems since it cannot make enough steam of the traditional one.

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 02:21
by spazsinbad
The CVF does not make any steam (except in the kitchens): http://frn.beedall.com/cvf6.htm
&
http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.u ... iance.aspx
_______________________

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Eliz ... ft_carrier

"Powerplant
The MoD decided not to use nuclear propulsion due to its high costs.[29] The carrier's propulsion system will be Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP). Electric power is generated at 11,000 volts by two Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 36 MW gas turbine generator units and four Wärtsilä Diesel Generator sets (two 9 MW and two 11MW sets). This power is used for both the electric propulsion system and the ship's domestic system. The electric power is used to drive four, Converteam, Advanced Induction Motors, two per shaft and situated in three separate compartments to improve survivability in the event of action damage or flooding. Each 20 MW motor is driven by a Converteam VDM 25000 pulse width modulated converter which produces a variable frequency output allowing the shaft speed to be controlled across the full operating range. The propulsion power management system is integrated fully with the ship's platform management system provided by L-3 Communications. This unique propulsion system eliminates the need for large gearboxes, is compact and by minimizing the number of running generating sets for a given speed is very fuel efficient.

The design places one gas turbine generator unit under each island in the starboard sponson. This relatively high placement removes the requirement for air downtakes/exhausts deep into the ship. Conversely, the Diesel Generator sets are mounted low down in the ship, the weight of these units contributing to the stability of the ship. The unrefuelled range of the carrier will be 10,000 nautical miles (18 520 km)."

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 18:46
by bjr1028
spazsinbad wrote:The CVF does not make any steam (except in the kitchens)


But there is space reserved for a donkey boiler for steam cats. EMAL/EMCATs is just the easier and better option.

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 20:15
by spazsinbad
Yeah there is going to be a lot of empty space on the CVFs.

Unread postPosted: 27 Dec 2010, 23:06
by spazsinbad
CGI STEAM Catapult F-35C shot in this LM Promo Video: Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhzyQEF4 ... r_embedded

"Produced for the July 28, 2009 roll-out ceremony for the first F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, this Lockheed Martin video includes a segment showing how the F-35C will look on the deck on a US Navy aircraft carrier when in enters servcie in 2015. The first F-35C, aircraft CF-1, is shown in the final stages of assembly and the video includes flight-test footage of the first F-35A, aircraft AA-1, & first F-35B, aircraft BF-1."

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 03:44
by spazsinbad
Info repeated with more specific info in the thread about 'ski jumps & F-35B':
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-360.html

http://www.navair.navy.mil/lakehurst/nlweb/ieeerevc.pdf (204Kb)

"Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System - EMALS
Michael R. Doyle, Douglas J. Samuel, Thomas Conway, Robert R. Klimowski
Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, NJ 08733

Abstract: With the proliferation of electromagnetic launch systems presently being designed, built, or studied, there appears to be no limit to their application. One of the intriguing applications is electromagnetically catapulting aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The U.S. Navy had foreseen the substantial capabilities of an electromagnetic catapult in the 1940's and built a prototype. However, it was not until the recent technical advances in the areas of pulsed power, power conditioning, energy storage devices, and controls gave credence to a fieldable electromagnetic aircraft launch system. This paper presents the U.S. Navy's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) being developed in partnership with Kaman Electromagnetics (Hudson, MA). It addresses the EMALS's present design and the technologies involved, as well as the ship and operational impacts, advantages, disadvantages, and compatibility issues for today's and tomorrow's carriers....

...One of the major advantages of electromagnetic launch is the ability to integrate into the all electric ship....

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 04:05
by spazsinbad
Good overview of EMALS development here:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/EMA ... ers-05220/

Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2011, 07:35
by neptune
SpudmanWP wrote:Too big and would require clearing the decks to land. How about the C-27J?


With the F-18E launch and the F-35C scheduled for EMAL at Lakehurst in 2011, I ran the numbers for the C-27J. and with 14+ ft extra wing and 1,000+ shp the "J" can carry 15000+ extra pay load. Probably needs a folding wing (lose payload?) and C-2 tail with a tailhook. But could definitely haul a crated F-135 aboard, at sea. :idea:

RE: Re: RE: EMALS and AAG at PAX.

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2011, 07:42
by spazsinbad
U.S. Navy Pauses to Correct Aircraft Launch System By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS 9 Mar 2011

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i= ... =SEA&s=TOP

"The new Electronic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) under development for the U.S. Navy took a "pause" to correct problems that appeared after the first test launch in December, a top Navy official said March 9.

The Navy conducted its first test launch of the system using a real aircraft, rather than a test load, on Dec. 21 at its catapult testing facility in Lakehurst, N.J. But no further flights have been made since the successful launch of an F/A-18E Super Hornet.

The problem, said Sean Stackley, the Navy's top acquisition official, was a "gap" between the motors as the system worked to accelerate the aircraft to launch speed.

The EMALS consists of a number of linear motors in series, Stackley explained. "In the handoff from motor to motor, as the aircraft is accelerating, there is a gap. That needs to be tuned."

The Navy and contractor General Atomics have been working on the system's software to cure the problem, Stackley said.

"We took a pause, we're coming back with corrections, and coming back with a system functional demonstration this month," he said during a hearing of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee of House Armed Services Committee.

Stackley made his remarks in response to a question by new chairman Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., about the system's progress.

The EMALS is a key element in the design and operation of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford. The ship is about 20 percent complete, according to testimony presented earlier March 9 by Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and the system is "on schedule to support delivery" of the carrier in September 2015.

The EMALS program has suffered numerous delays during its development, however, and is reported to have nearly exhausted the margin of error to deliver components on time to shipbuilder Northrop Grumman Newport News so they can be installed on the carrier. Further EMALS delays, one source said, could begin to impact the carrier's building schedule and threaten cost increases.

Along with the associated Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) aircraft recovery system, EMALS is expected to increase the pace of launch and recovery operations on the carrier by 25 percent.

"We are carefully watching components delivered to Newport News," Stackley said. "I think the risk is acceptable, absolutely."