Monday, November 28, 2011

F-35 launches from EMALS

EMALS launch. Navy photo
LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The Navy launched an F-35C test aircraft with the new electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) in a Nov. 18 demonstration. The test of aircraft CF-3 provided an early opportunity to evaluate technical risks and began the process to integrate the carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter with the future carrier fleet aircraft launching system being developed for the new Gerald R. Ford class of carrier. Aircraft for years have used steam catapults, and the F-35C has completed more than 50 steam catapult launches. But EMALS uses magnetic fields to propel a carriage down a track, allowing a more gradual speed increase and reducing airframe stress. In the past year the EMALS team launched a T-45 Goshawk, an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, a C-2A Greyhound and several F/A-18 aircraft. (Source: NNS, 11/28/11) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home to the F-35 training center.