The first magnetic launch of a naval aircraft took place a few days ago, 18 December, at NAVAIR Lakehurst, New Jersey. The electromagnetic aircraft launch system or EMALS was tested using a F-18 Super Hornet.
The new EMALS catapults will be installed into the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers as they enter the fleet. More than 722 launches of various test loads have been made from the EMALS catapult at the Lakehurst test facility at speeds up to 180 knots, which is the highest speed requirement for the system.
“This is a tremendous achievement not just for the ALRE (Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment) 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.”
Below is a You Tube video of the first launch and as Navy pilots are now more apt to say, “May the Force be with you!”