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“Meatball” Landing System Arrives at Patriots Point

Mayci Rechner Oct 07, 2021

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime museum can now proudly display a Mirror Optical Landing System (“meatball”) on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. This important piece of aircraft carrier technology has found a home at Patriots Point thanks to the USS Yorktown Foundation.

The Mirror Optical Landing System was essential to aircraft landing aboard the ship. It uses a combination of lights and a concave mirror to present a reflected ball of light, confirming the pilot is in the appropriate descending altitude for a safe landing. This piece of equipment is nicknamed “meatball” because the ball of light is amber in color.

The addition of the “meatball” aboard the Yorktown will give visitors a more comprehensive view of the precision required to land a plane on an aircraft carrier like the Yorktown.

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