Earlier this week, the U.S. Navy began dead load testing the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EALS) on the Gerald R. Ford CVN 78. The electromagnetic slingshot launched an 80,000 pound dead load truck into the James River in Virginia. The truck reportedly weighed as much as a jet.
Even though the truck wasn’t airborne for too long before hitting the water, the test proved the slingshot system works proficiently.
“After enough testing, the system will eventually be used to launch jets from carrier ships. The reasoning behind the catapults is that they require considerably less space for a runway than a jet would normally need, important for the kind of mini-carriers the Navy is working on making a standard part of the fleet. And using electromagnets speeds it up even more while putting less stress on the jet (or truck) it sends up than the usual steam-powered aircraft catapult,” according to DC Inno.
To watch the launch video click here.