First F-35C launch from EMALS Posted by Curt on 1 December, 2011 at 9:33 am. 7 comments already! CurtSee author page John Cooper says: December 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm And what, may I ask, is the supposed advantage of an electro-magnetic catapult system over the traditional steam-powered system? Aircraft carriers already have lots of steam available, but not the huge battery and capacitor banks necessary for an EMALS. Oh wait, maybe the Navy is going to tile the decks with solar panels and advertise this new system as “sustainable aircraft launching”. That would fit right in with the previous efforts of the Obama administration like Solyndra et. al. Indigo Red says: December 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm The advantages are numerous and become obvious very quickly. Defense Industry Daily has an excellent explanation – http://tinyurl.com/nr3qye John Cooper says: December 2, 2011 at 2:44 am Thanks for the link to the interesting article. I’ve gotta’ say, though, it read like an advertisement for the EMALS, not an assessment. I wasn’t aware that the U.S. is planning to build NON-nuclear aircraft carriers which wouldn’t have steam available. If that’s the case, then EMALS might make sense. But for 80,000 lbs. one could certainly install a packaged boiler to supply the traditional catapult, I think. The only other advantage mentioned was, “reduced maintenance”. Really? Well that remains to be seen, but what about the important issue: reliability? And I wonder…If the EMALS motor generator set fails, is there a backup? I also wonder about the huge magnetic fields which must be produced by the EMALS. Will that have any effect on the aircraft themselves? I assume modern fighters still have a mag compass for backup. As you can probably tell, I’m not an advocate of abandoning a tried-and-true system for something untested. Reaganite Republican says: December 4, 2011 at 9:50 am Linked Lockheed-Martin’s VTOL Carrier Version of the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35C) Takes Flight Concerned says: December 13, 2011 at 5:40 am Steam catapults have evolved over the last 50 years and have a proven critical failure reliability of .999 with a confidence level of 95%. This has been demonstrated with a total of over 13 million steam catapult launches on all US steam catapults over all years since inception. In other words steam catapults are very, very, reliable. US Navy aircraft carriers are built for a service life of 50 years. The ships nuclear reactors require very expensive (billions) recore periodically. The early ship reactor designs required required recore after approx 15 yrs. This interval has increased to approx 25 yrs with newer designs. Therefore, currently only one reactor recore is required during the projected service life of the ship. Note: Steam catapults were redesigned in the 1990’s with 21 inch dia power cylinders vs 18 inch (called fat cats), which in effect allowed lowering the required steam pressure for aircraft launches by over 100 psi. This design change reduced the catapult steam load on the ships reactors and contributed to extending the recore interval. Fat cats are installed on the CVN72 and subsequent US carriers. The EMALS concept was first conceived in the 1980s because the US Navy was planning to eventually replace aircraft carrier nuclear propulsion (steam) with a non-nuclear propulsion systems. To date, they have not come up with a suitable replacement. When, and if, a suitable non-nuclear propulsion system is implemented on US carriers, steam will not be available for catapults. At the time of EMALS conception the reactor recore interval was short enough to required 2 expensive recores in the life of the ship and was factored into the decision to proceed with EMALS development. To date, failure of the US to develop a non-nuclear power plant coupled with development of extended reactor recore interval and extremely reliable (proven) steam catapult design are all factors that reduce the need for EMALS. However, I am all for continued development of EMALS because technology advancements should always be pursued and the EMALS development program has come a very long way to date. Also, carrier non-nuclear ship propulsion may some day be achieved. My only concern is implementing EMALS before its reliability is thoroughly proven as satisfactory. To prove EMALS reliability, thousands of successful deadload (simulated aircraft weights) launches, without critical failure, should be demonstrated on the land-based test EMALS. Unfortunately, this takes time and good fortune to accomplish, and time is a commodity ship builders don’t have. The USS Ford is scheduled for commissioning in 2015. If the final decision is to reconfigure the USS Ford (CVN78) with steam catapults I hope the EMALS development program will be continued for eventual implementation, possibly on the CVN79 (USS Kennedy). It will be a real shame if politics and defense budgets cause unfortunate termination conclusions. Just my opinion. John Cooper says: December 13, 2011 at 7:57 am @Concerned: …and a fine opinion it was. Thanks. ilovebeeswarzone says: December 13, 2011 at 9:34 am the words ELECTRO AND MAGNETIC, ring a bell to my ears , as 2 elements to serve on the creation of a easy man handled weapon to newtralize the EIDS , or even pulverize those, and the same WEAPON to be made able to be used mutiple times through a different debts of ground, and through a different texture of ground, through a different weight of ground. MAYBE THE STUDY OF THAT PRIORITY ALONG THIS OF LAUNCHING, COULD BE HELPING BOTH RESOLUTION OF FINDING SOLUTIONS TO A PERFECT CREATION, BY BRINGING IDEAS COMPLEMENTING BOTH EVEN BEING VERY DIFFERENT, who and which COMPANY will dare to touch on the idea? even if you must use their own fertilyser to propulse it. I’M SICK AND TIRED TO READ ABOUT EIDS’S DEVASTION NOT BEING GIVEN THE FIRST PRIORITY’S SOLUTION THOUROWLY DELT WITH ONCE AND FOR ALL BY THE SMART CREATORS, YOU HAVE TO THINK MORE AND DEEPER, TO FIX IT, WELL SO BE IT, THOSE SOLDIERS ARE TIRED OF DOING YOUR JOB TOO. to help those creators to find a solution, just pretend you’re life depend on it.