Electrically Powered Catapult Launches First T-45C, C-2A Aircraft

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EMALS, a complete launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and all future Ford-class aircraft carriers, will replace the steam catapult system that has been in use for more than 50 years. (U.S. Navy photo)

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) successfully completed the first launch of a T-45C Goshawk from the NAVAIR Lakehurst, N.J. test site on June 1, As part of these ongoing compatibility testing, twelve successful launches were made June 1 and 2. Few days later, on June 8, the system performed the first launch of a C-2A Greyhound as part of the system’s ground testing. The Greyhound was launched 18 times over a wide range of aircraft weights June 8 and 9 as part of ongoing aircraft compatibility testing.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System successfully completed the first launch of a C-2A Greyhound belonging to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 from the NAVAIR Lakehurst, N.J., test site June 8. The Greyhound was launched 18 times over a wide range of aircraft weights June 8 and 9 as part of ongoing aircraft compatibility testing. EMALS, a complete launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and future Ford-class aircraft carriers will replace the steam catapult system which has been in use for more than 50 years. Photo: U.S. Navy

EMALS built by General Atomics is a complete launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and all future Ford-class aircraft carriers will replace the steam catapult system which has been in use for more than 50 years. EMALS is lighter, requires less maintenance, and provides increased efficiency and more accurate end-speed control.

Engineers at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J., work on the EMALS trough at the System Functional Display site. U.S. Navy Photo.

EMALS technology was fundamentally proven by the U.S. Navy in 2004 using a full-scale, half-length prototype, where more than 1,500 launches and armature maneuvers were conducted. Since 2008, component testing on the shipboard design has been underway, including full scale/full power tests of all components. A full scale test site was established at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J., in 2010.

EMALS, a complete launch system designed for Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and all future Ford-class aircraft carriers, will replace the steam catapult system that has been in use for more than 50 years. (U.S. Navy photo)