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USN: Steam Out Electromagnets in Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)

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posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 01:48 PM
The navy has awarded a contract to begin research on the next generation catapault that will use electromagnets instead of steam to launch aircraft.

it is intended to be used on the USS Gerald R Ford which is being used as a bridge carrier to test new concepts for the follow on to the Nimitz Class CVN's

It may also allow the UK to use the F-35C variant as opposed to the B on thier QE class carriers.

[edit on 7/5/09 by FredT]

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 02:28 PM
Should use very similar technology to rail guns should it not? get the tech working for this application and then should be able to adapt it for guns on destroyers ect?

posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 11:08 PM
that's pretty neat, i bet that could be used to launch other metal objects to, i can see it now, sailors out at sea, launching empty barrels a mile out.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 12:46 PM
I thought some of you would find this interesting.

There was some talk about a year ago...that this system would not be ready for the Gerald Ford but instead they would have a steam catapult system. There were some problems with the development of this system. Like all new systems it takes time to iron out the problems and kinks.

Perhapsed this has changed now..I have not actually heard.

here ..this link

also this one...

and here

I am sure this system will eventually have the kinks ironed out..but how much delay in the designs will it cost...not only to the British carriers but also to ours here stateside??


posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 11:39 AM
So, more like a linear electric motor than a rail gun, which is a rather different principle.
Looks interesting, I wonder if the Royal navy carriers currently in construction had this system in mind. I remember seeing that they were being built with conventional steam catapults, but with the provision for different launch equipment to be installed or retrofitted.
I do have to wonder about the durability of such a system. I'd expect the old steam catapults are built like tanks to handle the large amounts of high pressure steam they use, this looks a little more delicate. How much abuse and / or battle damage can it take and still keep on throwing planes?

posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 02:55 PM
reply to post by aegis80

the steam catapults require large amounts of maintenance, and specialized maintenance equipment on board.
Plus all of the steam piping and valves that need to be maintained.
If implemented correctly the magnetic system should be much more durable thatn the steam system. If the system has a dedicated power system, then it could still launch planes while the ship is dead in the water.
where as if you lose steam your done, and you could lose steam at any number of places in the complex maze of piping required due to battle damage.
The basic technologies of the magnetic catapult have been in use for decades, maglev trains, very large machine tools etc, all have been using this sort of technology for years.

There is no difference in principle between a linear indunction motor and a rail gun they are the same thing.

The main thing about the magnetic catapult is that it is completely tunable for the vehicle's mass.
Steam catapults have a min. weight and max weight.
They cannot launch a uav its too small.
mag catapults will also be easier on the aircraft, a steam catapult makes maximum acceleration at the start of the launch, while a mag system can start easy and then accelerate to max at the end of the throw.

Im surprised its taken this long to make the switch.

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