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Catapult hookup

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It was a common poster on the wall of boys growing up, and it probably still is Catapult hookup imposing heading-on view of a fully loaded American supercarrier bristling with fighters and support aircraft.

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On the bow of these most complex of fighting ships, two prong-like structures stuck out over the water, ramped downward as if to give the aircraft riding along the ship's catapult tracks a few extra feet of help before leaping into the air.

So what Catapult hookup they and where did they go?

Modern United States Navy aircraft...

A similar single line device was also used on some aircraft like the S-2 Tracker, it was called a pendant. At the end of the deck the aircraft would depart into the air.

The bridle or pendant would then be flung out into Catapult hookup sea, or if the carrier was so equipped, it would whip down onto the sloped bridle catcher so that it could be recovered and used again and again. In essence the bridle catcher was a feature of economy more than anything else.

The reason for angling the bridle carrier extension downward was so the bridle would not bounce up Catapult hookup strike the aircraft as it left the deck.

The bridle and pendant system got Navy carriers into the catapult business, but Catapult hookup system was more complex and time consuming than it had to be. There were always concerns over broken bridles and connection points, and the wellbeing of carrier deck crews that had to strap the big aircraft in before each launch was of an even greater concern.

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The first launch by an E-2 using the system occurred on the 19th of December, Tests were largely "Catapult hookup" and substantial gains in safety and efficiency were realized by the new system. Going forward every new US Navy aircraft designed for carrier operations would be equipped with a similar nose gear mounted launch bar. Towards the end of the millennium, American supercarriers that had bridle catchers began having them removed during deep maintenance and overhaul periods.

The carrier these aircraft operated from, the Charles De Gaulle R91was never built with bridle catchers. For many years SEMs slung bridles into the sea with reckless abandon. Catapult hookup, really the only aircraft that may see the bridle once again are Brazil's handful of upgraded AF-1 Skyhawks.

Modern United States Navy aircraft...

If this indeed comes to pass, its bridle catcher will see use once again—as the last of its kind and a monument to naval aviation's heritage. An AF-1 being hooked up to one "Catapult hookup" the Sao Paulo's catapults.

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