The Floating Airport
Aircraft carriers have been the centerpiece of the United States Navy since World War II despite the fact that their most basic and important function, launching and landing fighter jets on a ship in the middle of the ocean, proves to be a very difficult task. Due to the extremely limited runway space on the decks of these mobile machines, engineers have been forced to develop powerful systems to accelerate and decelerate aircraft in a very short period of time.
Launching From A Catapult
The Landing Process
Lining Up For Landing
The Fresnel lens optical landing system provides guidance for correctly landing on an aircraft carrier . The lens is located on the side of the runway so that it can be seen by the pilots throughout the entire landing process.
Before the aircraft lands, a member of the arresting-gear crew inputs the weight specifications of the incoming jet and checks the statistics very carefully . If the inputted weight is too large, the plane might be stopped too quickly, causing damage to the jet. Even worse, if the inputted weight is too low, the aircraft will not be stopped in time and the jet will fly off the runway into the water. Although the danger is always prevalent, extensive training and practice make these types of catastrophes rare.
Future Improvements to the Aircraft Carrier
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