Home » Technology News » 2010 » December » December 25, 2010

Navy launches first fighter jet that uses electromagnetism, not steam

December 25, 2010 - Washington

The US naval force has launched for the first time, a fighter jet that uses the force of electromagnetism instead of steam power to fly.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System launched its first F/A-18E Super Hornet on Saturday Dec. 18 at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, N.J. using the power of electromagnets called raligun technology.

An electromagnetic railgun offers a velocity previously unattainable in a conventional weapon, speeds that are incredibly powerful on their own.

It doesn't depend on explosives for force, but merely relies upon kinetic energy to do damage.

The technology will hopefully replace the archaic-sounding steam power currently used to catapult planes from the decks of aircraft carriers.

"I got excited once I was on the catapult, but I went through the same procedures as on a steam catapult. The catapult stroke felt similar to a steam catapult and EMALS met all of the expectations I had," Fox News quoted Lt. Daniel Radocaj, the test pilot from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23, as saying.

Electromagnets will ensure smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, higher carrier ability to launch aircraft.


Comment on this story