What Is Arrested Landing – All You Need To Know
Arrested landing is used when an aircraft lands on an aircraft carrier to decelerate rapidly. An arresting gear, or arrestor gear, is a mechanical system used to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands. Arresting gear on aircraft carriers is an essential component of naval aviation, and it is most commonly used on CATOBAR and STOBAR aircraft carriers. Similar systems are also found at land-based airfields for expeditionary or emergency use. Typical systems consist of several steel wire ropes laid across the aircraft landing area, designed to be caught by an aircraft’s tailhook. During a normal arrestment, the tailhook engages the wire and the aircraft’s kinetic energy is transferred to hydraulic damping systems attached below the carrier deck. There are other related systems which use nets to catch aircraft wings or landing gear. These barricade and barrier systems are only used for emergency arrestments for aircraft without operable tailhooks.
A normal arrestment is accomplished when the arresting hook of an incoming aircraft engages one of the deck pendants. When a landing aircraft engages a deck pendant, the force of the forward motion of the landing aircraft is transferred to a purchase cable which is routed via sheaves to the arresting engine, located in a machinery room below the flight deck or on either side of the runway. As the deck pendant and the purchase cable are pulled out by the aircraft being arrested, the kinetic energy of the aircraft is transferred to mechanical energy of the cables, and the arresting engine transfers the mechanical energy of the cables to hydraulic energy. This classic system of hydraulic arrest is now being supplanted by one using electromagnetics where the energy absorption is controlled by a turbo-electric engine. The arresting engine brings about a smooth, controlled stop of the landing aircraft. At the completion of the arrestment, the aircraft arresting hook is disengaged from the deck pendant, which is then retracted to its normal position.
The arrested landing needs tremendous amount of skill as the pilot has to come in on full power and kill his engines the moment he hooks on. In case he is unable to hook on, he has to simply continue and fly away from the flight deck. Only well trained and skilled fighter pilots of the Navy are allowed to land on the aircraft carrier.
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