First aircraft launch and recovery performed aboard the newly commissioned USS FordNews
July 31, 2017
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. The U.S. Navy performed the first successful launch and recovery of a fighter jet aboard its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), during a brief test event held July 28.
During the test, the pilot of the F/A-18-E/F Super Hornet and the ship's crew used the newly commissioned ship’s advanced arresting gear (AAG) and electromagnetic aircraft launch systems (EMALS) to complete four launches and four arrestments.
These recent landings and launches were performed as part of limited risk reduction testing; approximately 75 launches and arrests will be performed during Aircraft Compatibility Testing in fall 2017, with hundreds more done during the ship’s integrated support environment (ISE) term, during which NAVAIR will use specialized software to provide a thorough analysis of the data being collected.
Lt. Cmdr. James “Coach” Struck, who piloted the F/A-18-E/F Super Hornet from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, said of the test: “This is an enormous milestone for naval aviation and I'm very excited to be a part of it. I get chills when I think of the millions of hours of work it took to engineer, develop, and manufacture this ship and its revolutionary systems.”