F_16 Aircraft Arresting System

Impressive footage shows a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon conducting an aircraft arresting system test

By Dario Leone
Oct 30 2016
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The aircraft arresting system is designed to safely bring aircraft to a stop in the event of an emergency

Filmed at Buckley Air Force Base in 2013, the interesting video in this post shows a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet conducting an aircraft arresting system test to certify that the equipment is working properly.

Noteworthy the aircraft arresting system is designed to safely bring aircraft to a stop in the event of an emergency. It is used with the aircraft arresting hook to “catch” the jet.

When an in-motion aircraft develops an emergency, the aircrew has to decide if they need to use the arresting system. If needed, the pilot deploys the aircraft’s hook, and lands the plane at least 1,000 feet from the arresting system.

The hook drags on the surface of the runway until it comes in contact with the steel cable. Once the aircraft’s hook captures the cable, the cable rips the nylon cords, holding it flat on the runway, and unravels its attached nylon tapes from storage reels.

As the tapes are unraveled, the reels turn a hydraulic pump that applies pressure to a set of modified brakes which bring the aircraft to a stop.

Instead when a jet is not using the system to stop drives over the cable, that bounces. If the cable is not held down, it may damage the jet: for this reason small pieces of nylon rope are used to hold the cable flat on the runway.


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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