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This is What a Catapult Launch Looks Like from The PIlots Perspective!

We love acceleration! It’s a huge part of our daily life as well as most of our hobbies and weekend activities. So when we get to see some of the fastest acceleration in the game, we sit up and take notice. When the pilot of this F/A-18 Hornet locks into the steam catapult, he has the excellent idea to throw an action camera on top of his helmet and catch the action from his perspective, and as you can probably assume, the resulting on-board footage pretty badass!

In the video below, you can see the pilot has carefully maneuvered his plane into position and is awaiting the signals from the catapult officer who signals when it’s go time. After giving the situation his careful oversight, the catapult officer gives the signal to pull the trigger. You can hear the planes engines go wide open and the catapult leaps into action, pulling the plane forward from a standing start to launch speed in just a couple of seconds. The rumble of the tires on the deck builds, then falls immediately silent as the Hornet reaches the end of the deck and begins its mission.

We’ve seen that the steam catapult launch system is being replaced with an electromagnetic system that has fewer moving parts and should be more reliable while providing more powerful launches, but it will be hard to convince us that anything is quite as cool as that trail of steam that billows out behind the planes as they are racing down the flight deck. We’re all for more reliable and safer, but we will definitely miss the guttural awesomeness that comes from these steam systems. Hopefully they aren’t all replaced by the new system too quickly and we get to see some more awesome footage of them in action.