Updated: 8:29 PM UTC, Jul 16, 2017

The Role of Catapults on Aircraft Carriers

Planes aboard aircraft carriers do not take off due solely to their propulsion power, as the length of the deck may be too short. Steam-powered catapults assist planes in reaching the speed necessary to take off.

It is therefore a combination of the plane’s launching power and the catapults that enable the plane to reach speeds of 250 miles per hour on a 246 foot deck.

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