PLAN Catapult Development Thread, News, etc.


Junior Member
That picture was discussed barely a day ago in the carrier thread, and several times before that. As conclusion goes, it may or may not be an EMALS testing facility. Some kind of catapult facility it is.


When were the US EMALS designers at the level of theorizing and testing machines of about 14 kN?


Lieutenant General
That picture was discussed barely a day ago in the carrier thread, and several times before that. As conclusion goes, it may or may not be an EMALS testing facility. Some kind of catapult facility it is.

Well from this google translation seem emal to me. though at 3100 lb is it enough to pull the aircraft?
Just overcoming friction alone it need at least 20,000 lb Still in development stage? could be just laboratory set up . How old is this paper?. Or the paper only describe the theoretical study?. Many question unasnwered
China's new aircraft carrier catapult leads the world in the use of electromagnetic

Electromagnetic aircraft launching system - a key technology

The heart of the electromagnetic catapult is 100 meters long linear induction motor, driving the armature connected with the aircraft. At present, the armature is basically a U-shaped aluminum block, mounted on the stator of the three sides. The principle of linear motor is not complicated. Envision a rotation of the induction motor cut open along the direction of the radius, and flattening, which has become a linear induction motor.

In the linear motor, the equivalent of rotating the stator, called the primary; equivalent to rotating the rotor, called the secondary. In through the exchange of primary, secondary role in the electromagnetic force under the straight line along the primary campaign. Then the primary to do very long, extending to the movement required to reach the location, and the sub is not required so long.

In fact, the linear motor can either do a very long primary, the secondary can be made ​​very long; both fixed primary, secondary move, can also be secondary fixed, the primary movement. However, the electromagnetic catapult is never linear motor work alone, it has forced a total energy storage devices, high-power electrical control equipment, industrial control computer and central linear induction motor.

A special type of ship electric power technology, only some developed countries to master. Ma Weiming rate of intellectual research group set, made ​​with world advanced level of design. However, no one believes they can do it, because of our accumulated technology in this area is not enough. In response, Ma Weiming cross the next one mind: "Even a small live ten years, but also capture the power of special technical difficulties!"

After five years of hard sprint, Walter Ma led the project team completed a prototype development and testing of the entire process, 43 key technologies have all been overcome, to declare the patent defense 32. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering academician seven significant results in this review are excited that this major breakthroughs in key technologies, its as important as the "bombs and one satellite" and the manned space flight.
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Banned Idiot
Are there a lot of similarities between EMALs and train magnetic levitation technology?
according to strategypage, EMAL and train magnetic levitation share alot of common technology.
US first reveal that China is developing EMAL way back late 2003 .
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Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
a satellite pic comparison of the catapults at Huangdicun with the USS Ford's catapults, with all pictures taken at the same visual height to have a more accurate gauge of relative size.

size catapult compare.jpg


Registered Member
As the catapult is most likely to be installed on 002, I think this post fits here than anywhere else. I went through google earth today and got the following dates.

Shanghai facility:
  • 2008/7/6 1st track construction began
  • 2009/12/20 dead weight cart present on the 1st track
  • 2011/11/21 2nd track construction began
  • 2012/4/16 2nd track construction finished
  • No cart is seen on 2nd track
  • No spherical shaped structure and piping ever seen
Wuhan facility:
  • 2010/8/14 earth work start
  • 2011/7/29 track construction
  • 2012/4/26 dead weight cart
  • 2015/7/29 triangular feature on the track
  • 2016/2/20 part of the track being covered
  • No spherical shaped structure and piping ever seen
My rough comparison (rough due to the fact that dates of google earth photo are equal or later than events):
From visible construction beginning to cart on track: Wuhan < 9 months, Shanghai < 18 months, Wuhan caught up 8 months
  • Track construction start: Wuhan = Shanghai + 36 months
  • Dead weight cart shown: Wuhan = Shanghai + 28 months

If dead weight cart on track indicate the beginning of test, Wuhan had 4 years to the construction of Xingcheng test site. Shanghai had more than 7 years. There are no changes to the Wuhan facility since dead cart shown.

All these together make me conclude:
Wuhan facility had a way faster speed than Shanghai, also very confident and smooth in its test progress. Wuhan version is very mature, as much as one can test before a real aircraft launch.

What ever version (steam or EMALS) the Wuhan facility is, it is clear to me that it has an advantage in confidence and maturity to be installed on 002 as far as I can tell today.