Photo: Hornet catching the wires. On the Arctic Circle

Jan 22 2012 - Leave a Comment

Published by Lt. Gen. Jarmo Lindberg, commander of the Finnish Air Force, on his Twitter timeline few days ago, the following picture (by Harri Koskinen) shows a F-18D Hornet routine arrested landing practice at Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle.

The photograph is  interesting because it shows an aircraft about to catch the wire on a land base and it is taken from a position that gives a clear view of the distance between the Main Landing Gear and the arrestor hook on the Hornet: 18.9 ft.

As explained in a post dealing with the difficulties of the F-35C to get aboard U.S. aircraft carriers, although the current JSF Carrier’s variant tailhook design was based on that of the Hornet, the F-18 geometry places the tailhook at a distance where the cable, after being trampled by the wheels, has enough time to respond and flex back to its original position, making cable catch “easy”.

Tailhook landings by land-based aircraft are used in emergency situations to arrest a plane experiencing a failure that could imply a braking malfunction.