Photo: Hornet catching the wires. On the Arctic Circle
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.