[Video] Small plane lands on deck of a cargo ship. A future for low cost naval aviation?

Some small navies around the world (or largest ones with budget problems) may consider this set up: a small, STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) plane and a flat deck merchant ship for future low cost naval aviation?

Just kidding.

Still, the video, recorded with several cameras including some inside the plane and others on a Cessna 172 camera ship, is interesting as it shows the extreme STOL Foxbat A22 landing on a modest 3,500-ton multipurpose vessel 93 meters in length.

The small aircraft was flying just above stall speed, the ship was sailing at 9 knots into the wind and, even if the air speed was enough to keep the Foxbat flying, the speeed relative to the ship was almost zero.

Using a procedure that vaguely reminds that of real STOVL planes (like the F-35B and, above all, the AV-8B Harrier) approaching an amphibious assault ship, the A22 nears the deck in front of bridge 60 metres x 15 meters and then almost falls vertically to touchdown.

H/T to Michael Guthenberg for the heads-up

 

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About David Cenciotti 3753 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.