Rafale and Super Etendard jets Launched and Recovered from French Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

Feb 08 2015 - 12 Comments
  • It’s interesting to see that the Rafales are only lighting their afterburner after they clear the deck. Also is it just me or do they seem to float in and land gentler than Hornets and the like do?

    • kusanagi no tsurugi

      It’s the delta-canard config that makes the landing somewhat softer compared to the hornets

  • InklingBooks

    Good to see the French and Brits acquiring some sea-borne military muscle. Maybe the U.S. won’t have to carry so much of the burden in the future.

    • Hauptmann Wesreidau

      The Brits aren’t, that is the tragedy.

  • Fanfulla

    the cable pulling off the super Etendard that falls into the sea at every launch, is recovered or left in the sea? seems a very expensive method to launch a plane

    • Yak

      They fall in the water, and are not to be recovered. 1500€ each, but the Navy thinks it’s the safest way to use brand new cables, they take no risks.
      Sure this is an old and pricey way to launch aircraft but nothing compared to the value of the plane and the life of the pilot inside.

      It’s the last plane in the seaborne French inventory to use this kind of device to take in the air, like many other retired US planes designed in the same time (Phantom, Crusader, Skyhawk, Vigilante…)

      • Fanfulla

        Thanks Yak.
        This the most stupid way to spend money and launch planes! :-)
        …and pollute the sea

        • Yak

          I agree with you, nowadays it seems unlikely, but remember the plane is old : in the early days of the catapult, before the front gear towbar was in current use, most of the carrier-based planes around the world were launched that way.

          Along with Argentinian A4s, the SEM is one of the last ol’planes to use the cable (we call it “élingue” in french). Yes it’s pricey and polluting, but you don’t modify the whole fleet’s front gear or decomission the plane just for that, in the air the SEM is still a useful and trusty aircraft. Soon will come her retirement though.

          • Richard B

            Argentina no longer has a carrier and SuE only perform touch and go on Brazil or US carriers

            • Yak

              My bad, yeah you’re right, I was meaning Brazilian A4s, based on the Sao Paulo (ex-Foch).

  • Richard B

    Kind of vintage but the Super Etendard is such a nice plane!!!

  • R.Lopaka

    Hollande….Where are our carriers?!?! Sounds good.