New USS Gerald R. Ford catapults tested

Electrical problems stalled the test of the USS Gerald R. Ford's new electromagnetic aircraft catapults. (June 16, 2015)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY/WOOD) — Crews tested the new electromagnetic catapult system on the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier on Tuesday.

A crew from WOOD TV8’s Virginia sister station WAVY was on the flight deck as the U.S. Navy got ready to show off the new technology in Newport News. Unfortunately, crews had electrical problems during the morning demonstration for the media.

Once the eletrical problems were resolved, tests were performed in the afternoon. A heavy sled was hooked to the catapult and pulled along the carrier’s flight deck to make sure the catapult.

>>Online: Watch video of the test

The new electromagnetic catapults will eventually replace the steam-driven systems currently used. The new catapults are designed to launch planes off the flight deck with more energy, reliability, and better control.

The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first in a new class of aircraft carriers and will have brand-new, one-of-a-kind technology.

Capt. John Meier, who will be the vessel’s first captain, told 24 Hour News 8 in April that construction of the 1,092-foot ship was nearly finished. He called 2015 the “year of the test” and said the USS Gerald R. Ford should be delivered to the fleet in February 2016.

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