An aircraft catapult is a device used to launch aircraft from ships—in particular aircraft carriers—as a form of assisted take off. In Second Life such devices are typically employed by military roleplay groups onboard aircraft carriers and at military airfields. However, they also appear at civilian airports which cater for jet fighter aircraft.
In real-life aviation, an aircraft catapult system typically consists of a track built into the flight deck, below which is a large piston or shuttle that is attached through the track to the nose gear of the aircraft, or in some cases a wire rope called a catapult bridle is attached to the aircraft and the catapult shuttle. At launch, a release bar holds the aircraft in place as steam pressure builds up, then breaks (or "releases"; older models used a pin that sheared), freeing the piston to pull the aircraft along the deck at high speed. Within about two to four seconds, aircraft velocity by the action of the catapult plus apparent wind speed (ship's speed plus or minus "natural" wind) is sufficient to allow an aircraft to fly away, even after losing one engine.
Types of catapults
|Catapult standard||Creator||Used by||Description|
|Amok Dynamics Catapult System||Amok Dynamics||Amok Dynamics||Designed for use with fighter aircraft constructed by Amok Dynamics.|
|Shana Aircraft Catapult System||Shana Aircraft||Shana Aircraft||Designed for use with fighter aircraft constructed by Shana Aircraft.|