Not to be outdone by NASA's plans to launch spacecraft into orbit using electromagnetic force, the U.S. Navy is also intent on using the technology to launch fighter jets from aircraft carriers. And they successfully did just that with an F/A-18E Super Hornet.
The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), can move a 100,000 pound jet 240mph across a 300 foot runway space. According to the Navy, not only is EMALS is a smaller and more efficient method of launching planes than steam turbines, it can deliver 30% more power. The Navy says they will to use this system to launch all aircraft from carriers going forward, including heavy strike fighters and lightweight drones.
According to Danger Room, EMALS will be fully implemented on all future aircraft carriers (the next scheduled deployment of a new carrier will be the USS Gerald R. Ford in 2015). In the meantime, they plan to test the launch system out on other aircraft, including the C-2 and T-45 planes. [Navy via Danger Room via Dvice via Slashdot]