50 years ago, engineers tried catching commercial planes in nets | Science News

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50 Years Ago

50 years ago, engineers tried catching commercial planes in nets

Excerpt from the October 28, 1967 issue of Science News

By
7:00am, October 19, 2017
 S-3 Viking aircraft

This S-3 Viking aircraft used the barricade arrestment system on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 1990. It was unable to land with the normal tailhook system because its landing gear was damaged. 

Net to halt runaway airliners

A gigantic emergency arresting gear system, capable of stopping the largest four-engined jet aircraft without discomfort to passengers, is being developed for the French Ministry of Transportation. The system consists of a nylon net … which engages the aircraft for the full width of its wingspan. Net and airplane are brought to a slow stop by energy absorbing devices located along the sides of the runway. — Science News, September 28, 1967

 

Update 

Catching commercial airliners in giant nets never took off. However, aircraft carriers have deployed nets since 1931 for emergency landings. In modern versions, nets are linked to energy

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