Tue, May 19, 2009
VX 23 F/A-18F Super Hornet Enjoys A 'First'
The USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) made history Tuesday, May
19th, after safely landing the first fixed-wing aircraft, an
F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Lt. Patrick McKenna and Cmdr. Beau Duarte, from Air Test and
Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River,
Md., piloted the Hornet and made the first arrested landing, known
as a "trap," at 2:07 p.m. local time. The Bush reached another
milestone less than an hour later when an F/A-18F Super Hornet
became the first aircraft to be catapulted from the ship's flight
deck at 3:03 p.m. local time.
The aircraft carrier is underway performing flight deck
certifications in the Atlantic. The ship is equipped with arresting
wires which are capable of safely landing aircraft traveling at
speeds of more than 200 miles per hour in about 300 feet. Bush has
four steam-powered catapults placed at the bow and port side of the
ship which are capable of accelerating an aircraft in less than
three seconds from zero to 150 miles per hour in about 270
"It takes a team of professionals to safely land an aircraft
aboard a carrier at sea. The crew of USS George H.W. Bush has been
working and training for this event for more than two years," said
Capt. "Chip" Miller, Bush H.W. Bush commanding officer. "This is a
tremendous moment for the crew."
Miller added that, "This is just the beginning of flight deck
operations aboard this ship. It's what the crew has been working
towards for years. They are excited to see aircraft flying on and
off our flight deck, and so am I."
Bush, homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., is the 10th and
final Nimitz-class carrier. It was commissioned Jan. 10 at Naval
Station Norfolk, Va.
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