Originally Posted by theducks
Navy and Marine squadrons on board (Both of their planes are equipped with 'Tail Hooks'). I watched the Marines fly (really just riding behind the controls at that moment
) some of the first ACLS (Automatic Carrier Landing System) test flights. Talk about a Brutal hand
on the stick
It did a great landing, just not kind
to human passangers
Not sure now because I got out in 1976, tail hooks are the distinguishing difference between carrier aircraft and land based ones, other that the carrier planes also had beefed up landing gear for the "Controlled" crashes the Navy likes to call landings.
What I am not sure of is if the USAF still fly's the same exact aircraft the navy uses. If so they will have a tail hook also. But I do not think so.
When I was in, the predominant aircraft that the USAF was flying was the F-4 phantom and it did have a tail hook because I think that aircraft was the same flown by all branches of the US military services, at the time, So in theory the USAF could fly on and off carriers, tho probably only once.
They maybe able to take off OK, but the landing probably would their last one
Because they did not have the training to do the standard Navy carrier controlled "Crash" they like to call a landing.