Advanced Technology Catapults  - Company Message
Launch-Systems Mission
 
The mission should always be  to provide more war-fighting capability to our fleet at less cost.  I am offering a technology that quadruples the capability of the Nimitz Class carrier steam catapults at a significant reduction in operating cost, weight, and internal volume required

The goal is to build, demonstrate and qualify  the FIRECAT catapult by modifying 
 the Nimitz Class carriers steam catapults  to use a combustion gas and steam energy source rather than steam to drive the current C13  catapult launch engines. This modification increases the launch capability by a factor of four, provides full closed loop control which allows soft start, reducing the initial 5+ G launch acceleration to less than 2G, lengthening the airframe life of the aircraft being launched 
This will allow the launch of a wider range of weights and launch speeds for present and future vehicles, both manned and unmanned under full closed loop control to insure a more precise and controlled rate of acceleration over the entire launch event.  This allows the capability for launching planes at full flying speed while tied to the pier. 
The  goals are to simplify the C13-2 launch system to increase the launch capacity, provide closed loop control of acceleration  and end speeds of the C13-2 catapult.  This is accomplished by addition of the Internal Combustion Catapult Aircraft Launch System 
Our initial goal is to build, demonstrate and qualify our technology, the FIRECAT catapult   to modify the current steam catapults for the Nimitz Class carriers to use a combustion gas based energy source rather than steam to drive the current catapult launch engines. This modification increases the launch capability by a factor of four plus allows soft start, reducing the initial 5+ G launch acceleration to less than 2G, lengthening the life of the aircraft being launched 
This will allow the launch of a wider range of weights and launch speeds for present and future vehicles, both manned and unmanned under full closed loop control to insure a more precise and controlled rate of acceleration over the entire launch event.  This allows the capability for launching planes at full flying speed while tied to the pier. 
The  goals are to simplify the C13 catapult launch system to increase the launch capacity, provide closed loop control of acceleration  and end speeds of the C13-2 catapult.  This iis accomplished by addition of the Internal Combustion Catapult Aircraft Launch System (FIRECAT) technology upgrade.
This modification will allow the reduction of manning currently required to maintain and operate  the C13-2 steam catapults. 
The rationale for this technology proposal is that the Navy has indicated, via the upgraded performance for the EMALS electromagnetic catapult, that the current C13 steam catapults are unable to perform the full range of tasks that will be asked of them in the future.  
The EMALS catapult was designed to fulfill that range of tasks and should be able to meet the identified future launch needs for CVN 78 and future aircraft carriers.  
The EMALS launch system cannot be backfit to CVN77 and earlier Nimitz Class carriers.  This is  due to the inability of the current Nimitz A4W propulsion/generating plant to support the electrical energy demands of EMALS and of the cost of the redesign and rework of the  Nimitz Class carrier to support the volume  and weight requirements of the EMALS energy storage system composed of 12 very large and heavy motor generators located 
50 ft  above the waterline. 
Given this inability to backfit EMALS to earlier carriers to provide the full range of performance capabilities defined by the Navy as needed for future aircraft carrier launch, I am re-introducing the FIRECAT as a backfit  technology to the Nimitz Class carriers.  I originally proposed the ICCALS catapult technology in 1995  and it was was planned by the Navy to compete against EMALS for on CVN77.  The EMALS and ICCALS catapults were both to be developed and a technology competition was to take place between the two. In 1998, the decision was taken by the Navy, due to NASA offering to co-fund electromagnetic launch,  to go forward only with EMALS which is still  undergoing qualification trials and to drop the ICCALS catapult for future carriers.  
As a backfit to the existing Nimitz Class carriers, the Internal Combustion Aircraft Launch System (FIRECAT) catapult conversion technology upgrades the current C13-Mod 2 steam catapults to be
:-  Greatly simplified with a reduction in maintenance and operating manpower-  Capable of a constant or increasing acceleration launch which allows elimination of the 5+g peak to mean acceleration at the start of the launch.  This will lengthen the aircraft airframe life and ease launch stresses on the pilot.-  More powerful than any current or planned catapult system including EMALS
.-  Extremely controllable over the full launch stroke due to closed loop control of the energy input, allowing a large range of planes or weapons to be launched.-  Capable of launching a much wider range of launch weights and speeds.  This adds the capability of launching a large variety of Unmanned Air Vehicles and sled mounted cruise missiles and self defense missiles from the upgraded catapults along with the heaviest fighter bombers-  Lighter installed weight than the C13-2 catapult.  This modification removes 780,000+ pounds of equipment/hanger, foundation and structure weight from the current C13-2 steam catapults 50+ foot above the waterline which increases ship stability and metacentric height for the currently  stability critical Nimitz carriers.
 -  Less volume intensive.  Large spaces currently devoted to steam accumulators, large hot piping and cross-connecting valves/hangers and foundations will be freed for other ship requirements  (see linked white paper and Graphics page)
.-  Capable of incorporating remaining launch engine hardware to the maximum possible extent.  This greatly increases existing catapult flexibility and range of capability at a small installation and operating cost and reduced development effort
.-  Able to reduce or eliminate wind over deck requirement for launched planes due to higher launch end speeds
.-  Supportive of alternate solutions to the current water brake and retraction engine technologies, simplifying even further the existing FIRECAT modified catapult launch engine.
 -  Able to extend the life of the propulsion plant by eliminating propulsion plant core burn related to catapult operations, particularly high speed ship runs within the launch box
.-  Capable of reducing distillate fresh water demand for catapult operation by 90% .-  Capable of being installed on any flat-top ship such as a LHA or a converted commercial ship with the Langley (CV-1) converted from a Collier as an example. 

 The Internal Combustion Catapult (FIRECAT), once qualified, should be easily installable aboard a Nimitz Class carrier at SRA.

 The decision to proceed with FIRECAT development provides an inexpensive path to gain a  very large increase in launch capability, a substantial reduction in airframe launch stresses for the current fleet of aircraft,  reduction in operations and maintenance.  The manpower requirements for the current Nimitz Class are reduced and further reduced by evolution and further simplification of the C13 FIRECAT.
The FIRECAT upgrade will not only pay for itself but provide a very large savings each year just in reduction of replacement costs of air wing aircraft due to airframe life extension and in the shipboard manpower reduction for operation and maintenance of the simplified C-13-2 catapult, particularly as these savings continue post-installation for the remaining life of the ship.  
A modern CVAN, more capable and packing more punch than many air forces, has roughly 6,000 personnel (Wickipedia) and consists of roughly 60-65 aircraft from between seven and nine front line squadrons depending on their aircraft type.  A reduction in personnel (2,000 if pilots and officers are not counted) of 10%  at an average cost of $64,140 per individual (including BAS and BAH) would be a savings of $12.280 million per year or $320.7 million over a 25 year ship half-life 

For an air wing of 65 F18 E/F fighters at an average procurement cost of $58 million, the aircraft investment is $3,770 million. The design life of these planes is 20 years, therefore the per year cost of the plane is $2.9 million or $194.3 million per year for all 67 planes.  A 10% life extension  due to airframe launch stress reduction is worth $19.43 million per year savings total.  When added to the 12.28 million in personnel reduction, the net savings is $31.71 million per year per CVAN.
 
At $15 million per catapult, The upgrade cost is $60 million and, at $31.71 million savings a year, the payback time for this  investment for a 4 catapult FIRECAT upgrade should have a payback period of 1.89 years with a positive cash flow after installation of $31.71 million per year.  Extending this to the rest of the
10 Nimitz CVANs, the savings is $317.1 million dollars per year.  

Given this number of $317.1 million dollars per year, that represents a savings of  $7.927 billion dollars over 25 years and $15.824 billion for the 50 year ship life.

The Navy cannot afford to not install this catapult on the current Nimitz Class and future Ford Class carriers.

 
For the Ford Class carriers. the EMALS cost is $810 million dollars per ship, approximately.  Installation of FIRECAT aboard the Ford Class carriers at $60 million
per ship provides an avoided cost or savings of $750 million per Ford Class carrier and provides a much superior catapult in every category compared to EMALS.  General Atomics
bid an EMALS installation to Britain of 
1.29 billion up front ship rework costs and estimated 20million installed per catapult.  This is  per the General Atomics EMALS bid) for the UK's new carrier, the Queen Elisabeth which has a CODAG propulsion plant and which has no steam capability to operate the turbogenerators which provide the electricity to energy storage to operate the EMALS Electromagnetic Catapult.  
Contact Information 
Clint Stallard (Stallard Associates)757-846-4814 (cell)
clintstallard@launch-systems.comcstallardva@gmail.com 
 
 

 technology modification.  This modification will allow the reduction of manning currently required to maintain and operate  the C13-2 steam catapults. 
The rationale for this technology proposal is that the Navy has indicated, via the upgraded performance for the EMALS electromagnetic catapult, that the current C13 steam catapults are unable to perform the full range of tasks that will be asked of them in the future.  
The EMALS catapult was designed to fulfill that range of tasks and should be able to meet all of the future launch needs for CVN 78 and future aircraft carriers.  
The EMALS launch system cannot be backfit to CVN77 and earlier Nimitz Class carriers.  This is  due to the inability of the current Nimitz A4W propulsion/generating plant to support the electrical energy demands of EMALS and of the cost of the redesign and rework of the  Nimitz Class carrier to support the volume  and weight requirements (over
 EMALS energy storage system composed of 12 very large motor located high above the waterline. 
Given this inability to backfit EMALS to earlier carriers to provide the full range of performance capabilities defined by the Navy as needed for future aircraft carrier launch, I am re-introducing the ICCALS as a backfit  technology to the Nimitz Class carriers.  I originally proposed the ICCALS catapult technology in 1995  and it was was planned by the Navy to compete against EMALS for on CVN77.  The 
Our initial goal is to build, demonstrate and qualify our technology, the FIRECAT catapult   to modify the current steam catapults for the Nimitz Class carriers to use a combustion gas based energy source rather than steam to drive the current catapult launch engines. This modification increases the launch capability by a factor of four plus allows soft start, reducing the initial 5+ G launch acceleration to less than 2G, lengthening the life of the aircraft being launched 
This will allow the launch of a wider range of weights and launch speeds for present and future vehicles, both manned and unmanned under full closed loop control to insure a more precise and controlled rate of acceleration over the entire launch event.  This allows the capability for launching planes at full flying speed while tied to the pier. 
The  goals are to simplify the C13-2 launch system to increase the launch capacity, provide closed loop control of acceleration  and end speeds of the C13-2 catapult.  This iis accomplished by addition of the Internal Combustion Catapult Aircraft Launch System (ICCALS) technology modification.  This modification will allow the reduction of manning currently required to maintain and operate  the C13-2 steam catapults. 
The rationale for this technology proposal is that the Navy has indicated, via the upgraded performance for the EMALS electromagnetic catapult, that the current C13 steam catapults are unable to perform the full range of tasks that will be asked of them in the future.  
The EMALS catapult was designed to fulfill that range of tasks and should be able to meet all of the future launch needs for CVN 78 and future aircraft carriers.  
The EMALS launch system cannot be backfit to CVN77 and earlier Nimitz Class carriers.  This is  due to the inability of the current Nimitz A4W propulsion/generating plant to support the electrical energy demands of EMALS and of the cost of the redesign and rework of the  Nimitz Class carrier to support the volume  and weight requirements of the EMALS energy storage system composed of 12 very large motor located high above the waterline. 
Given this inability to backfit EMALS to earlier carriers to provide the full range of performance capabilities defined by the Navy as needed for future aircraft carrier launch, I am re-introducing the ICCALS as a backfit  technology to the Nimitz Class carriers.  I originally proposed the ICCALS catapult technology in 1995  and it was was planned by the Navy to compete against EMALS for on CVN77.  The EMALS and ICCALS catapults were both to be developed and a technology competition was to take place between the two. In 1998, the decision was taken by the Navy, due to NASA offering to co-fund electromagnetic launch,  to go forward only with EMALS which is currently undergoing qualification trials and to drop the ICCALS catapult for future carriers.  
As a backfit to the existing Nimitz Class carriers, the Internal Combustion Aircraft Launch System (ICCALS) steam catapult conversion technology upgrades the current C13-Mod 2 steam catapults to be:-  Greatly simplified with a reduction in maintenance and operating manpower-  Capable of a constant or increasing acceleration launch which allows elimination of the 5+g peak to mean acceleration at the start of the launch.  This will lengthen the aircraft airframe life and ease launch stresses on the pilot.-  More powerful than any current or planned catapult system including EMALS.-  Extremely controllable over the full launch stroke due to closed loop control of the energy input, allowing a large range of planes or weapons to be launched.-  Capable of launching a much wider range of launch weights and speeds.  This adds the capability of launching a large variety of Unmanned Air Vehicles and sled mounted cruise missiles and self defense missiles from the upgraded catapults along with the heaviest fighter bombers-  Lighter installed weight than the C13-2 catapult.  This modification removes 780,000+ pounds of equipment/hanger, foundation and structure weight from the current C13-2 steam catapults 50+ foot above the waterline which increases ship stability and metacentric height for the currently  stability critical Nimitz carriers. -  Less volume intensive.  Large spaces currently devoted to steam accumulators, large hot piping and cross-connecting valves/hangers and foundations will be freed for other ship requirements  (see linked white paper and Graphics page).-  Capable of incorporating remaining launch engine hardware to the maximum possible extent.  This greatly increases existing catapult flexibility and range of capability at a small installation and operating cost and reduced development effort.-  Able to reduce or eliminate wind over deck requirement for launched planes due to higher launch end speeds.-  Supportive of alternate solutions to the current water brake and retraction engine technologies, simplifying even further the existing FIRECAT modified catapult launch engine. -  Able to extend the life of the propulsion plant by eliminating propulsion plant core burn related to catapult operations, particularly high speed ship runs within the launch box.-  Capable of reducing distillate fresh water demand for catapult operation by 90% .-  Capable of being installed on any flat-top ship such as a LHA or a converted commercial ship with the Langley (CV-1) converted from a Collier as an example. 
 The Internal Combustion Catapult (FIRECAT), once qualified, should be easily installable aboard a Nimitz Class carrier in two SRAs with two catapults upgraded in each SRA. 
 The decision to proceed with FIRECAT development provides an inexpensive path to gain a  very large increase in launch capability, a substantial reduction in airframe launch stresses for the current fleet of aircraft,  reduction in operations and maintenance.  The manpower requirements for the current Nimitz Class are reduced and further reduced by evolution and further simplification of the C13 FIRECATThe FIRECAT upgrade will not only pay for itself but provide a very large savings each year just in reduction of replacement costs of air wing aircraft due to airframe life extension and in the shipboard manpower reduction for operation and maintenance of the simplified C-13-2 catapult, particularly as these savings continue post-installation for the remaining life of the ship.  
A modern CVAN, more capable and packing more punch than many air forces, has roughly 2,500 personnel (Wickipedia) and consists of roughly 60-65 aircraft from between seven and nine front line squadrons depending on their aircraft type.  A reduction in personnel (2,000 if pilots and officers are not counted) of 10%  at an average cost of $64,140 per individual (including BAS and BAH) would be a savings of $12.280 million per year or $320.7 million over a 25 year ship half-life 

For an air wing of 65 planes at an average procurement cost of $58 million, the aircraft investment is $3,770 million. Therefore,  a 10% life extension due to airframe launch stress reduction is worth $377.0 million or a total savings of (377.0  + 320.7/25= $27.908 million savings per year per CVAN   
Given this number, a 4 catapult FIRECAT upgrade should have a payback period of 2.13 years at $15 million per catapult and a savings of $623.464 million over the remaining 22.87 years of of the remaining 25 year life of the carrier.  Plus an additional  $697 million for a second 25 years.For 11 carriers, that is a net operating savings of more than $7.667 billion dollars over an average operating life of 25 years after refuelling.  If a full 50 year life, , the ICCALS savings would be $12.545 billion dollars (minus the cost of the launch cylinders and retraction engine and water brake, all of which can be retained and substantially simplified) compared to steam catapults over the 50 year life of the carriers.
The Navy cannot afford to not install this catapult on the current Nimitz Class and future Ford Class carriers. 
This is in addition to avoided costs such as an electromagnetic launch system (1.29 billion up front ship rework costs and estimated 50 million installed per catapult.  This is  per the General Atomics EMALS bid) for the UK's new carrier, the Queen Elisabeth which has a CODAG propulsion plant and which has no steam capability to operate the turbogenerators which provide the electricity to energy storage to operate the EMALS Electromagnetic Catapult.  
Contact Information 
Clint Stallard (Stallard Associates)757-846-4814 (cell)
clintstallard@launch-systems.comcstallardva@gmail.com 
 
 
 
 

 apable of incorporating remaining launch engine hardware to the maximum possible extent.  This greatly increases existing catapult flexibility and range of capability at a small installation and operating cost and reduced development effort.-  Able to reduce or eliminate wind over deck requirement for launched planes due to higher launch end speeds.-  Supportive of alternate solutions to the current water brake and retraction engine technologies, simplifying even further the existing FIRECAT modified catapult launch engine. -  Able to extend the life of the propulsion plant by eliminating propulsion plant core burn related to catapult operations, particularly high speed ship runs within the launch box.-  Capable of reducing distillate fresh water demand for catapult operation by 90% .-  Capable of being installed on any flat-top ship such as a LHA or a converted commercial ship with the Langley (CV-1) converted from a Collier as an example. 
 The Internal Combustion Catapult (FIRECAT), once qualified, should be easily installable aboard a Nimitz Class carrier in two SRAs with two catapults upgraded in each SRA. 
 The decision to proceed with FIRECAT development provides an inexpensive path to gain a  very large increase in launch capability, a substantial reduction in airframe launch stresses for the current fleet of aircraft,  reduction in operations and maintenance.  The manpower requirements for the current Nimitz Class are reduced and further reduced by evolution and further simplification of the C13 FIRECATThe FIRECAT upgrade will not only pay for itself but provide a very large savings each year just in reduction of replacement costs of air wing aircraft due to airframe life extension and in the shipboard manpower reduction for operation and maintenance of the simplified C-13-2 catapult, particularly as these savings continue post-installation for the remaining life of the ship.  
A modern CVAN, more capable and packing more punch than many air forces, has roughly 2,500 personnel (Wickipedia) and consists of roughly 60-65 aircraft from between seven and nine front line squadrons depending on their aircraft type.  A reduction in personnel (2,000 if pilots and officers are not counted) of 10%  at an average cost of $64,140 per individual (including BAS and BAH) would be a savings of $12.280 million per year or $320.7 million over a 25 year ship half-life 

For an air wing of 65 planes at an average procurement cost of $58 million, the aircraft investment is $3,770 million. Therefore,  a 10% life extension due to airframe launch stress reduction is worth $377.0 million or a total savings of (377.0  + 320.7/25= $27.908 million savings per year per CVAN   
Given this number, a 4 catapult FIRECAT upgrade should have a payback period of 2.13 years at $15 million per catapult and a savings of $623.464 million over the remaining 22.87 years of of the remaining 25 year life of the carrier.  Plus an additional  $697 million for a second 25 years.For 11 carriers, that is a net operating savings of more than $7.667 billion dollars over an average operating life of 25 years after refuelling.  If a full 50 year life, , the ICCALS savings would be $12.545 billion dollars (minus the cost of the launch cylinders and retraction engine and water brake, all of which can be retained and substantially simplified) compared to steam catapults over the 50 year life of the carriers.
The Navy cannot afford to not install this catapult on the current Nimitz Class and future Ford Class carriers. 
This is in addition to avoided costs such as an electromagnetic launch system (1.29 billion up front ship rework costs and estimated 50 million installed per catapult.  This is  per the General Atomics EMALS bid) for the UK's new carrier, the Queen Elisabeth which has a CODAG propulsion plant and which has no steam capability to operate the turbogenerators which provide the electricity to energy storage to operate the EMALS Electromagnetic Catapult.  
Contact Information 
Clint Stallard (Stallard Associates)757-846-4814 (cell)
clintstallard@launch-systems.comcstallardva@gmail.com 
 
 

 























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































In an earlier incarnation, the C14 Internal Combustion Catapult designed by Reaction Motors, (see C14 below under "additional information") was built, installed at Lakehurst Naval Air Warfare Center and launched planes in 1959.  The C14 catapult was not selected for the Enterprise (CVN 65) due to "reliability issues" (see History below).  Not knowing about the C14, in the 1990s, I independently invented  a bipropellant driven catapult that is the same system with much better technology. 

 
I was employed at the time by Newport News Shipbuilding at the time and I headed a team that went forward to the Navy in 1996 with our proposed catapult.  Dick Bushway, the Advanced Technology Catapult Procurement Officer for NAVAIR PMA 251 budgeted $35 million to build and test the ICCALS system as a competitor to the EMALS system.  

In 1998, Sherry Buschmann of NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, approached the Navy with a proposal to co-fund Electromagnetic Launch as they were interested in applying the technology to launch of space vehicles.  The Navy, at a fairly high level, found this attractive and decided that this was the way to proceed.  Also, Newport News found itself in the position of being a technology proposer and technology integrator at the same time.  To avoid this conflict and in agreement with the Navy's decision for EMALS,  my program was defunded and was terminated, even though we were building and testing combustor hardware.

The program stayed dormant for 13 Years, first as directed by my management and then as honoring a request by VAdm Mahr to not muddy the water while the kinks were worked out of EMALS.  It appears that the EMALS technology is working now, so I feel free to put the ICCALS technology back on the table which I am doing for the reasons outlined in the attached powerpoint presentation (seee Benefits below).  Since retiring, I have further improved the technology and have a system that I am extremely confident will provide a greatly increased capability over the existing steam catapults and provide significant reduction in operations and maintenance costs.

In summary. Compared to the C13 steam catapult, ICCALS:

  •   Is much lighter, approximately 780,000 pounds lighter than the C13 steam catapults 50+ feet above the waterline
  •   Requires much less volume, as there is no requirement for steam supply piping, valves, crossconnect piping and hangers, structure and foundations, (see Graphics page) freeing up ship space.
  •   Is much more powerful than the steam cat (steam cat = 75 Megajoules  launch  energy while ICCALS= 792 Megajoules launch energy). 
  •   Much less expensive.  90+ percent based upon the C13 Mod 0 through Mod 2 existing/installed catapult components with the rest of the components being  COTS or easily developed.
  •   Backfittable to the existing Nimitz Class catapults for a substantial increase in performance while EMALS is not backfittable.
  •   Can increase the launch energy from start to end of the launch while steam has a fall-off in launch energy and rate of acceleration over the lenth of the launch stroke.
  •   Allows a constant or increasing acceleration during launch.
  •   Allows reduction or elimination of the "launch Box" for most launches.  
  •   Allows reduction or elimination of wind over deck requirements for launch.
  •   Allows reduction or elimination of "island" induced turbulence experienced by recovering aircraft due to reduced ship speed.
  •   Allows installation aboard other flat-tops to launch fully loaded F18 and F35s.
  •   ICCALS Is much more efficient than steam as the C13 catapults require nuclear provided thermal energy to generate steam to provide energy for launch while ICCALS is direct chemical to thermal energy and does not need receivers to store energy prior to launch and does not require a change in reactor operating temperature to supply steam to the catapult.
  • ICCALS, where the energy state conversion is chemical energy to thermal energy, is more efficient than EMALS which requires nuclear to thermal, thermal to steam, steam to mechanical (turbines) mechanical to electrical (ship's generators), electrical to mechanical inertia (MG sets), mechanical inertia to electrical energy (mg sets)for EMALS and electrical to mechanical thrust at the launch engine for a total of 7 energy state changes.  If each EMALS energy state change is 80% efficient, then it takes 581.75 megajoules of energy input from the ship's generating system to deliver 122 megajoules of launch energy.
  • Gains the same capability as EMALS at the lower end of of the launch weight range while increasing capability at the upper end of the weight range for launching UCAVs or TLAM/TASM along with fully loaded fighter-bombers. 
 
The ICCALS program was on target to provide working ICCALS catapults, within the budget,  for CVN77 prior to being shut down.  PCO Captain O'Hare wanted at least Cat #4 to be an ICCALS. 
 
Please read the White Paper and PowerPoint presentation (benefits) linked below (still rough drafts being developed).
 
We are located 3 miles from Newport News Shipbuilding, 5 miles from Langley Air Force Base / NASA Langley and 15 miles from Norfolk Naval Operating Base. 
 
 
 
Additional information
NASA
 
 
Location:
2813 Victoria Blvd
Hampton, VA 23661
 
Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9AM - 5PM
Sat: 10AM - 5PM
Sun: Closed

 
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