I have seen a flight simulator (X-Plane 11) video of landing a 737 on an aircraft carrier (and stopped). Is it possible to land a 737 in real life? What is the biggest aircraft that it is possible to land on an aircraft carrier?


marked as duplicate by J. Hougaard, AEhere, Bianfable, Koyovis, Hobbes Jul 18 at 12:18

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  • $\begingroup$ But I also asked: what is the biggest aircraft that can land on an aircraft carrier $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Pretty sure there were some demo tests landing a C-130 on a carrier. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jul 18 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ I was asking about the 737 not the C-130... $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ @LeonardTan Then consider creating that as a separate question $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Jul 18 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ The 737 is addressed in the linked question. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jul 18 at 14:06

An unloaded 737, flown by a top-tier pilot can stop incredibly fast, generally in a shorter distance than a Cessna-172 flown by a student (typically around 900 ft: I've seen planes at Boeing Field, land 32L and stop well before A9).

Because the brakes are meant to stop a fully loaded plane on a wet runway, they are extremely powerful when the plane is empty and the braking action is good.

Although it has never been attempted (to the best of my knowledge), I think a 737, near empty weight, in optimal conditions, could likely land on a carrier with a 1,000 ft deck steaming into the wind (lets estimate headwind + carrier speed for a combined effective wind of 50kts).

Another consideration, however, would be if there's enough space for the 737's massive wing span.

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    $\begingroup$ A quick Google search indicates a 737 has a wingspan about half as wide as the flight deck of a Nimitz-class carrier. $\endgroup$ – zymhan Jul 18 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible to land it without headwind tho? $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ Now what? There's a 737 on the flight deck. Who'd like to do a take-off? $\endgroup$ – Transistor Jul 18 at 17:01

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