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?

  • $\begingroup$ But I also asked: what is the biggest aircraft that can land on an aircraft carrier $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 '19 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Pretty sure there were some demo tests landing a C-130 on a carrier. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jul 18 '19 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ I was asking about the 737 not the C-130... $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 '19 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ @LeonardTan Then consider creating that as a separate question $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Jul 18 '19 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ The 737 is addressed in the linked question. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jul 18 '19 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.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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 '19 at 12:10
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible to land it without headwind tho? $\endgroup$ – Leonard Tan Jul 18 '19 at 14:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Now what? There's a 737 on the flight deck. Who'd like to do a take-off? $\endgroup$ – Transistor Jul 18 '19 at 17:01

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.