The Full Wiki

Tailhook: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tailhook on an E-1B Tracer

A tailhook, also arresting hook or arrestor hook, is a device attached to the empennage (rear) of an aircraft. It is used to achieve rapid deceleration after landing or to abort a takeoff.



The tailhook is a strong metal bar, with its free end flattened out, thickened somewhat, and fashioned into a claw-like hook.

Aircraft land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier on a short "landing area", towards the aft end of the ship. A number (usually four) of very greasy and very strong thick flexible cables called arrestor cables, "arresting wires" or "cross deck pendants" are stretched across the landing area. When an aircraft lands properly, the tailhook should catch one of the cables and the cable will transfer the energy of the aircraft, through a "purchase cable," to the belowdecks arresting gear engines, stopping the aircraft. Both the hook and cables have to be very strong: jet aircraft land on carriers just above stall speed. Once contact is made with the deck, the pilot advances the throttle(s) to the full military setting to generate enough available power in the event of a "bolter" (where the hook fails to catch any of the cross-deck pendants).[1]

The term "hooked" is sometimes used to describe aircraft fitted with a tailhook. "Trapped" is often-used slang for an arrested landing. An aircraft which misses a landing by failing to catch the arresting cables is said to have "boltered." Occasionally, the tailhook bounces over one or more of the wires, resulting in a "hook skip bolter."[citation needed]

Land-based tailhooks

Some land-based fighters also have tailhooks. In case of a brake malfunction, an aborted takeoff, a tire explosion, or a related problem, a tailhook can stop the aircraft in a departure-end or approach-end cable arrestment.[2] Since it is an emergency equipment, the tailhook is usually deployed with nitrogen pressure instead of using the aircraft's hydraulic system.[3]

The presence of a tailhook is not evidence of an aircraft's carrier-operations ability as land-based aircraft landing gear and tailhooks are not strong enough to absorb the impact of a carrier landing.[4]


Tail hooks

Landings on carrier

See also


  • United States Air Force. [1]. Guide To Mobile Aircraft Arresting System Installation. Retrieved on 3 November 2007.

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address