Carrier Landing

Author:
Steve
You must give the pilot of the plane the angle which to approach the carrier to land on the angled deck. The plane is traveling at 140 knots, the ship at 30. There are four arresting wires across the landing path to capture the plane's tail hook. The pilots aim for the midpoint between the 2nd and 3rd wire (initially at the coordinates (73,87)). Adjust the aim handle to the angle which will land the plane within the landing zone (between the dotted runway lines and between the 1 and 4 wires. If you correctly land the plane, you get the message "Good Landing" but if you do not hit the landing zone, everyone yells "Bolter" with derision. Use the buttons to create a new landing problem, set the time to zero (for another try), and to start the landing based on the angle you have set.
Initially you can determine the solution by trial and error. Adjust the aiming handle up or down to get the proper angle. However, eventually you will want to determine the solution mathematically. This is a vector problem. The tail of the plane (starting at the given initial plane position) needs to eventually be inside the "box" or landing "zone" formed by the first and last arresting wire and the two dotted runway boundary lines. With the ship moving straight ahead and the plane moving at an angle to that straight line ship movement, you must take into account the horizontal and vertical (on the graph) movement of the plane, based on the angle and the plane speed of 140 knots. Hint: the solution involves simultaneous linear equations. This animation is not entirely realistic as the pilot would be able to adjust speed, descent, and steer left and right according to the directions of the Landing Ship Officer. The pilot is not totally committed to one speed and one angle. And this simulation does not take into account controlling the rate of descent for the landing. This is just an interesting vector problem.