These are two different videos of a F-35C pilot testing the minimum catapult launch power required for a successful takeoff from an aircraft carrier and almost getting the plane’s toes wet in the process. I thought it was going into the drink, I really did. Some more info while I continue to lie to myself that I could have made it in Top Gun:
Something you don’t see everyday…low energy catapult launch! That sink is scary, but it was a part of the test plan. The folks at PAX River needed to find the lowest amount of energy that the catapult needed in order to safely launch an F-35C…they definitely found it! Through a smart build up and mitigation the test professionals go where others don’t.
Watch the waters part because of the engine exhaust!! You can tell from this angle that the aircraft got close to the water. Remember though, this was a part of the testing and the team had prepared for this moment.
Good Lord. “Well no wonder it dipped so low, that pilot’s balls must be gigantic!” Hey now I’m pretty sure that was sexist, I mean what if this was a female pilot? “I’m surprised her tits fit in the cockpit!” Wow, I’m not sure if that’s better or worse but I’ll definitely be Zooming your parents after class for a behavioral meeting regardless.
Keep going for the videos, including one from below the deck where you can really see how close it gets to the water.
Source: Geekologie – Getting Low: Jet Testing Minimum Catapult Launch Power Needed For Takeoff From Aircraft Carrier