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Shipboard Aircraft Handler

The Ground Support team was asked to make a new design for a safe aircraft interface mechanism for the Shipboard Aircraft Handler (SAH). The SAH is made to grab, lift, and tow Naval and Marine Corps aircraft, like the F-18 or F-35, while on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The current design is being tested by Naval Air Systems Command aboard Patuxent Naval Air Station, Maryland.

Team Members

Christopher Pidala

Philemon Rono

Connor Coleman

Hun Young Ha


Christopher Muir, PhD, Mechanical Engineering, UR


Richard Muir, James Choflet and William Branch of Naval Air Systems Command

Project Description

The Shipboard Aircraft Handler is crucial for moving aircraft aboard a aircraft carrier. It must grab, lift, and tow many different types of military aircraft safely and efficiently. The team at Naval Air Systems Command tasked us with finding a novel idea to change how the SAH operates. The SAH’s current design is asymmetric and experiences deflection at the end of the Gripping Arms. Finding a new solution to these problems will lead to the safer and more efficient operation of the SAH and better landing gear capture techniques.

Project Report

Testing of the Model
SAH Mechanism


The Ground Support team would like to sincerely thank Professor Christopher Muir for his close assistance and guidance through the various stages of this project. A special thank you goes to the project sponsors, Richard Muir, James Choflet and William Branch for working closely with the team to the successful completion of the project.

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