Carrier Landing of S3 Viking

Viewed from the Cockpit


This video shows what the pilot sees when he or she lands on a carrier

For similar Carrier Videos select from above menu

'Videos-Carrier Cat Shots and Traps'

Footage of an S3 Viking approaching an aircraft carrier and landing. It was taken from the cockpit by the co-pilot. The conditions are ideal... Calm sea, daylight and a stable aircraft. With the volume up, you can even hear the power changes necessary to maintain precision, glide slope and prepare for bolter (aka.. abort the landing) in the event the arrest wire is missed.

Imagine what this would be like at night in IMC instrument meteorological conditions - (a.k.a. Pea soup).   If you look very carefully, shortly before the plane touches down, you can see the 'meatball' to the left; the orange light between the row of green lights that tells the pilot he's on glide slope. If you can't imagine landing on a moving postage stamp, this is what it's like!

Note:  This video was originally mislabeled as an A-6 Intruder, but corrected thanks to a note from a retired BN (Bombardier Navigator) from Florida.  He correctly points out the different shape of the front and that the A-6 does not have windshield wipers.

1 minute video

S-3 Viking Background information:

Wing span: 69 feet     Length: 53 feet       Height: 23 feet     

Weight: empty: 26,500 pounds / maximum takeoff: 52,539 pounds

Speed: 518 mph

Ceiling: 40,000 feet Range: more than 2,300 nautical miles

Power plant: two GE TF34-GE-2 turbofan engines

Crew: four       Contractor: Lockheed Standard

The VSX program (S-3) started in 1968, and, in 1969, Lockheed was awarded the contract to develop the Navy's new carrier-based, fan-powered ASW (Antisubmarine Warfare) aircraft. It was designed to incorporate the latest concepts in sensors and in computer-based data processing, display and weapons control systems, and in enabling the four-man crew to effectively deal with the anticipated submarine threat.

The S-3 Viking replaced the old reciprocating-engine-powered S-2 Tracker. The S-3 Viking has all four crew members seated on ejection seats. The pilot's controls include a control stick in place of the traditional wheel. The slightly swept wing and General Electric TF-34 fan engines provide the S-3A with long-range or on-station endurance at cruise speeds and altitudes typical of subsonic jet aircraft.

In flight refueling through a retractable refueling probe can be used to further extend its mission performance. Folding wings and vertical tail provide carrier handling flexibility. The S-3A airframe has been adapted to other roles--a characteristic for which its S-2 predecessor has long been noted. The improved S-3B version incorporates improved technology for increased radar detection range and classification, advanced acoustic processing, and support measures, and has Harpoon missile capability.

With its APS-137 Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), ALR-67 Electronic Surveillance Measures (ESM) system and Harpoon missile capability, the Viking plays a critical surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting role in maintaining the sea control picture for naval and joint forces. Additionally, with the retirement of the A-6, the Viking has become the principal organic tanking platform for the battle group and a mainstay in offensive mining.

Upgrades to the radar, mission computer, communications and navigation suite will support organic reconnaissance capabilities in the coastal regions. Added to the planned airframe structural enhancements, these upgrades will curb obsolescence and ensure an adequate inventory of this essential platform well into the future.