Of course, don't let the Navy hear us call the testing of their new and controversial Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS. Testing the new system is serious business, even if slinging a giant sled into the water is mildly amusing.
The EMALS is, according to our friends at iO9, railgun that "uses stored kinetic energy and solid-state electric power conversion" to fling aircraft into the sky. It'll replace the steam catapults that have been in use for decades aboard the next-generation of aircraft carriers.
Despite the well-publicized problems with the system, it was able to hurl a 15,000-pound load down the runway at speeds up to 161 miles per hour. A lighter, 8,000-pound load hit 207. It should be noted that those sleds are both significantly lighter than even an unloaded F-35C, which tips the scales at 34,800 pounds, although Popular Mechanics reports the system will be eventually be capable of firing up to 80,000 pounds off the flattop's deck.
Check out the system in action up top.