The motion and stress of an initially straight elastic cable one point of which suddenly moves with a constant vector velocity are studied. Formulas for the phase velocities of waves of constant stress and of waves of constant slope including the effect of initial tension and neglecting lateral contraction are derived. Under these assumptions exact and approximate relations between the impact stress and the distribution of energy in the cable are derived and discussed. The theoretical results (which had been classified for a considerable time) are compared with results from tests on aircraft arresting gears carried out at the Naval Air Engineering Facility (Ship Installations), Philadelphia, Pa.

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