Re: That truck video is Awesome!
> I wonder why no one else is trying out putting a bit of a ramp at the end instead just a flat deck?
Generally speaking it's a choice between catapult-assisted or ramp.
Ramps are used for STOVL-type aircraft, that can vector thrust downwards on takeoff as they traverse the ramp, balancing on their downwards thrust as they accelerate until forward motion (well, airspeed) allows the wings to generate lift.
Using catapults, non-STOVL aircraft, such as E2-Hawkeye, Viking cargo planes, can be launched that are not STOVL-capable. All their lift comes from air flowing over the wings, as opposed to downwards thrust (for takeoff).
Also, think of the forces on the landing gear of an aircraft being dragged by a catapult that then hits a ramp, thus changing the force directions and so on on the gear. It'd tear the landing gear off unless it was made so heavy as to be impractical.
If you wanted to mix catapults and ramps, you'd have to do it on different take-off 'lanes' (runways?)
So, on something like the Gerald R. Ford that has four catapults for launching, you could replace a catapult (or 2) with a ramp, but then you'd lose a catapult take-off spot to a ramp. ALthough I guess you could use moveable ramps, that could move out of the way, or flatten, when using a catapult, but that'd add huge cost and complexity for no added benefit, because a catapult - once you've taken the time and expense to develop and install one - can be used for launching both conventional (non-STOVL-type aircraft, F-18s, E2, etc.) and STOVL (F-35B, Harrier, etc.) aircraft. However, a ramp can only be used for STOVL-type aircraft. Therefore replacing a catapult with a ramp doesn't gain you anything, as it reduces the variety of aircraft that can be flown from that takeoff path.
By their nature, STOVL-type aircraft have to be lighter aircraft, which means limited weapons payload or range, or both. A catapult-launched F-35C has both increased fuel load (i.e. more range) and an increased payload (i.e. more weapons) than a ramp-launched STOVL F-35B.
Using a ramp, and sticking to STOVL aircraft, saves you the expense of developing and installing a catapult, and the maintainence of a "moving parts" catapult, at the sacrifice of reduced aircraft variety that can be used. But if you have already gone to the time and expense to develop and install a catapult, using a ramp (on the same vessel) is a backwards step.