Until the 1980's, carriers launched aircraft with a wire cable, or bridle, which pulled the aircraft down the catapult track. At the end of the track the aircraft detached from the bridle as it flew off the bow. After the aircraft separated, the bridle would swing down and bounce off the flight deck. To prevent the bridle from bouncing back up and striking the aircraft, a bridle-arrest sponson was placed at the end of each catapult track, angled downward to provide a surface below the plane of the flight deck for the bridle to strike. Today, carrier catapults pull the aircraft by its nose gear and bridle arresting sponsons are not necessary. However, the Midway still retains her "horns" as vestige of an earlier era in carrier aviation.