In this picture of the USS Intrepid (CV-11), there appears to be an aircraft parked with the tail hanging off the deck:

enter image description here (Source)

The caption gives a clue:

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) operating in the Philippine Sea in November 1944. Note the Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter parked on an outrigger forward of her island.

This "outrigger" appears to be some sort of triangular structure to partially support the aircraft's weight:

Further research, however, turns up no more information about this "outrigger." So:

  1. What exactly was this device?
  2. How was it used?
  3. What's its history?
  4. Who manufactured it?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would not want to be sitting in that aircraft! $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


You can see it a bit better in this picture:

enter image description here


In order to save deck space for operations, the smaller escort carriers like HMS Khedive used outriggers. The tail wheel is first affixed and locked to the rigger trolley and then the aircraft is pushed outwards and the wheels heavily chocked fore and aft of the wheels. Here one of Khedive’s Corsairs demonstrates the concept perfectly. Note that the Corsair has Type C roundels, indicating it is in the European theatre of operations.

They were effectively a simple way to save deck space with out enlarging the deck. There is another decent pic here and some spitfires on outriggers here

Based on the info here they can be found as far back as the late thirties

It represents an F4B-4 positioned on an experimental outrigger aboard the USS Saratoga during the late 1930s. The Saratoga and several other aircraft carriers were selected to try out different types of deck outriggers for the Navy in the interwar era.

  • $\begingroup$ How does the aircraft get parked and unparked? $\endgroup$
    – built1n
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 18:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @built1n if you look closely at the pic the rear wheel is on a small slider. I see no reason why its any more complicated as pulling the aircraft forward. This is likely why the main wheels remain on the deck. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ That makes sense. Is there any more to be found on the origins of the idea, and specifics about manufacturing, etc? $\endgroup$
    – built1n
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ @built1n thats all I could find. You could try contacting the Smithsonian but it looks like an I-Beam hanging off the deck with a roller on it so I'm not sure what you are looking for beyond that. Considering the era they date from digital documentation is unlikely to be easily found. Construction on the Saratoga started almost exactly 100 years ago and its possible the ship yard that did the carrier conversion added these. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 19:33

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