Questions tagged [aircraft-carrier]

Anything related to the operation of aircraft around carriers: landing, take-off, taxi, storage, etc.

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48
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6answers
16k views

Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine?

Airplanes are routinely launched from ocean going vessels, namely carriers. Missiles are routinely launched from submarines. Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine? From questions ...
39
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1answer
5k views

What is the guy in green showing to the F/A-18E pilot before catapult launch?

In the following frames, you can see a guy in green showing a panel-like device with numbers on it to the pilot of the Super-Hornet that is about to launch from the carrier USS John C. Stennis. What ...
34
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6answers
23k views

What is the procedure for landing on an aircraft carrier?

What is the procedure for landing on an aircraft carrier? How is the checklist different from a regular landing?
29
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6answers
12k views

Can a plane land on an aircraft carrier without support from its crew?

Imagine a scenario where a carrier was dead in the water. No-one inside. Could a plane land on the carrier? What would such a procedure look like potentially?
28
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5answers
6k views

What makes it so hard to land on an aircraft carrier?

I have heard it is very difficult for a pilot to land on a carrier deck. I have read this question but it didn't really give me a sense of the challenges that pilots face. This question lent me ...
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8answers
9k views

Why is landing on a carrier not handled by a computer?

Landing on a carrier seems like a difficult and risky task for military pilots, especially at night when the carrier should keep low profile and is practically unlit. It seems exactly like a problem ...
25
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2answers
4k views

Can a landing aircraft snag multiple wires when landing on an aircraft carrier?

There are 4 arresting wires on an aircraft carrier separated by about 50 feet and usually the pilot tries to snag the 3rd one but he does have the option to snag the first or second one. What ...
22
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6answers
11k views

What are the advantages of the angled flight deck layout used by some aircraft carriers? [duplicate]

I've been flying aircraft carrier approaches in a flight simulator lately and noticed that the carrier has an interesting layout. I have an image below where the landing runway is in red and the ...
21
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4answers
8k views

Why are special aircraft used for the carriers in the United States Navy?

Why are aircraft such as the legacy F-14 and now the F/A-18 used by the US Navy carriers? It seems to me that developing a new aircraft from the ground up is very expensive. Is it not possible to ...
20
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8answers
11k views

Why is the landing area of an aircraft carrier angled to port side, not starboard?

On a modern aircraft carrier, the landing area is not aligned with the axis of the ship. Given this part of the ship needs to be asymmetric, why do most (if not all) angled flight decks point to the ...
18
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9answers
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In case of emergency, is it possible (doable) to land a small propeller-driven aircraft on an aircraft carrier?

I was watching the Disney movie Planes with my younger brother, and one of the characters/planes perform a emergency landing on an aircraft carrier. And that got me thinking... In case of emergency, ...
18
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3answers
4k views

Is is possible to land a midsize commercial plane on an Ford Class aircraft carrier?

I'm story-boarding a novel. I'm toying with the idea of contriving a situation in which a midsize commercial aircraft is forced to make an emergency landing on an aircraft carrier. I read here that ...
17
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3answers
3k views

What's the name and purpose of a barrier raised behind a carrier based jet?

I saw this picture in Wikipedia with a Su-33 jet on carrier deck with some barrier raised from the deck behind the jet tail: What is this barrier for and what's the official term for it?
17
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1answer
3k views

What is the tailhook on naval aircraft made out of?

What is the tailhook that enable naval aircraft to land on aircraft carriers, it must be made out of a strong metal to not bend or 'snap' under the force of the thrust that the plane is expelling, as ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Which are the largest planes to have operated on an aircraft carrier?

In 1963, the C-130 was tested by the US Navy for air carrier operations. Have there been any other comparable or larger aircraft that have landed and taken off from the deck of an aircraft carrier? ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Why are these carrier aircraft landing with the canopy open?

I was reading this answer here Aviation.SE, which includes the following video of multiple F7U-3 Cutlasses landing aboard the USS Hancock in 1955 (warning, video includes footage of a fatal rampstrike)...
15
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3answers
4k views

Why do naval jet aircraft need to have strengthened undercarriages?

I've read several times that the navy versions of jet aircraft need to have a strengthened undercarriage. Here is one example, and another. I've always just automatically assumed this was needed ...
14
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2answers
1k views

How are naval jets moved around below the deck of a carrier?

There are many kinds of jets on an aircraft carrier. I'm curious how they're moved around below deck. They have to be moved around for storage and to get to and from the large elevator that takes them ...
13
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6answers
3k views

Can a small plane be floated off of an aircraft carrier?

Would it be possible to float a small plane (say a Cessna 150) off of the deck of an aircraft carrier without the Cessna achieving any forward motion with respect to the aircraft carrier? If not a ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How can an aircraft not fall into the sea after the arresting cable snaps during a carrier landing?

After watching that video, I can't fathom how in the world could the crew save the day. Can someone give the intuition on how did that happen? Unfortunately, I am not in the aviation, but I recall ...
13
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2answers
445 views

How did aircraft in WW2 navigate to the carrier?

How did aircraft in WW2 navigate to the carrier after their mission? I was thinking of something like a beacon installed in the carrier but wouldn't it reveal the location of the carrier itself?
12
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5answers
4k views

Why don't fighter jets take off vertically?

I've heard the claim repeated many times that some modern fighter jets have an installed thrust greater than their weight, so theoretically they could accelerate straight up. I've never actually ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Do aircraft carriers always face into the wind?

When landing at a normal ground airport, the runway facing the compass point nearest to the heading of the wind is always operated, so that aircraft landing and taking off alway have to use the least ...
12
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1answer
713 views

How is a meatball calibrated and checked?

The visual glide slope for aircraft landing on a carrier is a stabilized indicator, the "meatball": Source. The slope is about 4° relatively to the horizontal plane, and stabilized because the ...
12
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1answer
753 views

How do aircraft carriers treat foreign Flight Information Regions?

Aircraft carriers have the right to be anywhere as long as they stick to international waters. But as soon as a plane leaves the deck, that's somebody's FIR. Granted they can fly low, or even know ...
11
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3answers
5k views

What is the force exerted by the catapult on aircraft carriers?

On aircraft carriers there is a catapult that slingshots aircraft so that they can gain lift on the short carrier deck. I have a few related questions - the first is what is the force exerted / ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What is the feasibility of converting an F-22 to carrier use?

I read that the Navy originally considered to use the ATF(Advanced Tactical Fighter) Programme aircraft (Now known as the F-22) as carrier aircraft but declined to do so when it came out. How feasible ...
9
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4answers
5k views

Why is an aircraft carrier's arresting cable made from steel?

Steel seems to be what modern aircraft carrier arresting cables are made from. It's strong, provides some elasticity, and serves its purpose well. However, it does need to be changed after every so ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Do carrier-less militaries retain the equipment for carrier operations?

"How do jet fighters get to war?" made me wonder if aircraft used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps for carrier operations retain their carrier equipment when sold to foreign powers who do not ...
9
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3answers
604 views

Do carrier-less militaries maintain carrier qualifications on allied boats?

"How do jet fighters get to war?" made me wonder if there was any cross-training for carrier operations between allied nations. While the equipment could be different (see "Do carrier-less militaries ...
9
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3answers
7k views

What is the benefit of a curved up flight deck?

A Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has an interesting aspect: the edge of the runway is raised, which “pushes” the plane in the air during the takeoff. Looking at takeoff videos, the curved ...
9
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1answer
909 views

How does the ski shape of an aircraft carrier deck help for take off?

Why is a ski-shaped deck used on an aircraft carrier for take off? The aircraft needs a particular lift for a particular weight, how does ski assist in take off?
9
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1answer
1k views

What's the story behind U-2 flying from aircraft carriers?

This video from the CIA YouTube channel shows U-2 aircraft launching via catapult and trapping with a tailhook: The description only offers this: After stopping U-...
9
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1answer
5k views

Has an aircraft carrier ever assisted a civilian passenger flight?

Has an aircraft carrier ever assisted a civilian passenger flight? I am trying to find an example of this. It could be as extreme as a small plane landing on aircraft carrier in an emergency. A ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is landing the 'wrong way' possible on an aircraft carrier?

I wonder if the arresting wires would work the 'other' way?
8
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1answer
1k views

Is there a procedure for landing on an aircraft carrier when the tailhook fails to deploy?

When landing on aircraft carriers, a tailhook is used to snag one of the cables on the carrier deck, which slows the aircraft. When the landing gear fails to deploy I have seen it is possible to make ...
8
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2answers
391 views

Were there any folding wing biplanes?

Given that several nations had operational carriers by 1920 and biplanes were still in military service, were there any folding wing biplanes? Wikipedia: United States first purpose built aircraft ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Has an unauthorized civilian ever tried to land on an aircraft carrier?

Has there ever been an attempt by a civilian 'daredevil' to land a plane on a US aircraft carrier? I came across the Red Square Landing and coupled with this video it made me wonder if there was ...
7
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1answer
1k views

What is the aircraft loss-rate from Nimitz-class aircraft carriers?

What is the aircraft loss-rate from Nimitz-class carriers? That is, what proportion of sorties result in the loss of the aircraft for reasons other than enemy action? I was prompted to ask this ...
7
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1answer
847 views

What is done to prevent the tail hook from bouncing off the carrier deck?

At 2:20 of this video, it appears that the tail hook of the F7U-3 bounces off the flight deck a couple of times before catching a wire. Does this still happen with more modern fighters or has ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Can carrier-based aircraft takeoff while the carrier is stationary?

Reading about aircraft carrier operation turns out that carrier operation relies a lot on catapult and carrier itself turns into wind with high rev on propellers. This generate as high wind speed as ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Do U.S. aircraft carriers still include a Marine Corps squadron?

When I was in the 3rd Marine Air Wing back in the early 70s, there was one Marine Corps squadron on each navy aircraft carrier, but on some shows I've seen recently (mostly on the Smithsonian Channel) ...
6
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1answer
314 views

What is the three-light indicator on carrier-borne airplanes?

(YouTube) The above three-light forward facing indicator can be seen on most (all?) nose landing gears of carrier-borne aircraft. What is it called? I suspect it relays the angle-of-attack / E-...
6
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1answer
1k views

What is the exact responsibility of the Landing Signal Officer on an aircraft carrier?

From Youtube: There are three LSOs apparently working at the same time, providing indications to the pilots: What is the exact role of the LSO? Why three? All of them holding a wave off switch. ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Aircraft Carrier Launches: ABE Checks and Signals

Somehow I got hooked on videos of aircraft carrier flight deck operations, and have been binge-watching over the last couple of days. (Glad it's a long weekend...) I've been able to understand many ...
6
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1answer
352 views

Where can I find more information about that glass board in old aircraft carrier operations centers?

When I was a kid, I used to read this comics about aircraft pilots in the 50's, and in the operations center of their aircraft carrier, they had operators using markers on a glass wall to keep track ...
6
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1answer
295 views

Where can aircraft carriers carry out air operations?

I'm interested in any military or civil airspace regulations about where aircraft carriers are allowed to launch and retrieve aircraft. For example, are fixed wing aircraft allowed to take off from ...
6
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1answer
190 views

Are there differences between the runway lighting on a land runway and on an aircraft carrier?

How are the lights on aircraft carriers placed and are there differences to the color/position/number of lights at normal airports?
5
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1answer
951 views

How does a pilot aim for an aircraft carrier?

This answer suggests the FPV is aimed ahead of the ship. But it doesn't make sense. (Picture from linked answer.) A runway running away at 25 knots, is the same as a stationary runway plus 25 knots ...
5
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2answers
218 views

Do carrier-borne aircraft pilots count the seconds on the downwind leg of the carrier?

On carrier landing, someone tells me that the pilots need to count several seconds on abeam leg of the landing pattern, in order to land precisely on the flight deck. Is that true? What do we call for ...