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93 votes
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Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine?

Yes, The HMS M2 had a single seaplane aboard that it was capable of launching. Her 12-inch gun was removed, replaced by a small aircraft hangar, the work being completed in 1927. This could ...
Dave's user avatar
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56 votes
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What do pilots landing on aircraft carriers do when the ship is not visible due to weather?

My experience is circa 1990s, but I can offer some perspective on US fixed wing operations. Besides TACAN and ASR for non-precision approaches, there are (were) 3 precision instrument approach options ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
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46 votes
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Why are special aircraft used for the carriers in the United States Navy?

It's technical, not political The F-35 was an attempt to do exactly what you propose, lowering costs by planned sharing of 80% of parts across variants, but it turns out that the USN's F-35C costs ...
StephenS's user avatar
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37 votes
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Why do naval jet aircraft need to have strengthened undercarriages?

The landing on carrier is indeed hard. The reason is not the deceleration (which is handled by the hook), but the touch-down. Since the deck is short, the wires can't be spaced very far apart, so the ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
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37 votes
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What is the guy in green showing to the F/A-18E pilot before catapult launch?

That's a weight check. The sign has the weight of the aircraft in pounds. The catapult crew guy first shows the presumed weight to the PIC who must give a thumbs up, agreeing, "Yes, that is the weight ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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36 votes
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Slanted Brown Rectangles on Aircraft Carriers?

The rectangles are called impact pads. The ends of the arresting cable tend to snap back onto the deck after an aircraft catches it. The replaceable polyurethane pads protect the carrier deck from the ...
fooot's user avatar
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34 votes

Does an aircraft carrier have a VOR onboard?

Aircraft carriers use a TACAN, which stands for Tactical Aid to Navigation. (The Navy is really good at making acronyms that don't follow normal conventions for abbreviation) Functionally the TACAN ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
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33 votes
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Can a plane land on an aircraft carrier without support from its crew?

The Nimitz Class aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built. With over 6,000 personnel (crew and aircrew), the carrier has a displacement of 102,000t, and a flight deck length of 332.9m. ...
CrossRoads's user avatar
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32 votes
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Is is possible to land a midsize commercial plane on an Ford Class aircraft carrier?

A Classic 737's maximum landing weight is about 114,000# for a -300, less for a -500, more for a -400. But that is max. Down to "almost empty" gas tanks, knock another 8 or 10,000# off of ...
Ralph J's user avatar
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30 votes

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

Most carrier-borne aircraft can't: they need (at a minimum) the arrestor wire system to be functional and set to the correct weight. As jwenting said, smaller aircraft may be able to. A C-130 ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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28 votes
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How do aircraft on the deck of a moving aircraft carrier align their INS/IRS?

The aircraft carrier has its own inertial navigation system, (SINS - Ship's Inertial Navigation System) and this information is transmitted to each individual aircraft INS by either cable or datalink. ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
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28 votes
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What is the purpose of the arrow on the flightdeck of USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

That’s a deck launch arrow. As shown above with the Harriers and prior to the 1990s, certain aircraft were permitted to deck launch under their own power, under certain weight and loadout restrictions,...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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26 votes

Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine?

Also consider the Japanese I-400 class submarine, that carried three Aichi M6A Serian bombers. Probably the most advanced aircraft carrying submarines ever built. They entered service too late to ...
tj1000's user avatar
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24 votes

Slanted Brown Rectangles on Aircraft Carriers?

Good answer by fooot already, but to add some detail, it isn't the cables themselves as much as this beefy steel "knuckle" connecting the more readily replacable cross-deck pendant to the ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
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22 votes

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

All VTOL's (Vertial takeoff or landing) planes will be able to land on an abandoned carrier, as they need a vastly reduced runway; it would be a bit like landing a helicopter. They will do so though ...
UKMonkey's user avatar
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21 votes
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Why are these carrier aircraft landing with the canopy open?

Because it is the standard operating procedure, not only for this aircraft, but also for others. In the book U.S. Naval Air Superiority: Development of Shipborne Jet Fighters - 1943-1962, [Tommy H. ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
20 votes

What is the purpose of the arrow on the flightdeck of USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

It is the marking showing takeoff direction for non-catapult, STOL type aircraft. Here you see a pair of Harriers directly aligned, with yellow shirt "shooters" in control.
Pilothead's user avatar
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19 votes

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

Depends what's on the deck Carriers often stuff the deck with aircraft, or have the deck disrupted for other reasons. If the evacuation interrupted an evolution when the deck was cluttered or in ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
19 votes
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Can an F-16 land on an aircraft carrier, at all?

The hook is for emergency use at airports that have Runway Arrestor Systems. Lots of non-naval fighters have arrestor hooks for that purpose. Now, there is nothing stopping someone from landing an F-...
John K's user avatar
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18 votes
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Why is an aircraft carrier's arresting cable made from steel?

The single most important thing for an arrestor cable is that it works reliably, compared to this incremental differences in weight or durability are fairly minor considerations. One of the major ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
18 votes

Has an airplane ever been launched from a submarine?

If you allow "airplane" = "unmanned aircraft"...then, jets! There was Regulus 1 Submarine testing was performed from 1947 to 1953 at the Navy's facility at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, with USS ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes
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What capabilities have been lost with the retirement of the F-14?

The F-14 wasn't just an air defense fighter. Any multirole would work for a carrier-on-carrier fight, winning through numbers and training. The F-14 was designed to counter a specific threat: Tu-16s ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
17 votes

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

The YF-17 is the answer to your question. It is the predecessor to the F/A-18, and was designed as a land-based fighter. The YF-17 is much lighter than the F/A-18, because it does not need to carry ...
zymhan's user avatar
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15 votes
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How can an aircraft not fall into the sea after the arresting cable snaps during a carrier landing?

The truth of the matter: That E-2C pilot escaped crashing by a hair's breadth. He was just very, very fortunate that the combination of holding full power, the position on the flight deck where the ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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15 votes
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Has an unauthorized civilian ever tried to land on an aircraft carrier?

I'm not exactly sure whether this counts, but I think the landing of South Vietnamese Air Force Major Buang-Ly on USS midway using a Cessna O-1 Bird_Dog comes pretty close. Though Major Buang-Ly was ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
15 votes

What is the typical sink rate during a well-executed carrier landing at the moment the main wheels touch the deck?

A lot. About 3-4 m/s (600-800 fpm). This is the speed at which 'normal' landing gear begin to break. For carrier landings, there is no flare, so the touchdown speed equals to the sink rate on the ...
Zeus's user avatar
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