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105 votes
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Why was the P-51 Mustang not adopted by the U.S. Navy?

The biggest driver behind the use of the P-51 Mustang in naval operations was the need for B-29 escorts while bombing Japan. No naval fighter at the time had the range to accompany the B-29's so the P-...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
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44 votes

Why does the Blue Angels C-130 ‘Fat Albert’ have loadmasters?

Fat Albert’s primary purpose is actually transporting spare parts, tools, and maintenance personnel from show to show. Performing demonstrations is more of a byproduct of being part of the team. Most ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
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
32 votes
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What is this board given to a pilot in World War II?

The photo in the question is a screenshot from the movie "Midway"(2019). The board is a Mark 3A Plotting Board used for navigation by pilots flying from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers during World War ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
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31 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

Years ago I met a guy with an aerospace supplier I used to deal with in the US, who was a former instructor in the USN in the T-45 Goshawk. I asked him why he quit flying to do what he was doing, and ...
John K's user avatar
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24 votes
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What are these aircraft at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake?

This answer is a Community Wiki. Community edits are welcome. The aircraft in the photo appear to be the following, or varients therof: Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3) source, photographer: Brian ...
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
23 votes

What aircraft are parked in this naval air station?

At the right end of the row of eight fighters, the two delta wings look like Dassault Mirages. Trailing edge with a slight reverse sweep. Ordnance just visible mid-span. Upper fuselage flared ...
Camille Goudeseune'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
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18 votes

Why wasn't the F-14 upgraded for an electronic warfare role after the Cold War?

Cost, weight, age, and commonality. Cost and weight: The F/A-18 was designed to be a relatively affordable and maintainable multirole fighter, in part addressing the deficiencies of the F-14 in this ...
Therac's user avatar
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16 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

Glaucoma would do it -- reduces peripheral vision almost immediately (that's often the cause for diagnosis, unless someone is having medical eye exams on the regular like a diabetic would), leads to ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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14 votes

Why don't the US Navy Blue Angels fly Super Hornets?

The USN Blue Angel demonstration team is transitioning to Super Hornets. According to this press report: “We are supporting the Navy’s plans to transition the Blue Angels to Super Hornet aircraft ...
aeroalias's user avatar
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14 votes
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What is this US Navy airplane seen at Westover AFB?

I think it should be the T-28C
Afe's user avatar
  • 1,501
14 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

A bit more exotic incident would be the one that happened to Finnish Air Force test pilots about ten years ago: During a test flight of a "frankenplane" put together of two carcasses of F/A-...
Jpe61's user avatar
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12 votes
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Do U.S. aircraft carriers still include a Marine Corps squadron?

According to Wikipedia's page on Carrier Air Wings, there are nine active carrier air wings currently active (for eleven aircraft carriers). Of those nine, CVW-9 includes Marine Corps squadron VMFA-...
rclocher3's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the aircraft loss-rate from Nimitz-class aircraft carriers?

The Naval Safety Center publishes some useful stats here. (Rates are per 100,000 flight hours per year. Source.) (Source.) A few more details are available in the summaries. One example: Other ...
Hephaestus Aetnaean's user avatar
10 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

Anything health related could be a reason. Pilots go to for checkups at the doctor at regular intervals. Even the suspicion of a minor heart problem could be one reason. This includes ECG and other ...
ghellquist's user avatar
  • 1,586
9 votes

What is this radial-engined US Navy aircraft in Iceland?

It appears to be a Douglas C-117 which is a C-47 with more powerful engines. Tail number 17191 flew out of Iceland https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Douglas-C-117D-DC-3S/2157319 From the linked ...
Bageletas's user avatar
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8 votes

Why was the F-14 retired 15 years ago while the contemporary F-15 is still operational?

There aren't enough F-22s to go around. Too expensive. The F-18C/D Hornet that replaced the F-14 has itself been mostly replaced by the F-18E/F Super Hornet. The look the same, but the E/F is actually ...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 9,488
8 votes

What is this US Navy airplane seen at Westover AFB?

The full name is a North American T 28 Trojan.
G Holford's user avatar
7 votes

Why was the P-51 Mustang not adopted by the U.S. Navy?

The P-51D's power-loading was more or less identical to that of the F6F-5; about 7.70 lb / hp at MTOW; the F6F was considerably heavier but had 30% more engine power with the R2800-1OW capable over 2,...
Andrew Stephenson's user avatar
7 votes
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What aircraft are parked in this naval air station?

They are private aircraft owned by ATAC for adversary training https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_Tactical_Advantage_Company Its main air operations base is at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, ...
Bageletas's user avatar
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7 votes

How are the landing lights of the legacy F-18 Hornet seen before landing on the carrier?

No. The lights match the standard AoA indexer in the cockpit. When the airplane is on AoA, the center amber light is illuminated, as is the amber ‘donut’ on the AoA display. If the airplane is at a ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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6 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

Are you aware of the TV Series that ran from 1995-2005 called "JAG," which is almost exactly the same as your premise? It was explained in the show opening that: Following in his father's ...
Mohair's user avatar
  • 341
6 votes

Why wasn't the F-14 upgraded for an electronic warfare role after the Cold War?

Just to build on the answer by Therac; at the end of the Cold War the US Navy also had the ES-3 based on the S-3 Viking, the EA-3 based on the A-3 Skywarrior as well as the EA-6 based on the A-6 ...
bjelleklang's user avatar
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5 votes
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How are carrier landings graded?

To paraphrase GySgt Foley from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman: “My grandmother is an aspiring Naval Aviator!” Anyway, I am a former LSO, and I pulled out my old LSO NATOPS manual to see if I ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
5 votes
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What were the common crew ranks on WWII US Navy flying boats and bombers?

The Navy did operate some large aircraft, notably the PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateer, variants of the B-24 Liberator. This was a late-war addition, the first being delivered in 1944 with the ...
SSumner's user avatar
  • 5,364
5 votes

Why was the F-14 retired 15 years ago while the contemporary F-15 is still operational?

The chief reason was to save money. At the turn of the 21st Century, the Navy saw shifting to the new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for all seaborne tactical strike operation (and eventually electronic ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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