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Modern Aircraft Carrier

Discussion in 'The Lighter Side' started by Mrs Glockrunner, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Mrs Glockrunner

    Mrs Glockrunner

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  2. RDW

    RDW BTDT

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  3. Washingtonrebel

    Washingtonrebel

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  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    All that talk about the steam catapult has me wondering. Why don't they catapult launch planes from ground based runways?



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  5. fwm

    fwm

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    Because there is a tremendous weight penalty in Navy aircraft in the landing gear structures required for carrier launches as well as retrieval. Land based aircraft using runways use that saved weight in more arms, electronics, cameras or fuel.

    ETA: There is also the 'shifting wind'. The carrier is always pointed into the wind. A land based catapult may or may not be launching into favorable wind conditions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  6. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Thanks for the info.



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  7. tuica

    tuica

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    A pretty amazing, and never boring, activity to watch in person. A capability beyond the skills of most nations. (USS Coral Sea 1977-1980).
     
  8. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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    Steam catapults are also expensive to build and difficult to maintain. It's cheaper to just build a longer runway.

    Also, if you catapult launched an airliner or non-military vehicle (for instance) you could wind up breaking a passenger's (or pilot's) neck. Navy pilots have to plant their head back to prevent this.

    Basically there is no real advantage. I suppose it could work in an area where it is difficult to find enough flat straight land to build a runway but the aircraft would have to be modified.