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Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft  
User currently offlineLoran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 539 posts, RR: 4
Posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4689 times:


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Reading the comments on this photo, a couple of questions came up. It says:

Quote:
At left is 149950/NK-506 a Grumman A-6E Intruder of VA-196 "Milestones". Delivered 1 Nov 1963 as an early A-6A Intruder, later converted to A-6E. At retirement it had completed 4214 flight hours, 827 catapult launches and 837 arrested landings.

Is this an average number of cycles / hours for military, or specifically Navy aircraft? To me this seemed to be a relatively low number, I would have thought they would go beyond 10,000 hours on a regular basis.

How many deployments would an USN aircraft go through in its entire life-cycle? And how many arrested landings / catapult take-offs would be conducted? Somewhere I picked up that USN aircraft would fly on average twice a day during deployments (depending on type / contingency situation). Is this a realistic number? That would equate to around 360 landings / take-offs on a 6 month deployment, meaning this A-6E would only have been deployed approx. 3 times in its entire life?

And my last question, how can the number of take-offs and landings be different? What other means of getting off the ship are common practice?
Thanks for any suggestions.

Regards,
Loran


703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7632 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4671 times:

My understanding is that carrier aircraft experience a lot more stress due to carrier operations. Also a damp salty environment does not help.

As to the figures, if you fly from a land base to a carrier you get an arrested landing but not catapult launch.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4656 times:
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Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):

As to the figures, if you fly from a land base to a carrier you get an arrested landing but not catapult launch.

But you get a cat launch without an arrested landing when you fly back to the land base...

Carrier aircraft occasionally get "launched" by a crane if they are unserviceable at the end of the cruise. Further it's posible to get an arrested landing ashore, most military bases have arresting gear, and few if any bases have catapults.

Quoting Loran (Thread starter):
Somewhere I picked up that USN aircraft would fly on average twice a day during deployments (depending on type / contingency situation). Is this a realistic number?

I'm not Navy and I've never been aboard an operational carrier. But my experience with military aircraft suggests that your figures are wildly optimistic. I bet 2 or 3 times a week is more likely.

Link below suggests that in 1998 only 80% of deployed Navy aircraft were even airworthy on a given day let alone flying twice... (IMO 80% is actually a fairly decent MC rate BTW)

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/testimony/readiness/ellis0311.txt



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4648 times:
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Quoting Loran (Thread starter):
That would equate to around 360 landings / take-offs on a 6 month deployment,

You're assuming the carrier conducts flight ops every day during a deployment... This is not possible. Some days the ship will be in transit and the winds will not be favorable, some days the ship will be on a port visit, and then there is the occasional steel beach party....



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User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4612 times:



Quoting Loran (Thread starter):
At left is 149950/NK-506 a Grumman A-6E Intruder of VA-196 "Milestones". Delivered 1 Nov 1963 as an early A-6A Intruder, later converted to A-6E. At retirement it had completed 4214 flight hours, 827 catapult launches and 837 arrested landings.

These numbers are about average for a military aircraft. You can compared the numbers above with the numbers for the A-6 BUNO 152603 shown at the bottom of the following site:

http://www.intruderassociation.org/squadrons/va128.html


User currently offlineLoran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 539 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4399 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
Carrier aircraft occasionally get "launched" by a crane if they are unserviceable at the end of the cruise. Further it's posible to get an arrested landing ashore, most military bases have arresting gear, and few if any bases have catapults.

Didn't think of the land bases, thanks.

Interesting information. Still, what would be a reasonable figure for the number of deployments of an average USN aircraft during its life-cycle? And in what intervals do the squadrons deploy on a carrier?

Thanks again.

Loran



703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2
User currently offlineDragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4279 times:



Quoting Loran (Reply 5):
Still, what would be a reasonable figure for the number of deployments of an average USN aircraft during its life-cycle? And in what intervals do the squadrons deploy on a carrier?

If you figure a squadron deploys for 6 months out of every 24 months, with an aircraft life of about 12-16 years (airframes have various life limits, so this number may be corrected by someone), that would give you 6-8 deployments in the aircrafts life. I would say that while deployed, each squadron probably schedules 2-4 aircraft twice a day on average. Obviously more during some operations, and less during open ocean ops.

I worked on helicopters while I was in, most of our airframes were in the 10-15 thousand hour range, and upwards of 20k landings.



Phrogs Phorever
User currently offlineKingairTA From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4270 times:

The UC-12B I fly on has over 21,000 hours. By the way she was built back in '74.

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