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Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier  
User currently offlinerg828 From Brazil, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8844 times:
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Hi guys,
I was watching a great but rather obscure movie (in general, since I´m sure most of you know it) called Final Countdown. There´s a scene I love when Kirk Douglas as the Nimitz Captain barks "Launch Aircraft!" and all of the carrier´s planes take-off in rapid succession.
Now, while watching a youtube video of an F-18 launching off a cat, I couldnt help but realize what a slow process it all was, from taxiing, positioning, checks, then finally the take-off itself.
My question is, how quickly can a carrier launch all its aircraft for a maximum effort mission?
15 minutes, an hour?
Seeing the F-18 launch for real just seemed so time-consuming, if a carrier had to launch 90 aircraft in that fashion it could take the better part of a day.
Any insight into this would be great


I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4801 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8838 times:

Well a CVN carrier has 4 catapaults so it depends on how long it takes to reset after each launch with another aircraft.


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User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8797 times:

I dont know for sure but I am pretty sure thosr RF-8's bridle.

It would not surprise me to find out that bridles took longer to rig to thd catapult



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User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 8693 times:

I don't know how long it takes to launch the full complement of aircraft, but as far as individual ones remember this.. the F-18 preparing to launch that you saw was under standard or no duress. Back in the Cold War days they would often have fighters on Alert 5 and Alert 15 which meant from the word 'go' to launch was either 5 or 15 minutes.. plane preflighted, crew in and ready, sitting on a cat and fueled up ready to go. Now you can't do that with more than a few planes but just saying.


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User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8668 times:
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The quoted rate on a Nimitz is one aircraft every 20 seconds, using all four cats. So about half an hour for 90 aircraft. Landing them is a lot slower.

User currently offlineJayinKitsap From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 769 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8634 times:

The Midway (a great thing to see in SAN) it was identified that each cat cycled every 60 sec max. The adjoining cat had a phase delay of 30 sec. I belive to Qual they must demonstrate that rate, that seems to correspond with the overall rate noted of 20 sec allowing 1 cat down. It is also based on steam supply, it takes a lot to fill the accumulator for each shot.

User currently offlinepackcheer From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8491 times:

I have no idea what the maximum rate would be, and I have no idea how long a carrier could sustain this, but I found this video of a carrier launching 3 Tomcats in fairly quick succession.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=689RBtUEdQM&feature=related



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User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8427 times:

Quoting packcheer (Reply 6):
I have no idea what the maximum rate would be, and I have no idea how long a carrier could sustain this, but I found this video of a carrier launching 3 Tomcats in fairly quick succession.

Nice, except that 1 minute of crap at the beginning. Anyhow that was 2 Cats launched simultaneously off cats 2 and 3 (or 4) and 14 seconds later one is launched from Cat 1. Pretty cool.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlinerg828 From Brazil, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 8193 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Thanks fpr all the replies.
That video shows exactly what I mean: the launches themselves are quick, but that seems like a lot of time spent in the cat until the launch ok is given (love those Tomcats!)
I guess you can only go so fast what with all the people around - check how close those guys are to the exhaust, - the tight space, the limited amount of catapults and the the time it takes for steam to accumulate for all of them.
It would be nice to see a video of a full squadron launch, for example of a Libya raid targetting Khadafi in ´86.



I dont know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8018 times:

Quoting rg828 (Reply 8):
That video shows exactly what I mean: the launches themselves are quick, but that seems like a lot of time spent in the cat until the launch ok is given (love those Tomcats!)

The "delay" in launching the planes is the flight deck WAITING for the signal to launch from the CO of the ship --or more frequently, his representative. The Black Shoe NAVY likes to do things "on time" and not a moment too early (or too late). If a launch sequence is scheduled for 10:00 am, the deck will wait until EXACTLY 10:00:00 am.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 4):
The quoted rate on a Nimitz is one aircraft every 20 seconds, using all four cats.

Probably fairly accurate representative number for basic real world operations. The average time between launches on any single catapult is ~60 seconds --less with a motivated deck crew. Any delays are usually individual acft maintenance or movement issues, not the catapult(s) itself.

Quoting rg828 (Reply 8):
It would be nice to see a video of a full squadron launch, for example of a Libya raid targetting Khadafi in ´86.

Back in '83 Big-E/CVW-11 regularly launched 40+ plane Alpha-Strike packages in under 15 minutes. Deck space for maneuvering planes around was always the limiting factor. Start with 3 cats (#1, #3, #4), when #2 line of planes clears up, continue launching with 4 cats, last launches are on #1 & #2 to allow the waist to prepare for landings.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7049 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 7707 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 9):
Back in '83 Big-E/CVW-11 regularly launched 40+ plane Alpha-Strike packages in under 15 minutes. Deck space for maneuvering planes around was always the limiting factor.

Need to find more recent footage of Gulf War I, II even the night shots, in the initial campaign in I the Navy kept up a good operational rate that even impressed the Air Force.
On the nuke boats steam recycle rate is higher but all carriers have the same problem, deck space is limited and tight, affects operations more than anything else.


User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7581 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 9):
The Black Shoe NAVY likes to do things "on time" and not a moment too early (or too late). If a launch sequence is scheduled for 10:00 am, the deck will wait until EXACTLY 10:00:00 am.

As a "Black Shoe" sailor, I take offense to this. Every CO of an aircraft carrier is a "Brown Shoe" sailor, mandated by congress back in the days of the Battleship Navy, to keep the Battleship Admirals from screwing over Naval Aviation. So blame it on the "Brown Shoe" CO. Most likely, the strike planning say launch at 10, not before and not after.

Dan in Jupiter

Ex tin can sailor


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7512 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 11):
So blame it on the "Brown Shoe" CO.

Yep, but he's a "black shoe" when he got promoted to the ship CO/XO jobs and wouldn't have gotten that job without learning how to do things the "proper black shoe" way. That's why Wardroom-1 has meals at EXACT hours while Wardroom-2 serves meals 23 hrs/day (with snacks the 24th hour).

Just a friendly poke at our intra-service buddies. My wife is a retired "black shoe." We still have some fun with the colors. Sorry if you didn't get the joke.  



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlinewoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1017 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7486 times:

They changed the uniform regs in the early 2001 to allow all khakis to wear brown shoes, but you wouldn't find a single surface khaki being caught dead wearing brown shoes. I don't know nowadays what they're wearing now that they're wearing blue digital camouflage aboard ship (don't want to see the sailors on the ship)- blue camouflage boots? ;P

There's a reason why you can't be early or late but simply on time.

If you're late assaulting the beach, the covering fire has stopped, the enemy's poked his head out of his foxhole and sees you coming and kills you. If you're early assaulting the beach, you get killed by your own covering fire on the beach.

In the air though, if you're early you can delay vector your way back on time - at least that's what we'd do if we lobbed a tomahawk early, zig-zag it until it's back on sked. or if one got lobbed late because it's a backup missile fired because the primary failed to launch or transition, take out one of the preplanned zigs.


When you're operating in confined waters like the CVOAs in the Arabian Gulf, the OOD will be driving the boat so that it's in position to be able to maintain the longest track that's required to obtain the required winds over deck for launch. So for a launch evolution that may last 30 minutes, at 30 knots, the boat will need a 15-20 mile clear track in the direction the boat has to go. The CVOA isn't that long. So the driver is backtracking everything he has to do for the say 10am launch. The CVOA is oriented nw/se, and I need to sail NW to get winds for launch. So 15-20 miles of unobstructed navigable water sailing NW. I need to get the boat into the southeast corner of the CVOA so that when we start launching at 10am I don't have to interrupt flight ops by maneuvering because I ran out of water. lets say it takes 5 minutes for a 180 degree turn. it's 0930 and I'm 10 miles from SE corner of the CVOA. 25 minutes to go 10 miles - 24kts required to get to the turn point at 0955. get to the se corner at 0955, turn, accelerate to 30kts to get WOD. 1000 steady on course and speed, give the airboss a green deck for launch. A bit simplified, but that's what's driving things behind the scene from the bridge's point of view for a carrier launch to get you the cool catapult videos on youtube.

[Edited 2012-03-19 11:25:11]


Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7264 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 13):
They changed the uniform regs in the early 2001 to allow all khakis to wear brown shoes, but you wouldn't find a single surface khaki being caught dead wearing brown shoes. I don't know nowadays what they're wearing now that they're wearing blue digital camouflage aboard ship (don't want to see the sailors on the ship)- blue camouflage boots? ;P


Dont get me started on those Damn new uniforms. What was wrong with dungarees? Comfy, easy to clean, A real work uniform. Camo? on a ship? Really? And khaki for E-6 and below? What am I a Jarhead or Ground Pounder? No I'm a Sailor and need to look like a Sailor, the good humor suit and nazi ss uniform were fine. Damn PC days, bring back HAZING. 

Sorry for the rant.

Quoting woodreau (Reply 13):


Thanks for the great explanation

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlinetrident3 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7181 times:

Found this fantastic 1960s Royal Navy training film on You Tube. I'm guessing that whilst the equipment may have changed, the principles are the same. Got to love those Scimitars, Sea Vixens and Gannets!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moBd9...-vrec&context=G20c77cbRVAAAAAAAAAA



"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 8 hours ago) and read 6879 times:

Trident you can't be putting great videos like that up while I am at work.

I'm going to get in trouble watching them

Thought the roller plate for shifting the main gear was interesting.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2838 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6737 times:

I know this is a little off topic then your OP, but I did run across this HD video today of operations off the Carl Vinson that's probably the best quality one I've seen. Enjoy, I know I did.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=514_1332731538



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6704 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
but I did run across this HD video today

Very nice video, liked it.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently onlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7569 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6695 times:

Quoting rg828 (Reply 8):
That video shows exactly what I mean: the launches themselves are quick, but that seems like a lot of time spent in the cat until the launch ok is given (love those Tomcats!)

When they need to, they can move and get set on the cat quite fast. It is safer to be a bit slower. Back in the dark ages when I was an active duty senior chief - an aircraft carrier flight deck was called the most dangerous work place in the world.


User currently offlinetrident3 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1013 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6685 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 16):

Thought the roller plate for shifting the main gear was interesting.

This vid shows them in action a bit more clearly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT5f8Rgj3y0&feature=related



"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2838 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 18):
Very nice video, liked it.

Definitely some unusual camera angles. The landing gear cameras were great. I thought I saw a Sea Knight at .20 seconds in, that has to be a camera ship.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2098 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6656 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
I thought I saw a Sea Knight at .20 seconds in, that has to be a camera ship.

Definitely is a Sea Knight.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6506 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 17):
I did run across this HD video today of operations off the Carl Vinson that's probably the best quality one I've seen. Enjoy, I know I did.

That is indeed a very good video!!!
I saw a nice mix of old school, new school, shore based (NAS Whidbey for one), multiple carriers, East Coast, West Coast, and the like. I'd give it two thumbs up!!!


StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
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