tsentsan
Posts: 1921
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Carrier Landing Systems

Sat Apr 27, 2002 7:31 pm

Hi guys,

Dont know if this has been mentioned before, just wanted to find out if US type Aircraft Carriers (eg Nimitz class, Enterprise etc) have a sort of ILS based landing system for their aircraft or do they have to rely visually?

Thanks
Tsentsan
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usafjr
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Sat Apr 27, 2002 10:25 pm

They must have some sort of something or they wouldnt make night landings so often.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Mon Apr 29, 2002 12:35 pm

Carriers are fitted with the Automatic Carrier Landing System which allow certain aircraft to be "auto-landed" onto the carrier. Not all carrier aircraft can use the system however. Whether it's popular with the aircrews is another matter. (I don't think it is.)

F-14s aren't equipped with ACLS (I don't think).
F-18s are.

Otherwise landings are all done visually day and night without any automatics.

There are flight deck lights and the drop line lights to help the pilot land onboard. If the carrier is operating close to friendly land, the returning aircraft have an option to divert to land, otherwise the carrier is the only place to land and the pilots just keep trying and trying until they get back onboard.

The fun part is when they turn out the flight deck lights, try landing with NVGs  Smile I think helo pilots have it harder when they are using NVGs to land. Try putting a helo onto a pitching flight deck 100ft x 35ft wide with no lights at night. You realize very quickly how important peripheral vision is in trying to land. You're missing a lot of visual cues that you have during the day. There is no equivalent automatic landing system for helicopters.

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau / KMVL

Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
jwenting
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Mon Apr 29, 2002 4:34 pm

But at least with an Oceanhawk you can divert to a destroyer that can winch you aboard. Haven't seen that happen to a Hornet yet  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Last time aircraft were pulled aboard ship by attaching a rope to it and pulling was in the 1920s I think. Simpler times, but probably just as scary (if not more so) for the young crews.
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flyn
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Mon Apr 29, 2002 6:09 pm


I Watched one landing on Wings all white deck on the ship (snow) And snowing like crazy and the pilot said he didn't see anything until the jet came to a sudden stop . he saw a ground crew walk in front the jet when it stopped. I think its the other way around to the ground crew is flying the aircraft by telling the pilot what to do. Would have to be a little different because the ship moves.

I know they winch helicopters down in heavy wind


 
Contact_tower
Posts: 534
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Mon Apr 29, 2002 9:09 pm

I think a TACAN is installed on many carriers, or am I wrong? (Not 100% sure)
 
Woodreau
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Tue Apr 30, 2002 3:20 am

Found it...

The system is called the AN/SPN-46 ACLS. It has a I/K-band radar. The I-band radar probably find the aircraft and the K-band is the datalink.

Has three modes:
Mode 1 - full autoland
Mode 2 - "ILS mode" provides landing cues to the pilot
Mode 3 - carrier-controlled talk-down mode


On a separate topic

All aviation capable ships in the Navy and Coast Guard have the AN/URN-25 TACAN system installed so that aircraft can find the ship in the middle of the ocean. The TACAN channel assignment for ships can be easily changed. I guess landbased TACAN stations channels can be changed too, but then you'd have to update the charts as well.

There are standard non-precision TACAN approaches published for ships.


The winch is part of the RAST (Recovery Assist Securing and Traversing) system. The winch is built into the HSD (helicopter securing device, called the "Beartrap") basically a big sturdy metal frame with "teeth" which latches onto the helo probe after it's hauled down onto the flight deck. The HSD then moves the helo into (or out of) the hangar.

Cheers  Smile
Woodreau / KMVL
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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STT757
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Tue Apr 30, 2002 7:39 am

Lakehurst designs and builds such systems to support the fleet,

http://www.lakehurst.navy.mil/nlweb/directory-aboutus1.htm
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
tsentsan
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Tue Apr 30, 2002 12:28 pm

Woodreau,

Thanks man, there was very enlightening  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Was always wondering how they managed to hit the deck so nicely...
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jwenting
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RE: Carrier Landing Systems

Tue Apr 30, 2002 1:38 pm

practice used to make perfect, and now they can have the machines do it all for them.
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