User avatar
Loran
Topic Author
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:13 am

Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:02 am


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Eyre



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
703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 788 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 AN2/3/F/4/6/28/74/40/48/58 IL1/8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2 YK4/2
 
bennett123
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:02 am

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.
 
zanl188
Posts: 3447
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:29 am



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
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
zanl188
Posts: 3447
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:55 am



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....
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:13 pm



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 avatar
Loran
Topic Author
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:13 am

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:33 am



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
703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 788 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 AN2/3/F/4/6/28/74/40/48/58 IL1/8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2 YK4/2
 
dragon6172
Posts: 796
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:21 am



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
 
kingairta
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:24 pm

RE: Some Life-Cycle Questions On USN Aircraft

Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:58 am

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

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 747classic, CMHChris, thaiflyer and 4 guests