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