User avatar
rg828
Topic Author
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:12 pm

Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:32 pm

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
 
User avatar
Zkpilot
Posts: 3693
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:21 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:54 pm

Well a CVN carrier has 4 catapaults so it depends on how long it takes to reset after each launch with another aircraft.
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:44 pm

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
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:59 am

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.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:18 am

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.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:22 am

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.
 
packcheer
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:28 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:25 pm

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
Things that fly, Girls and Planes...
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:27 pm

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 avatar
rg828
Topic Author
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:12 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:15 am

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
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:33 am

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 avatar
par13del
Posts: 6676
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:06 pm

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.
 
sprout5199
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:26 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:30 am

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
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:18 pm

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!
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1185
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:44 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:12 pm

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.
 
sprout5199
Posts: 1681
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:26 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:12 am

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
 
trident3
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:10 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:45 pm

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.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:43 pm

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.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:47 pm

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
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:14 pm

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

Very nice video, liked it.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5563
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:40 pm

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.
 
trident3
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:10 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:13 pm

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.
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:53 pm

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
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2107
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:00 pm

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!
 
studedave
Posts: 463
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:21 am

RE: Aircraft Launch Time In A Carrier

Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:25 pm

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???

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests