Max Q
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Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:16 am

Todays US Navy Carrier Flight decks are the most boring ever, basically just F18's and E2's.


IMHO, as far as the jet age is concerned the 70's and 80' s were the era in which these flight decks carried an amazing variety of Aircraft.


A flight deck with, at one time F14's for fleet defence, A6's for all weather medium bombing, A7's for light attack, the incredible Vigilante for recon, S3's for sub patrol, and E2's for AEW (am I missing anything ?) was an incredibly impressive sight never to be equaled again.


I know technology has moved on but this seemed a far more capable Air wing than today's 'all F18' answer to every mission.


And it certainly looked good !



Thoughts / opinions ?
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:43 am

Don't forget all the rotor wings...

And yes, the F-18 she just be called what it is already... The 737 of the Navy.
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Max Q
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:46 am

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 1):
Don't forget all the rotor wings.

Didn't mean to, fixed wing has always been my primary interest though.
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Eagleboy
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
I know technology has moved on but this seemed a far more capable Air wing than today's 'all F18' answer to every mission.

The carrier air complement of the 1980's was definitely sexier than today. However if the all round F/A-18 can fulfill each of the roles mentioned above the carrier doesn't lose any 'capability' but does increase its ability to generate sorties. I am basing this on an assumption of overall reliability of the airframes and easier MX/storage control on a 2 frame air complement.

Has the change to an F-18/E-2 fleet increased the actual numbers carried since the 1980's? I am assuming the cuts in defense spending have lowered normal operational numbers in their own way.
 
cargotanker
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
A flight deck with, at one time F14's for fleet defence, A6's for all weather medium bombing, A7's for light attack, the incredible Vigilante for recon, S3's for sub patrol, and E2's for AEW (am I missing anything ?) was an incredibly impressive sight never to be equaled again.

I think at that same time you could also have KA-3s for refueling, C-2 for COD, and EA-6s for electronic warfare. Quite diverse.
 
BMI727
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:28 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 1):
And yes, the F-18 she just be called what it is already... The 737 of the Navy.

Blame Dick Cheney.
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Max Q
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:50 pm

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 4):

I think at that same time you could also have KA-3s for refueling, C-2 for COD, and EA-6s for electronic warfare. Quite diverse.

Yes, forgot about those, that Ka 3 was a big aircraft to land on a carrier and apparently very tricky to as well.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:38 am

I agree completely on how boring the load out of aircraft on a carrier is these days, and to add to that is they are missing the very colorful markings they had back in that same hey day. The hi vis markings such as my favorite, the Jolly Rogers F-14's are sorely missed by me. Less markings, less diverse aircraft.. truly bland from an aviation fans point of view. And I like rotor craft as well as fixed wing so I miss that too.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
Blame Dick Cheney.

I do. Definitely do.
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Max Q
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:23 am

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 3):

The carrier air complement of the 1980's was definitely sexier than today. However if the all round F/A-18 can fulfill each of the roles mentioned above the carrier doesn't lose any 'capability' but does increase its ability to generate sorties. I am basing this on an assumption of overall reliability of the airframes and easier MX/storage control on a 2 frame air complement.

I understand what you are saying although I doubt the F18 can accomplish all the tasks the more diverse air wings did (especially the F14)


Anyway that wasnt really the purpose of this topic.
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smittyone
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:13 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
A flight deck with, at one time F14's for fleet defence, A6's for all weather medium bombing, A7's for light attack, the incredible Vigilante for recon, S3's for sub patrol, and E2's for AEW (am I missing anything ?) was an incredibly impressive sight never to be equaled again.

I fondly remember all of these planes being included in a model kit that I built when I was a kid!
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:41 pm

There was a time when the Navy wouldn't have committed to a single type tactical aircraft to be the jack-of-all trades covering all of an air wing's requirements. Back then, there was the concern that a type of aircraft might be grounded and there'd be nothing to take its place. Hence carrier air wings had, for example, Banshees as well as Panthers; Crusaders alongside Phantom IIs. But those days appear to be long gone and the jack of all trades seems to be the current "in" thing with defense planners. And airframe reliability has come a long way as well; the diversity apparently just isn't needed any more.
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n901wa
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:57 pm

3 more to add, The RF-8G Crusader flew Photo recon up till the mid 80's and the F-4N,S and RF-4B Phantom flew off mixed decks. If you get a chance look for a picture of the USS Midway launching 2 Tomcat that landed on it in in a storm. I miss them too   I talked to a VAQ gal and told her, Please keep the Family Truckster around for a while - Im getting tired of looking at Hornets   She lauphed and said they were too. Oh and I miss the sound of the SH-3H Sea King. What a rumble  

[Edited 2012-07-24 10:59:13]

[Edited 2012-07-24 11:02:18]
 
Confuscius
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RE: Jet Age's Most Diverse Carrier Flight Deck?

Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

Todays US Navy Carrier Flight decks are the most boring ever, basically just F18's and E2's.

Makes a pretty boring Alpha Strike. IIRC, the Navy has ended this type of strike package, I may be wrong.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 7):
and to add to that is they are missing the very colorful markings they had back in that same hey day.

I believe only the "double nuts" plane(s) have the colorful markings.
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