Types of aircraft carrier decks: pros and cons


Aircraft carriers are one of the most important strike forces of surface fleets of large sea powers. In this case, of particular importance is the speed of lifting into the air of an aircraft wing placed on an aircraft carrier ship. The combat power of an aircraft carrier depends on the deck, its proper location, and logistics.


As you know, aircraft carriers appeared during the First World War. In the early 1920s, British naval engineers drew attention to the specifics of the organization of the flight deck of aircraft carriers. Soon at the Royal navy UK aircraft carriers acquired a rounded nose limb flight deck. The aft deck overhang became horizontal.

Around the same time, both flight decks came into fashion in both the UK and Japan. Now light fighter aircraft could start from the auxiliary take-off deck. On the Japanese ships "Akagi" and "Kaga" even two auxiliary take-off decks appeared. But the "weighting" of marine aircraft aviation did its job: they needed an increasing run-up before launch, as a result of which the concept of double flight decks had to be abandoned. But the need to ensure the simultaneous take-off and landing of aircraft remained.

When was nuclear weaponnaturally the idea of ​​creating a ship arose from which aircraft with atomic bombs could take off. American designers proposed the concept of an axial deck with a lifting superstructure-island, and the British Royal Navy offered a landing system such as a flexible landing pad. In 1951, an English officer Dennis Campbell first expressed the idea of ​​creating a corner deck of an aircraft carrier.

Prior to Campbell's proposal, aircraft carriers, such as Essex ships, had a straight deck construction. As a result, aircraft could either take off from an aircraft carrier, or land on it. Campbell's proposal fundamentally changed this scheme. Another angular line was added to the center line, which allowed not only to take off and land simultaneously, but also to land several times without the risk of crashing into other planes.

The idea of ​​Campbell became interested in the US Navy. As a result, at the Lee airfield near Portsmouth, the concept of the angular deck was tested in the conditions of the range, then a drawing of the experimental ship was performed, in the role of the aircraft carrier Triumph. Finally, from September to December 1952, at the naval shipyard in New York, Antiеtam (CVS-36) was recently upgraded to the corner deck, recently returning from use on the Korean Peninsula in military operations.


The tests were very successful and the US military no longer doubted the effectiveness of the corner deck. Following the US Navy, the angular deck, finding it a significant plus, was accepted by the Royal Navy aircraft carriers of the United Kingdom, and then the fleets of other states. The same aircraft carriers that could not be equipped with a corner deck were converted into helicopter carriers.

Now many experts are wondering if the corner deck is the “crown of evolution” of aircraft carrier decks, or are there any further development paths? So far, the corner architecture has been laid as the basis for the architecture of the XNUMXst-century American aircraft carrier project.

But the idea of ​​returning to the axial deck is again being put forward. For example, an aircraft carrier can have 2 direct landing decks of the upper level with a catapult placed between them. On the lower deck there are 2 additional catapults that provide taxiing of the aircraft from the upper level hangar. From the lower hangar planes are lifted using 4 special lifts. Experts attribute the presence of 2 hangars, 2 direct landing strips, as well as axial placement of the superstructure to the undoubted advantages of the project, which allows to reduce the turbulence of air flows at the rate of landing.

Also, flight decks are divided into flat decks and diving decks. The first type of decks is designed for horizontal take-off aircraft, in order to raise them into the air, a steam catapult is required. At present, all US Navy aircraft carriers and the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle have a flat flight deck.


French Navy Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle

Flight decks with diving boards are used for aircraft with vertical and short take-off. Runway and landing strip combined. This type of deck is typical for the carriers of the Royal Navy of Great Britain, the Italian Navy, Spain, India, Thailand and the Russian Navy.

If we talk about the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, it occupies a special position among aircraft carriers with flight decks with a springboard. It is based on aircraft capable of taking off without a catapult, from a short runway. Also, the aircraft carrier has a corner landing deck and cable aerofinishers, which are absent from other aircraft carriers with a springboard.

But the start of the aircraft from the springboard has certain disadvantages: since to raise the air for a combat mission, the aircraft must put the engines into afterburner mode, their resource is generated and fuel consumption is increased. As a result, this circumstance reduces the flight time, respectively, and the time to complete the tasks is also reduced.
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  1. tlauicol April 2 2020 10: 33 New
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    Just prepared to read ... and the article ended
    1. iouris April 2 2020 13: 11 New
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      Apparently, there was enough money to pay for creativity exactly on this text. Crisis, be it ...
    2. timokhin-aa April 2 2020 17: 40 New
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      The same emotions.
      The topic has not been disclosed.
  2. Lipchanin April 2 2020 10: 41 New
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    But starting a plane from a springboard has certain disadvantages:

    Well, all the same "pluses" to get will never work.
    Sorry for the tautology
    Also, the aircraft carrier has a corner landing deck and cable aerofinishers, which are absent from other aircraft carriers with a springboard.

    Why is it interesting?
    1. Avior April 2 2020 10: 55 New
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      because the rest have vertical take-off and landing planes
      however, India has the same finish as Kuznetsov and the planes are the same.
      quick and fast article
      1. Lipchanin April 2 2020 10: 57 New
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        Quote: Avior
        because the rest have vertical take-off and landing planes

        That is, they take off horizontally, but land vertically?
        1. Avior April 2 2020 11: 00 New
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          yes, but they can also fly vertically, only the range will drop sharply
          Harrier, he is now the only one, except for f-35, which is replacing him.
          https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_AV-8B_Harrier_II
    2. The comment was deleted.
  3. Doccor18 April 2 2020 10: 55 New
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    The topic is serious and disassembled a thousand times. And here ... an article for the sake of the article.
    Ideally, an aircraft carrier should provide takeoff of 4 aircraft and landing 2. Desire at the same time. But such a giant, even the Yankees will not pull. And the rest is compromises and the level of completeness of pockets.
    1. Irokez April 3 2020 11: 13 New
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      Maybe something like that will do.
      1. illuminat April 3 2020 11: 39 New
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        Not suitable. Intersecting courses are the most dangerous thing on take-off and landing. Therefore, they always try to make them diverging.
  4. Doctor April 2 2020 11: 03 New
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    As an option.
    A narrow elongated central superstructure divides the ships into two symmetrical parts.
    One half takes off (possible with a springboard), the other landing. On takeoff, two lifts at the beginning, landing at the end.
    Pros:
    1. For takeoff and landing, the entire length of the aircraft carrier is used. The strip can be up to 300 m long, a catapult is not needed.
    2. Using two lifts on take-off and two on landing, as well as a multi-story hangar, it is possible to organize a change of aircraft in a continuous circular queue, which will accelerate the general exit of the group.
    3. The ship becomes symmetrical in weight, which will increase overall stability.
    4. With a sufficient height of the superstructure, the overall visibility and range of the radar is improved.
    5. There is much more space in the superstructure; it is possible to deploy air defense missiles.
    6. The ship just looks beautiful without an ugly skewed landing deck.

    1. Lipchanin April 2 2020 11: 20 New
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      Quote: Arzt
      A narrow elongated central superstructure divides the ships into two symmetrical parts.

      You know, when I read the same scheme, it occurred to me.
      I was ashamed to express my opinion.
      All the same, no specialist sideways))
    2. alstr April 2 2020 11: 31 New
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      There is only one minus - there are restrictions on the wingspan and requires higher qualifications when landing, because Landing is limited in width more rigidly.

      If we fantasize towards the central superstructure, it makes sense to simply build TWO mirrored ABs and connect them into a catamaran. )))
      1. Doctor April 2 2020 11: 33 New
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        There is only one minus - there are restrictions on the wingspan and requires higher qualifications when landing, because Landing is limited in width more rigidly.

        This is a question for the pilots, what are they more afraid of: a narrow strip or a short one?
        1. illuminat April 3 2020 11: 37 New
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          Narrow of course. The sidewall is always more dangerous and more difficult to land than the longitudinal one. Therefore, the long and narrow island that you proposed is worse than the short one.
        2. Siberian54 15 June 2020 18: 08 New
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          I’m also “divan”, but all the same, about the narrow one on the ground, yes, the side wind, and on the water the wind always blows where you need it, so “narrow in my amateurism is better than short.
      2. Doctor April 2 2020 11: 50 New
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        If we fantasize towards the central superstructure, it makes sense to simply build TWO mirrored ABs and connect them into a catamaran. )))

        And how will half the catamaran exchange planes?
        Everything is simpler in one building, the plane landed, at the end of the runway it went down to level 3, the pilot went to smoke, the plane drove to a gas station, refueled, raised to level 2, hung rockets, raised to level 1, put in line, the pilot sits down again and go!
        1. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 12: 17 New
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          And where will they just stand? Where to be repaired? Do 2-3 more levels?
          1. Doctor April 2 2020 12: 20 New
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            And where will they just stand? Where to be repaired? Do 2-3 more levels?

            In the center of the decks. And the movement goes along the edges, like a treadmill around the stadium.
            Now, too, everyone is on the heap, so there is no ideal.
      3. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 12: 01 New
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        There is another serious minus - the lack of parking for aircraft. Parking, of course, can be organized, but then the advantages are lost.
        1. Doctor April 2 2020 12: 12 New
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          There is another serious minus - the lack of parking for aircraft.

          And why is it needed at all, everything is inside.
          1. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 12: 16 New
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            If you do everything inside, then no volumes will be enough.
            1. Doctor April 2 2020 12: 25 New
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              If you do everything inside, then no volumes will be enough.

              Well, now is it really all the time on deck transport? Roll out immediately before take-off, for acceleration.
              But of course you need to count.
              1. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 12: 37 New
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                On the deck are those who did not have enough deck space. Second, the hangars have a much smaller width than the flight deck, and even significantly narrower than the hull of the ship. Modern American ABs are able to accommodate a maximum of 70 - 75 aircraft inside, with tight packing without the ability to move them along the length of the hangar.
                1. Doctor April 2 2020 12: 43 New
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                  Second, the hangars have a much smaller width than the flight deck, and even significantly narrower than the hull of the ship.

                  As I understand it, this was done in order to pass through the canals (Panama, Suez, etc.).
                  This is not so critical for us, if only we left Avacha Bay, so what can be done like a barge.
                  And this is a completely different capacity ...
                  1. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 12: 49 New
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                    “And this is a completely different capacity ...“ - and another seaworthiness, structural strength, etc.
                    1. Doctor April 2 2020 13: 03 New
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                      and other seaworthiness, structural strength, etc.

                      Better or worse? Tankers carry heavy loads and do not break. Speed ​​yes, lower. But where should we hurry? We walk slowly along California, above us is a swarm of LA, below us are two Boreas ...
                      1. Sergey Valov April 2 2020 13: 21 New
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                        After that, I went into self-isolation.
      4. Doctor April 2 2020 12: 37 New
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        There is only one minus - there are restrictions on the wingspan and requires higher qualifications when landing, because Landing is limited in width more rigidly.

        Let's estimate.
        AB length 300 m, total width 60 m, superstructure width 10 m.
        There are 25 m on lanes.
        The wingspan of the Su-35S is 14,75 m.
        If you plant strictly in the center, the gap with the superstructure will be about 5 meters.
        But you can get closer to the edge of the deck. Then the gap is 10 m.
        Is that enough?
        1. alstr April 2 2020 13: 21 New
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          This is a fighter. What about AWACS?
          But even for a fighter it will not be enough. Especially if the excitement and / or damage to the aircraft (injured pilot).
      5. Alexey RA April 2 2020 14: 10 New
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        Quote: alstr
        There is only one minus - there are restrictions on the wingspan and requires higher qualifications when landing, because Landing is limited in width more rigidly.

        There is still a question with air turbulences created by a long superstructure along the entire length of the take-off and landing deck, and even behind the stern AB.
        1. garri-lin April 2 2020 19: 00 New
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          No add-on is needed. Two slender turrets with equipment are enough for the eyes.
          1. Alexey RA April 2 2020 19: 26 New
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            Quote: garri-lin
            No add-on is needed. Two slender turrets with equipment are enough for the eyes.

            They want to remove or cut to a minimum the add-on to AB for a whole century. They tried to do this several times - and also repeatedly had to return everything back.
            1. garri-lin April 2 2020 19: 48 New
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              There was no one truly strong attempt. Just talk on a given topic. The necessary set of antennas and cameras can be placed on small masts / towers.
      6. SovAr238A April 2 2020 15: 04 New
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        Quote: alstr

        If we fantasize towards the central superstructure, it makes sense to simply build TWO mirrored ABs and connect them into a catamaran. )))


        it is impossible.
        There will be no seaworthiness.
        “He’s getting angry” ...

        although a bunch of such fantasized



    3. Grigory_45 April 2 2020 17: 13 New
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      Quote: Arzt
      As an option.
      A narrow elongated central superstructure divides the ships into two symmetrical parts.

      1. This scheme is only suitable for very large ships
      2. the superstructure will have simply indecent sailing
      1. Doctor April 2 2020 18: 33 New
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        this scheme is only suitable for very large ships

        The modern ones are almost like that, but Ford will be wider in width.



        the superstructure will just have indecent sailing

        Take-off is mainly against the wind, no windage.
    4. Sergey Sfiedu April 2 2020 21: 06 New
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      If the aircraft slipped the air-enifer during landing, then from the corner deck it will fall into the water, where the pilot has a chance to survive. On a straight deck - it will fall right in front of the nose of an aircraft carrier in full swing and will be beaten to hell with a dog.
      1. Doctor April 2 2020 21: 42 New
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        On a straight deck - it will fall right in front of the nose of an aircraft carrier in full swing and will be beaten to hell with a dog.

        That is yes. But the strip is longer, more finishers. To the extreme, he will drive to the side.
  5. Vladimir_2U April 2 2020 11: 04 New
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    But starting an airplane from a springboard has certain disadvantages: since an airplane must put the engines into afterburner in order to rise into the air for a combat mission, their resource is generated and fuel consumption is increased
    Let me take off with the help of a catapult also occurs afterburner, the working stroke of the catapult shoe is not very large.
    1. Sergey Sfiedu April 2 2020 21: 09 New
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      With springboard take-off, there are significant restrictions on take-off weight, they wrote that our planes take off with half-empty tanks - this is the main disadvantage of springboard take-off.
      1. grandfather_Kostya April 2 2020 22: 22 New
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        With springboard take-off, there are significant restrictions on take-off weight, they wrote that our planes take off with half-empty tanks - this is the main disadvantage of springboard take-off.

        If you take off not horizontally, but at a slope of at least 1:10, you would get a gratuitous increase in thrust by 10% and the ability to take off with full tanks. What are so obsessed with on a flat deck.
  6. BREAKTHROUGH READY April 2 2020 11: 15 New
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    an angular line, which allowed not only to take off and land simultaneously, but also to land several times without the risk of crashing into other planes.
    can anyone explain by the example of this picture from the article how a corner deck makes it possible to simultaneously take off and land?
    1. alstr April 2 2020 11: 28 New
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      It's simple.
      Take off from catapults from the nasal paths. In the photo there are 10 aircraft, and sit on the corner track.
      There are restrictions on take-off weight - take-off take-off.
      1. BREAKTHROUGH READY April 2 2020 11: 47 New
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        Thank. I didn’t even know that it was possible, usually in photographs the bow deck is cluttered with airplanes.
      2. Sahalinets April 2 2020 14: 27 New
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        Well, actually, simultaneous take-off and landing in real life are not practiced. Too hemorrhoid and dangerous. Here we are talking about something else - a boarding plane does not run the risk of crashing into aircraft in the parking lot.
        For WWII aircraft carriers, this was a big problem.
  7. lexseyOGK April 2 2020 11: 26 New
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    They forgot about China.
    1. Zeev Zeev April 2 2020 12: 20 New
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      Chinese aircraft carriers have the same decks as on the Kuz
  8. Undecim April 2 2020 12: 30 New
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    In 1951, the English officer Dennis Campbell first expressed the idea of ​​creating a corner deck of an aircraft carrier.
    Prior to Campbell's proposal, aircraft carriers, such as Essex ships, had a straight deck construction. As a result, aircraft could either take off from an aircraft carrier, or land on it. Campbell's proposal fundamentally changed this scheme. Another angular line was added to the center line, which allowed not only to take off and land simultaneously, but also to land several times without the risk of crashing into other planes.
    The idea of ​​Campbell became interested in the US Navy. As a result, at the Lee airfield near Portsmouth, the concept of the angular deck was tested in the conditions of the range, then a drawing of the experimental ship was performed, in the role of the aircraft carrier Triumph. Finally, from September to December 1952, at the naval shipyard in New York, Antiеtam (CVS-36) was recently upgraded to the corner deck, recently returning from use on the Korean Peninsula in military operations.

    The author, without understanding the issue, gave a completely distorted picture of the appearance of a corner deck on aircraft carriers.
    Firstly, there were two "bidders" from Britain - Royal Navy captain, marine pilot Denis Campbell and Welsh inventor Lewis Boddington, who designed the result of their joint efforts in the proper form and sent the proposal to the Admiralty.
    The Admiralty agreed to conduct trials on the British aircraft carrier Triumph, however, despite the positive results, the question did not advance beyond the tests.
    As for the US Navy, at the time of the British test, they were already developing the SCB -110 program, which provided for the reconstruction of Midway class aircraft carriers, including the installation of a corner landing deck.
    A similar program, SCB-125, was designed for Essex aircraft carriers.
    So the Americans did not “borrow” the idea from the British, the maximum - they received confirmation that they were on the right track.

    Intrepid aircraft carrier after reconstruction under the program SCB-27C (left) and SCB-125 (right).
    1. voyaka uh April 2 2020 14: 02 New
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      Thank you, very interesting information.
    2. Sergey Sfiedu April 2 2020 21: 14 New
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      Where did the woods come from, that the Yankees themselves would have thought of a corner landing deck? All the same, everywhere they write that the British invented it, and the Americans took advantage of their idea. Modernization programs, it seems, initially did not include corner landing decks. But the Americans really came up with the angular take-off deck, and the double one, even before the British, for the United States aircraft carrier.
      1. Undecim April 2 2020 22: 24 New
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        "Firewood" from Campbell's article "The Angled Deck Story". If you speak English - http://www.denniscambell.org.uk/4663/4690.html
        1. Undecim April 2 2020 23: 00 New
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          I can understand a lot, but the logic of some minusrators is beyond comprehension. Or is it envy?
  9. Amateur April 2 2020 13: 30 New
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    For example, an aircraft carrier can have 2 direct landing decks of the upper level with a catapult placed between them. On the lower deck there are 2 additional catapults that provide taxiing of the aircraft from the upper level hangar. From the lower hangar planes are lifted using 4 special lifts.

    If any of this paragraph understood something, then explain why
    2 additional catapults, which provide taxiing of the aircraft from the top-level hangar

    Or is it printed on us in VO Klitschko under a pseudonym.
    1. voyaka uh April 2 2020 14: 05 New
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      You can understand. The catapult can work at minimum power. Then it turns into a tug / tractor. The front wheel of the aircraft is hooked, and the catapult "drags" it to the original
      position
      1. Amateur April 2 2020 14: 11 New
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        You can understand. The catapult can work at minimum power.

        In addition, nails can be driven with a microscope. The cost of the catapult and tug differ by orders of magnitude.
    2. Undecim April 2 2020 17: 16 New
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      The author, apparently, tried to describe the British Glorious class aircraft carriers (Furious, Courageous, and Glorious), twice rebuilt from battlecruisers in 1921-1929 and had a two-level aircraft hangar and a two-level flight deck - a short lower and a long upper.

      Aircraft that did not require a large take-off could take off from the short deck, where they fell from the upper-level hangar.
      Those. an aircraft carrier could simultaneously launch aircraft from two decks, or take aircraft to a long upper deck and launch fighters with a lower short deck.
      To supply aircraft from the upper-level hangar to the short deck, corresponding towing devices with a drive from a steam engine — steam winches — were provided.
      There were no steam catapults on these aircraft carriers. There were hydraulic ones. Steam catapults appeared in the 1950s.
      1. Amateur April 2 2020 17: 26 New
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        The author, apparently, tried to describe the British aircraft carriers

        Thanks for the translation! But any reasonable author should write in such a way that his readers-admirers do not have to explain what he still meant.
        As popular wisdom says:
        Do not know how to sing - do not drink "
        1. Undecim April 2 2020 17: 42 New
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          But any reasonable author should write in such a way that his readers-admirers do not have to explain what he still meant.
          Here, rather, it should be about competence and respect for oneself and for readers.
          Naturally, you cannot know everything. Therefore, a self-respecting author and readers, before writing, sits down to read and understand the topic. If the basic knowledge does not allow to understand, the author understands that this topic is not his.
          But it’s possible in another way - “jack of all trades”, which we have often enough lately.
  10. voyaka uh April 2 2020 14: 00 New
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    Interestingly, about the transition to the corner decks.
  11. Sergey Sfiedu April 2 2020 21: 35 New
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    The author forgot about the British project of the mid-60s CVA.01 with a deck of "parallel tracks". The ship was supposed to replace the outdated Eagle, but the MO did not allocate money for its construction, preferring F-111 aircraft, which, however, were subsequently abandoned.

    The springboard and aerofinisher design is called STOBAR ("Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery" or "Short Take-Off, Barrier Arrested Recovery") in the literature.
    The usual scheme with catapults and an aerofinisher is CATOBAR ("Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery" or "Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery").
    The Americans in the late 70s developed a project for a lightweight catamaran aircraft carrier with a springboard and an aerofinisher, but with an axial flight deck, but it didn’t go further than talking.
    1. Pushkowed April 3 2020 13: 23 New
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      Really. I hoped to see details about him in the article. As far as I know, the British considered these "parallel tracks" the next step in the evolution of aircraft carriers after the corner deck. It was assumed that they reduce the likelihood of collisions while performing takeoff and landing operations, and also increase the performance of aircraft sorties. But what would happen in practice is hard to say now.
  12. Saxahorse April 2 2020 23: 00 New
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    Despite the roughness, I liked the article. The author recalled the difficult history of the emergence of catapults and corner decks. Thank you for the author! :)
  13. 3danimal April 3 2020 11: 37 New
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    The springboard also introduces weight limits on the payload.
    And only the catapult pulls everything: the most refueled and armed fighter, and the AWACS aircraft.
  14. exo
    exo April 3 2020 12: 22 New
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    Very, very primitive