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Old 10-31-2011, 12:29 PM   #61
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The Navy seems like such a different world coming from Army. Interesting stuff Sam.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:32 PM   #62
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The Navy seems like such a different world coming from Army. Interesting stuff Sam.
You mean like launching planes off a boat instead of driving tanks?
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:33 PM   #63
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I've always been in awe of the sailors working the flight deck. They pull long shifts doing physically demanding work in one of the most dangerous work environments known (outside of the kill zone of a fire fight). Triple all of the above at night. OSHA would be in shock. You can't thank those guys (and now gals) enough.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #64
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You mean like launching planes off a boat instead of driving tanks?
No more of just how **** works in general. But yea that too.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:18 PM   #65
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This'll blow your mind.
We can launch 10 planes, and land 10 planes, all in about 15 minutes in complete radio silence... everything done by hand signals.

The majority of Naval Aviation flying tactics (regarding launches and landing) was developed back in early WWII. The way we "fly" around the boat hasn't changed much in 70 years.

EMCON, ie, radio silence was the only way they did business back in the day. The instant somebody transmitted, the entire enemy force would know exactly where you were. Battlegroups made of 20-40 ships would drive across an entire ocean and never talk to eachother save for MORSE CODE sent via signal lamps.

We still practice full flight operations in radio silence where everybody communicates visually. This requires all players to put on their big-boy pants and do their jobs as trained... but it's really not that big a deal.

I'm going to use some wikipedia here to save myself the typing and I've edited it a little for quicker reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_...air_operations

How to land for dummies:
Aircraft awaiting landing hold directly overhead the ship making lefthand turns. Aircraft typically hold in close formations of two or more and are stacked at various altitudes based on their type/squadron. Minimum holding altitude is 2,000 feet, with a minimum of 1,000 feet vertical separation between holding altitudes. Flights arrange themselves to establish proper separation for landing. As the launching aircraft (from the subsequent event) clear the flight deck and landing area becomes clear, the lowest aircraft in holding then descend and depart the stack in final preparation for landing. The pilots are actually looking down on the flight deck from above WATCHING VISUALLY the actions on the deck in order to time their arrival. Higher aircraft descend in the stack to altitudes vacated by lower holding aircraft. ALL THIS HAPPENS VISUALLY. As aircraft depart the bottom of the stack, they position themselves to arrive at the "Initial" which is 3 miles astern the ship at 800 feet, paralleling the ship's course. The aircraft are then flown over the ship and "break" into the landing pattern, ideally establishing at 50-60 second interval on the aircraft in front of them.[9]

The break is a level 180 turn made at 800 feet (300-500kts), descending to 600 feet when established downwind. Landing gear/flaps are lowered, and landing checks are completed. The pilot begins his turn to final while simultaneously beginning a gentle descent. When crossing the ships wake the aircraft should be approaching final landing heading and at ~350 feet. At this point, the pilot acquires the Optical Landing System (OLS), which is used for the terminal portion of the landing. During this time, the pilot's full attention is devoted to maintaining proper glideslope, lineup, and "angle of attack" until touchdown.

Maintaining radio silence, or "zip lip", during Case I launches and recoveries is the norm, breaking radio silence only for safety-of-flight issues.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:52 PM   #66
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How much jet fuel does an aircrft carrier burn through in normal peace time ops? And how often do they have to take on fuel?

That feels a little classified, now that i think about it...
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:08 PM   #67
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I'm pretty sure the numbers aren't classified as fuel costs are a very regulated parts of dozens of budgets.

A Nimitz carrier holds about 4 million gallons of jet fuel.

Doing the conversion from lbs to gallons, Navy jets launch with anywhere from 2000gallons to 3000 gallons of gas... some more/some less, but more like 2500gallons is a good average. They burn roughly 80% it prior to landing with 300 gallons or so. On average, there are about 50 flights per day for an average flying day. That means burning 100,000 gallons per day. I know the math doesn't add up here, but you get the idea.

But, the ship NEVER wants to get low on fuel. All that fuel is a significant source of ballast and trim control for the ship... and you never want to run out of gas in case you're suddenly in major combat ops, your refueling ship breaks, you suffer a casualty, the fuel system breaks, etc...

The ship will refuel at least monthly if not more often.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:08 PM   #68
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Sam,
Since you brought up visual cues tell us a little about glidepaths, the LSO, and the meatball.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:37 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
A Nimitz carrier holds about 4 million gallons of jet fuel.
Exactly how long does it take to pump all that?
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #70
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I have never served but I had the privilege of taking part in a Tiger cruise when the Eisenhower returned to port 7/09, returning from the Indian Ocean I believe. My brother-in-law was a Lt. Cmdr at the time, so I got to stay in a stateroom. It was amazing.

I was struck by the accessibility of anything that might require maintenance or repair. Everything was labelled.

The purple pipes for jet fuel were everywhere - it gets pumped all over the ship, all the time, for ballast adjustment right?

We were allowed on deck for a couple of demonstration landings, and for the shore flyoff of the squadron. Cat 3 had a problem during one launch of a single-seat hornet, it didn't launch, and the pilot sat there with burners on holding his handgrips for a good 45 seconds - that was a long 45 seconds. I am quite positive that the deck of a carrier during launch operations and will be the loudest place I have ever been. The noise level is surreal. It is a tangible, physical force.

There were only two low points - some douche threw a chem-light over both nights, requiring a full headcount of the ship at 4am. They were considering making them controlled items.

For those asking about how sea conditions can affect the carrier and flight ops, the PBS series Carrier has an entire episode around that. The carrier isn't running into huge breaking waves, but large long slow swells which make their recovery operation for airborne aircraft go from one hour to many. The deck is moving so much pilots keep bolting.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:28 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pusha View Post
Exactly how long does it take to pump all that?
You'd never pump "all of it"... but the pumping capacity is robust. I was actually the Fuels Officer on Nimitz for about 6 months, so I've got a bit of inside info. If I remember correctly, there are 16 FUEL stations on the flight deck capable of refilling aircraft. All can be used simultaneously. There are also at least 3 in the Hangar bay... maybe 6. Navy aircraft actually can't refuel that fast. I think the numbers are fairly low... like 100 gallons per minute... which sounds fast until you think that some jets might need 3000 gallons. I takes FOREVER to refill a superhornet tanker.

The refueling systems are weak'ish because of simple engineering compromise. They only have to be able to be refueled as fast as they can be re-armed. It might take 30 minutes IN A RUSH to re-arm a plane... therefore any additional strength in the refueling system for higher pressures would be added weight for no time gain since they'd still be getting re-armed after they were full of fuel.

Air Force refueling systems on the other hand are CRAZY strong. Imagine refueling a C-5A at 100gallons per minute... they hold like 1,000,000lbs of fuel. Their fighters also refuel fast, which aids in mid-air refueling time, and all Air Force ordnance is loaded by hydraulic systems and can be re-armed (on the ground or in a Hangar) in way less time than Navy guys doing it on a flight-deck 50% no-**** by hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
Sam,
Since you brought up visual cues tell us a little about glidepaths, the LSO, and the meatball.
I've tried for an hour to write something that would make sense... but I just can't do it without large hand motions.

The meatball is system of lights on the port side of the ship that the pilot looks at to tell him how hi or low he is as he approaches the back of the boat. You might say... can't he just look at the boat and tell? Not at night he can't. And it's not like a runway where you can be "off" a little and it won't matter. Your aircraft has to be EXACTLY in the correct place within a few feet when it hits the flight deck.

There is also a system of lights that hangs down behind the boat that tells the pilot where he is left or right of centerline.

The LSO's are pilots that stand out on the back of the boat and visually look at the plane as it flies towards the ship. They can but don't always call out commands over the radio to the pilot. There is a very specific language they use, but basically the commands are slide left, slide right, too high, too low, more power, too cocked up, etc... Pilots must honor and react immediately to the commands of the LSO's no matter what they think they are seeing with their own eyes.

This is a Meatball... the yellow light in the middle is the one the pilots are looking at. I looks like a little line up this close, but because of the way the prism is designed, it looks like a round ball from far away. The entire vertical row of those yellow "bars" are lit all the time. You can only see the one you're in line with depending on how hi/low you are. You want the ball perfectly centered with the horizontal row of green lights.



I just found these. I had never seen them before. This is the real ******* deal. If you've been enjoying this thread, you need to take 20 minutes and watch.

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Old 11-01-2011, 12:03 AM   #72
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Sam, great info but I meant how long does it take to fill the ship with fuel while in port?
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:15 AM   #73
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Everybody knows who is and who isn't gay. EVERYBODY KNOWS! And nobody gives a ****. In my experience, about 1/2 of the "working rate" females in the Navy are lesbian... and by "working rate", I mean the grease monkeys, wrench turners, flight deck workers, etc. Yeoman and corpsman and band geeks and other "aux" rates probably are more hetero. On the other hand, about 50% of dudes in "aux" rates are gay. I'd say about 90% of all dudes who work in straight administrative roles are gay. I'm only exaggerating a little here, but the point is that EVERYBODY KNOWS.
Huh, my gay boss was a Yeomen in the Navy.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:25 AM   #74
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Sam, great info but I meant how long does it take to fill the ship with fuel while in port?
Ideally the ship pulls into port with full tanks or close to it unless they're going to be inport for a long time... like a reactor overhaul or something. If you drain the tanks, corrosion sets in HUGE. And carriers don't get fueled inport... in fact, I don't think even the smallboys get fueled at normal piers for their gas-turbines. They either have to hit a dedicated fuel pier on the way in/out of the harbor that is WAY far away from the normal piers, or they get refueled at sea... an we NEVER take on munitions pierside. All our ammo onload/offload happens at sea. It's for safety.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:32 AM   #75
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So there are a lot of homosexuals? Is HIV a problem in the Navy or do they get kicked out with a quickness if they test positive?
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:33 AM   #76
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I would have thought they would be nuclear powered, like subs.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:13 AM   #77
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The carrier is nuclear powered. But it carries an immense amount of jet fuel. All of the tugs, cranes, etc you see on deck also run on jet fuel. It's very similar to diesel so diesel engines can run it with little or no modifications.

The videos samnavy linked to are the ones I was talking about. They are worth watching.

Another interesting thing about the carrier I forgot to mention was that there are TV's everywhere tuned to the flight deck. It was somewhat hard to find a public space that did not have a live feed of the flight deck in view.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:43 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
all Air Force ordnance is loaded by hydraulic systems and can be re-armed (on the ground or in a Hangar) in way less time than Navy guys doing it on a flight-deck 50% no-**** by hand.
Wait, you are loading ordnance by hand on the carrier??? What kind of ordnance are we talking here? Sidewinders, Mavericks, Harpoons? When I was stationed in the SAM site, no way the shooter boys could load an MIM-23 by hand, they relied on the M-501 loaders. Granted, it is huge at 1400lbs each, but then again I've never seen a missile carried by a tactical jet in person.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:28 AM   #79
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So there are a lot of homosexuals? Is HIV a problem in the Navy or do they get kicked out with a quickness if they test positive?
Being HIV+ is a disqualifying entry condition to the military, but they don't kick you out anymore. You have to stay healthy and can't serve on ships or go overseas... it's very career limiting for enlisted guys.

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I would have thought they would be nuclear powered, like subs.
All of our carriers are currently Nuclear powered. The USS Kitty Hawk was the last conventionally powered ship (fuel oil and boilers). All of our Crusier/Destroyer/Frigates are gas-turbine. All subs are Nuclear. Amphibs are all conventional. LCS are gas-turbine-hybrid-bullshit. Mobius' comments are correct.

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Wait, you are loading ordnance by hand on the carrier??? What kind of ordnance are we talking here? Sidewinders, Mavericks, Harpoons? When I was stationed in the SAM site, no way the shooter boys could load an MIM-23 by hand, they relied on the M-501 loaders. Granted, it is huge at 1400lbs each, but then again I've never seen a missile carried by a tactical jet in person.
When I say "load by hand", I mean that they are physically pulled on carts out to the jets, the loading system is manhandled to the jets, and yes, the smaller weapons are actually picked up and attached by hand. There is a winch system for the larger ones.





Here is the electric winch system they use for the bigger ones... you can see the cradle around the bomb.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #80
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Here's how the Air Force does it.. ****!
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