Flight deck
Overview
 
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 is the surface
Deck (ship)
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface...

 from which its aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 take off and land, essentially a miniature airfield at sea. On smaller naval ships which do not have aviation as a primary mission, the landing area
Helicopter deck
A helicopter deck is a helicopter pad on the deck of a ship, usually located on the stern and always clear of obstacles that would prove hazardous to a helicopter landing...

 for helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s and other VTOL
VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

 aircraft is also referred to as the flight deck. The official U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 term for these vessels is "aviation capable ships".
The first flight decks
Deck (ship)
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface...

 were inclined wooden ramps built over the forecastle
Forecastle
Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters...

 of naval warships.
Encyclopedia
The flight deck of an aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 is the surface
Deck (ship)
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface...

 from which its aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 take off and land, essentially a miniature airfield at sea. On smaller naval ships which do not have aviation as a primary mission, the landing area
Helicopter deck
A helicopter deck is a helicopter pad on the deck of a ship, usually located on the stern and always clear of obstacles that would prove hazardous to a helicopter landing...

 for helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s and other VTOL
VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

 aircraft is also referred to as the flight deck. The official U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 term for these vessels is "aviation capable ships".

Evolution

Early flight decks

The first flight decks
Deck (ship)
A deck is a permanent covering over a compartment or a hull of a ship. On a boat or ship, the primary deck is the horizontal structure which forms the 'roof' for the hull, which both strengthens the hull and serves as the primary working surface...

 were inclined wooden ramps built over the forecastle
Forecastle
Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters...

 of naval warships. Eugene Ely made the first fixed-wing aircraft take-off from a warship
Naval aviation
Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies, including ships that embark fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. In contrast, maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of non-naval forces such as the former RAF Coastal Command or a...

 from on 14 November 1910. Two months later, on 18 January 1911, Ely landed his Curtiss pusher plane on a platform on Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay is a shallow, productive estuary through which water draining from approximately forty percent of California, flowing in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers from the Sierra Nevada mountains, enters the Pacific Ocean...

 using the first tailhook system, designed and built by circus performer and aviator Hugh Robinson. Ely told a reporter: "It was easy enough. I think the trick could be successfully turned nine times out of ten." On 4 May 1912, Commander Charles Samson
Charles Rumney Samson
Air Commodore Charles Rumney Samson CMG, DSO & Bar, AFC was a British naval aviation pioneer. He also operated the first British armoured vehicles in combat...

 became the first man to take off from a ship which was underway when he flew his Short S.27
Short S.27
The Short S.27 and its derivates, the Short Improved S.27 series, were important early British aircraft used by the Royal Navy and its first air arm, the Royal Naval Air Service . The S.27 and Improved S.27 were used for training of the Royal Navys first pilots as well as in early naval aviation...

 off of , which was steaming at 10.5 kn (12.8 mph; 20.6 km/h). Because the take-off speed of early aircraft was so low, it was possible for an aircraft to make a very short take off when the launching ship was steaming into the wind. Later, removable "flying-off platforms" appeared on the gun turrets of battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

s and battlecruiser
Battlecruiser
Battlecruisers were large capital ships built in the first half of the 20th century. They were developed in the first decade of the century as the successor to the armoured cruiser, but their evolution was more closely linked to that of the dreadnought battleship...

s starting with HMS Repulse
HMS Repulse (1916)
HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser of the Royal Navy built during the First World War. She was originally laid down as an improved version of the s. Her construction was suspended on the outbreak of war on the grounds she would not be ready in a timely manner...

, allowing aircraft to be flown off for scouting purposes, although there was no chance of recovery.

On 2 August 1917, while performing trials, Squadron Commander E.H. Dunning
Squadron Commander E.H. Dunning
Squadron Commander Edwin Harris Dunning, DSC , of the British Royal Naval Air Service, was the first pilot to land an aircraft on a moving ship....

 landed a Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Pup
The Sopwith Pup was a British single seater biplane fighter aircraft built by the Sopwith Aviation Company. It entered service with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service in the autumn of 1916. With pleasant flying characteristics and good maneuverability, the aircraft proved very...

 successfully on board the flying-off platform of , becoming the first person to land an aircraft on a moving ship. However, on his third attempt, a tire burst as he attempted to land, causing the aircraft to go over the side, killing him; thus Dunning also has the dubious distinction of being the first person to die in an aircraft carrier landing accident. The landing arrangements on Furious were highly unsatisfactory. In order to land, aircraft had to manoeuvre around the superstructure. Furious was therefore returned to dockyard hands to have a 300 ft (91.4 m) deck added aft for landing, on top of a new hangar. The central superstructure remained, however, and turbulence caused by it badly affected the landing deck.

Full length decks

The first aircraft carrier that began to show the configuration of the modern vessel was the converted liner , which had a large flat wooden deck added over the entire length of the hull, giving a combined landing and take-off deck unobstructed by superstructure turbulence. Because of her unobstructed flight deck, Argus had no fixed conning tower
Conning tower
A conning tower is a raised platform on a ship or submarine, often armored, from which an officer can con the vessel; i.e., give directions to the helmsman. It is usually located as high on the ship as practical, to give the conning team good visibility....

 and no funnel. Rather, exhaust gases were trunked down the side of the ship and ejected under the fantail of the flight deck (which, despite arrangements to disperse the gases, gave an unwelcome "lift" to aircraft immediately prior to landing). The lack of a command position and funnel was unsatisfactory, and Argus was used to experiment with various ideas to remedy the solution. A photograph in 1917 shows her with a canvas mock-up of a starboard "island" superstructure and funnel. This was placed on the starboard side because the rotary engine
Rotary engine
The rotary engine was an early type of internal-combustion engine, usually designed with an odd number of cylinders per row in a radial configuration, in which the crankshaft remained stationary and the entire cylinder block rotated around it...

s of some early aircraft created torque which pulled the nose left, meaning an aircraft naturally yawed to port on take-off; therefore, it was desirable that they turned away from the fixed superstructure. This became the typical aircraft carrier arrangement and was used in the next British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 carriers, and .

After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, battlecruiser
Battlecruiser
Battlecruisers were large capital ships built in the first half of the 20th century. They were developed in the first decade of the century as the successor to the armoured cruiser, but their evolution was more closely linked to that of the dreadnought battleship...

s that otherwise would have been discarded under the Washington Naval Treaty
Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was an attempt to cap and limit, and "prevent 'further' costly escalation" of the naval arms race that had begun after World War I between various International powers, each of which had significant naval fleets. The treaty was...

 - such as the British Furious and Glorious-class
Glorious class aircraft carrier
The Courageous class, sometimes called the Glorious class, was the first multi-ship class of aircraft carriers to serve with the Royal Navy. The three ships were originally laid down as "large light cruisers" to be used in the Baltic Project during the First World War...

 and the American and - were converted to carriers along the above lines. Being large and fast they were perfectly suited to this role; the heavy armoring and scantling
Scantling
Scantling is a measurement of prescribed size, dimensions, or cross sectional areas. For comparison, see Form Factor: -Shipping:In shipbuilding, the scantling refers to the collective dimensions of the various parts, particularly the framing and structural supports. The word is most often used in...

s and low speed of the converted battleship Eagle served to be something of a handicap in practice. Because the military effectiveness of aircraft carriers was then unknown, early ships were typically equipped with cruiser-calibre guns to aid in their defence if surprised by enemy warships. These guns were generally removed in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and replaced with anti-aircraft gun
Anti-aircraft warfare
NATO defines air defence as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action." They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be to protect naval, ground and air forces...

s, as carrier doctrine developed the "task force" (later called "battle group") model, where the carrier's defence against surface ships would be a combination of escorting warships and its own aircraft.

In ships of this configuration, the hangar deck was the strength deck and an integral part of the hull, and the hangar and wooden flight deck were considered to be part of the superstructure. Such ships were still being built into the late 1940s, classic examples being the U.S. Navy's Essex
Essex class aircraft carrier
The Essex class was a class of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy, which constituted the 20th century's most numerous class of capital ships with 24 vessels built in both "short-hull" and "long-hull" versions. Thirty-two were originally ordered; however as World War II wound down, six were...

 and Ticonderoga-class carriers. However, in 1936, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 began construction of the Illustrious-class
Illustrious class aircraft carrier
The Illustrious class was a class of aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy that were some of the most important British warships in World War II...

. In these ships, the flight deck was the strength deck, an integral part of the hull, and was heavily armored to protect the ship and her air complement. Although the armored carrier concept in this form remained something of a dead end, the flight deck as the strength deck was adopted for later construction. This was necessitated by the ever-increasing size of the ships, from the 13,000 ton
Tonnage
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

  in 1922 to over 100,000 tons in the latest Nimitz-class
Nimitz class aircraft carrier
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world...

 carriers.

Armored decks

When aircraft carriers supplanted battleships as the primary fleet capital ship
Capital ship
The capital ships of a navy are its most important warships; they generally possess the heaviest firepower and armor and are traditionally much larger than other naval vessels...

, there were two schools of thought on the question of armor protection being included into the flight deck. The addition of armor to the flight deck offered aircraft below some protection against aerial bombs. However, to reduce top-weight the hangar height was reduced, and this restricted the types of aircraft that these ships could carry, although the Royal Navy's armored carriers did carry spare aircraft in the hangar overheads. The armor also reduced the length of the flight deck, reducing the maximum aircraft capacity of the armored flight deck carrier; however the largest part of the disparity between RN and USN carriers in aircraft capacity was the use of a permanent deck park on USN carriers. RN carriers did not use a permanent deck park until 1943. The experience of World War II caused the USN to change their design policy in favor of armored flight decks: "The main armor carried on Enterprise is the heavy armored flight deck. This was to prove a significant factor in the catastrophic fire and explosions that occurred on Enterprise's flight deck in 1969. The US Navy learned its lesson the hard way during World War II when all its carriers had only armored hangar decks. All attack carriers built since the Midway class have had armored flight decks."

Landing on flight decks

Landing arrangements were originally primitive, with aircraft simply being "caught" by a team of deck-hands who would run out from the wings of the flight deck and grab a part of the aircraft to slow it down. This dangerous procedure was only possible with early aircraft of low weight and landing speed. Arrangements of nets served to catch the aircraft should the latter fail, although this was likely to cause structural damage.

Landing larger and faster aircraft on a flight deck was made possible through the use of arresting cables installed on the flight deck and a tailhook
Tailhook
A tailhook, also arresting hook or arrester hook, is a device attached to the empennage of some military fixed wing aircraft...

 installed on the aircraft. Early carriers had a very large number of arrestor cables or "wires". Current U.S. Navy carriers have three or four steel cables stretched across the deck at 20 ft (6.1 m) intervals which bring a plane, traveling at 150 mph (241.4 km/h), to a complete stop in about 320 ft (97.5 m). The cables are set to stop each aircraft at the same place on the deck, regardless of the size or weight of the plane. During World War II, large net barriers would be erected across the flight deck so aircraft could be parked on the forward part of the deck and recovered on the after part. This allowed increased complements but resulted in lengthened turn-around times as aircraft were shuffled around the carrier to allow take-off or landing operations.

A barricade is an emergency system used if a normal arrestment cannot be made. Barricade webbing engages the wings of the landing aircraft, and momentum is transferred to the arresting engine.

Angled flight deck

The angled flight deck was invented by Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 Captain (later Rear Admiral) Dennis Cambell, as an outgrowth of design study initially begun in the winter of 1944-45 when a committee of senior Royal Navy officers decided that the future of naval aviation was in jets, whose higher speeds required that the carriers be modified to "fit" the needs of jets. With this type of deck, (also referred to as a "skewed deck" or "canted deck" or the "angle"), the aft part of the deck is widened and a separate runway is positioned at an angle from the centreline. The angled flight deck was designed with the higher landing speeds of jet aircraft in mind, which would have required the entire length of a centreline flight deck to stop. The design also allowed for concurrent launch and recovery operations, and allowed aircraft failing to connect with the arrestor cables to abort the landing, accelerate, and relaunch (or "bolter
Bolter (aviation)
In naval aviation, a bolter is when an aircraft attempting to land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier touches down, but fails to catch an arrestor cable and come to a stop...

") without risk to other parked or launching aircraft.

The redesign allowed for several other design and operational modifications, including the mounting of a larger island (improving both ship-handling and flight control), drastically simplified aircraft recovery and deck movement (aircraft now launched from the bow and re-embarked on the angle, leaving a large open area amidships for arming and fueling), and damage control. Because of its utility in flight operations, the angled deck is now a defining feature of STOBAR
STOBAR
STOBAR is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier, combining elements of both STOVL and CATOBAR .Aircraft launch under their own power using a ski-jump to assist take-off STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery) is a system used for the...

 and CATOBAR
CATOBAR
CATOBAR is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier...

 equipped aircraft carriers.

The angled flight deck was first tested on by painting angled deck markings onto the centerline of the flight deck for touch and go landings. This was also tested on the the same year. Despite the new markings, in both cases the arresting gear and barriers were still aligned with the centerline of the original deck. From September to December 1952, the had a rudimentary sponson
Sponson
Sponsons are projections from the sides of a watercraft, for protection, stability, or the mounting of equipment such as armaments or lifeboats, etc...

 installed for true angled deck tests, allowing for full arrested landings, which proved during trials to be superior. In 1953, Antietam trained with both U.S. and British naval units, proving the worth of the angle deck concept. was modified with overhanging angled flight deck in 1954. The U.S. Navy installed the decks as part of the SCB-125 upgrade for the Essex-class
Essex class aircraft carrier
The Essex class was a class of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy, which constituted the 20th century's most numerous class of capital ships with 24 vessels built in both "short-hull" and "long-hull" versions. Thirty-two were originally ordered; however as World War II wound down, six were...

 and SCB-110/110A for the Midway-class
Midway class aircraft carrier
The Midway class aircraft carrier was one of the longest lived carrier designs in history. First commissioned in late 1945, the lead ship of the class, was not decommissioned until 1992, shortly after service in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.-History:...

. In February 1955, became the first carrier to be constructed and launched with an angled deck, rather than having one retrofitted. This was followed in the same year by the lead ship
Lead ship
The lead ship or class leader is the first of a series or class of ships all constructed according to the same general design. The term is applicable military ships and larger civilian craft.-Overview:...

s of the British Majestic-class  and the American Forrestal-class
Forrestal class aircraft carrier
The Forrestal-class aircraft carriers were a four-ship class designed and built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. It was the first class of so-called supercarriers, combining high tonnage, deck-edge elevators and an angled deck...

 .

Ski-jump ramp

Another British innovation is the ski-jump ramp, which came about as a means of improving take off for the VSTOL BAE Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

 "jump-jet" on the small Invincible class aircraft carriers. Initial testing was carried out at the RAE Bedford
RAE Bedford
RAE Bedford based near the village of Thurleigh, north of the town of Bedford in England, has been the site of major aircraft experimental development work....

. They are most common on aircraft carriers supporting STOVL
STOVL
STOVL is an acronym for short take off and vertical landing.This is the ability of some aircraft to take off from a short runway or take off vertically if it does not have a very heavy payload and land vertically...

 aircraft such as the Harrier, but the Russians also used them with conventional MiG-29s and Su-33s.

The ski jump is a ramp which is curved upwards at its forward end. For STOVL aircraft the aircraft starts by making a conventional rolling takeoff with the jet exhausts set to provide maximum forward thrust. As the plane nears the end of the ramp (the ski jump portion) the jet exhausts are rotated to provide upward lift as well as forward thrust. Rolling over the ski ramp launches the plane both upwards and forwards. As the plane leaves the ski jump ramp it continues to accelerate horizontally until the wings can provide the needed lift.

For conventional aircraft such as the MiG-29 the aircraft just rolls down the runway in the obvious manner. Again, rolling over the ski ramp launches the plane both upwards and forwards.

Such takeoffs allow a larger takeoff weight than an unassisted horizontal launch because the ski jump ramp provides a vertical impetus when most needed, right at takeoff at the slowest takeoff speed; however, ski-jump launches cannot match the payloads made possible by high-speed catapult launches.

These takeoffs use less runway than a takeoff over a flat surface because the plane takes off at a lower speed, using both the ski jump ramp's vertical impetus and the deflected jet engines to generate lift.

Ski jump ramp takeoffs are considered safer than takeoffs over a flat top carrier. When a Harrier launches from an American LHA (Landing Helicopter Assault) it might finish its takeoff roll and begin flight at 60 ft (18.3 m) above the water. It might not have a positive rate of climb, especially if the ship had pitched nose down during the takeoff roll. Using a ski jump ramp the plane will certainly launch with a positive rate of climb and its momentum will carry it to 150 to 200 ft (45.7 to 61 m) above the water.

For example, an AV-8B Harrier with a gross weight of 29000 lb (13,154.2 kg) on a 59 °F (15 °C) day and a 35 kn (42.6 mph; 68.6 km/h) wind over the deck would require 400 ft (121.9 m) to takeoff using a 12° ski jump ramp designed as on the Principe de Asturias
Spanish aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias
The Príncipe de Asturias , originally named Almirante Carrero Blanco, is an aircraft carrier, the flagship of the Spanish Navy...

, but 750 ft (228.6 m) without the ski jump ramp.

For a MiG-29 launching over the ski jump ramp on the Tbilisi, takeoff speed is reduced from about 140 kn (170.5 mph; 274.4 km/h) to about 70 kn (85.2 mph; 137.2 km/h) (depending on many factors such a gross weight).

Carriers using STOVL aircraft and a ski jump ramp do not need catapults
Aircraft catapult
An aircraft catapult is a device used to launch aircraft from ships—in particular aircraft carriers—as a form of assisted take off. It consists of a track built into the flight deck, below which is a large piston or shuttle that is attached through the track to the nose gear of the aircraft, or in...

 nor arresting gear
Arresting gear
Arresting gear, or arrestor gear, is the name used for mechanical systems designed to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands. Arresting gear on aircraft carriers is an essential component of naval aviation, and it is most commonly used on CATOBAR and STOBAR aircraft carriers. Similar systems...

.

With the exception of the United States and France, every navy in the world that operates STOVL naval aircraft uses ski jump ramps.

Flexible decks

An idea tested but never put into service was the "flexible" or "rubber deck." In the early jet age it was seen that by eliminating the landing gear for carrier borne aircraft the inflight performance and range would be improved, since the space taken by the landing gear could be used to hold additional fuel tanks instead. This led to the concept of a deck that would absorb the energy of landing. With the introduction of jet aircraft the risk of damaging propellers was no longer an issue, though take off would require some sort of launching cradle. Tests were carried out with a de Havilland Sea Vampire
De Havilland Vampire
The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. Although it arrived too late to see combat during the war, the Vampire served...

 flown by test pilot
Test pilot
A test pilot is an aviator who flies new and modified aircraft in specific maneuvers, known as flight test techniques or FTTs, allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated....

 Eric "Winkle" Brown onto the rubber deck fitted to HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior (R31)
HMS Warrior was a Colossus-class light aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1946 to 1948 , the Royal Navy from 1948 to 1958, and the Argentine Navy from 1959 to 1969 .- History :Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, she was originally to be called HMS Brave; the Royal...

, and Supermarine
Supermarine
Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that became famous for producing a range of sea planes and the Supermarine Spitfire fighter. The name now belongs to an English motorboat manufacturer.-History:...

 designed its Type 508 for rubber deck landings. The flexible deck idea was found to be technically feasible but was nevertheless abandoned. The Type 508 was subsequently developed into a conventional carrier aircraft, the Supermarine Scimitar
Supermarine Scimitar
-References:NotesBibliography* Andrews, C.F. and E.B. Morgan. Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London: Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.* Birtles, Philip. Supermarine Attacker, Swift and Scimitar . London: Ian Allan, 1992. ISBN 0-7110-2034-5.* Buttler, Tony. "Database: Supermarine Scimitar"....

.

See also

  • Aircraft carrier
    Aircraft carrier
    An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

  • Aircraft catapult
    Aircraft catapult
    An aircraft catapult is a device used to launch aircraft from ships—in particular aircraft carriers—as a form of assisted take off. It consists of a track built into the flight deck, below which is a large piston or shuttle that is attached through the track to the nose gear of the aircraft, or in...

  • Helicopter deck
    Helicopter deck
    A helicopter deck is a helicopter pad on the deck of a ship, usually located on the stern and always clear of obstacles that would prove hazardous to a helicopter landing...

  • Modern US Navy carrier operations
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