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benhurr
22nd Apr 2006, 14:47
The Island on aircraft carriers is always on the right hand side, or starboard.

My question is why?

Is is because aircraft are more likely to swing to the left if there is a problem on take off or landing?

Is it because the ships are easier to dock?

The first aircraft carrier which wasn't a "flat-top" was a British design so surely the French would have gone the other way and built it with the Island on the left.

I think that as the ship came first then the reason is more nautical than aeronautical - hence the post being in JB rather than in questions.

I await your responses...

G-CPTN
22nd Apr 2006, 14:51
Left hand down a bit.

(Navy Lark, Sub-Lieutenant Phillips)

green granite
22nd Apr 2006, 15:08
A guess, but it's probably something to do with the fact that most pilots
prefer to fly left hand circuits, also they will automatically turn left to avoid
something. Don't ask me why they do though. :ok:

Foss
22nd Apr 2006, 15:16
So do all pilots dress to the left as well? :}

Fos

acbus1
22nd Apr 2006, 15:21
How's about........it means the pilots always know which way to land.

Saves all that looking at the wind sock, wittering on the radio etc.

RickVisitor
22nd Apr 2006, 15:21
Maybe its to do with vessels traditionally berthing port side alongside (hence PORT side). So the operational side of the vessel is to seaward.

Only a possibility maybe?

G-CPTN
22nd Apr 2006, 15:22
Seems the most likely suggestion yet.


Though wouldn't they have preferred the steering gubbings (and leccie hook-up) to landward?

1DC
22nd Apr 2006, 15:37
Todays aircraft carrier doesn't need a leccie hook up, it generates enough power to light up a medium sized city.. Interesting question, I was involved with the sea for most of my working life and it never occured to me to query the position, it seemed natural to put it there. Never sailed on one though..

Davaar
22nd Apr 2006, 15:53
Pretty obvious, surely. Tradition. Viking and other. The steering board has always been to, ahhh, starboard. That no doubt is where Lars or Leif or Snorri, being right-handed, wanted to stand, and Lars, Leif or Snorri was the heavy hitter. Maybe it was Sweyn.

ORAC
22nd Apr 2006, 15:54
Initially the island was placed on the starboard side because early propeller aircraft turned to the left more easily because of torque. Once the starboard side position was established it became difficult to change. Pilots used to landing with the island to their right would be confused on a ship with the island on the other side, there was nothing to be gained by changing the location, so it stayed in the same place.

There were, however, two carriers with their islands to port. The Japanese Akagi and Hiryu were fitted with port-side islands. Each was meant to work in a tactical formation with a starboard-island ship (Kaga and Soryu respectively); it was thought that putting the islands opposite sides would improve the flight patterns around the carriers, with aircraft marshalling in opposite directions in the circuit. The carriers with islands on the starboard would travel on the portside of the formation and their aircraft would circle to port. Those with islands on the port travelled on the starboard and their air groups circled to starboard. Wartime experience showed it to be an unnecessary complication with no advantages. The idea was scrapped after the first two ships of the class, the remaining 2, and all later carriers, having starboard islands.

Hobgoblin
22nd Apr 2006, 16:01
What happens if you land from the opposite direction? Is the island not on the other side then?


(I know, I know all the arrester gear, and on British carriers a great big ramp does not allow for a landing in the opposite direction but why waste a good wind-up?)

Mac the Knife
22nd Apr 2006, 16:10
Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, and Soryu (the Imperial Navy's four finest carriers) were all sunk by the Yanks at the Battle of Midway (4-7 June, 1942) so in any event, it didn't do them any good....

G-CPTN
22nd Apr 2006, 16:11
What happens if you land from the opposite direction? Is the island not on the other side then?
MOST carrier ops are done with the ship SAILING (not stationary) into the wind. This gives a small advantage to aircraft taking-off and landing (WRT airspeed).

ORAC
22nd Apr 2006, 16:24
MOST carrier ops are done with the ship SAILING

Don't all those masts and sails get in the way of the aeroplanes? :confused:

G-CPTN
22nd Apr 2006, 16:29
We are sailing, we are sailing,
Home again 'cross the sea.
We are sailing stormy waters,
To be near you, to be free.

HMS Ark Royal

perusal
22nd Apr 2006, 16:58
Why are aircraft carriers right handed?

Do they have hands?

ORAC
22nd Apr 2006, 17:01
Of course, they man the pumps.....

airborne_artist
22nd Apr 2006, 18:06
MOST carrier ops are done with the ship SAILING (not stationary) into the wind.

All carrier ops are done sailing into wind, assuming there is a surface wind. The 25 kts over the deck is pretty much a minimum req. I think you'll find for conventional launch/landing. The carrier would never be stationary, and I'd expect it to be making a minimum of 15-20 kts if launching/recovering. The sea state if the surface wind was 35 kts or more (Beaufort 8) may well preclude ops anyway.

The old man was in the penultimate HMS Ark Royal for her first commission in 1955, and I followed him into the Andrew in 1978, the year after she was paid off.

brickhistory
22nd Apr 2006, 18:19
All carrier ops are done sailing into wind, assuming there is a surface wind. The 25 kts over the deck is pretty much a minimum req. I think you'll find for conventional launch/landing. The carrier would never be stationary, and I'd expect it to be making a minimum of 15-20 kts if launching/recovering. The sea state if the surface wind was 35 kts or more (Beaufort 8) may well preclude ops anyway.

The old man was in the penultimate HMS Ark Royal for her first commission in 1955, and I followed him into the Andrew in 1978, the year after she was paid off.


AA,

It has been done, more than once, for CV's to launch while at anchor. Not often and not pretty, but it has been done. Believe it was the USS Saratoga (but might have been another), that suffered an embarrassing grounding in Naples (?). She launched her air wing while at anchor. Admittedly, the a/c were light with no stores, so operationally not a player, I'd agree with you, but it has been done.

Davaar
22nd Apr 2006, 18:22
I have read of its being done at anchor in the RN, certainly with Seafires (one went in and killed the pilot) and I believe with Seahawks.

Loki
22nd Apr 2006, 20:17
Had a catapult at RAE Bedford when I was there (1970s). Had no choice but to do it "at anchor!" F4s and Buccaneers mostly I remember.

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 20:24
'Coz, in the original civilised society, we always drive to the left of the island - pity about the Froggies and the Septics,but at least their pilots got it right :E

Saintsman
22nd Apr 2006, 20:29
Perhaps they should put the island in the middle - one side for taking off and the other for landing.

Just think how efficient that would be;)

FakePilot
22nd Apr 2006, 20:29
Kinda of on the same topic, but I've seen a line of booms extending about the deck width to the right in some pictures. What were these for?

brickhistory
22nd Apr 2006, 20:31
'Coz, in the original civilised society, we always drive to the left of the island - pity about the Froggies and the Septics,but at least their pilots got it right :E

Funny, you don't sound Japanese.......

brickhistory
22nd Apr 2006, 20:34
Perhaps they should put the island in the middle - one side for taking off and the other for landing.
Just think how efficient that would be;)

It's been done.

HMS Furious (?)

Strictly Jungly
22nd Apr 2006, 20:41
All carrier ops are done sailing into wind, assuming there is a surface wind. The 25 kts over the deck is pretty much a minimum req. I think you'll find for conventional launch/landing. The carrier would never be stationary, and I'd expect it to be making a minimum of 15-20 kts if launching/recovering. The sea state if the surface wind was 35 kts or more (Beaufort 8) may well preclude ops anyway.
The old man was in the penultimate HMS Ark Royal for her first commission in 1955, and I followed him into the Andrew in 1978, the year after she was paid off.

AA,

Whilst at CU in Dec 78 I witnessed HMS ARK ROYAL disembarking its Air Group, I believe it paid off after that deployment.
SJ

tony draper
22nd Apr 2006, 20:53
Why does the boss driver on the bridge of those airyplane thingies sit in the left hand seat? also one believes some of the Carriers on convoy escort duties during our last bout of unpleasentess with those continentals, did not have any superstructure at all on the upper deck,
:rolleyes:

Strictly Jungly
22nd Apr 2006, 20:59
Why does the boss driver on the bridge of those airyplane thingies sit in the left hand seat? also one believes some of the Carriers on convoy escort duties during our last bout of unpleasentess with those continentals, did not have any superstructure at all on the upper deck,
:rolleyes:

They did have superstructure on the upper decks but they may have been open to the elements!!!!

Very early carriers were simply flat decks bolted onto the existing structure. Scary!

Mad (Flt) Scientist
22nd Apr 2006, 21:03
Kinda of on the same topic, but I've seen a line of booms extending about the deck width to the right in some pictures. What were these for?

Some carriers had deck-edge netting carried outwards on booms, IIRC. Others may have had radio masts etc, which would have to be folded out of the way for air ops.

Noah Zark.
22nd Apr 2006, 21:24
Do they have hands?
Yes, lots. (All hands on deck!)

ExSimGuy
22nd Apr 2006, 21:29
Why does the boss driver on the bridge of those airyplane thingies sit in the left hand seat? also one believes some of the Carriers on convoy escort duties during our last bout of unpleasentess with those continentals, did not have any superstructure at all on the upper deck,
:rolleyes:This is actually a "hangover" from Commercial Aviation.

They had to standardise on what side of the Hairyplane the main cabin doors would be (so as not to confuse the airstairs drivers - easily done:oh: ). And the great commercial BOAC ("Better On A Camel" - or was it Imperial Airways in those "pre-PanAm" days) decided that, as charabangs always had the doors to the left, so would the new-fangled Hairyplanes

In those days, a flight from "Blighty" to Far-Flung Empire (such as the popular Chinese destination airport HFD - Hoo Flung Dung International:suspect: ) took several days, and several night-stops (navigation being largely following rivers, mountain ranges, and in the case of well - colonialised areas - motorways) It was considered "Fourringer Perks" to chat up the best looking feeeemales on the flight.

This meant that the Fourringers had to sit on the left side of the Hairyplane, in order to "assess" the oncoming feeeemale pax, as they boarded, as to which were worthy of their valuable time in the bar of the night-stop hotel, to "build their strength" for the following day's 1000 km sector, following roads, rivers, and conspicuous configurations of paddy fields (the latter on routes that were later to be handed over the Air Cunnilingus and Ryan).:{

In those far-of times, the gallant Fourringers were the gods of the profession, much envied and their positions sought-after by the lowly Effos (as well asthe Effees, and even more lowly Navoffs and Radops, and much later the Peethrees of the Trydent) and deemed them selves worthy of all the perks they could get.

So what's changed?:E

lexxity
22nd Apr 2006, 21:37
What I want to know is why is the Navy also called the Andrew?:confused: :confused:

airship
22nd Apr 2006, 22:18
Why are aircraft carriers right handed?

Well it's obvious: they haven't figured out how to build ambidextrous ones yet...


Getting back onto a serious track here: the French have made some modifications to the carrier Charles de Gaulle, after all their problems with her propellors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FS_Charles_de_Gaulle).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/53/FS_CDG_cartoon.jpg/180px-FS_CDG_cartoon.jpg

In the event of any future incapacitation of the carrier's main propulsion due to enemy attack (or even just shoddy craftsmanship), provision has been made so that a pair of Rafales can be strapped-down onto the after-part of the flight deck. This will provide the Charles de Gaulle with a "get you home" auxilary power source...

Solid Rust Twotter
22nd Apr 2006, 22:24
Wasn't there an instance of a couple of F4s, Scooters and A6s used to maneouvre a carrier into it's berth using jet thrust?

airship
22nd Apr 2006, 22:33
It must have been a very hot day then...offshore winds?!

henry crun
22nd Apr 2006, 23:07
SRT, That procedure predates the carrier jet age.

I have read of and seen a photo of a carrier being helped into berth by a line of piston engined aircraft; Skyraiders and Bearcats IIRC.

Davaar
22nd Apr 2006, 23:42
The manoeuvre was done in "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" (William Holden, Grace Kelly, et al, about 1954). The politics between the Commander of the Air Group who did not want to burn out his engines and the captain who wanted to berth his carrier formed a sub-plot in the movie.

lanciaspezzata
22nd Apr 2006, 23:52
All I can say is that the aircraft involved must have had exceptionally strong undercarriage to shift so many tens of thousands of tonnes of deadweight.
What they should have done was to heave unemployed or unemployable, flipper-equipped, aircrew overboard at the back end with instructions to swim and push.
It is much cheaper and does not interfere with the ongoing operational status of the ship as long as they are instructed to talk as normal and keep up the airflow over the deck.

airship
22nd Apr 2006, 23:57
Great spelling of manoeuvre there Davaar, I'd have expected nothing less from you! :ok:

If one had been born a woman, I'd have quite fancied William Holden methinks. As it was, I sometimes harboured secret thoughts of wishing he was my dad sometimes as an adolescent. As for Grace Kelly, well, I've always fancied Princess Caroline... :O

Anyway, I think aircraft-carriers are an outdated concept. They look impressive from any angle but the image is mainly a projected one.

tony draper
22nd Apr 2006, 23:59
We should buy 50 of those B 52's the cousins have got stashed in the desert,we wudden need no dammed carriers then,one can put a bit of stick about anywhere in the world with 50 B 52's.
Prolly get then for a good price as well.

:rolleyes:

ORAC
23rd Apr 2006, 00:03
Unfortunately, all but a handful were cut up for saucepans as a part of SALT II. The remainder needed to provide enought airframes to last till 2038, the fleet retirement date. (They won't at their present usage, which is why a new bomber is now a very high priority for about 2018-2020...)

airship
23rd Apr 2006, 00:05
That's right Drapes. And cheaper than building 2 French-designed aircraft carriers of our own... :ok:

ORAC, hehe, making saucepans out of aircraft. And to think that 55 years ago they were doing just the opposite...?!

tony draper
23rd Apr 2006, 00:09
One has mentioned on many occasions one thinks the Concorde would have made a spiffing bomber ,no great modification needed,our new generation of nukes are so small now that the pilot could just open his window and fling the buggah out over the target.
:rolleyes:

benhurr
23rd Apr 2006, 00:18
3 pages and the answer is....


we don't know.

con-pilot
23rd Apr 2006, 00:19
the pilot could just open his window and fling the buggah out over the target.

Well that worked in the movie "Airport 4 the Concorde" (at least I think was 4) when Kennedy opened the window and fired a flare gun.

God, what a stupid movie.:yuk:

Unwell_Raptor
23rd Apr 2006, 00:33
I was once invited for a drink on HM Narrowboat Andrew when she was moored near Rugby. A plaque in the saloon said that Lt. Andrew commanded the first-ever Press Gang. The service has retained the name on the assumption that nobody would join voluntarily.

tony draper
23rd Apr 2006, 01:00
One has a excellent book on the history of the Press Gang,there's a lot of mythology associated the name Press Gang,the idea that they rushed through the street nabbing people willy nilly is just myth, what the RN needed were experienced seafarers so mosty they raided Merchant Ships,and the places merchant seamen lurked, grog shops brothels,church meetings and such, a lot of British sea farers buggad off and joined American vessels after the cousins had that rebellion of theirs,apparently the pay was much better, the cousins were ok at herding cattle shooting Indians and the like, but as sailors they was shite, ergo Brit sailors were in great demand,so Royal Navy ships used to stop American Vessels on the high seas and pinch the chaps back,started our second scuffle with the cousins that did, the War of 1812.
:cool:

ThreadBaron
23rd Apr 2006, 02:25
FSL

Me old man's last ship, the escort carrier HMS Chaser, with island.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a113/threadbaron/0301001.jpg

PPRuNe Radar
23rd Apr 2006, 03:01
A guess, but it's probably something to do with the fact that most pilots prefer to fly left hand circuits, also they will automatically turn left to avoid something.

Rules of the air say you always turn right to avoid a collision ... sorry ;)

EAL747
23rd Apr 2006, 03:12
ORAC is correct. The Island is on the right because of the propeller airplane's tendency to go left with power added. The earliest carrier, USS Langley CV1, lay all its stacks and antennas horizontal to clear the deck for flight ops. When not in flight ops, stacks & antenna were vertical. After Langley came the standard island on the right on all carriers. Only a few were built with no island at all; USS Long Island pops into my mind as one. I operated on USS Lexington CV 16 and USS BonHommeRichard CV31 before departing for Eastern.

John Eacott
23rd Apr 2006, 06:06
Kinda of on the same topic, but I've seen a line of booms extending about the deck width to the right in some pictures. What were these for?

HF antennae. Really, really annoying to find them "up" at night when they were supposed to be neatly down and out of the way....:rolleyes:

AA,

Aft facing landings were (still are?) always an option for helo ops on CVA's. As long as the wind over the deck gave a downwind component for a normal approach, we'd come to a hover ahead of the boat and let it come to us: sort of!

There is a set of documents on the US Navy History site, here (http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/car-toc.htm) which gives a reason for the island on the starboard side, under the Langley paper:

At first, it was planned that this deck would be completely free of obstruction, and so it was in the Langley. But in the Sara and Lex, this view changed in favor of an island placed on the starboard side. This side was selected for the islandís location because it provided a better view of buoy markers in narrow channels. It also facilitated left-hand turns which pilots preferred, owing to the torque of the turning propeller. The island design offered the only practical solution to problems predicated by smoke discharge, navigation, fire control, and communications.

green granite
23rd Apr 2006, 09:21
Rules of the air say you always turn right to avoid a collision ... sorry ;)

I was'nt actually talking about other air craft, I was suggesting that,
as was noted by pilots in WW2, most pilots aoutomaticaly broke left when fired on from behind. A fact used to advantage by the more astute fighter pilots.


But your comment does point out another reason for the having the bridge on the right, the rules of the road dictate that a vessel shall
give way to one crossing her track from the right hand side so the bridge
being on the right makes sense from that point of view

benhurr
23rd Apr 2006, 11:16
The aircraft having a tendency to turn to the right because of the propellor wouldn't really be valid. (Not all aircraft have clockwise props)

If they turn right when power is added (take-off) then they would turn left when power is reduced (landing).

Seeing bouys in narrow channels would make sense if you always had to pass to the left of them and giving way to ships on the right would also make sense.

I thought there would be a very good reason why all nationalities build them the same.

G-CPTN
23rd Apr 2006, 14:25
My experience has been that whenever I ask a 'stupid' question, there is a sensible, logical answer.

Onan the Clumsy
23rd Apr 2006, 14:33
It also facilitated left-hand turns which pilots preferred, owing to the torque of the turning propellerSo the Russian ones are on the left then :8

damn, someone got there before me :(

Double Zero
19th May 2006, 06:13
I have read of its being done at anchor in the RN, certainly with Seafires (one went in and killed the pilot) and I believe with Seahawks.

I rather doubt it...my father was at Salerno on an Escort carrier; there was no wind, and the ship going flat out at 17kn was not good enough for the Seafires. Within a day or two most of the squadron was wrecked in landing accidents, no enemy action !