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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

Old 2nd Mar 2012, 18:54
  #21 (permalink)  
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I can assure the readers that a 'trap' is a US Navy expression for what in my youth we called a deck landing. I did a few in said youth well over forty years ago.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 22:30
  #22 (permalink)  
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Well, "flaps" might be a howler in the text, but would be very pertinent if transferred to the article's title.

However, that the minister is re-evaluating our options on F35 is entirely sensible. It makes sense to have options ready for the "What if's?", all the more so as there are no shortages of 'if's' for this programme.

On balance, I doubt we would revert to the B version, although it may be one of the alternatives in the contingency plans - but just because it is one of the options doesn't mean it is the option. I would have thought it is the highest risk of the F35 alternatives, as if selected and then it fails, we are left with nowhere to go. Cat and trap at least opens up other options if the C were to fail or become unaffordable.

As I suspect the whole carrier project is at high risk from the 2015 SDR, the A could yet move up the bookie's odds from long-shot to favourite.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 05:02
  #23 (permalink)  
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Cats & Traps is the in house naval term, The in house USAF term is Snaggin n Dragging
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 07:27
  #24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Engines
The 'B' in CATOBAR and STOBAR doesn't stand for 'But', it stands for 'Barrier'. So, it's Short Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery, and 'CAtapult Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery'. I think both are a bit clunkier than 'cat and trap', but it's personal choice, I reckon.
From a former naval aviation person (tech, not crew), a "Barrier Arrested Recovery" was what we call an emergency recovery... and they were certainly not "normal"!

In some 360 days at sea aboard CV-61 USS Ranger there were only 3 of those*... while there were hundreds of plain old "Arrested Recoveries" using the wires instead of the barrier!

So that meaning for CATOBAR is even more incorrect than the "But Arrested Recovery" version.

Also, here is the full (but still incorrect) definition:
CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery)

Originally Posted by Engines
Bottom line, if you don't understand the acronyms, it doesn't mean they are 'stupid', or any other term you want to throw around. It just means you need to get a bit more informed. hopefully, this post has helped you do just that.
And perhaps my post has informed you a bit as to the inaccuracy of the definition commonly used.

* here is the PLAT film of one of those 3. On the previous landing attempt the A-6 had hit too hard, and a main wheel had broken off the aircraft.
This was in the spring of 1987.

Here is a vid of a virtually identical incident on Ranger the previous fall... also in the North Pacific, and also on our way back from Korea.
You can see the wheel follow the boltering aircraft off the angle.

Last edited by GreenKnight121; 3rd Mar 2012 at 07:45.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 08:40
  #25 (permalink)  
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Pedant mode "on".

I think I'd bet good money that the term CATOBAR derived from the STOBAR description bandied around in the late 90s to describe how Kuznetsov operated, where the B always stood for "But". As GK points out, "barrier" has always had a far different connotation at sea.

The reason that CATOBAR was invented as an acronym was that until recently, the commonly used description of catapults and arrester wires aboard ships was CTOL. This was used throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s and everyone understood what it meant. The CVF (even CVSG(R)!) concept papers throughout the 90s all referred to CTOL ships.

However, then came JSF, where in order to differentiate between the Air Force, USMC/STOVL and USN versions, people started using, CTOL, STOVL and CV respectively. This confused the issue, particularly given that CTOL and STOVL referred to launch and recovery types, but CV referred to the "host platform". Hence someone somewhere decided to invent a new acronym - CATOBAR - which really should have been CATAAR, with the first A standing for "and". However, this sounds like a bad cold, so that probably got binned.

To go all Tom Jones on folk, it's not unusual these days to find loopy new acronyms, or even old ones corrupted. Leafing idly through a defstan the other day I discovered that CVS apparently stands for "Carrier Vertical Strike", which must be a surprise to all those who for decades thought CVS stood for Anti-Submarine Carrier, or occasionally "Support Carrier". I did once read a report that suggested CVS stood for conventional submarine, but it was written by someone "a bit special", so not particularly surprising.

Pedant mode "off".
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:08
  #26 (permalink)  
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“All down to great airmanship, organisation, world class maintainers and one of the best Captain/Cdr(AiR) combos ever to go to sea. And that, in a nutshell, is what naval aviation is all about. It's something the FAA does.(my italics)”

Your uncritical promotion of all things Naval Air is predictable, and I totally agree with ‘airmanship’ and ‘world class maintainers’.

However, if you’re going to quote the Falklands as an example then I think you need to read RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands to see a very different eyewitness account of ‘organisation’ and ‘Captain/Cdr Air combo’ performance on another aircraft carrier in theatre.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 09:43
  #27 (permalink)  
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You needed flaps on your boots in order to fly a Harrier.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 10:10
  #28 (permalink)  
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BBC News 3 Mar 2012:
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 11:23
  #29 (permalink)  
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ExMud and Others,

I did say that CATOBAR and STOBAR were 'clunky' - I freely admit that they aren't even quite accurate and GK121 is quite correct to point out that a 'barrier' recovery is quite apart from a standard 'trap'. However, they are the terms in use. like them or not.

The use of terms like CVS and CVF also caused some confusion, as CVS was possibly the NATO abbreviation for anti submarine carrier, but CVF stood for (as I was told) Future Carrier (CV). The USN had CVA and CVN as well for conventional and nuclear powered carriers.

If I'm predictable in reminding people that the FAA can be a world class organisation, I plead guilty as charged. I had the honour to work with some great people in many ships and stations, and I always try to bring out those facts, especially when there is some repetitive noise along the lines of 'leave air power to us, we're the only professionals'.

You'll also note that I always try to stay balanced, and in that vein I'd say that 1 Sgn on board Hermes were damn good people who brought some much needed sense to the fight, especially as the skipper of Hermes was not quite as good as ours on Invincible. I have read the 'RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands' book - I respect the viewpoint, just a shame some of the more obvious misunderstandings (both ways) weren't cleared up. In many ways, they showed up the difficult cultural issues and gaps between the RN's relationship between squadron and ship, and the RAF's squadron/station relationship. Both valid, but very different. Oh, and I certainly didn't mean to infer that operating from ships is always sweetness and light - it can be flaming tiresome if people don't all pull the same way.

And for the record, when 1 Sqn got ashore they were even better - helped me out one day with a sick Sea King and could not have been more professional and kind. They were REAL expeditionary air power, that lot, bare bases and all. Also on the record, their CO went on to become a very senior Airship, who many years later came up to me at a Strike 'bash' and warmly offered his respects for a fallen friend we both remembered fondly. A real gentleman, a fine officer and RAF through and through. I'd have jumped off a cliff for him.

Just once more - the RAF are a great service, who I respect enormously. But they don't 'do' maritime aviation, mainly because they really, deep down. don't 'get' it. Doesn't make them mad, bad or stupid - it's just not their bag.

The FAA does 'do' it. If the country wants maritime aviation (political decision) then the FAA should do it. My opinion, sincerely held after around 30 plus years doing aviation with all three services and having a great time.

Best Regards as ever,

Engines is online now  
Old 5th Mar 2012, 13:25
  #30 (permalink)  

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In view of Mr Norton-Taylor's 'slip' in the orginal article, I wrote what I hoped was a mildly amusing letter to the Grauniad. Sad to say, the letters editor evidently found it so mild as to be unamusing, and didn't publish it.

However, I have had a nice email of thanks, telling me that the online article has now been amended, with a note of the amendment at the end of the article.
UK aircraft carrier plans in confusion as ministers revisit square one | UK news | The Guardian

Nothing from Mr N-T, though, in whose Crimble card list I may no longer figure.

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Old 5th Mar 2012, 13:42
  #31 (permalink)  
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Maybe Mr N-T got so ridiculed by other Defence correspondants as well as the plethora of online folks that they felt they had to change the record?

FODPlod - good to see Steve Long being front and centre as one of the very few Brits to have actually flown an F-35 as the RAF test pilot at NAS Patuxent River.

I'm surprised that the MOD hasn't pushed out consulting contracts to old Phantom, Buccaneer or Gannet chaps, whose experience of Cats and Traps may still be valid. I'm sure they cannot all have moved on to the great crewroom in the sky! Come back Sharky Ward, the Navy needs you again.
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 14:05
  #32 (permalink)  
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I think what I meant to say about "cats and traps" was that the term has seriously not made its way into the mainstream
I would suggest that if the Prime Minister himself is using a term in a public announcement, it is fairly mainstream, and those who aren't already familiar might want to get on Google or similar to avoid being left behind...
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 17:31
  #33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TorqueOfTheDevil View Post
I would suggest that if the Prime Minister himself is using a term in a public announcement, it is fairly mainstream,

Or he's good a readiing his prepared statement...

So is the cat flap for the Wildcat?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 08:57
  #34 (permalink)  
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Or he's good a readiing his prepared statement...
Exactly my point...prepared for him by people who are paid to choose their words and phrases carefully. Whether or not the PM has a clue what he's on about doesn't really matter.

So is the cat flap for the Wildcat?
Very nice! But surely you want to trap those Wildcats?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 10:30
  #35 (permalink)  
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I read the first paragraph of some magazine article that suggested that the F35C would have trouble taking off from PoW with EMALS on a day when the air was still. As I know nothing and have no way of evaluating this stuff I just mention it because it might have some relevance. Could be total rubbish for all I can tell.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 10:54
  #36 (permalink)  
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As I understand it the F35C has been launched from a land based EMALS set up, that I assume had not a lot of headwind, on a more serious note I understand that the EMALS is more powerful and indeed smoother than a steam catapult, so it would seem that the F35C can certainly get off the deck of a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier however landing back on is at the moment rather a problem, they have yet to demonstrate that they can catch a wire.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 11:43
  #37 (permalink)  
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Completely agree with Engines. I would point out that the Captain of Hermes was a fine carrier aviator who passed under ship in the course of his day job.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:03
  #38 (permalink)  
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F35C would have trouble taking off from PoW with EMALS on a day when the air was still.
I care not a jot about our carriers, but a decent boat such as in service with the USN can make 30+ kts
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:21
  #39 (permalink)  
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The quoted speeds of warships and actual speeds bare little in common. T45 was quoted at 28kts but made almost 32 on trials. You can draw your own comclusions from that. CVF has a surplus of power to drive her propulsion machinery at full tilt even with cats operating. I had the experience. of being on the Queen Mary 2 at levers 100 making over 30kts being overtaken by another ship.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:29
  #40 (permalink)  
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My point is that there is rarely a time when the air is still when on board a carrier at sea, not what the speed actually is.

I despair of this place sometimes.
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