By lex, on March 28th, 2008
To go along with the “Green Water” vid
To go along with the “Green Water” vid below, SJ Bill sends along this pic from the past:
Here’s one of my old boat, the Essex, back in ’60. Note the brand spanking new C1A spotted aft for a deck run off the angle. I think the pilot was Horst Petrich, who pulled off this launch any number of times. During my day, LCDR Petrick was my asst CATCC officer.
During the next year or so, Essex snapped off her mast in a worse storm.
Essex was launched in 1942 and weighed in at around 30,000 tons – just about 1/3 the weight of a Nimitz-class. Ships of lower displacement naturally move around a great deal more than larger ones for a given sea condition.
A “deck run” means taking off without the use of the steam-powered catapults, and I have never seen it done – it went out of favor with the demise of recip/radial engine aircraft on the roof, birds that could generate a significant component of their lift through the wash of their own props over the wing.
Unlike a cat launch, where you’re flung airborne in two to three seconds after the shooter gives the signal, a deck launch takes longer, maybe six to seven seconds. But after the first two or three, you’re committed to going over the end one way or the other – hopefully to go flying if you’ve done it right. Or smack into a wave if you haven’t. Which means that if you’ve judged the pitch and roll incorrectly in seas like these you’ve got three to four seconds – an eternity – to ponder your ineluctable fate.
And no ejection seats.
So, yeah: Brass.