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  • Top speed of the Carriers?

    Been wondering about this, Most sites when talking about the top speed of say the Nimitz Class is 30+ knots, and a good number of guys seem to think they can push 40+ easily.

    Though I recenly read this.
    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-028.htm

    Would this be correct? Or is their some thing more to this than meets the eye? like say the numbers posted are realy just low ball numbers averaging out the speed over it's life time?

  • #2
    The maximum speed of the carrier is really not the issue, the maximum speed of the carrier is the speed of the slowest ship in the task force. You must also remember that in time of war there would be opposing forces with submarines. The faster you go the less effective your ASW screen is.
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    • #3
      For take off and landing operations at maximum plane load, the speed of the US carriers is adjusted to provide a 30 knots head wind, therefore to carry out launching and recovery operations the carrier are designed for and able to sustain a 30 knts speed without red lining its propulsion during the launch/recovery periods.
      It is fair to guess that emergency speed would be in the 35knts range.

      The whole carrier task force is not required to crank up their engines to follow the carrier, they just enlarge the safety box into which the carrier is operating and carry out their ASW surveillance at optimum speed.

      The French carriers have been built and operated on the same tactics and the same 30 knots wind value, having learnt modern carrier operations with the US Navy (catapult and arresting gears on French carriers (past and present) are US made), the French Navy air wings are qualified to operate on US carriers.


      kelt

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FTCS View Post
        The maximum speed of the carrier is really not the issue, the maximum speed of the carrier is the speed of the slowest ship in the task force. You must also remember that in time of war there would be opposing forces with submarines. The faster you go the less effective your ASW screen is.
        Well I'm not really interested in that, I'm more interested in just how fast they can go if need be. The others can play catch up.

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        • #5
          Maximum ship (and sub) speed is considered classified. All the Navy says is, "In excess of XX knots" when discussing the matter. I remember reading about one incident in which the Enterprise(?) left all her escorts behind when she turned on all 8(?) reactors.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
            The French carriers have been built and operated on the same tactics and the same 30 knots wind value, having learnt modern carrier operations with the US Navy (catapult and arresting gears on French carriers (past and present) are US made), the French Navy air wings are qualified to operate on US carriers.

            kelt

            I was not aware of that. You get a great big from me. Carrier landing has always been considered the hardest problem in flying. There are many U.S. navy pilots that canít master it.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by tsar View Post
              I was not aware of that. You get a great big from me. Carrier landing has always been considered the hardest problem in flying. There are many U.S. navy pilots that canít master it.
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              • #8
                Another possibility is that people get their units of measure all mixed up.


                Knots Miles Kilometer

                30 34.53 55.56
                31 35.68 57.41
                32 36.83 59.26
                33 37.98 61.12
                34 39.13 62.97
                35 40.29 64.82
                Last edited by kuma; 27 Mar 10, 21:21.

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                • #9
                  I know, that's why when people ask me if I'm speeding, I always tell them nope, I'm driving 35,45,55 knots, just like the sign says!
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nebfer View Post
                    Been wondering about this, Most sites when talking about the top speed of say the Nimitz Class is 30+ knots, and a good number of guys seem to think they can push 40+ easily.

                    Though I recenly read this.
                    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-028.htm

                    Would this be correct? Or is their some thing more to this than meets the eye? like say the numbers posted are realy just low ball numbers averaging out the speed over it's life time?
                    Shipmate, you do not have the "need to know", and yes that information is classified. I recommend that you stick with more innocent questions.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tsar View Post
                      I was not aware of that. You get a great big from me. Carrier landing has always been considered the hardest problem in flying. There are many U.S. navy pilots that canít master it.
                      The French Navy has had a small team of flying Instructors based at Pax River for quite some time, all French navy pilots for the last 50 years went through the USN flying course, before qualifying on the much smaller French carriers.
                      There have been mutual exchange of pilots for the same period of time.

                      The apparent cold relationship between France and the USA from 2003 to 2008 did not alter the quality of our military relationship.

                      In 2003, at the height of anti-French official resentment in the USA, there was a permanent team of 200 french SF operating in Afghanistan under direct US command, thus leaving the same amount of US SF available for the Iraki theater.

                      kelt

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                      • #12
                        The Navweaps article concludes with this:

                        After this essay was originally published in April 1999, the USN publicly released the speed of the nuclear carriers in June 1999:
                        Enterprise 33.6 knots after last refit
                        Nimitz 31.5 knots
                        Theodore Roosevelt 31.3 knots
                        Harry S Truman 30.9 knots
                        Can anyone track down that statement?

                        The logic of the Navweaps article is also fairly impeccable. It notes that the (published) power rating of carrier turbines has been constant at 260-280,000hp since the Kitty Hawk class. Displacement has increased by a factor of 20%, length has only increased by a little, so hull form must have become a little bulkier.

                        Taken together these factors mean that the design speed of the Nimitzes is likely to be a little less than that of the conventionally-powered Kitty Hawks.

                        There is of course the possibility that the turbines on the Nimitzes actually achieve more HP than the published figure. But at high speeds, extra HP doesn't buy you very much more speed, because the resistance of the water to motion increases at various higher powers. So going from 31.5 to 35.0 kts would require a fairly chunky increase in the power of those turbines...
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                        • #13
                          ...and she's still with us...

                          ....Wa-a-a-a-y back in the day, in the old USS INTREPID, we'd like to hang out on the fantail whilst going through carrier quals off the Virginia Capes. There was always a lot of scuttlebutt about just how fast we were going. Guesses ranged from 27kts to 33 kts. In all probability we were most likely hitting about 29/30kts. During the last few quals if you were onboard you could tell when the old girl hit 28kts because #3 shaft had a slight bend and the whole boat would give a little jerk kinda like having a flat tire.
                          In order to launch aircraft, the boat would speed up as fast as it could go and then turn into the wind to give a little extra boost to the takeoff speed. If it was really windy that day, the catapults wouldn't have to work too hard to get the A4D's up in the air.
                          Toward the end of her long and illustrious career, INTREPID could only make turns on three of her shafts as some idiot disabled the reduction gear on the fourth. However, she was still able to launch and recover aircraft albeit straining just a bit more. The extra through hull fittings for the oars were enough to get us just that bit more speed that we needed to get the squadrons airborne.
                          Back in WW2, INTREPID was the only aircraft carrier to be partly powered by sails as well. I'll bet that put a cramp on the squadron's style back then. I can see it now..."Now hear this! Prepare for aircraft recovery. All hands turn to for taking in sails..."


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