Swimming Cities & Airports

Aircraft Carriers, the pride of the navy, are like small, swimming cities with an airport. These “cities” have to be more or less self-sustaining for a long period of time. This means they have everything on board to keep the operations and the daily life of the crew running. Alongside the needed military equipment, this for example includes a medical center, a gym & stores just to name a few. All this is necessary to keep the crew of 3000 to 6000 people, depending on the class of the aircraft carrier, healthy, motivated and as happy as possible (3000 to 6000 people…that is about the size of my hometown’s population :D).

To achieve this, a lot of logistical effort is necessary since not all supply for the whole duration of the deployment can be stored on the ship from the start on. Food for the crew and fuel for the aircraft have to be delivered several times. This is either done by plane, helicopter or other ships. All methods are possibly dangerous since it is neither an easy feat to land a plane on a moving ship nor is it without difficulties to drive along the ship with another ship close enough to exchange fuel.

Another logistical effort that is being made on an aircraft carrier is the conduction of the operations on the flight deck (and below it). With around 80 aircraft on board the flight deck and its lower hanger storage level more or less resemble a very tiny but extremely busy airport. Therefore, a carful coordination of the airplanes’ starts and landings is crucial to avoid any accidents.

Since the flight deck is fairly small, the amount of launches and recoveries of aircrafts is limited but modern aircraft carriers have an angled deck (see main image) which increases this amount and also makes simultaneous launches and recoveries possible

Additionally, in order to make the busy work on the flight deck easier to coordinate the personal is wearing different colored clothes, depending on their function.(see picture below)

US_Navy_100810-N-5749W-014_Vice_Adm._Richard_W._Hunt_crosses_the_rainbow_sideboys_during_an_arrival_aboard_USS_Abraham_Lincoln_(CVN_72).jpg

For example, the people that are responsible for coordinating all movements of planes, the “shooters”, wear yellow clothes (see image below).

Flight-deck-officer-shooters-launch-an-FA-18C-Hornet

The different colored clothes might seem like a very simple method for such an advanced technology but they are certainly effective.

Aircraft carriers are a technological masterpiece and definitely require a large amount of logistics in many different areas so they are kept running and their crews can carry on with conducting their operations. Like it was said in the beginning, they are more or less cities and airports combined. The only difference is, everything has to be done on a much smaller space.

If you want to take a look at the daily life on an aircraft carrier follow this link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-life-aboard-us-aircraft-carrier-2016-6

(Sources for information on this blog: https://science.howstuffworks.com/aircraft-carrier.htm & https://mashable.com/2016/06/23/what-its-really-like-to-live-and-work-on-an-aircraft-carrier/#vzy6Y47XdPqX )

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