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  • Originally posted by JA Boomer View Post
    You forgot about the EA-6B's / EA-18G's!!!

    Here's a good summary of what a carrier air wing looked like throughout the years. Interesting indeed!

    Carrier Air Wing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Here's something interesting I noticed from the wiki article

    By the end of WWII, a typical Essex air group was over 100 aircraft, consisting of :
    1 squadron of 18 F6F fighters
    4 squadrons of 72 F4U fighter/bombers
    There were more than 12k of each built. More Hellcats were built during the war than Corsairs because Corsair's production run went to 1953. I find it hard to believe that the navy had that many Corsairs for carrier use during the war when there are more Hellcats available and Corsairs went to the Marines first.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    • Originally posted by gunnut View Post
      Here's something interesting I noticed from the wiki article. There were more than 12k of each built. More Hellcats were built during the war than Corsairs because Corsair's production run went to 1953. I find it hard to believe that the navy had that many Corsairs for carrier use during the war when there are more Hellcats available and Corsairs went to the Marines first.
      The reason the F4U did not appear on the CVs until late in the war was they encountered major landing issues. The oleo legs had dampers which were very stiff, and the due to the enormous prop the Corsair had to have the gull wings so the landing gear would not be overly long and fragile. Thats okay because the F6F was more than capable of handling anything which they came across.

      Also, a bit of a misnomer on the numbers of F4Us aboard latewar. There were still a ton of SB2Cs squadrons right up to the end. And the CAG for the CVLs had 1 each F6F squadron and 1 each TBM squadron. A CVE had a composite squadron of 16 FM-2 Wildcats and 12 TBM Avengers.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

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      • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        The reason the F4U did not appear on the CVs until late in the war was they encountered major landing issues. The oleo legs had dampers which were very stiff, and the due to the enormous prop the Corsair had to have the gull wings so the landing gear would not be overly long and fragile.
        IIRC, the original oleos on the F4U were so stiff that the plane would literally bounce across the deck when landing, perversely missing all four of the arresting wires and ending up in the crash barrier most of the time.
        "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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        • I've always enjoyed the fact that the USN flew some of the oddest shaped fighters of WW2, yet their performance was superlative. Nobody can call the F6F or F4U graceful or sleek. Words like "effective" and "menacing" come to mind, but the lines compared to the European theater aircraft simply aren't there, aesthetically.

          Some of that is due to radial vs. inline engines, but there were many beautiful (IMO) radial fighters fielded, like the FW-190, and some of the Hawkers.

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          • Here's a question. In the modern era (Cold War - present), what's the realistic maximum number of aircraft a US super carrier can embark. I remember hearing the number 92 thrown around often in the 90's. Obviously they don't deploy with near that number currently, but what was the maximum operational number employed?

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            • Originally posted by JA Boomer View Post
              Here's a question. In the modern era (Cold War - present), what's the realistic maximum number of aircraft a US super carrier can embark. I remember hearing the number 92 thrown around often in the 90's. Obviously they don't deploy with near that number currently, but what was the maximum operational number employed?
              My Google-fu has turned up answers ranging from 90-94, so your recollection of 92 is right down the center.

              At those numbers though, the carrier likely becomes a bit less efficient in plane handling and logistics.
              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                My Google-fu has turned up answers ranging from 90-94, so your recollection of 92 is right down the center.

                At those numbers though, the carrier likely becomes a bit less efficient in plane handling and logistics.
                can and does being quite different. There are a lot of air frames that are no longer used and multi-role aircraft with vastly more efficient weapons have taken over. I think right now its 1 fighter and 3 strike squadrons + EW, tanker and rotary wing compliments with about 70 aircraft total.

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                • Originally posted by zraver View Post
                  can and does being quite different. There are a lot of air frames that are no longer used and multi-role aircraft with vastly more efficient weapons have taken over. I think right now its 1 fighter and 3 strike squadrons + EW, tanker and rotary wing compliments with about 70 aircraft total.
                  I should have specified that I was answering the first (more hypothetical) question "What's the realistic maximum number of aircraft a US super carrier can embark?"

                  Realistically these days, as you pointed out, you no longer need an aircraft with a dozen or more pieces of ordnance hanging on the racks. A fraction of that, of the PGM persuasion, will do just fine. Thus, less planes overall can do the job.
                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                  • Originally posted by zraver View Post
                    can and does being quite different. There are a lot of air frames that are no longer used and multi-role aircraft with vastly more efficient weapons have taken over. I think right now its 1 fighter and 3 strike squadrons + EW, tanker and rotary wing compliments with about 70 aircraft total.
                    There are no "Fighter" squadrons anymore. F-18 squadrons are all designated Strike Fighter squadrons (VFA).

                    With the retirement of the S-3 many years ago there is no dedicated tanker support.

                    Now your looking at around 48-50 fixed wing and 6-8 helos.

                    Compare that to a early 80s Air wing when you normally had around 80-90 fixed wing.

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                    • TH, Gunny,

                      If I read you guys correct, the room for more planes is still there, only the need for them is not around, hence the number of deployed aircraft is lower only due to the current requirements and spoiling the guys in the logistics.

                      However, if there is a need, more planes can/will be stationed, right?
                      No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                      To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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                      • Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                        If I read you guys correct, the room for more planes is still there, only the need for them is not around
                        Both the need and the money.

                        Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                        However, if there is a need, more planes can/will be stationed, right?
                        Theoretically yes, the real estate is there.
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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                        • In my zoomie head, (code for I know zilch about carrier ops) - I'd think that fewer aircraft overall would exponentially improve/expedite operations. Space is always a premium. With fast-paced operations ongoing, movement and placement of aircraft in the various queues (maintenance, arm/disarm, fuel) is greatly simplified with a less-crowded ship.

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                          • What Chogy said....and reduces your logistics tail.
                            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                            Mark Twain

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                            • But that was made available with less jobs for the crew - peace time and no imminent threat from a big adversary around.

                              If there is a need for increase to let's say 75 planes, what's the estimated time to board them? Altogether with the needed logistical reqs of course.
                              No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

                              To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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                              • Chogy hit the nail dead on the head. The Navy did flight deck studies in the late 80s and early 90s. They showed that a Nimitz Class ship with 48-50 Fixed wing planes could generate more sorties than one with a full deck.

                                Dropping down from 12 plane squadrons to 10 plane squadrons was/is an effort to save airframe hours. It may be a while before the 35C comes on board so they need to make the Shornets last.

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