Display Base Tomcat, Carrier Deck (Small) 9X12 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
As "runways at sea," modern aircraft carriers have a flat-top deck design that serves as a flight deck for take-off and landing of aircraft. Aircraft take off to the front, into the wind, and land from the rear. Carriers steam at speed, for example up to 35 knots (65 km/h), into the wind during take-off in order to increase the apparent wind speed over the deck, thereby reducing the speed of the aircraft relative to the ship. On some ships, a steam-powered catapult is used to propel the aircraft forward, assisting the power of its engines and allowing it to take off in a shorter distance than would otherwise be required. On other carriers, aircraft do not require assistance for take off - the requirement for assistance relates to aircraft design and performance. Conversely, when landing on a carrier, conventional aircraft rely upon a tailhook that catches on arrestor wires stretched across the deck to bring them to a stop in a shorter distance than normal. Other aircraft - helicopters and V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing) designs - utilize their hover capability to land vertically and so require no assistance in speed reduction upon landing.
Conventional ("tailhook") aircraft rely upon a landing signal officer (LSO, sometimes called "paddles") to control the plane's landing approach, visually gauge altitude, attitude, and speed, and transmit that data to the pilot. Before the angled deck emerged in the 1950s, LSOs used colored paddles to signal corrections to the pilot (hence the nickname). From the late 1950s onward, visual landing aids such as mirrors provided information on proper glide slope, but LSOs still transmit voice calls to landing pilots by radio. Special Order!
Length: 12 inches
Width: 9 inches
Release Date: November 2010