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anyone serve on an aircraft carrier or in the know about them?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
alrighty then... as some know, I love anything that has to do with military. I like reading tank, aircraft, weapon, etc specs and all that stuff. I pretty much consider myself in the know about most new and developing and past systems.

Now... one thing I have NEVER been able to find out WTF they do or are, are those huge pylons/antenna-like things on the sides of aircraft carriers. They sort of droop towards sea like huge fishing poles. Sometimes they are put vertically (like in port or whatever)... and many times, they just aren't there.

I have a feeling its for communications, or submarines, or somekind of detection system... but never been able to find out what they are.

Here are some pics in case you dont know what I'm refereing to





here is when they are deployed up

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post #2 of 21
I was on a carrier almost 12 years back, sorry dont remember what those were for. I think they were shortwave antenna's, but again its been years.

I was on the John F. Kennedy, CV67 from 1989-1991.
post #3 of 21
I was on the John F. Kennedy from 92-93. Trust me, it's still a piece of FOD. I was also on the Saratoga. Now THAT was a damn good ship.

And as far as those antennaes go, I think they are associated with the ship's HFDF system, but I could be mistaken.
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
well, the thing that intrigues me is that only Carriers seem to have them

And pray tell whats an HFDF? High Frequency... something?
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post #5 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by ZO:
<strong>well, the thing that intrigues me is that only Carriers seem to have them

And pray tell whats an HFDF? High Frequency... something?</strong><hr></blockquote>

if they appear to be only on carriers perhaps they have something to do with communications or tracking with the planes.

just a guess by someone who knows absolutely nothing about this topic :cool:
post #6 of 21
I was stationned on the U.S.S. Forrestal (yes, that's correct, the "Forrest Fire", you other squids/ex-squids should know what I mean) between 1991 - 1993. I worked in Engineering "A" (auxiliary) division, Hydraulics. Basically I operated and maintained the ships Aircraft Elevators. I really have no idea what those things were, but I know what you're talking about.

Incidentally, the Saratoga was the same class as the Forrestal. His Dudeness, when were you stationned on the Sara? The Saratoga was moored in Mayport Florida (near Jacksonville) when we returned there from our last med cruise in December 1991. I served with a few people who transferred from the Sara.
post #7 of 21
I had talked to a former Navy officer and as far as I can remember...now hear me out on this...they were also fitted with nets...to catch anyone who was blown off the aircraft carrier during high winds/rough seas or if they were blown off the deck by the blast of a jet taking off...they also may have ahd a duel purpose communication wise...

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post #8 of 21
Hey, my brother is a 'plank holder' of the JFK. (First crewmember)

There are whip antenna's that rotate to the vertical position. They have signs near them warning of the radiation dangers.


There are also a heavy wire webbing for catching people that fall over the flight deck.

My dad was also on some carriers. 1942, almost 60 years ago in September, a Japanese torpedo sank the CV-7 USS Wasp. My dad was on that, and survived.
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post #9 of 21
Yeah, I've always heard that there are "nets" (or something net-like) mounted on the sides, to help catch crew members blown over the side by accidents, jets, horseplay, etc.

That makes sense. Their dual-mode design makes sense: at dock you wouldn't necessarily need then, therefore they fold up as shown in that photo above.

But, once out to sea, they're lowered back into place?

I don't know, but that sounds good.

Actually, I have two people I can ask (a Navy guy and a Marine). I'll ask them next time I get the chance and see what they say.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
here are some more pics I found that show the antenna/pylons better...





and a funny one i found

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post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
btw, the net idea seems a bit weird... they slant DOWNWARDS, and I've never actually seen anyything hanging between them.

There are smaller metal mesh nets (only about 2-3 yards long) in other places.

I've always thought they were antenna... but why there? Is it for aircraft communication? early warning sysetm against planes/missles that are flying a few feet above the waves?

hmmm....
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post #12 of 21
That 'funny' (faked) picture looks like it has a plane using the JATO (Jet or Rocket Assisted Take-off).

I just saw that INCREDIBLY demonstrated by the Blue Angels in Pensacola a couple of weeks ago. Thost assist thrusters, located by the tail, are one of the most awesome things to see in action. Like shooting that plane through a slingshot. But, it was a prop plane, not a jet plane.

Your pics do indeed show a carrier with a multitude of whips. Not sure I've seen others with that many before.
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post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've seen the footage (forgot the site) with C-130 JATO assisted take off from an aircraft carrier. Was very wicked.

They majorly spearheaded JATO take off when there was the Iran hostage situation. The plan was to land in the stadium(!!!!) and take off from it with a full load... hence, JATO assist.

We all know what happened then...
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post #14 of 21
you guys don't know shit, those are curb feelers.

post #15 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by ZO:
<strong>well, the thing that intrigues me is that only Carriers seem to have them

And pray tell whats an HFDF? High Frequency... something?</strong><hr></blockquote>

i believe they are in fact antennae, as others have said, although i haven't been aboard a carrier in about 6 years. i think that the LSD i spent a month on (i was in ROTC; don't hold it against me ) had one, too, by the helicopter deck. They definitely need to fold, though, since E-2s and F-14s would certainly lop them off, and they may foul the lines for underway replenishments when folded down.

As for HFDF, that's 'high-frequency direction-finding', i think. There was some discussion of it in Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon'.
post #16 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by running with scissors:
you guys don't know shit, those are curb feelers.
<hr></blockquote>

Hehe..best answer yet!

[ 09-06-2002: Message edited by: TOOL ]</p>
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post #17 of 21
Here's an image of the C-130 taking off from the U.S.S. Forrestal (same ship I served on).

post #18 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Graphic33:
<strong>

Incidentally, the Saratoga was the same class as the Forrestal. His Dudeness, when were you stationned on the Sara? The Saratoga was moored in Mayport Florida (near Jacksonville) when we returned there from our last med cruise in December 1991. I served with a few people who transferred from the Sara.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, I was only TAD there, supporting the CVIC/Supplot team during JTFEX and COMPTUEX. It was a damn good boat, and had an even better crew. BIG mistake to decom that baby.
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post #19 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by ZO:
<strong>well, the thing that intrigues me is that only Carriers seem to have them

And pray tell whats an HFDF? High Frequency... something?</strong><hr></blockquote>

High Frequency Direction Finding. It's one of those "spook" things that I don't do anymore.

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post #20 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by Artman @_@:
<strong>I had talked to a former Navy officer and as far as I can remember...now hear me out on this...they were also fitted with nets...to catch anyone who was blown off the aircraft carrier during high winds/rough seas or if they were blown off the deck by the blast of a jet taking off...they also may have ahd a duel purpose communication wise...

plink, plink...my two cents. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>


Correct you are about the nets. It's pretty easy to get blown over the side.
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post #21 of 21

Good afternoon shipmate!

 

I served as an electronics tech onboard the USS Nimitz for three years and those were my babies.  Those are two piece 35 foot HF whip antenna.  They are in the down position during flight operation (and generally when underway) to keep jet wings safe.  They are manually lifted when in close confines.  They have nothing to do with HFDF or fall arrest.

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