CV-18 Fujian/003 CATOBAR carrier thread


overview

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Yes, that true. During simultaneous launch & recovery operations, only one bow catapult will be available for use on the Fujian.

It's a design flaw that I'm sure will be rectified in the next Carrier PLAN builds. Perhaps they will increase the length of the Carrier a bit more to solve this problem.

Also they will need to change the alignment angle of the port-side bow catapult with respect to the starboard-side bow catapult. It will free up some space between the landing deck and the port-side bow catapult as a result of which the unavailability problem of port-side bow catapult during simultaneous landing will be solved. US Navy Carriers have solved this problem just by tweaking the alignment angle.

View attachment 91444
Sometimes I am wondered if 003 kept the original steam catapult design, will it perform such a US-style alignment?

After all the alignments of US carrier catapults are basically consistent since CV63 Kitty Hawk.

Already over half a century and applied to all super carriers.

Its really interesting why 003 not follow such a classical design concept.
 

Helius

Junior Member
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Sometimes I am wondered if 003 kept the original steam catapult design, will it perform such a US-style alignment?

After all the alignments of US carrier catapults are basically consistent since CV63 Kitty Hawk.

Already over half a century and applied to all super carriers.

Its really interesting why 003 not follow such a classical design concept.
The USN has also went from consistently having 4 lifts since the first 'supercarrier' in CV-59 Forrestal, for close to 70 years now, to only now slashing it down to 3 for the Ford-class.

We've dealt with this at length. The PLAN has their reasons which they think is valid and applicable to them, just like the USN has theirs, and they don't necessarily align, nor would you expect them to.
 

Yellow Submarine

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Sometimes I am wondered if 003 kept the original steam catapult design, will it perform such a US-style alignment?

After all the alignments of US carrier catapults are basically consistent since CV63 Kitty Hawk.

Already over half a century and applied to all super carriers.

Its really interesting why 003 not follow such a classical design concept.
The catapult alignment on CV-18 is odd. It reminds me how the bow catapults on the Forrestal class were arranged. The USN went with the revised alignment (as well as a general redesign of the flight deck layout) from the Kitty Hawk class onwards because of problems encountered with the Forrestal's while conducting cyclical ops. I am surprised the PLAN didn't take a closer look at the evolution and design of US supercarriers and why their designs evolved as they did. I suppose it's all part of the learning process, since this is China's first CATOBAR carrier and the only one outside of France and the USA to be built in the last several decades.

I would imagine the Type 004 class CVN's will have a layout and catapult alignment similar to that of the CVN-78 class, based on builder's models that have been exhibited and that one of the changes that will be made is to switch to the bow cats being arranged like they are on modern American carriers to avoid such problems in the future.
 

stannislas

Junior Member
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Do Liaoning and Shandong have extra electrical capacity to power EMALS? Do they have extra space to install electrical systems for EMALS? If the purpose of the EMALS is simply to launch KJ-600 perhaps they could content with slower catapult sortie rate.
The catapult alignment on CV-18 is odd. It reminds me how the bow catapults on the Forrestal class were arranged. The USN went with the revised alignment (as well as a general redesign of the flight deck layout) from the Kitty Hawk class onwards because of problems encountered with the Forrestal's while conducting cyclical ops. I am surprised the PLAN didn't take a closer look at the evolution and design of US supercarriers and why their designs evolved as they did. I suppose it's all part of the learning process, since this is China's first CATOBAR carrier and the only one outside of France and the USA to be built in the last several decades.

I would imagine the Type 004 class CVN's will have a layout and catapult alignment similar to that of the CVN-78 class, based on builder's models that have been exhibited and that one of the changes that will be made is to switch to the bow cats being arranged like they are on modern American carriers to avoid such problems in the future.
I beg the differ, that’s way to arrogant to say. Have you ever realize that there are only 3 catapults on 003 whereas us aircraft carriers have 4? I think Chinese must have a good reason to do so because they are not too blind to ignore that, for this reason I think catapults alignment must have some reason most suited to their 3 catapults, just because the layout is different to US carriers doesn’t make it less efficient
 

BoraTas

Junior Member
Registered Member
The catapult alignment on CV-18 is odd. It reminds me how the bow catapults on the Forrestal class were arranged. The USN went with the revised alignment (as well as a general redesign of the flight deck layout) from the Kitty Hawk class onwards because of problems encountered with the Forrestal's while conducting cyclical ops. I am surprised the PLAN didn't take a closer look at the evolution and design of US supercarriers and why their designs evolved as they did. I suppose it's all part of the learning process, since this is China's first CATOBAR carrier and the only one outside of France and the USA to be built in the last several decades.

I would imagine the Type 004 class CVN's will have a layout and catapult alignment similar to that of the CVN-78 class, based on builder's models that have been exhibited and that one of the changes that will be made is to switch to the bow cats being arranged like they are on modern American carriers to avoid such problems in the future.
This will be an appeal to authority argument but a lot of qualified people with access to classified spec sheets and procedures definitely ran thousands of experiments before finalizing the design of the 003. I normally don't like appeal to authority arguments. But we don't have access to the data we can use to contest the designers here. And my career in engineering has taught me that most of the time design flaws are just compromises the engineers were forced to make because of technical, political or budgetary reasons. Consumers and outside observers are quick to see design flaws but they are usually unable to see what leads to them.
 

Paulo R Siqueira

New Member
Registered Member
The catapult alignment on CV-18 is odd. It reminds me how the bow catapults on the Forrestal class were arranged. The USN went with the revised alignment (as well as a general redesign of the flight deck layout) from the Kitty Hawk class onwards because of problems encountered with the Forrestal's while conducting cyclical ops. I am surprised the PLAN didn't take a closer look at the evolution and design of US supercarriers and why their designs evolved as they did. I suppose it's all part of the learning process, since this is China's first CATOBAR carrier and the only one outside of France and the USA to be built in the last several decades.

I would imagine the Type 004 class CVN's will have a layout and catapult alignment similar to that of the CVN-78 class, based on builder's models that have been exhibited and that one of the changes that will be made is to switch to the bow cats being arranged like they are on modern American carriers to avoid such problems in the future.

Incorrect, there are other ways to avoid this problem. As 003 shows, just increasing the deck width and the slope of the runway.
 

Blitzo

Lieutenant General
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Yes, that true. During simultaneous launch & recovery operations, only one bow catapult will be available for use on the Fujian.

It's a design flaw that I'm sure will be rectified in the next Carrier PLAN builds. Perhaps they will increase the length of the Carrier a bit more to solve this problem.

Also they will need to change the alignment angle of the port-side bow catapult with respect to the starboard-side bow catapult. It will free up some space between the landing deck and the port-side bow catapult as a result of which the unavailability problem of port-side bow catapult during simultaneous landing will be solved. US Navy Carriers have solved this problem just by tweaking the alignment angle.

View attachment 91444

PANG is one of the stupidest new Carrier under development. Imagine paying for & building something as large as a 75,000t Carrier and then going for just two catapults, only one of which shall be available for use most of the time because the waist catapult overlaps the landing strip. *FACEPALM*

Even the Indians, who have done preliminary design of a future 72,000t+ catobar carrier even though they aren't going to start building it before 2032-33, are looking at three catapults (2 bow + 1 waist) and three aircraft lifts (2 starboard + 1 port).

Simultaneous launch and recovery operations are not done by the USN.

The USN runs their flight deck in a cyclical manner -- i.e.: you launch a large number of aircraft (let's say 20), which clears up your flight deck space to allow you to recover 20 aircraft immediately afterwards.


There is no practical reason why a carrier would have to do simultaneous launch and recovery -- if there was a situation in which an aircraft had to be urgently recovered, you would simply cease launch operations to focus on the urgent recovery.


As for the difference between the catapult alignment on Fujian vs Ford -- note that Fujian is some 15 meters shorter than Ford, while having a catapult track that is about the same length. That, combined with the pre-set aircraft elevator position, means that Fujian's catapults cannot have been angled slightly to the starboard side like Nimitz/Ford.
 

Blitzo

Lieutenant General
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Not to debate what someone said or didn't say in their postings, but on the actual relevant matter to this topic, I don't think the PLAN's EMALS programme should be viewed with different standards to that of the USN simply on the perceived notion that just because -

- the PLAN is 'gaining capabilities' with their EMALS, or just catapults, period, steam or magnetic; and

- that the USN is 'losing capabilities' with theirs,

that their respective expectations attribute to this differing standards, and that concurrency for one is not the same as concurrency for the other, or, in Blitzo's words, that it is "hypocritical and selective".

The PLAN's expectations from their EMALS could very well be different to that of the USN, not least because of the obvious difference in intended airwings for either navies. Unlike the US EMALS programme, we can all agree we don't have as detailed of a timeline for the PLAN's EMALS testing history. We simply don't know precisely what the PLAN had tested or not tested with their ground rigs and the milestones therefrom, as directly compared to the milestones from the US side in the same timeframe.

On the face of it, an argument can be made the PLAN could be in 'worse' spot than the USN where concurrency goes, on the simple fact that none of the intended airframes for 003, as far as we know, are in serial production, let alone in active service. As such we have no evidence whether the PLAN had already tested any final production examples of J-15B, J-XY, KJ-600 etc. other than what few clues we have like the confirmed testing of the J-15T.

But all that i.e. the availability of airframes, is not particular to the readiness of the EMALS itself. An argument can also be made, like gelgoog mentioned, that for all we know the PLAN had indeed tested at least pre-production examples of each on the land-based EMALS, at the very least the J-15T, before re-design and construction/modification on 003's deck had begun.

This is evidently in contrast to the USN's timeline for their own land tests, as already discussed and we can also all agree, that has shown testing for their airwing, which had all long since been in service or readiness, did not begin until well after construction on the Ford, especially with the EMALS as an integral part of its design from the very beginning, mind, had already begun in earnest.

So if one were to argue concurrency, the PLAN may have a tougher hill to climb for having to tackle not just the EMALS and 003's re-design thereof at the same time, but also the airwing itself that both will accommodate; whereas the USN doesn't have that "excuse" in the airwing department for not testing them on their ground rigs before Ford's construction was already well underway, let alone finalising her design work in the first place.

Going back to the matter of applying a different standard on PLAN EMALS vis-a-vis USN EMALS, I don't think it would necessarily be 'hypocritical' to view each with their own faults and merits like Blitzo said, not least because of the inherent differences in realities for either programmes, despite their also inherent similarity that both are in fact EMALS. It can be as apples-to-apples or apples-to-oranges as we want to make them.

I reckon one of the simple outcomes we can infer when the PLAN gets around to properly testing the EMALS on the 003, in order to attempt to settle this debate, is to look at its eventual MCBCF as compared to the PLAN's own requirement of acceptable MCBCF. If the PLAN requirement is lower or higher than that of the USN's 4,000+ between failures (US EMALS failed every 400 cycles), then this apples-to-apples argument would be somewhat moot as the expectations and resulting standards would indeed be different.

Even if we were to bring concurrency into the debate still, all we have to see is whether the PLAN will suffer from the same ten-fold deficiency in mean cycles between critical failures against their own required standard, as the USN did.

My overall point is that it's a bit rich for observers here to critique the Ford, EMALS and its airwing for concurrency woes from the program management and lack of risk reduction pov --- while the Fujian, EM catapult, and its airwing are in many ways experiencing as much concurrency if not more.


And considering that the original discussion came from geloog arguing that the USN had never done any land based testing of EMALS with aircraft, and then only later specifying he meant to express it in terms of time elapsed between testing and milestones for the construction of the Ford carrier... well it is difficult to perceive that as being a fair and equal assessment of both programs.
 

MwRYum

Major
Yes, that true. During simultaneous launch & recovery operations, only one bow catapult will be available for use on the Fujian.

It's a design flaw that I'm sure will be rectified in the next Carrier PLAN builds. Perhaps they will increase the length of the Carrier a bit more to solve this problem.

Also they will need to change the alignment angle of the port-side bow catapult with respect to the starboard-side bow catapult. It will free up some space between the landing deck and the port-side bow catapult as a result of which the unavailability problem of port-side bow catapult during simultaneous landing will be solved. US Navy Carriers have solved this problem just by tweaking the alignment angle.

View attachment 91444
It's likely a compromise, given that Fujian was originally designed for steam catapults and last minute modifications made to switch to EMALs, and that the EMALs are longer than the steam ones. Since Fujian was not meant to be the final model anyway, but rather as a testbed / proof-of-concept for many of the core components to be finalised on the 004 if not the 005 (depending on which one will be the destination model).
 

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