Thu 26 Jan, 2017 06:25 pm
The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will be decommissioned next week in what will be the final farewell to a warship that has played a role in major world events from the 1962 Cuban missile crisis to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The USS Enterprise has spent the past several years being defueled and dismantled at Newport News Shipbuilding, the shipyard where it was built and refueled.
I took my son to see the Enterprise when it was docked in Alameda when my older son was a young teen.
I've written elsewhere on A2K about the time my ship escorted the Big E from overseas. It's actually a little surprising it stayed in action so long. It's been a long time since other nuclear ships, such as the Ben Franklin, have been retired.
The Feb. 3 ceremony is closed to the public, but the Navy said Wednesday the entire event will be posted on its Facebook page. About 100 people are expected to attend at Newport News Shipbuilding.
The ship joined the fleet in 1961 and has an active veterans' group dedicated to preserving its history, which includes launching the first aircraft strikes in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks on the U.S.
The carrier was the eighth Navy ship to bear the name Enterprise, which dates to the Revolutionary War. The Navy has said a future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier also will be called Enterprise.
-from my link
Enterprise was a unique design in several respects. The hull fineness ratio (length /beam at waterline ) was a bit higher than that of earlier and later carriers, giving it slightly greater theoretical top speed, and it was a good deal longer than the Forrestal class it replaced . As the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, it incorporated the traditional powerplant design, but with eight small reactors replacing eight oil fired boilers. The next four carriers launched (America, Kitty Hawk, and JFK were about the same size as Enterprise, though with slightly wider flight decks and were all conventionally powered. The Nimitz class that followed in 1975 incorporated the larger flight decks of its immediate predecessors and a much improved nuclear plant design involving two high powered reactors of much simpler and more compact design. The result provided significantly increased storage capacity for aviation fuel and weapons. All the Nimitz class ships are in service today and the design has proved very rugged and reliable, though continuous upgrades of weapons and electronic systems have been incorporated.
The new ships of the Gerald Ford Class have two much higher capacity reactors for increased propulsion and electrical power, linear motor aircraft launchers to replace the steam catapults, advanced arresting gear systems and a reduced radar cross section.
Enterprise was a prototype involving a very complex powerplant design, and that is making its decomissioning and dissassembly at the base in Norfolk VA a long and complex process.
I can testify from direct personal experience that the Nimitz class ships had the same top speed as Enterprise.
When I was in the USAF, SAC, in the mid-50s, we worked on the B52's loading conventional and nuclear bombs. That's now over 60 years, and they're still using them. They've upgraded them, but they're still old. Makes you wonder why they are still using those "old work horses" of yesteryear.
"linear motor"?? Is that navy speak for a mag lev or something magnetic?
dont get pissed but did you ever say "make it so"?
Linear machine DC motor.
Can't recall saying "make it happen" -- a bit too contrived. Lots of "Do it Goddammits" though.
I do have a leather bound book of " Famous Captain sayings & Quotes". A gift from the wardroom when I left. I can't attest to the acurracy of it all ( they of course swore to it) , but my favorite is " Lieutenant Rogers, if God wanted you to get a fair deal He wouldn't have made you a ******* Lieutenant, and put you on my ship."
The C-130 is even older - first introduced in 1958. Like the B 52 it is rugged and has a design that has endured many variations and revisions.
We used to have a aeronautical engineer on a2k. Do you remember his name?
I knew Bob Brodsky, the rocket scientist. I met him on one of my trips, and we kept in touch until his passing. He taught Astronautics at USC and Iowa State U.