Jan 12

First Test of Angled Deck

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:01 AM

By

On 12 January 1953, the first test landings occurred on USS Antietam’s new angled flight deck. Angling the axis of an aircraft carrier’s landing area slightly off the axis of the ship allows longer landing length (important for the first shipboard jets), affords simultaneous takeoffs and recovery, and ensures that a landing aircraft that misses the arresting gear won’t then plow into parked or launching aircraft. This British idea was originally tested by repainting the landing areas on axial-deck carriers, and the results were good enough that the U.S. Navy installed the first true angled deck on Antietam (CV 36) in the fall of 1952. Over the next four days several aircraft models landed on and took off from the angled deck under various conditions and began proving the value of an innovation that has been a part of U.S. aircraft carrier design ever since.