View Full Version : Question about a plane on that is on a deck of ships?

02-28-2005, 01:58 PM
What are those little planes that you can see on battleships. They seemed to be mounted on something what seems to be their little take off runway. What where they used for.

02-28-2005, 02:01 PM
They are probably scout/spotting aircraft used to direct the fire of the ships. Some ships had catapaults to launch them then they would land on the water and be hoisted aboard by crane. This was very sueful for shooting over the horizon.


02-28-2005, 02:10 PM
Yes, they are launched from short catapult arms in many cases. A very...violent...launch, I imagine

Some of the US scout planes would taxi in the water onto a towed platform, where a winched cable was attached to the aircraft, and it was pulled out of the water and recovered for re-use

Some aircraft, hoever, like the Sea Hurricanes, were launched from Merchantmen, with no possibilty of recovery. This was the next best thing to a suicide mission. The Hurri pilot was launched, attacked his adversary, maybe a FW 200 or some Stukas...then ditched next to a friendly ship, hopefully getting rescued before the convoy steamed away http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif those guys had some stones

02-28-2005, 02:21 PM
Thanks, that pretty cool, what do you mean it was usefull for shotting over horizon, you mean some battleships could shoot so far that naked human eye coudln/t see.

02-28-2005, 02:33 PM
Those battleships had a very lardge range. I don't know the exact numbers but even if they couldn't shoot over the horizon...spotting where the shells land ON the horizon is very hard too.

02-28-2005, 02:47 PM
I would imagine battleships to have a range of 30-35km's.

02-28-2005, 02:49 PM
If I recall correctly, if you were to stand on the same level as sea level, the horizon is only seven miles away

02-28-2005, 03:03 PM
That is possible, but when standing on a ship (no WOII ship) I have been able to see up to 15 miles. It all depends on how big the object is you are viewing at, and what the weather conditions are.

02-28-2005, 03:06 PM
wow the saying what a small world comkes to mind lol

02-28-2005, 03:12 PM
More important than seeing where the shells land is finding the enemy in the first place. Battleships were used in a time when Radar, Sonar, and radio were unheard of. If you can know where the enemy is without him knowing where you are, you have a serious advantage.

02-28-2005, 03:27 PM
Well, true, but Radar and Sonar were in use before WWII. US battleships and submarines are two vessels that I know for a fact actually had a type of computer on board during WWII. No joke, on subs it was the TDC- torpedo data computer, and on BBs, it was used for gunnery, although it was a different type of thing, quite large, and I forget it's name

Sonar was developed between world wars...ASDIC stood for "Allied Submarine Detection Ivestigation Commitee" and is possibly the only account on record of a commitee ever making a thing that was worthwhile!

02-28-2005, 04:56 PM
The plane could also be used to direct fire to "walk" the rounds on target. The ship fires a round, the plane sees the hit then gives the directions and range from the impact to target.

02-28-2005, 04:56 PM
The 16 inch 50 Caliber Mk 7 gun as mounted in the Iowa class BB of World war 2 fired a 2700 pound Mk 8 armor piercing projectile to a max range of 40185 yards at 45 deg elevation and a max charge of 660 pounds SPD powder stacked in 6 110 pound silk bags at a nominal rate of 2 RPM.

The Mk 8 AP round was capable of defeating a vertical plate of 22 inches of class A armour at a range of 14600 yards(angle of impact 9.86 degrees at a striking velocity of 1682 FPS)

Fire control consisted of 2 Mark 38 Gun Fire Control Systems (used to determine target range, bearing and level angle)located in Spot 1 and 2 (The fire control towers Fore and Aft), 2 Mark 41 Stable elements (providing gyroscopic ship level and cross level information to stabilize the guns) and 2 Mark 8 analog fire control computers (rangekeepers)to calculate lay of the guns. In addition 2 Mark 8 Radars were added to the Mark 38 GFCS for ranging.

In a duel of battleships, he who hits first is the likely winner and with the fire control and rader systems of the Iowa class they would have arguably had the best chance of hitting first. Couple that with the unmatched Iowa class speed and you have a ship that can dictate the range of the engagement (all the better to stay in the zone where your armor is most effective). At extreme ranges and for shore bombardment the Iowa class could launch Kingfisher observation aircraft to spot and correct fall of shot.

Hope this answers the question.

02-28-2005, 05:02 PM
They were also used to rescue downed pilots and for anti-submarine missions.

02-28-2005, 10:31 PM
CA and to a lesser degree BB launched flaotplanes were a principal means of reconnaissance for the IJN.


03-01-2005, 12:46 AM
My grandfather served on the Batleship Maryland before the war. I just spoke to my dad Sunday and he was just in contact with a person that served on her during WW2 as they were having a reunion. Her 16 inch guns were rated at a range of 20 miles. However he said that many times during the war they engaged at 30 miles with devastating effects. The maryland was hit numerous times during the war, a torpedo hit June 22 1944 and an extensive kamikaze hit nov 29 1944, another kamikaze hit april 7th 1945. The gentleman that served on her siad that after one of the attacks she could only make 3 knots.

Here is a link with more information. http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/maryland/bb46-md.html