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CVN Nimitz Class Question

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posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:04 PM
Now we have all heard and even discussed here on ATS the "50 Knot" Carrier topic and all related subjects. I was convinced it was false and likely exaggerated however it's hard not to believe real sources who’ve actually been there and done it. As in people who have served on multiple carriers, in fairly high positions and who have family serving throughout the US Navy. First however the credibility of my source and therefore the validity of his statements largely rest on one simply question…

Can a CVN sail backwards? It may sound ridicules and indeed it may be but I could not find anything meaningful online and the source is too legitimate to dismiss as absurd. So can anyone with direct knowledge give me an answer?

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:20 PM
reply to post by WestPoint23

It can but it would be useless and very dangerous seeing as maneuverability would be severly impaired and the wash up hitting the flat backend would most likely come onto the decks and cause some damage to the CIWS mounts, I was on the John C. Stennis.

[edit on 19-11-2007 by kdial1]

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:46 PM
I didn't serve on a CVN but on a CV. Most of my time was on CV-64 and CV-63. Yes they can go backwards and extremely fast. We went out on workups after repairs and I had a big surprise. I worked 1900 to 0700 and was walking through the hangar on my way to the galley and looked out and noticed something was really odd. We were going backwards at a very fast pace. I thought I must still be half asleep. But the ship was going through a shake down process before our next deployment. The high speed turns are a real blast. If it's not bolted down stuff starts flying all over the place.

I can't give you an official speed. But even on the conventional carriers, after 30 knots the speed indicator on our televisions was blurred out. The ship didn't get up to that speed too many times except for emergencies.

posted on Nov, 19 2007 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by on_yur_6

Thanks for that, my source indicated something similar, high speed during sea trials both forward and backwards at speeds which are not commonly accepted. I had a hard time believing him so thanks for the insight.

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 01:25 PM
There's nothing stopping a carrier from sailing backward, and as was pointed out, it's done when the ships are being worked up.

As for the mythical 50-knot carrier, here's one of the better essays on the subject:

Speed Thrills

Mr. Slade has a long list of "Been there" and "Done that", and has several published essays and articles on various defense topics.

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 01:41 PM
I think it can and the stern is usually strong enuf to handle the stress. However, the drag would put a huge load on the turbines and reduction gears etc. would not be very fast either.

The carriers can do a crash stop so driving the ship backwards should be no problem just not very fast and you can totally kiss off flight oeprations

Discovery did a series that showed acceptance trials and showed the max speed hard over turn. Its pretty impressive to see such a large ship leaning to one side. people had a hard time keeping thier balance the list was so bad.

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 03:18 PM

Good to see your posts again. Hope all is well in your home.

As to your question about Nimitz Class Ships running backwards...or in reverse...yes they can. But also as Fred T and others aptly is a emergency maneuver they practice called a Crash Back. Full ahead to full astern. Also aptly stated by someone ..flight deck ops would be out of the question.

I can also tell you that in the yards on dock trials when tied up to the piers..they will get the reactors and turbines up and running. Two wheels they will run in one direction and the other two will be running the opposite. They cannot do full turns as it will wash out to much of the pier facilities. But this method is also how they keep the ship stationary. Wise choice considering the size of the wheels on these ships and the raw horsepower on these propulsion systems should it get away from them. However ..this is also probably a carry over from the conventionaly powered carrier days as those carriers were also built here. They too had very large wheels on them.

For those not versed in the terminology wheels, in the trades, refers to the propellors.

Gotta shove off now. 12 hour shift tonight.
Going to be a long night.


[edit on 20-11-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 04:14 PM
reply to post by Brother Stormhammer

That is a very good article on the subject and I'm not convinced by any means that CVN's can cruise at 50 kt. Still, its hard to imagine that these people are lying when they have no reason to and given that they are pretty knowledgeable and reliable abut other topics.

Hey Fred, I believe this is what you're talking about, pretty amazing indeed.

And while we're on the subject here is an image of a CVN undergoing shock testing…

[edit on 20-11-2007 by WestPoint23]

posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 03:16 AM
West Point,

Let me recall this story for you which happened on the USS Nimitz some time back in the early 1980s. The ship was off the coast of Florida doing night training. A Marine aircraft was coming aboard and crashed. As I recall some 13 or so sailors were killed as a result of this accident. This indicent may be on the web somewhere for you initrested in researching it.

What I recall was that this crash occured some 10:30PM at night. I also recall the incident having heard it on the radio when I got off work the next morning on my automobile radio. None the less when I woke up that afternoon after getting off at 7:00am the radio was announcing that the boat was about to tie up at the piers in Norfolk She had obviously been given immediate clearence and routing to the Pier at the Navy Base, Norfolk.

Now ..think about this. I know a guy who was on the ship that night as he is in the other crew in the building where I work. He told me they spent some time fighting the fire and getting aircraft secured...etc etc. By some 0100 am they were turning the ship around and heading for Norfolk. They raced home. Remember you cannot run such a ship at high speed to close into to cannot be wiping out expensive beach front property with wake turbulence. I expect such a ship makes a big wave when running out wide open.

Let us say you were off shore somewhere along the middle of the state of Florida. HOw fast do you have to be going to get up here to Virginia and then get immediate clearence to enter the harbor and tie up at the pier at 1:00 in the afternoon.

Play with the figures with a time plus or minus an hour either way.

I am not good at math so some of you folks I am sure can do this mental exercise faster than me.

I just happen to recall this history of the Nimitz. I was even back in those days fast does this ship run?? That was a fast trip up from Florida.

Let me know what times and speeds with which some of you folks will arrive.


posted on Dec, 25 2007 @ 06:23 PM
Here is a video of some highspeed full rudder turns.


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