Friday, August 19, 2005

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/19/05)

USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is an impressive sight. Nearly 1,100 feet long and displacing 95,000 tons, the sheer size of this "floating city" is staggering. But the real marvel of an aircraft carrier is the enormous amount of activity concentrated in such a relatively small area. On the flight deck and in the hangar bay, the air wing operates up to about 70 aircraft. Below in the engineering spaces, two nuclear reactors provide propulsion and electricity. There are repair facilities of all kinds, supporting the air wing, Nimitz, and all ships of the battle group. The enormous job of supporting the air wing falls on the crew, which must provide for all of their needs.

The size and complexity of an aircraft carrier only hints at the importance of these ships as part of America's Navy. No other country has ever deployed as formidable a ship as Nimitz and the other carriers in our Navy. These ships, far from being merely symbols or monuments, are the backbone of America's maritime force, and the men and women of Nimitz are the front-line guardians of our national security.


Keel Laid: June 22, 1968
Launched: May 13, 1972
Commissioned: May 3, 1975
Propulsion system: Two nuclear power plants
Main Engines: Four
Speed: 30+ Knots
Propellers: Four
Blades on each Propeller: Five
Aircraft elevators: Four
Catapults: Four
Arresting gear cables: Four
Overall length: 1,092 feet
Overall width: 252 feet
Beam at waterline: 134 feet
Area of flight deck: About 4.5 acres
Full load displacement: About 95,000 tons
Accommodations: About 6,000 persons

Text and photo from USS Nimitz website.