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Aircraft Carrier Terminology



"vessel" is a waterborne or amphibious ship, vessel or craft.

"hull and propulsive system" is the hull or equivalent and the means of propulsion of a vessel.

"CTOL aircraft" are fixed-wing aircraft like the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 which launch and land horizontally in the conventional manner on a long runway or on a medium-length runway if assisted by catapults and arresters.

"STOL aircraft" are fixed-wing aircraft that launch and land unassisted horizontally on a short runway.

"V/STOL aircraft" are fixed-wing aircraft like the British Aerospace Harrier that can launch and land unassisted both horizontally on a short runway and vertically.

"STOVL aircraft" are V/STOL aircraft when their manner of operation is to usually launch horizontally and to land vertically.

"V/STOL-as-VTOL aircraft" are V/STOL aircraft when their only manner of operation is to launch and land vertically.

"VTOL aircraft" are V/STOL-as-VTOL aircraft or aircraft such as helicopters which can only launch and land vertically.

"aircraft" are CTOL, STOL, STOVL or VTOL aircraft.

"take-off runway" is a runway on a vessel aligned approximately in the fore and aft direction and having unobstructed air space forward of its forward end so that CTOL, STOL and/or STOVL aircraft can launch from it.

"catapult" is the device usually called that embedded in a take-off runway and used on vessels to assist CTOL aircraft launching.

"ski jump" is the ramp usually called that located at the forward end of a take-off runway and inclined upward in the forward direction and used on vessels to assist STOVL aircraft launching.

"landing runway" is a runway on a vessel aligned approximately in the fore and aft direction and having unobstructed air space above and abaft it so that CTOL and/or STOL aircraft can land upon it; in this specification, even if a such a runway is also a take-off runway, a landing runway will still be described as existing.

"arresters" are the wires and nets usually called that located on a landing runway and used on vessels to assist CTOL aircraft landing.

"runway" is a take-off runway or a landing runway.

"pad" is a take-off or landing pad on a vessel, this being a level area of open deck and having unobstructed air space around it so that VTOL aircraft can launch and/or land upon it; in this specification, even if such a pad is no more than a section of a runway suitable for the launching and/or landing of VTOL aircraft, a pad will still be described as existing.

"draw-down device" is the device usually called that located on a pad and used on vessels to assist VTOL aircraft landing.

"parking area" is a level area of open deck on a vessel where aircraft can be temporarily parked prior to launching or when their removal from a hangar is required; in this specification, even if such an area is no more than a suitable part of a runway or pad, a parking area will still be described as existing.

"hangar" is the structure usually called that on a vessel, this allowing the accommodation of aircraft; in this specification, even if such a structure is no more than a sheltered area, deck, tunnel or passage into which aircraft can move and in which they can park and be sheltered, it will be described as a hangar.

"lift" is a lift for transporting aircraft between decks, the term here not referring to lifts not for transporting aircraft.

"CTOL" vessel is a vessel with a take-off runway, a landing runway, a catapult, arresters and a pad.

"STOL" vessel is a vessel with a take-off runway, a landing runway, and a pad.

"STOVL" vessel is a vessel with a take-off runway and a pad.

"VTOL" vessel is a vessel which can only deploy VTOL aircraft.

"carrier" is a vessel a prime role of which is operating aircraft.

"other-role" vessel is a vessel that is not a carrier.



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