The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Parts of the Aircraft Carrier
Airmen Guide Arresting Cables

Arresting Cables – Each has a tail hook, a hook bolted to an 8-foot bar.  It is with the tail hook that the pilot catches one of the steel cables stretched across the deck, bringing the plane, traveling at 150 miles per hour, to a complete stop in about 320 feet.  The cables are set to stop each aircraft at the same place on the deck, regardless of size or weight of the plane.

Bridge – the primary control position for every ship while underway.  The place where all orders affecting the ship, her movements, and routine originate: navigation, communications, ship handling, inspections, engine order control, and more.

Catapults – four catapults thrust a 48,000-pound aircraft 300 feet, from 0 to 165 miles per hour in two seconds.  The deck crew can launch two aircraft and land one every 37 seconds in daylight, and one per minute at night.

Elevators – Four deck edge elevators can lift two aircraft from the hangar deck to the flight deck in seconds.

“Meatball” – A series of lights that aids the pilot in lining up for a landing.  The lights appear in different colors (green or red) depending on the incoming pilot’s too-low or too-high angle.

“Pri-Fly” – Primary Flight Control is the control tower for flight operations.  The “Air Boss” controls takeoffs, landings, and other aircraft movement.