The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Nimitz Class - Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers. Current Projects. Naval Technology.||"The nuclear-powered carrier has two General Electric pressurised [sic] water reactors driving four turbines of 260,000 hp (194 MW) and four shafts. There are four emergency diesels of 10,720 hp (8 MW)."||194 MW |
|"Ships and Shipbuilding." Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM: New York: Microsoft, 1998.||"At high speeds the power needed is enormous; for example, a 54,431 metric ton aircraft must have 280,000 horsepower to drive it at 35 knots."||209 MW|
|Aircraft Carriers. Fact File. US Navy. 6 March 2000.||"General Characteristics, John F. Kennedy … Power Plant: Eight boilers, four shafts, 280,000 total shaft horsepower"||209 MW|
|"General Characteristics, Kitty Hawk Class … Power Plant: Eight boilers, four geared steam turbines, four shafts, 280,000 shaft horsepower"||209 MW|
|Cox, Ben. The First Aircraft Carrier. Powerhouses of the United States Navy.||"Horsepower: ~100 SHP [shaft horsepower]"||0.075 MW |
Since World War II, the aircraft carrier has become the USNavy's choice of force. With over 60 constructed and about 15active, carriers are unique because they do not require permissionof host countries for landing or overflight rights. Nor are theyobligated to build or maintain bases in countries where our presencemay cause political strains. Therefore, they are very useful,allowing military maneuvers to be conducted easily and quickly.
Aircraft carriers are designated by size and mission and then grouped by class,based on similarities of construction and capabilities. The main classificationsare CV and CVN where CV stands for "carrier vehicle"and the N denotes"nuclear"power. Most of the Navy's aircraft carriers were built andused during World War II, but they were around earlier, originally appearing incombat at the end of World War I. The Cold War also sparked US production of aircraftcarriers, when President Kennedy assigned his flexible response theory of defense,which included the US developing its armed forces and cutting down on the productionof nuclear weapons. By this time, it is important to note that nuclear technologywas well advanced, and the 1960s introduced a wave of carriers built using thistechnology.
Most of the power ratings I obtained were for nuclear aircraft carriers --ranging from 260,000 to 280,000 horsepower. One horsepower (hp) or shaft horsepower(shp) is equal to 746 watts, the SI unit of power. Incidentally, many of the measurementswhen converted to standardized units are of enormous magnitudes, forcing me touse megawatts rather than watts. One megawatt equals one million watts.
The smallest measured power quantity was one I found for thefirst aircraft carrier, the George Washington Parke Custis ClassBalloon Carrier, which measured in at approximately 100 horsepower.This ship was built in the 1860s, and was used to carry a hotair balloon. Power capabilities have a come long way since then.
Joseph Reilly -- 2000
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