# How long does it take for an aircraft carrier to make a u-turn?

As a way of reminding a group of employees that change doesn't happen overnight a regional director of a company I used to work for said it takes 24 hours for an aircraft carrier to turn around. I thought it was a little suspect because it seems like such a long time but I can't find any information to confirm or deny if it's true or not.

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• Anonymous
1 decade ago
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While airplanes can turn quite fast (30 deg/sec) ships are much more limited. There is also a problem as to an absolute minimum turning time (i.e. dodging a torpedo) versus a practical turning time (conducting flight ops with jets on board, etc). Few people will notice 1 degree per second which is easy to do at 30 kts, so 180 degrees would take about 3 minutes and operations could continue. This is a very realistic answer as the carrier must counter sea currents which may need 1 degree/sec of rudder. If nothing is loose on deck, MUCH more agressive turns can be taken as the deck will tilt 30 degrees into the turn. Anything not tied down will roll off into the ocean, i.e. equipment, airplanes, people, etc, and no planes could land or take off with such a turn in progress. These turns are done on first sea trials to prove that the rudder can handle the stress of a tight turn at max speed. Here I would estimate a full U turn (180 degrees) in well under 60 seconds, probably 30 seconds, but you'd want to hold onto something. Realize that in 24 hours an aircraft carrier can be 700+ miles away - that is a totally unrealistic figure just to turn around. Future ships with bow thrusters will be even more manuverable.

Source(s): US Navy sea trials on George W Bush
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• Anonymous
5 years ago

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RE:

How long does it take for an aircraft carrier to make a u-turn?

As a way of reminding a group of employees that change doesn&#39;t happen overnight a regional director of a company I used to work for said it takes 24 hours for an aircraft carrier to turn around. I thought it was a little suspect because it seems like such a long time but I can&#39;t find any...

Source(s): long aircraft carrier turn: https://biturl.im/mSO2d
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• 4 years ago

An aircraft is designed to take off into the wind so it is easier to control. When one is catapulted off the deck of the carrier it has all the speed it needs to fly but it gives the pilot only seconds to get the aircraft under control. If it was to be catapulted with the wind not only would the pilot have to struggle with control but with gaining lift. If you ever see an F-18 being launched you will see the pilot is holding a handle with his right hand near the top of the canopy. So complex is the launch it is all computer controlled and it is only when he is in the air can he let go and take the joy stick. Think about how little time he has.

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• 3 years ago

Aircraft Carrier Turning

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• Anonymous
1 decade ago

It wouldn't take 24 hours if it had some tugs assisting.

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