by Hammer

Flight operations from an aircraft carrier differ from operations from a land base. First, the runway is much shorter, requiring modifications to your takeoff and landing procedures. Second, the runway moves, requiring modifications to your takeoff and landing procedures. Third, the runway changes direction, requiring modifications to your takeoff and landing procedures.

If you're thinking you might have to modify your takeoff and landing procedures for carrier operations, you are obviously a prodigy! Unless you are flying a fighter with little or no external ordnance, you will probably find that using only auto-takeoff sends you crashing into the ocean. If you are flying a heavily laden Corsair or Hellcat, you will definitely find yourself crashing if you don't take control away from the auto-pilot. You can use the auto-takeoff to get you going down the deck, but you will need to take control the instant you roll off the end.

Even before you go to a carrier's flight deck, you must take a look at the map and make sure the carrier is not going to be changing course in the middle of your takeoff. While you may eventually learn to compensate for even the carrier changing direction, at first you will want the carrier going in a nice straight line when you try to launch. Once you have established the carrier is not going to turn during the middle of your takeoff, you are ready to go to the flight deck and start your sortie.

On a carrier, you have only one choice of where to launch. Clicking on the "H" puts you on the flight deck just ahead of the arrestor cables. If you wish, you can use the auto-takeoff mode during the initial part of the carrier takeoff. One technique which will get a fully loaded plane off the deck every time is to put your flaps down all the way (Q key repeatedly) and hit War Emergency Power (WEP – the “P” key). When your plane leaves the end of the carrier, immediately put the gear up (G key) and level the plane off. A heavy plane will drop off the end of the carrier and the tendency for many people is to try and pull up too much which causes a stall. Resist this temptation and just get level. Once you have leveled out, allow your speed to build up to around 150 and raise your flaps. You are now in controlled flight and ready to climb. Carrier takeoff successful!