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Private Cruise Aircraft Carrier

Bring your own 'plane
  (+18, -2)(+18, -2)
(+18, -2)
  [vote for,

Most modern fleet aircraft carriers have decks long enough to allow light aircraft to take off o land without the use of catapult assist or arrestor wires.

Now, BorgCo travel offer the latest in super-exclusive cruise services.

The RMS Collective is a 100,000 tonne hull cruise liner with all the facilities such a ship would normally offer; but it also has a flat-top airstrip built above the main hull.

The runway is covered with high-quality turf. This (a) provides drag when landing, (b) reduces fire hazards, and (c) functions as a golf driving range wen not in use.

A conventional lift transfers aircraft to the hangar deck where skilled maintenance crews are standing by to keep your plane in tip-top condition. Helicopters are also accommodated.

The ship does not dock as frequently as other liners; instead, passengers wishing to visit locations near the ship's course can fly off and return as they wish.

Full flight training on takeoff and landing procedures is provided by the resident team of former Navy aviators.

8th of 7, Apr 07 2010

Aircraft carrier for sale http://ships-for-sa...ircraft_carrier.htm
Ah, look like it's been sold. A bit small, though. [csea, Apr 08 2010]

Lemmings http://www.elizium.nu/scripts/lemmings/
Au contraire mon ami, [8th]. [Jinbish, Apr 08 2010]


       Like The Freedom Ship but smaller.
marklar, Apr 07 2010

       The problem you'd have is competition over the use of deckspace exposed to direct sunlight. I think you would need to have a Thunderbirds style* method of hiding the runway when not it is not in use.   

       *A UK TV programme that featured a "secret" international rescue service. It directly inspired Team America, which started off as voice overs to Thunderbirds episodes.
Aristotle, Apr 07 2010

       // direct sunlight //   

       The horror, the horror ...   

       Not sure that the "direct sunlight" thing will be too much of a problem. The windows in the suites look sideways, not up; there will be the usual promenades. Who would want direct sunlight, and why ?
8th of 7, Apr 07 2010

       Excellent idea. Just needs a line of palm trees running along one side of the deck to provide a degree of shelter from those pesky side winds, that make planes land like crabs.
xenzag, Apr 07 2010

       //exposed to sunlight// but it's not a warship so you don't need much (or any, for that matter) of a bridge.
FlyingToaster, Apr 07 2010

       // pesky side winds //   


       [xenzag], when a carrier launches or recovers fixed wing aircraft, it turns into the wind and increases to full speed. This increases the airflow over the flight deck, decreasing the relative speeds of the aircraft and the carrier.   

       Please, do try to keep up ...
8th of 7, Apr 07 2010

       This is one of those ideas that everybody thinks about but has somehow never been built. Once an aircraft carrier went up on eBay, that would have been the perfect opportunity for some rich person.   

       Modern aircraft carriers still use catapults and cables, but that is to launch big jets. A good pilot in something like a Maule M-7 could takeoff and land on an 800 foot runway without any problem.
DIYMatt, Apr 07 2010

       There is extant film of biplanes during WW1 taking off and landing from much smaller decks than that, without the benefit of catapults or arrestors.   

       Say there's a 20-knot wind and the carrier can steam at 20 knots ... 40 knot headwind, for most light aircraft, V2 is around 75 - 85 knots. Not hard to do.
8th of 7, Apr 07 2010

       I would question the commercial attractiveness and viability of the cruise if all of the passengers' ship-to-shore transportation is relegated to the use of bi-planes. One such excursion might be novel and fun, but I imagine the novelty would quickly wear off with the limited passenger and cargo capacities.
jurist, Apr 07 2010

       The solution to problem of cargo capacity of small aircraft (with respect to resupplying the ship, anyway) is simply to include a dock in the side of the vessel, with which smaller vessels can bring supplies.   

       Biplanes are archaic, though. Autogyros would be better, both because they're cooler in general, and can take off and land with even shorter runways.
goldbb, Apr 07 2010

       I was going to say the deck was too valuable -- as lounginginthesun- & enjoyingtheview- space -- to use as an airstrip, but the golf course idea solves that brilliantly. However, a golf course is supposed to have interesting topography, nu? How do you square that with a wide flat straight landing strip?
mouseposture, Apr 07 2010

       //How do you square that with a wide flat straight landing strip?//   

       Simple matter of hydraulics.
csea, Apr 08 2010

       Or hinged landscapes flipped over with hydraulics. If you put a big hinge on the edge of the flat, you could hoick pieces outward, leaving interesting holes and odd extensions.   

       The flight deck would have various modes: Flat, level and smooth, headed into the wind for flight ops. All landscapes out and up with the wind from any direction for golfing. Some landscapes and some flat, traveling almost with the wind for sunbathing.   

       Boats could be used for many of the ship's transfers, but an airplane doesn't care so much what the waves are doing, nor as much where the ship is. A boat, by the way, would also require the ship to turn and change speed for transfers.   

       A good many short-takeoff-and-landing airplanes would have no trouble on a big deck, and still be able to get range and speed enough to make this economically viable.
baconbrain, Apr 08 2010

       OK, I'm satisfied [+]. The idea of a golf course that could change its topography at the push of a button ... that's probably worth another bun, too.
mouseposture, Apr 08 2010

       Agreed. Needs a conveyor belt in there somewhere though.   

       You guys seem to be missing one whole side of the equation here. A cruising ship with the ability to welcome incoming flights of private aircraft might indeed have an attraction to a certain clientele with ready access to light aircraft with a relatively short takeoff and landing capability. But, after those folks have departed from their home airport and landed aboard ship, where do they go from there if the cruise ship continues in transit? Sure, they can eventually depart to the next close airfield, replenish their fuel, and ultimately chart a course to return home. But, for the most part, small shore-side general aviation airports which might be accessible from shipboard launchpads aren't going to be very interesting destinations in their own right without substantial infrastructure changes (like round-the-clock cab stands to service incoming travelers) until there is enough transient activity to generate commercial investment in indigenously-themed shops, restaurants and entertainment within or within walking distance of the airport. That's not likely to happen until many cruise ships offer these sorts of transportation options in specific port markets.   

       As an example, few people ever thought of travelling to Zihuatenejo until commercial investors made Ixtapa an accessible alternative.
jurist, Apr 08 2010

       ...// when a carrier launches or recovers fixed wing aircraft, it turns into the wind and...// Well it won't be doing this when moored in some tropical lagoon, will it?
xenzag, Apr 08 2010

       [xenzag], see paragraph VI of the original idea where that particular objection seems to have been anticipated and marginalized.
jurist, Apr 08 2010

       [jurist], ground travel is provided by chauffeur-driven or self-drive cars brought to the airport/field by the local BorgCo representatives.   

       (This was considered but not mentioned in the original idea as it is an ancilliary service and Baked).
8th of 7, Apr 08 2010

       Hold on.
H.o.l.d. o.n.

       So it's an idea to invite the general popluace to freely come and visit, like little lemmings, a Borg ship.   

       May as well put up a massive neon sign with an arrow on a Borg cube that says "Join Here Today!"
Jinbish, Apr 08 2010

       Using either V22 Ospreys or EH101 Merlins would remove the need for a runway, just a decent sized landing area.
marklar, Apr 08 2010

       [jinbish], here's a pound for a cup of tea, now just shut up, will you ?   

       By the way, the thing about lemmings is a rural myth as any fule kno.
8th of 7, Apr 08 2010

       Commuter catapults, search for ideas passim, would allow for drones, er, people to leave the Borg Cube, er, cruise carrier.
Aristotle, Apr 08 2010

       generous borg invites aside, this is just a bad idea. no one has mentioned the noise factor. and a helicoptor pad is better on a cruise ship anyway. and where's [21Q] when one actually needs him?
dentworth, Apr 08 2010

       This isn't necessarily best as an invite for private individuals to fly in and out/on and off. There may be some who will do so, and if it works for them, they can enjoy. But a cruise ship with its own/leased/contract aircraft has advantages.   

       Helicopters are noisy, expensive, slow, short-ranged and really not that happy with little helipads. An airplane's only real disadvantage is the runway, and this idea posits other uses for the runway.   

       A light or STOL aircraft can cover a lot of distance. Someone said that the local ports would need to be developed--an airplane can travel to a developed port much quicker and further than a helicopter can.
baconbrain, Apr 08 2010

       well ok then.
dentworth, Apr 08 2010

       // generous borg invites //   

       That's a capital "B" in "Borg", IF you don't mind, [dentworth]. We are a Proper Noun, you know.
8th of 7, Apr 08 2010

       we are lazy you know.
dentworth, Apr 09 2010


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