Discussion:
from Quora - What was the rationale for giving the QE class carriers two islands?
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a425couple
2020-10-10 14:55:10 UTC
Permalink
I thought this was interesting.
The original has good pictures and drawings.

Jim Brown
September 21
Interested in Naval Forces

What on Earth was the rationale for giving the QE class carriers two
islands? Apart from looking ridiculous, surely there must be wind eddies
created between the two.
Now, now, you’re being a bit extreme aren’t you? :-)

She doesn’t look ridiculous, she looks beautiful!

The issue is, you’re conditioned to the look of traditional American
designs, but us Brits do things differently. If you want my opinion, the
US carriers have their islands so far back they look like obese blokes
lying on a sofa…

Well I’m probably being a bit critical - or maybe very critical - I
actually do like the USN and the USA in general! :-)

Do you see the look of purpose in her eyes?

The fact is, the ships have very functional reasons for their designs -
The Ford’s was to put the islands in a more convenient position for
aircraft handling, and the Queen Elizabeth’s reasons were as follows:

The locations of the engines

This was predominant reason. The carriers have two powerful Gas Turbines
to power the ship, and these need to be spaced out as much as possible
to provide better redundancy - if a missile hits the ship, it should not
take out both the power plants. Now, spread out engines make spread out
exhaust stacks, and the traditional method to cater for this is by
having a long, thin island. However the ingenious British engineers
thought outside the box and decided that having twin islands gave more
deck space and actually reduced wind disruption over the deck.

They then capitalised on the idea by enabling the following advantages:

Ideal Bridge and Flyco placements

A carrier has two predominant management structures - the command of the
ship, and the command of the air wing. The two are each given their own
island on the QE Class, with the Bridge enjoying a good view of the bow
for littoral manoeuvring and the Flyco getting a central position to
enable them to see everything on the flight deck clearly.

Redundancy

The two islands allow for much greater redundancy than what is possible
with a single island. They each hold systems capable of doing the job of
the other, allowing the ship to stay completely operational even if the
enemy makes a successful first hit. Also, sensor systems are distributed
between the islands for this reason, too.

See the bridge on the Flyco Island

Radar spacing

The dual islands allows the two powerful radars to be distant from one
another, reducing interference between one another and creating a
clearer picture of the surrounding airspace.

Accommodation for aircraft refuelling and rearming ‘pit stops’

At the front of the base of each island is a covered weapons elevator
and in front of each island is an area dedicated to operations for the
aircraft refuelling and rearming. Each island serves as a hub for the
two pit stops.

I hope this helps, and for reading this far I’ll throw in another cool
photo as a bonus!

141.8K viewsView UpvotersView Sharers
George
2020-10-10 19:15:51 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 10 Oct 2020 07:55:10 -0700
Post by a425couple
I thought this was interesting.
The original has good pictures and drawings.
Jim Brown
September 21
Interested in Naval Forces
What on Earth was the rationale for giving the QE class carriers two
islands? Apart from looking ridiculous, surely there must be wind
eddies created between the two.
Now, now, you’re being a bit extreme aren’t you? :-)
She doesn’t look ridiculous, she looks beautiful!
The issue is, you’re conditioned to the look of traditional American
designs, but us Brits do things differently. If you want my opinion,
the US carriers have their islands so far back they look like obese
blokes lying on a sofa…
Well I’m probably being a bit critical - or maybe very critical - I
actually do like the USN and the USA in general! :-)
Do you see the look of purpose in her eyes?
The fact is, the ships have very functional reasons for their designs
- The Ford’s was to put the islands in a more convenient position for
The locations of the engines
This was predominant reason. The carriers have two powerful Gas
Turbines to power the ship, and these need to be spaced out as much
as possible to provide better redundancy - if a missile hits the
ship, it should not take out both the power plants. Now, spread out
engines make spread out exhaust stacks, and the traditional method to
cater for this is by having a long, thin island. However the
ingenious British engineers thought outside the box and decided that
having twin islands gave more deck space and actually reduced wind
disruption over the deck.
They then capitalised on the idea by enabling the following
Ideal Bridge and Flyco placements
A carrier has two predominant management structures - the command of
the ship, and the command of the air wing. The two are each given
their own island on the QE Class, with the Bridge enjoying a good
view of the bow for littoral manoeuvring and the Flyco getting a
central position to enable them to see everything on the flight deck
clearly.
Redundancy
The two islands allow for much greater redundancy than what is
possible with a single island. They each hold systems capable of
doing the job of the other, allowing the ship to stay completely
operational even if the enemy makes a successful first hit. Also,
sensor systems are distributed between the islands for this reason,
too.
See the bridge on the Flyco Island
Radar spacing
The dual islands allows the two powerful radars to be distant from
one another, reducing interference between one another and creating a
clearer picture of the surrounding airspace.
Accommodation for aircraft refuelling and rearming ‘pit stops’
At the front of the base of each island is a covered weapons elevator
and in front of each island is an area dedicated to operations for
the aircraft refuelling and rearming. Each island serves as a hub for
the two pit stops.
I hope this helps, and for reading this far I’ll throw in another
cool photo as a bonus!
141.8K viewsView UpvotersView Sharers
Good explanation.
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