Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Sandbagging


Subdeacon Joe
 Share

Recommended Posts

Navy Style

 

 

The first shipboard landing of an aircraft via arresting gear occurred aboard the Pacific Fleet’s armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania (ACR 4) off the coast of San Francisco, Calif. on 18 January 1911, by Eugene B. Ely aboard his Curtiss Pusher biplane. Capt. Washington I. Chambers, the Navy’s aviation officer, capitalized on Ely’s earlier historic success following “successful” launches from the scout cruiser USS Birmingham (CL 2) and Pennsylvania, and proposed to Ely that he double-down in the history books by becoming the first pilot to both launch and land an aircraft on a ship. (Ely actually damaged his aircraft during the launch from Birmingham, as the plane buzzed the water, damaging his propeller, and forcing him to land on nearby Willoughby Spit after nearly five minutes of flight.)

A showman to the end, Ely saw an opportunity to generate interest and fanfare for his aerial exhibitions, as he was also a test pilot for aircraft manufacturer Curtiss Pusher. Ely excitedly accepted Chamber’s offer and plans were made to turn Pennsylvania from the first ship altered to launch an aircraft, to the first ship altered to land one.

First, a landing deck aboard Pennsylvania had to be designed and built. The design wasn’t complex: ropes, anchored at their ends by 22 pairs of sandbags, each weighing approximately 50 lbs., were stretched across the ship’s 120-by-30 ft. deck. The aircraft’s landing gear was equipped with hooks to catch the ropes stretched across the deck, where the weight of the sandbags would slow the plane down until it eventually stopped. In case of an overrun, or a swerve off the ship’s edge, canvas awnings were rigged in front and to the sides to catch the plane and pilot.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.