Hong Kong Branch visit USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)
Sunday 11 June 2006 a group of 10 Members and guests had the opportunity to visit the USS Ronald Reagan at Pun Shan Shek anchorage.( USS RONALD REAGAN is the 9th NIMITZ - class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the first ship in the Navy to bear the name.)
After a security check and baggage search, our launches departed from Fenwick Pier, and we boarded from a large floating pontoon. Our tour began at the Hangar Bay, the primary function of the Hangar Bay is to store or serve as the repair site for the ship's aircraft. Nearly half of the 85 aircraft on board can be kept in the Hangar Bay, with the remainder staged on the Flight Deck.
Aircraft are lifted from the Hangar Bay to the Flight Deck by one of the ship's four aircraft elevators, each able to transport 130,000 pounds, or two airplanes.
From the Hangar Bay we went to the Flight Deck, the Flight Deck is often described as one of the most dangerous places in the world, because of the continual flow of aircraft launching and landing in a single confined area. There are 4 steam powered catapults to launch planes from its 333 m long flight deck at a rate of one plane every 30 seconds. The catapult, in conjunction with the plane's own engines, allows the plane to accelerate from 0 to 180 miles per hour in just two seconds.
Landing requires not only nerves of steel, but cables of steel as well. Four one and 1/2 inch diameter arresting wires are used to "trap" an incoming aircraft. These cables rest about 3 inches above the flight deck and when caught in the plane's tailhook, will bring the plane to a stop in less than 100 m.
Awarded: December 8, 1994
Keel laid: February 12, 1998
Launched: March 5, 2001
Commissioned: July 12, 2003
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion System: two nuclear reactors
Main Engines: four
Blades on each Propeller: five
Aircraft elevators: four
Arresting gear cables: three
Length, overall: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 257 feet (78.34 meters)
Area of flight deck: about 4,5 acres
Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters)
Draft: 38,4 feet (11.7 meters)
Displacement: approx. 100,000 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Planes: approx. 85
Crew: Ship: approx. 3,200 Air Wing: 2,480
Armament: four Mk 29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, four Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Systems
Homeport: San Diego, California