View Full Version : HMS Hermes Deck scene WIP

06-22-2015, 04:15 PM
Two 3D images of Hermes deck - the planes are just scattered around at the moment and I'm about to start playing deck chess with them looking for a good composition for a painting . I made the deck and planes to scale give or take a foot or so here and there.

I'm a bit surprised at how little room there is to park anything aft of the bridge without fouling the runway. I'd be interested to hear thoughts from those who've been there - done that .:)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2015/95311-carrdeck1cr.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2015/95311-carrdeck2.jpg

06-22-2015, 04:42 PM
Jim should know the launch flight deck setup for the Hermes

If not I will come back :)

You should have a Jumbo deck crane-tractors-Forklifts-towing arms- cockpit ladders-towing arms- and a few bodies on that deck....gonna be a busy painting :eek:

06-22-2015, 05:06 PM
Ok Neil, a days flying off a carrier 1960/70s style, a/c are ranged in order of Take off. Plane Gaurd chopper ranged up the fwd lift, blades spread on the lift, then pushed forward to between the cats. First off is usually a Gannet AEW, parked under Flyco. Down the port side, first the Scimitars then the Vixens, probably either a couple of a/c or Jumbo (crane) parked by the Island, or aft of the island with jib outboard ( don't be afraid to park a/c with tails outboard )
First off is the plane guard, which will position its self to port more or less just off the end of the angle deck. Some times the Gannet would start on the cat. The scimitars would be taxiing forward ready to load on the cats at the same time as the Gannet is loading and launched . You now have a queue of a/c up the Center of the deck waiting their turn to be launched.
If this is the first the sortie of the day, the plane guard will land right aft, an the deck will be re spotted for the next detail.
If not, the plane guard will slip aft just off the port quarter and the first a/c will be landing as soon as the deck is clear, Scimitars first, then Vixens and last the gannet. Of course you might also be working a couple of Wessex on Anti sub screen, but let's not complicate things
Watch 'Hands to flying stations' on you tube, it was used in training. The above is a general description cobbled together from my experience of three decks Eagle, Ark Royal and Victorious. No to decks were the same, but the routine was more or less standard.
Lenny might want to refine it, we were both Flight Deck Crew.

06-22-2015, 06:24 PM
Len and Jim , thanks both . This started out as a notion to paint a Scimitar launch partly inspired by a well known photo of two Scimitars cocked and ready to shoot on the cats . That remains the aim so it may be a low angle 3/4 head on view.
You're right Len - there is a lot of deck equipment to consider . I doubt if I will build any of that -maybe some scale cubes for perspective help .
I got a bit carried away with the 3D stuff but the bonus is that now I have a good ensemble of aircraft to consider several paintings way beyond the initial concept .
I'll double check the scaling of the aircraft /deck as I'm still taken aback at how little room there was on Hermes . She was a bit small to be handling big jets - but that's the British "can do" approach to things isn't it?
I take it from your description Jim that the landing strip was impeded while aircraft queued up to launch . I find myself wondering what will happen if the first jet launched has an urgent problem ? Can he get back on deck?

06-22-2015, 06:27 PM
When Wiki gives Hermes "beam" measurement as 148 ft is that across the widest part of the deck or does it refer to the hull below ? I got an aerial photo and scaled it onto the model desk and by and large it came out near enough so I assume I've done it right .
Will check.

06-22-2015, 07:29 PM
Despite my best efforts to get the scale size right it looks like iIve got the length right but for some reason the width has not come out as it should and probably need to be another 10 ft wider at the widest part of the deck . will do some more research / meddling ! So much for photos! I know - I know..... curses !

06-22-2015, 09:09 PM
I have found a plan view of the deck...I will put what goes where and send it to you for reference

The width of a carrier is taken from the widest part of the flight deck, don't forget there is an overhang on the STB (right) hand side as well as the port side, the overhang on the Hermes is the passage down the STB side of the island...known as the Alaskan Highway....a remote and safe place to go when there is a heavy jet about to take the barrier....the Arks Alaskan highway was closed in & become part of the island structure...our safe zone for a crash on deck was where we were normally standing, luckily we didn't need the barrier in the last years of flight deck operations...after nearly 100 years they had worked out that Crashing is a pretty stupid thing to do :D

If a plane got into trouble after launch it had to wait till every plane had been launched....

Reason for this is simple

To launch ten more planes it takes less than five minutes to get the deck clear, if you stop the launch it could take about 20 minutes to clear the landing area by using tractors, apart from that the main task is to get them all airborne....you don't stop just because a pilot forgot his tooth brush and needs to come back to get it ;)

I take it you want two Scimitars on the cats ready to go in your picture...so I will do a deck plan based on that idea :thumbsup:

06-23-2015, 05:21 AM
'Top tip' as they say on TV. The aircraft are not parked willy nilly down the deck edge. They are parked precisely on three spots painted on the deck one for each wheel. This is so the wings can be spread prior to taxiing.

06-23-2015, 06:48 AM
On the Ark wings are spread only when they start to taxi....not before, on the flight deck there was usually around 3 > 6 inches of clearance between aircraft, so spreading wings while spotted was a No-No

There were wing clamps stopping the wings being spread by accident on all aircraft...even choppers, these were only removed when the plane was due to fly....

The Gannets clamps were always kept on even while they taxied to the catapults...they gannet was a bit of a beast and was kept under strict control at all times...while on the move under power you would have two men on the steering arm - two chockmen - two mechanics holding on to the wings clamps, being workforce heavy is why it was first off - last down, when it landed it was very often stopped and shut down in the middle of the deck and a Ten-ton tractor attached so it couldn't go wandering around the deck on it's own (bad breaks)

Choppers were the same...always had a tractor attached or lashed down, lashings off at the very last moment before lift off, unlashed their tail ends could swing around willy nilly

The only time aircraft were unlashed was in the range and only when all engines were started and the aircraft were ready to fly, they were also taxied from the range in strict order starting from the rearmost aircraft so you didn't turn jet blast onto another aircraft, there was only room to taxi a folded aircraft through the parked aircraft that's why wings were kept folded until they actually got to the catapults

Seems strange that with all the commotion going on - on a flight deck that you can get one off every 20 seconds...flight deck ops are a very well oiled machine :cool:

06-23-2015, 06:56 AM
Thanks Jim - invaluable info for an ignorant crab! That's pretty fast shooting to clear the deck in that time . I can see in videos that they don't hang around . Must have been a real frenzy of activity at launch time . And the line up and braking had to be spot on all the time . What an exercise in focus for all concerned . Everyone on the ball or get off the deck I guess. QRA scramble was as near as we got to that type of excitement in the RAF although TACEVALs could throw situations at you where you had to think and act fast .
Although I say the aircraft are scattered in the above that is with the exception of the two cat Scimitars which should hopefully be exactly right .

06-23-2015, 07:20 AM
Some good video's



06-23-2015, 08:21 AM
Thanks Len - I'll check them out . I've watched several in the run up so far all good stuff .
Had a bit of a root around and did some more measuring and eyeballing among plans and photos. The deck width wasn't as far out as I feared so a little tug increased the max deck width to 157 ft. The two 3 views I have disagree about the width so I've made a judgement!

06-23-2015, 08:45 AM
More vids




06-23-2015, 09:52 AM
Different Ships different cap tallies . Only time I saw take off order from the stern, was on Eagle, when both cats were U/S and we had to unload all the A/C .
They were all taxied to the stern, then off up the Axial Deck. Most of the Hawks dipped off the bow, but the Sky Raiders were up by the time they reached the Island.
Wings were normally folded until they taxied, but spreading could be required for maintanence and external load.
May have been different routine with Phantoms though, they were just Science Fiction when I was in
Nice scene of deck congestion.

06-23-2015, 11:27 AM
^ I meant taxi from the range...rearmost aircraft first...Buccaneer to the bow then a Phantom to the waist then Buccaneer then Phantom etc

The Gannet would usually be in position on the waist cat, if not it would be in the first position STB behind the Dildo :eek:

For the land lubbers the Dildo was the big ... um... dildo at the rear of the island, there was a radar inside and it was also the Bombheads crew room

Phantoms science fiction :eek:
You worked with relics :D

06-23-2015, 12:21 PM
I was always on ships that had the cats at the front!. More a fine vintage than a relic, I think it's me that's the relic.

06-23-2015, 02:41 PM
Thanks again Len - I've just spotted your earlier post and caught up .
I also realise I thought Jim had made your 0109 am post reference a deck plan and deck width etc . I probably saw "Vegaskip" as the latest entry and assumed wrongly after that . Sorry!
The advice / info is most welcome thank you both very much.

06-23-2015, 04:00 PM
Tidied the deck up a little and parked 3 Gannets forward and a Sea Vixen nose out at the waist as per a top down photo I found and the proportions of the planes to deck looks about right now.
Not sure why the models are turning into Phantoms ( i.e ghostly see through ) but I've no doubt get that sorted soon.
Don't panic about the loaded Scimitars behind the Gannets . I won't press the button!

06-23-2015, 04:03 PM
That is the weirdest deck park I have ever seen :eek:

So how do you want the deck arrangement

Twin Scim launch
Entering Harbour
Or ....your mix of the two :eek:

06-23-2015, 05:14 PM
Relax Len :) - this isn't an attempt at a deck arrangement . Once I get the spotting info I can begin to place aircraft where they would realistically be.
At the moment it's still just a random scatter of types with some placed for my own size comparison to photos needs , not any operational reality .
The two Scims on the cats will most likely feature in a painting so it's a case of a plausible deck set up given that they will be centre stage .

06-23-2015, 05:18 PM
Get the Jumbo & a flight deck tractor done

Will send the arrangement later tonight....PM me your e-mail address so I can send a decent sized plan

I have some other reference pics for you as well

06-23-2015, 06:36 PM
Thanks Len - will PM the address after this post .
Removed sundry aircraft and left what might be a possible operating arrangement , Gannet launched and gone , two Scims on cats , two Vixens to follow and a second Scim pair to follow .I aim to add the ground equipt and people in the course of painting , I don't want to spend too much more time on the 3D modelling , it's grown like topsy as is . A quick scale block of tractor and crane , like the superstructure will be as far as I go on that front .

06-23-2015, 08:03 PM
Some pics sent...will look out for more :)

06-23-2015, 08:16 PM
There are 3 years of Commission books here for the Hermes

Lots of pics and the story of each commission

Go to Carriers ..then...Hermes


06-24-2015, 06:05 AM
With this setup, I assume you are going with the after most aircraft next. This is going to take too long, the next A/C should be waiting behind the JBD ready to taxi onto the cat as soon as JBD drops. The way we did it the next would be the a/c where the first Vixen is, but this should be a Scimitar! The 'Badger'in the 'Howdah' won't be happy with you when he has to keep changing the settings on the Catapults!.
Sure you don't want to do a QRA scene instead!, a nice rural landscape, a couple of 'bunny wabits' munching the new mown grass and a lark twittering in the sky? (No not that 'twittering')

06-24-2015, 06:44 AM
Thanks both - yeah I realised right after I posted that I'd got it wrong . They wouldn't want to switch cat settings back and fore as you say Jim . I guess the Ops folk scheduled the flying program with the deck management in mind . I'd got the taking from the aft first to avoid jet blast but still spelt out the order wrong . Doh! I'll bear in mind the waiting behind the JBD bit as well . Any chance that you'd get two Scimitars waiting, one behind each JBD?
Three years of Hermes Commissions eh? I think there could be 3 years of paintings with this lot I've created!:wink2:

I have two soft backs by David Hobbs - The Fleet Air Arm in focus which have been a great help as well.

06-24-2015, 07:08 AM
As far as I can remember it was only the weight that the badger had to change on a big ole turn dial, not a great problem

It's a bit of a rubbish idea having two cats on the bow though

1) you are blasting everyone alongside the island when getting the plane on the cat

2) You are putting the fire crew in a restrictive place

3) If either plane goes u/s on the cat you are going to hold up both cats getting the emergency tractor team to latch on and push the u/s plane back down the flight deck, which is going to hold up the range

I think they had it all sussed out with the final arrangement on Ark Royal

Then after 70 odd years they screwed it all up again with No Cats & those little ski jump efforts

Then they went and done it again with bigger ships and bigger ski jumps :rolleyes:

06-24-2015, 07:45 AM
If the A/C were Queued down the deck it was single file with each one slightly staggered to keep exhaust away from intakes if pos. they wouldn't be in this position for long unless there was a hold up. I was never on Hermes, and her deck is diferent from the ones I was on, these differences dictate operating techniques. I am going on Victorious final commission wher I was a Leading Airman . Each LA had a team, two chock men, a tractor and driver. Main job was aircraft movement on deck and in the Hangar. Take off , I was mainly Stbd Catapult director. As food as the last A/C was off I then became Final parking Director, this meant that I raised the Fwd parking chocks via a hydraulic lever in the Stbd catwalk at the bow. By then the first a/c is on and being passed up the deck via probably 2/3 directors. The 'wires' director is first, his job is to wave it back to release the tension on the wire, signal 'Up Hook', 'come ahead, up flaps, fold wings', the a/c should be more or less clear of the landing area, and is passed on to the next director who brings it up the deck positioning it with the Stbd wheel about a foot away from the deck edge. He passes it on to the final director who brings it right up to the chocks then turns it hard to port, on brakes , in chocks, the ground crew are by now lashing it down and I would be bringing the next one along side the first as close as possible. All this takes a lot longer to type than do. Of course after this we all go down stairs and drink rum! Not.
I made a right Boo Boo one time , I can't remember the exact details or a/c although one was defiantly a Vixen. I had parked then too close and when they started refueling the a/c settled down under the weight of fuel, the drop tank
came down onto the drop tank of next a/c along side which had already been topped up. Bang smashed tank lots of fuel down the scuppers an a very uncomfortable interview with Commander Air.

06-24-2015, 08:18 AM
Parking in Fly one after a recovery

All these aircraft have been Taxied in under direction under power and not positioned by a tractor team

Getting a tractor & towing arm on to push (or) pull them out was never a problem even though they are packed in really tight

1st pic shows how close the first A/C have to be to the Stb side

2nd pic shows just how to fit them all in :)



06-24-2015, 12:11 PM
Great tales / info both!

06-24-2015, 02:26 PM
Badgers would have to change launch weight,Shuttle stop setting, Caley gear rollers, shift the holdback block and select a different strop.
Can't say I remember a lot of jet blast down the deck with the deflectors up, in fact even on Eagle where there were no deflectors it wasn't bad, but then it was just Hawks and Venoms

06-25-2015, 05:52 AM
Hey Len , Jim ! I nearly fell for that "12 cabs in 5 minutes -icicles on the end of me nose - afterburner up my a-- to get things done " patter .
Then I found these - come on chaps admit it . It was all sunshine ,sea and sangria and the odd contemplative moment to look back on another hard days sunbathing! :clap:
Here's the proof - courtesy of Aircraft Illustrated Sept 1994 .

06-25-2015, 07:23 AM
Sh**, another 'Wickileak believe it or not there is a pipe( an announcement on the Loud speaker system preceded by a 'pipe' on the Bo'swain's Call , a whistle like instrument) 'hands to Dance and Skylark on the flight deck'
This is to get all the Trogladites out of the bowels of the ship into the fresh air. They are then Tortured by the ships PT staff for fifteen minuets or so

06-25-2015, 08:54 AM
Sounds like typical service irony Jim - never volunteer if you can avoid it.

06-25-2015, 11:08 AM
Dam.............they found out it was nothing more than a paid for pleasure cruise :wave:

How's about when they stopped the ship and threw the nets over the side so we could all have a swim :)

06-25-2015, 12:50 PM
With a nice Royal Marine and his rifle in the sea boat puttering around (they said it was in case of sharks, but I think it was to deter deserters). In my time they even gave us a nice glass of rum every day to show their appreciation.