An idea tested but never put into service was the "flexible" or "rubber deck." In the early jet age it was seen that by eliminating the landing gear for carrier borne aircraft the inflight performance and range would be improved, since the space taken by the landing gear could be used to hold additional fuel tanks instead. This led to the concept of a deck that would absorb the energy of landing. With the introduction of jet aircraft the risk of damaging propellers was no longer an issue, though take off would require some sort of launching cradle. Tests were carried out with a de Havilland Sea Vampire flown by test pilot Eric "Winkle" Brown onto the rubber deck fitted to HMS Warrior, and Supermarine designed its Type 508 for rubber deck landings. The flexible deck idea was found to be technically feasible but was nevertheless abandoned. The Type 508 was subsequently developed into a conventional carrier aircraft, the Supermarine Scimitar.
Famous quotes containing the words decks and/or flexible:
“From the time the Englishmans bones harden into bones at all, he makes his skeleton a flagstaff, and he early plants his feet like one who is to walk the world and the decks of all the seas.”
—Willa Cather (18761947)
“Freedom is the essence of this faith. It has for its object simply to make men good and wise. Its institutions then should be as flexible as the wants of men. That form out of which the life and suitableness have departed should be as worthless in its eyes as the dead leaves that are falling around us.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)