00:AC Eqpt





05:Deck Lights


07: AA Guns

08: SAM

709 ShipSpeed

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In the 1960s, modern aircraft carriers were equipped with steam catapults while more ancient ones like the Independence class carriers or maybe some non-modernized Colossus class carriers were still equipped with hydraulic catapults.  No such difference is made in Atlantic Air Combat.
In order to understand how a catault works a brief simplistic description might be useful.

Catapult Designs
Essentially, there were two : (1) a briddle would link the aircraft to the catapult traveller, with the briddle cable usually being lost at sea - (2) a sabot pulling the nose wheel.   In AAC, there is no such distinction and if illustrated to some extent, it will be closer to the sabot version for all carriers

Aircraft Take-Off Speed
The speed at which an aircraft is taking off varies from one aircraft to the other and is related to its take-off weight (amount of fuel on board, weapons or loads carried, etc...  The speed we are referring to is the Indicated Air Speed.   So the more head wind on the runway, the lesser the amount of runway length will be necessary to reach the required (IAS) speed.   In the absence of such length on an aircraft carrier, the required take-off speed will be reached by two means :
turning the ship into the wind, and increase the ship's speed to its maximum, say 25 knots
using a catapult to reach the required speed, taking into account the artificial wind created over the ship's deck.
In the real world, catapult operators will thus compute the thrust of the catapult based on the above described elements on top of engine thrust.

Catapults in Atlantic Air Combat
Each aircraft in AAC is defined by its own data sheet where the take-off speed is defined among various elements characterizing a specific aircraft.  Among those elements is the weight factor related to the amount of fuel and weapons on board (except bullets or cannon shells), within a maximum take-off weight when such a restriction is applicable.   However, while this weight factor influences acceleration, it doesn't affect speed (neither take-off, maximum, stall nor landing speed), nor does it affect ceiling or climb rate as these elements are defined once and for all for each individual aircraft.

In AAC, the catapulting sequence gets rid of all factors but one : the aircraft take off speed.   This will allow the AI to handle a single piece of data.   When the aircraft engine throttle has been set to maximum power (ie: full afterburner or any full extra power setting) for so many seconds, the "catapult" will propel the aircraft at a speed corresponding to take-off speed +10%.  Straight and simple.

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While (hydraulic) catapults were available durint WWII, the introduction of jet aircrafts on carriers lead to the installation of jet blast deflectors to protect whoever or whatever is behind an aircraft exercising full power prior take-off.   This deflector(s) would raise in position once the aircraft has been brought to its launching position on the catapult.   Heated by the jet blast these items incorporate a sea water based cooling system, but that's way beyond AAC's interest.

Jet Blast Deflector(s) in Atlantic Air Combat
When the player has chosen its aircraft(s) in the "hangar" and sets for take-off, there could be an animation prior the actual launch sequence where the aircraft is brought up on the elevator and pulled toward one of the aircraft carrier catapults before command is restored to the player.   If so, this animation would show the jet blast deflector(s) raising into position regardless of the aircraft type invovled (piston, turboprop or jet engined).

So, as such, jet blast deflectors are not one of the aircraft carrier moving parts.  They are shown flat on the aircraft carrier deck "skin" but NEVER shown raised whenever flying around a carrier, either friend or foe.   So, while carriers may have aircrafts on its deck, either parked somewhere, ready for launch on a catapult or or (not in) an elevator, it will never launch an aircraft at that moment.   If it does nevertheless, it would be WITHOUT raided jet blast deflectors.   It would be an inconsistency, but would simplify aircraft carrier design and handling (as an object) in AAC.   There are enough moving parts already (guns, SAMs, radar antennaes rotating, ...)