The main innovation of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was the angled-flight deck. This enabled multiple planes to land and take-off faster, and at the same time.
For 40 years, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have delivered U.S. military might all over the globe. But now these legendary ships are being slowly phased out for a new fleet of supercarriers. Former NASA rocket engineer Chad Zdenek spends a week aboard the USS Carl Vinson with a team of engineers, mechanics, and sailors to uncover the engineering innovations that allowed this ship to launch, land, and relaunch more planes, more quickly than ever before.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.