The author, who flew combat missions in A-4s from the USS Intrepid (CV-11) during the Vietnam War and later became the Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology, reflects on carrier aviation after several days on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). He met the youth of America hauling fuel hoses, sorting mail from the COD, giving a double thumbsup as final checkers, taking care of ordnance systems . . . and found that they still make' em like they used to.
I logged my 551st carrier landing in a VRC-30 C-2A Greyhound-my first one facing aft.
While watching day and night carrier operations of Carrier Air Wing 11, it struck me that flight deck operations have not changed much over the years. There is still a requirement to launch aircraft on the catapults and recover aircraft in the arresting gear. Every naval aviator has praised the angled deck introduced by the British in the 1950s and quickly adopted by all since then.