|China’s First Aircraft Carrier|
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is over 300 meters long and over 70 meterswide. The distance from the keel to the top of the mainmast is over 60 meters. Thereare 10 decks below the main deck, and nine levels of island-style superstructuresabove the main deck, making the aircraft carrier look like a 20-story building. TheLiaoning has a normal displacement of more than 50,000 tons.
Aircraft carriers top all other types of large ships in tonnage, size, and operationalcapability, and are hailed as “floating airports.” The island-style superstructures at thestarboard side of an aircraft carrier are the command center for flight-deck operations,as well as the ship as a whole.
Modern carrier-based aircraft take off in mainly three ways: catapult assisted takeoff,ski-jump takeoff, and vertical takeoff. The Liaoning can carry fixed-wing aircraft andhelicopters as designed.
Although there are no carrier-based aircraft on the flight deck of the Liaoning, theaircraft carrier is fully equipped for aircraft takeoff and landing.