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The Jet Age

Post-War to Vietnam: 1945 - 1960

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The war had ended, and the United States now had global responsibilities, both to keep the peace and to help the world rebuild.

Aircraft had continued to evolve. The introduction of jet propulsion resulted in new aircraft that were larger, heavier and faster than those used during WWII. This required corresponding changes in the ships that carried them.

Catapults had to be longer, to be able to accelerate the larger aircraft to flight speed. Higher landing speeds required longer recovery decks. Elevators and hangar decks also needed to be larger.

A British innovation, the angled flight deck, allowed carriers to both launch and recover aircraft simultaneously.