What's this feature on aircraft carriers?

A long pole lying horizontally at the side of the flight deck over the side of the ship. A radio antannae of some sort, there seem to be an awful lot of them last time I saw one of these ships on tv.

Perhaps those poles support a safety net? I wouldn’t imagine that falling to the water from the flight deck of a supercarrier would be pleasant.

American carriers have aircraft nets (or at least the did in Vietnam) when a pilot came home with damage or component failure he could land not catch anywires and be caught and stopped in the net.

I don’t know, but I suspect your initial suspicion that they’re radio antennas is correct.

Assuming we’re talking about the same thing, that is. In the photo of the John C. Stennis in the center of this page, they are clearly visible in the vertical position. I see several, but the two most promininent ones are on each side of the bow. Here is a photo of (I believe) the Dwight D. Eisenhower, with similar poles laying down flat.

To me, they look awfully long to be supporting safety nets for people, and way too flimsy to be part of an airplane-catching mechanism. There are nets visible in this photo of the Harry S. Truman[sup]*[/sup]. I only see the nets at the very bow end of the flight deck, where (no coincidence, methinks) there seems to be no walkway below and outboard of the flightdeck. I believe I see a similar netting at the end of the marked landing “runway”, but the resolution isn’t high enough to state that with certainty.

Why are antennas placed there, if that’s in fact what they are? I have no idea, beyond the obvious guess that they ran out of real estate on top of the island, and this was the next best place…?

[sup]*[/sup]Lest anyone hop on me about putting a period after the “S” in Truman’s name, I defer to this opinion on the subject from the Harry S. Truman Library.

I thought everybody knew this!

Them’s fishin’ poles, boy!

Goal posts?

They’re 35’ whip radio antennae. When flight ops are in progress, the antennae are hinged over horizontally. When the aircraft aren’t flying, they’re pivoted back upright.

Here’s a land-based test of one in progress, minus hing and counterwieght.

*Way off topic-

Tranquilis, how were you able to link to that specific part of the site?

That page has anchors embedded. If you’ll look at the code that makes up the link you’ll see this:

at the end of the URL. Not all pages have them, but I use them when possible.