A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FSX Ships

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The Essex class were aircraft carriers of the United States Navy that constituted the 20th century's most numerous class of capital ships. The class consisted of 24 vessels, which came in "short-hull" and "long-hull" versions. Thirty-two ships were originally ordered, but as World War II wound down, six were canceled before construction, and two were canceled after construction had begun. No Essex-class ships were lost to enemy action, despite several vessels sustaining very heavy damage. The Essex-class carriers were the backbone of the U.S. Navy's combat strength during World War II from mid-1943 on, and, along with the addition of the three Midway-class carriers just after the war, continued to be the heart of U.S. naval strength until the super-carriers began to come into the fleet in numbers during the 1960s and 1970s.

The large numbers of new ships, coupled with their larger Midway-class contemporaries, sustained the Navy's air power through the rest of the 1940s, the Korean War era, and beyond. While the spacious hangars accommodated the introduction of jets, various modifications significantly improved the capability of fifteen of the ships to handle the jets’ increased weight and speed. These modifications included jet-blast deflectors (JBDs); an optical landing system (a British innovation); greater aviation fuel capacity; stronger decks, elevators, and catapults; and ultimately an angled flight deck.[19]

All of the short-hulls were laid up in 1946–47 along with five of the long-hulls. Eight of the last nine ships completed stayed on active duty to form, with three Midways, the backbone of the post-war Navy's combat strength. Though the Truman administration's defense economies sent three of the active Essexes into "mothballs" in 1949, these soon came back into commission after the Korean War began. Ultimately, all but two short-hulls and all thirteen long-hulls had active Cold War service.

Oriskany, which had been left unfinished at the end of the war, was completed to an improved design between August 1948 & September 1950, with a much stronger (straight) flight deck and a reconfigured island. Eight earlier ships were thoroughly rebuilt to the Oriskany design under the SCB-27A program in the early 1950s. Six more of the earlier ships were rebuilt to an improved 27C design as the last stage of the SCB-27 program; these ships received steam catapults instead of the less powerful hydraulic units. The otherwise unmodified Antietam received an experimental 10.5 degree angled deck in 1952. An angled flight deck and enclosed hurricane bow became the distinctive features of the SCB-125 program, which was undertaken concurrently with the last three 27C conversions and later applied to all 27A and 27C ships except Lake Champlain. Shangri-La became the first operational United States angled deck aircraft carrier in 1955. Oriskany, the first of the modernized ships but the last angled-deck conversion, received a unique SCB-125A refit which upgraded her to 27C standard, and included steam catapults and an aluminum flight deck.

Korean War and subsequent Cold War needs ensured twenty-two of the twenty-four ships had extensive post–World War II service (Bunker Hill and Franklin had suffered heavy damage and were never recommissioned). All initially carried attack air groups; however by 1955 seven unconverted Essexes were operating under the anti-submarine warfare carrier (CVS) designation established in August 1953. As the Forrestal-class "super carriers" entered the fleet, the eight 27A conversions were designated CVS to replace the original unconverted ships; the latter began to leave active service in the late 1950s. Two 27C conversions were designated CVS in 1962 (although CVS-11 Intrepid would operate as an attack carrier off Vietnam) and two more in 1969. The seven angle-deck 27As and one 27C received specialized CVS modifications including bow-mounted SQS-23 sonar under the SCB-144 program in the early 1960s. The updated units remained active until age and the growing number of super carriers made them obsolete, from the late 1960s into the middle 1970s. However, one of the very first of the type, Lexington, served until 1991 as a training ship. Four of the modernized ships have been preserved as museums; the remainder were scrapped starting in the 1970s save Oriskany, which the Navy contemplated reactivating in the 1980s and which was eventually scuttled as an artificial reef in 2006.

Of the un-modernized Essexes, Boxer, Princeton, and Valley Forge were re-designated Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) amphibious assault ships for the Marine Corps, and remained in commission with their original straight decks until about 1970. You will find them in SOH for download too.

The remainder decommissioned in the late 1950s and early 1960s and were promptly reclassified as aircraft transports (AVT), reflecting their very limited ability to operate modern aircraft safely. An un-modernized Essex was offered to the Royal Australian Navy in 1960 as a replacement for HMAS Melbourne but the offer was declined due to the expense of modifications required to make it operationally compatible with the RAN's primarily British-designed fleet. All were scrapped, most in the 1970s.

Special thanks: I use the carrier from Collin Glendinning, with different changes from other authors.

Model of F-9F panther : Daisuke Yamamoto

Mr Bing Chandler (Skippy) from flyingstations.com for his permission to use his barrier and the gauge from his very nice Victorius Early War carriers

Gary (aka gp183601 in Sim Outhouse). He gave his permission to use his Tilly on this carriers.

Joe (aka Butcherbird17 in Sim Outhouse). He did the base livery for the F-9F Panther and gave his permission to use it with this carriers .

Walter (aka CIMOGT in Sim Outhouse). He gave his permission to use parts of his very nice models (3D Lights).

I used other freeware models for this too. Most aircraft models are original from CFS2 and convertet to FSX.

Surely all models i use are freeware. So please don`t use all the elements of this models in other way as freeware without the permission of the designers.

I hope you will enjoy these models.

Klaus Nowak (aka klnowak in Sim Outhouse)
September 2019

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