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articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online.
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically
for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally
applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able
to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships.
Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively sturdy to withstand
demanding carrier operations. They must be able to launch in a
short distance and be sturdy and flexible enough to come to a
sudden stop on a pitching deck; they typically have robust folding
wing mechanisms that allow higher numbers of them to be stored in
below-decks hangars. These aircraft are designed for many purposes
including air-to-air combat, surface attack, submarine attack,
search and rescue, materiel transport, weather observation,
reconnaissance and wide area command and control duties.
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