They’re about to find out just how hard it is to run one. It has this amazing statistic that I’d never seen before:
Between 1949, when the U.S. Navy began deploying jets on a large scale, and 1988, when the combined Navy/Marine Corps aircraft accident rate achieved U.S. Air Force levels, the Navy and Marine Corps lost almost 12,000 aircraft and more than 8,500 aircrew.
Emphasis mine. That’s accidents, not combat. And what they mean by getting the rate to Air Force levels, is reducing it to that rate. In other words, those are the casualties of learning how to fly combat-proficient aircraft from carriers, and it didn’t really occur until the introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet.
Here’s a related link: the U.S. Navy’s transition to jets.
And yet we obsess about safety in spaceflight.
[Via email from Jim Bennett]