NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Workers finished installation of Carl Vinson's four new propellers Jan. 7 at Northrop Grumman Newport News, where the ship is currently drydocked for its refueling complex overhaul (RCOH).
Rigging and outside machinists installed the "screws," or propellers, through the weekend which began Jan. 4. The screws were mounted on each of the ship's four long shafts, which transfer propulsion power from the ship's nuclear-powered main engines to the propellers, moving the ship through the water at speeds of up to more than 30 knots.
The installation marks the achievement of a milestone in the work outside the ship's hull, preparing the ship for undocking from the shipyard's Drydock 11 to Pier 3 later this year.
"We are delighted with the progress that team Carl Vinson has made in our overhaul thus far," said Vinson Commanding Officer, Capt. Ted Carter. "Putting these
gigantic propellers back on the ship's shafts is no mean feat of engineering, teamwork, and skill, and it represents the achievement of a significant milestone as we work to get the ship back in the water again where she belongs."
The propellers installed are approximately 21 feet in diameter and weigh approximately 65,000 pounds each. They are very similar in size, weight, and material to the propellers on previous ships of the Nimitz class, but the blades are shaped differently to reduce wear and erosion. The propellers have been outfitted with a protective covering that will be removed later in the construction process.
"This has been a real team effort and a significant accomplishment," said Mark Creamer, Northrop Grumman Newport News construction supervisor. "I am very proud of our team and their commitment and attention to detail."
The new propellers are also planned for use on the future-generation carrier class, CVN 21, and were recently installed on the newest Nimitz carrier, George H. W. Bush (CVN 77).
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.