TheNimitz class carrier has a power plant of 4 shafts, 2 nuculear reactors, and 4 steam turbines. It is the largest warship in the world right now. The crew includes 3200 of the ships company and 2,480 flight personal. The armament of the ship includes; four sea sparrow missile launchers and four 20 mm phalanx cannons. A carrier is equipped with air traffic control units (radar screens and status boards).
The most common planes on carriers today are F-14s, F-18, S-3, which is an anti-sub plane, and EA-6B, which has speical eletronic features.
Once a plane in taxied into position it is hooked up to the steam powered catapults and huge metal boards are rasied to make the jets work their best. While the catapult pulls the plane forward the jet engine is pushing the plane. Using both devices, the plane achieves liftoff. For landing, the plane comes close to the carrier and lands on the arresting cables to stop the plane in less than 360 feet. The tail hook attaches to the arresting cables to stop the plane. The arresting cables are checked frequenly for broken strands or other bad signs. If a pilot misses the cables he must hit the throttle to take off again. After a plane lands it is either chained on the deck or taken into the under deck hanger. All wings on an aircraft (except for an A-4) can be folded or swept to fit into the smallest space possible.
If an aircraft is damaged or needs work it is taken down to the under deck hangers by one of the four main deck elevators. There are also small elevators that can carry armament or access to the hangar.
There are small gyms for the required fitness.
Photo cerdits: US Navy Photos, Nicholas Wagner