Northrop Grumman Corporation has finished installing the propellers on the nation's tenth and final Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, George H. W. Bush (CVN 77).
The carrier is under construction at Northrop Grumman's Newport News sector, the nation's sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers
. The George H. W. Bush's four
propellers weigh approximately 60,000 pounds each and are a new design
from previous Nimitz-class carriers. The new propellers are very
similar in size, weight and material to previous ships of the class,
but the blades are shaped differently to reduce wear and erosion.
"The installation of the propellers marks a major milestone in
the construction of our final Nimitz-class carrier and completes the
last major piece of structural work below the ship's waterline," said
Kenney Overman, CVN 77 machinery installation general
Northrop Grumman. "The work we've done on this ship sets the benchmark
for the design and installation of these new propellers on future
carriers of the fleet."
The new propellers are planned for use on the future-generation
carrier class, CVN 21, and they will be installed on the USS Carl
Vinson, currently in the Newport News shipyard undergoing a refueling
and complex overhaul.
Other new design features for the George H. W. Bush include
updated aviation-fuel distribution system, a new marine sewage system
and a new underwater hull-coating system. The George H. W. Bush is the
second carrier to have a new bulbous bow design that provides more
buoyancy to the forward end of the ship and improves hull efficiency.
The ship's keel was laid Sept. 6, 2003. The christening will occur in
October 2006 with delivery to the U.S. Navy in late 2008.