The USS Enterprise CVN-65, formerly CVAN-65 was commissioned in 1961 as the eighth US naval vessel with this name. She was the world’s first and for a long time only nuclear aircraft carrier and for many years she also was the largest warship which gave her the nickname "Big E". The Enterprise had a crew of more than 4,600 sailors who found place on a 342-meter-long carrier.
The “Big E” remained as the only ship of its class in which originally six vessels were planned. Between other carriers she always had an unique appearance with her extraordinary square island structures compared to the long and narrow islands of the Nimitz or Kitty Hawk class vessels. The island measures a length and width of around 22 meters and was more than 40 meters high. In a complex overhaul between January 1979 to February 1982 the complete mast was replaced and major parts of the island were redesigned. During this, the SPS-48/49 Radar and the CIWS Phalanx weapon systems were added. Afterwards, some additional radomes were installed on front and back of the island.
The Enterprise has been involved in all major operations of the US Navy, including the naval blockade of Cuba, the Vietnam War and the First Gulf War. In the recent past, she also participated in the war against international terrorism and the Iraq war. Her final deployment, began on 10 March 2012 where she and her Carrier Strike Group Twelve, would be assigned to join CVN-72 USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. At this time, Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) was deployed with the Enterprise. In October 2012, her last job was done and the Enterprise transited the Suez Canal for the final time. On November 4, she finally went back to her homeport Norfolk.
Meanwhile the era of the Big E has ended and she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. The Enterprise has served longer than any other U.S. aircraft carrier did. After 51 years in active service, she was inactivated on 1st December 2012 and was finally decommissioned on 3rd February 2017. In a couple of years the next “Big E” and the era ninth Enterprise will begin when the future CVN-80 as third vessel of the Gerald R. Ford class will enter into service.
The diorama shows the final configuration of the island surrounded by maintenance vehicles as well as aircraft and helicopters of CVW-1 during the last deployment in 2012.
More about the Enterprise can be found here.
finished: not yet
kit: completely scratch with extras
- Black Dog CVCC Tilly Crane - T72092
- 2x Brengun USN P-25 Firefighting Engine - BRS72005
- Stillmotion Photographics Vol.130 USS Enterprise 2012
I gathered all my measuring tools together and started drawing and calculating the dimensions in the 1:72 scale. Meanwhile, I cut out the core structure for the island and the flight deck. As you can see I is planned to have a E-2C Hawkeye, a F/-18F and to H-60 Helicopters aboard. Additionally there will be a number of vehicles and trolleys.
Aircraft Crash Handling and Salvage Crane (CVCC) "Tilly Crane"
P-25 Fire Fighting Engine
will it ever be finished? :)