In 1910, Eugene Ely flew a Curtis pusher off the deck of a converted cruiser to make the first winged aircraft takeoff from a Navy ship (Except for possibly  Samuel Langley, who catapulted unsteerable aircraft off a houseboat to their doom).  Curtis' plane was a success largely because of Wright's patents.  Unable to use wing warping technology, Curtis used ailerons instead, which all planes have today.  It's landing gear was a tricycle arrangement which most planes also use now.  It wasn't a power house, pushing 40 horsepower from his own design, but was astounding for the day.  The first "carrier" takeoff and flight was a success, and the next year, another Curtis D made the first landing on a navy ship.  

First Carrier takeoff

Last October, the USN tested it's latest carrier hotrod, the short takeoff and landing F-35B.  This is the coolest bird ever, and makes you want to be a flyboy.  Everything this plane does looks effortless, almost aircraft ballet. The F-35B is the first plane to include vertical takeoff and landing capability with supersonic speeds and stealth technology. The internal weapons bay can hold a ton of stuff, but if you don't care about stealth, you can really load the wings down with 15,000 lbs of weapons.  It looks on schedule to replace the Marines F-18s and Harriers.

Armored Planet sent me the link for this video. (They've got hosting, also.)