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Scootia23
Post subject: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 22nd, 2020, 5:20 pm
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http://www.shipscribe.com/styles/S-584/ ... 84167c.htm (original drawing and some basic specifications)

Here's an interesting one- one of the very first ever studies made by the USN for a large aircraft carrier built as such from the keel up. It shows a high degree of forward thinking while still having a lot of vestigial and transitional traits from the dreadnought era. It's size stands out immediately- fleet carriers (excluding the Washington conversions) this large and with such high aircraft capacity would not be seen again until very late in WW2. At this time the only purpose built carriers being laid down were small, slow, and of limited carrying capacity, such as Hosho and Hermes, and as far as I am aware nobody was looking towards the future of carriers with anything nearly as ambitious as this (the IJN's 8-8 Fleet plan seemed content to continue building Hosho-oids instead of moving to bigger and better things).

That said the very heavy main battery of sixteen turreted 6" guns, of presumably the same type as the Omaha class cruisers (while the 6"/53 is not directly specified, the Omaha class have been laid down when this study is being drawn and the dimensions of the turrets on the original drawings are nearly identical to the twin turrets on the cruisers), is ludicrous in hindsight, but logical for the sort of engagement a 1920s carrier could expect. Without radios or long range, fast aircraft, a carrier couldn't rely on engaging targets outside of gun range with her aircraft like in WW2. Her high speed also indicates she was intended to operate with the cruiser squadrons, as the USN posessed no capital ships with anywhere near 32 knots of speed.

One interesting feature I would like to call attention to is the aft elevator. Yes, at first glance this carrier only has one elevator, the obvious one in the middle, but it in fact has *two*. The platform hanging down below the waterline on the stern is in fact an aircraft elevator that can travel all the way up to the flight deck. I believe that together with the aft cranes, this was intended to allow the carrier to scoop floatplanes up out of the water while steaming underway. This shows an interesting bit of transitional thought on carriers- seaplanes were favored early on in naval aviation, largely because at the low speeds WW1 aircraft operated at, the advantages of wheeled aircraft were less pronounced, and a seaplanes ability to launch and land without a full flight deck, or any airbase, was a compelling advantage at sea.

Despite her provisions for floatplanes I have drawn her with an outfit of aircraft similar to USS Lexington upon commissioning, as I believe by the time she'd be commissioned (I'd estimate 1925-1927), the US Navy lost interest in carrierborne seaplanes. In further design studies for carriers, seaplane capability is quickly dropped, and the USN always operated wheeled aircraft off their carriers, even the early Langley.

Overall, a very interesting design that was fun and enlightening to draw- I certainly learned a lot about carriers doing this (shoutout to Acelancelot and Colo on the discord for walking me through some of the finer points). Hope you guys enjoy


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Colombamike
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 22nd, 2020, 5:37 pm
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A "highly respectable" drawing for a never-were
Various small details well researched
Waiting to see more drawings
Well done

(PS: you can add the exact date: 17 november 1920 ;) )


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 22nd, 2020, 6:23 pm
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Interesting design! The flat stern kinda foreshadows today's CVNs.

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Colombamike
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 22nd, 2020, 6:26 pm
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emperor_andreas wrote: *
The flat stern kinda foreshadows today's CVNs.
Probably intended for Seaplane/Floatplane launch/Recovery ;)
(stern + cranes)


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Hood
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 25th, 2020, 3:59 pm
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Very well drawn and most interesting design. It actually looks quite modern and plausible for an early aircraft design. It would have made a decent scouting carrier for the time.

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erik_t
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 25th, 2020, 4:35 pm
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A great drawing of a fascinating concept. One wonders about operability in practice with this pilothouse and stack arrangement.


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eswube
Post subject: Re: USN Aircraft Carrier Preliminary #2, Nov 17 1920Posted: November 25th, 2020, 7:31 pm
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Very interesting design and excellent drawing.


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