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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

ARK ROYAL aircraft carrier (1914)

Ark Royal 1915

Pegasus 1938

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Ark Royal; 12/1934- Pegasus N80, N07 174 Blyth SB, Cowpen Quay 7/11/1913 5/9/1914 12/1914 catapult ship 4/1941, hulk 2/1944

 

Displacement normal, t

7080

Displacement full, t

7400

Length, m

111.6

Breadth, m

15.5

Draught, m

5.50 mean

No of shafts

1

Machinery

VTE, 2 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.

3000

Max speed, kts

11

Fuel, t

500 oil

Armament

4 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I, 2 x 1 - 7.7/87, 7 aircraft (2 Sopwith 807, 2 Wright Pusher, 1 Short 135, 2 Sopwith Tabloid)

Complement

180

Aircraft facilities (fd - 530m2, ha - 626m² / 2,817m³): "Aeroplane hold" (hangar) was 45.7x13.7x 4.5m. Aircraft was hoisted in and out by 2 3t steam cranes through 12.2x9.1m hatch. Seaplanes launched on wheeled trolleys and recovered by cranes. Fwd flight deck was39.6x13.4m. Wheeled planes had to land ashore.

Year Fighters Torpedo bombers Recon planes Seaplanes
1915 2 Sopwith Tabloid --- 2 Wright Pusher, 1 Short 135 2 Sopwith 807
1941 3 Fulmar --- --- ---

Ship project history: Ark Royal was converted from a dry-cargo steamship. Despite a slow speed and insignificant damage tolerance, the ship had all signs of an aircraft carrier: a hangar, the lift, possibility of a take-off from a deck. Seaplanes were launched from special dollies (as on  cruiser-seaplane carrier Hermes) and land on water; wheel aircrafts started from the ship but landed ashore.

Modernizations: 1938: catapult fitted.

1940: - 4 x 1 - 76/40; + 4 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I

1941: ship was adapted for launch Hurricane fighters.

Naval service: Used as depot ship 1923 - 1938. Hulked 2/1944. Sold for merchant duties 10/1946.

Ark Royal 1915

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14