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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Aircraft Carrier

Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performed the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia on November 14, 1910. His Curtiss pusher airplane took off from a makeshift 83-foot deck erected over the bow of the light cruiser USS Birmingham.

The airplane plunged downward as soon as it cleared the platform runway; and the aircraft wheels dipped into the water before rising. Ely's goggles were covered with spray, and the aviator promptly landed on a beach rather than circling the harbor and landing at the Norfolk Navy Yard as planned.

Ely takes off from the USS Birmingham, November 14, 1910
The first landing of an aircraft on a ship’s deck was made by American pilot Eugene Ely.

Hōshō was the world's first first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world, Commissioned on December 27, 1922 by the Imperial Japanese Navy, the ship was used for testing carrier aircraft operations equipment, techniques, such as take-offs and landings, and carrier aircraft operational methods and tactics.

Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō in Tokyo Bay

The USS Ranger was launched on February 25, 1933. It was the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.

The Royal Navy launched the first aircraft carrier-launched airstrike in history on November 11, 1940. The attack was on the Italian fleet during the World War II Battle of Taranto.

When the Imperial Japanese Navy engaged Allied naval forces at the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, it was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other.

The British aircraft maintenance carrier HMS Unicorn was the only aircraft carrier ever to conduct a shore bombardment during wartime when she shelled North Korean positions during the Korean War.

The keel for the aircraft carrier USS United States was laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding on April 18, 1949. However, construction was canceled five days later, leading to a number of retired and active-duty United States Navy admirals publicly disagreeing with President Harry S. Truman and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal in their emphasis on strategic nuclear bombing executed by the United States Air Force as the primary means by which the nation and its interests were defended. The incident became known as the Revolt of the Admirals.

USS United States, pictured in drydock with her keel laid

The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was launched on September 24, 1960 — the USS Enterprise had a team of 915 designers and cost $451.3 million to build.

Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean during Summer Pulse 2004.

America has 19 aircraft carriers—the rest of the world has 12 combined.

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