The history of aircraft carriers is sure to impress you
Aircraft carriers are mobile naval airbases on the sea which allow the launch and landing of military aircraft on their flat decks. The aircraft is stored underneath the deck and is grown or torn off with the help of elevators. Their landings are made safe with the help of cables and advanced techniques such as mirroring systems. These ships are accompanied by various support ships such as destroyers and carry rockets and modern war weapons. They offer air cover to other war ships and can operate freely in international waters. They are, therefore, very decisive and deadly warships operated by the naval forces of various countries around the world.
Aircraft carriers actually developed from the balloon ships of the early 19th century, when the British Royal Navy launched kites from HMS Pallas. They were mainly used to drop propaganda flares and proclamations against Napoleon Bonaparte. During the First World War the British, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish fleets launched hot air balloons for observation purposes. In March 1910, the French ship Le Canard was the first to develop aircraft ships. However, the French ship La Foudre is known as the first seaplane carrier. In 1913, a British merchant ship was transformed into a seaplane carrier for experimental experiments. The ship was HMS Hermes. It was converted back into a cruiser, and later back to a watercraft before it was sunk by a German submarine in October 1914. In 1913 the USS Mississippi became the first watercraft carrier for the US Navy.
During this time several fleets launched their seaplanes to collect information. They were launched by a catapult and collected with the crane from the water after landing. The actual changes that were necessary to launch such ships were able to launch aircraft launch and landing, came around the early 1920s.
During the First World War
The imperial Japanese navy conducted the first strike of a carrier during the First World War. It also had the distinction of being the first strike from a vehicle against a land target. HMS Ark Royal was the first modern aircraft carrier because it had a launch platform. A squadron commander from the British Royal Navy became the first man to land on a moving ship, HMS Angry. Many other operations were carried out during the First World War, but the Second World War was the turning point in their progress, which was a great improvement.
During the Second World War
During the Second World War the British Royal Navy had seven aircraft carriers and had an upper hand over Germany and Italy, which had none. But their weakness was shown when German battle cruisers HMS sunk gloriously. This weakness, however, was overshadowed by the HMS Illustrious, when she successfully launched a far-reaching strike on the Italian fleet at Taranto. The use of aircraft carriers by the British prevented the Italian navy and German airplanes from dominating the Mediterranean. Japan had 10 of them in their fleet when they attacked the United States in Pearl Harbor in 1942, which was a clear indication of their naval capabilities. Their supremacy, however, diminished as a US carrier-born plane sank the Japanese battleship Musashi in 1945.
As technology advanced, jet-powered aircraft came into the picture, which had higher speed and weight, requires a much greater effort in helping them to land safely. If they do not land properly, it would often cause a lot of damage to the vehicle and parked aircraft. Thus, some innovations such as angled deck, optical landing, etc. were developed.
A British invention, the angled deck helps the aircraft land and launch on a carrier. This is useful because when landing, the pilot must only drive the engine to the maximum to get back into the air. In this way, serious accidents are avoided. Angled decks were first tested on HMS Triumph.
Another British invention, the optical landing system, is a gyroscopically controlled hollow mirror on the port side of the deck. In this system, a bright orange light directed at the mirror creates an orange ball on it and is seen by the plane. This position of the ball indicates the sliding path. The glide path can be controlled by the ball.
The US Navy built the first Forrestal type, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. Nuclear-powered vehicles increased the endurance of the war ships, which could now stay longer on the sea.
Countries like China, India and Spain are building their own, which would soon be finished. At present, the US Navy has the highest number of aircraft carriers in service and is thus the most feared naval in the world. More recently, they have demonstrated their bravery when the USS Enterprise was sent to the Persian Gulf to dismantle the terrorist camps in Afghanistan.