Grover Loening's Flying aircraft carrier (1954)


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17 February 2006
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In the mid fifties Loening produced a concept for a flying aircraft carrier
of flying boat type.Information of this design should have appeared in
"The Aeroplane" of that time.Issue unknown to me.
(small article with illustration)
Is there someone who ever have seen this article or who
haves more information of this concept ?
No relation with Loening, but Martin too designed a flying aircraft carrier (half million pounds at take-off) during the late WW2 or early post-war. Was model 216 and had eight engines.
... and not to forget Bartini's WIG aircraft carrier ...
There are a score of patents regarding to flying airrcraft-carriers, for what I remeber no-one looks very practical... I'll search the disk and post the more plausible-looking ones...

there was also Locheed type A ,a very big aircraft carrier with four
engined and 22 aircraft holding by the wings.
anther aircraft Camco MKIIA V-Liner,a three engined amphibian aircraft,
used a section tubular structure acting as airborne hoarding.
hesham said:

there was also Locheed type A ,a very big aircraft carrier with four
engined and 22 aircraft holding by the wings.
anther aircraft Camco MKIIA V-Liner,a three engined amphibian aircraft,
used a section tubular structure acting as airborne hoarding.

There are some pictures of the Lockheed one on this site. . .somewhere. Both the one with the fighters under the wings and one with four KC-135s docked on the trailing edge.
Late, but hopefully not too late:
Here's the Loening flying aircraft carrier, found in aero, 1954 :
Some of the given data : MTOW around 1000 ts, length about 100 m,
speed 650 to 850 km/h, chord at the wingroot 24m, at the tip 12m,
wing area 1800 sqm, 20 engines. Estimated costs in 1954: 110 million $
(against 160 million for the Forrestal)


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whaadya know! its got those mean little seaplane jetfighters/ jet submersibles that the combat reform folks are obsessed with ....
".. jet submersibles"

But they were intended to be launched at a height of 12.000 m ...
there are some who could care less as long as the designs look straight out of an old Johhny Quest show
That monster would have operated the same airwing as a Forrestal?: Phantom II, Skyhawk, Tracker!!!?. I have seen SES carriers which were found difficult to operate aircraft from its decks when the ship operating at high speed in the sea. What about an aircraft flying at 12000 m high and 600 Km/h? :-[
seriously those renditions remind me of the convair sea dart ... hey Jem anything about tendering to sea plane jetfighters?
"What about an aircraft flying at 12000 m high and 600 Km/h?"
Opening the hangar and bringing the aircraft up to the take-off are points, that
are remarked as "still problematic" ;D Maybe the "magnetic track" should do
the trick ?
Type of aircraft isn't mentioned, just a complement of "20fighters of 5400 kg each"
which perhaps would allow something like a Sea Dart.
Grover Loening was technical advisor for the USAF, director of Fairchild Eingine &
Airplane Corp. and other companies. He probably had some reasons for coming up
with this design, but I'm pretty sure, he never thought of it to be built in reality ! ;)
"20fighters of 5400 kg each"

Well below the capability of a Forrestal and not as versatile. A ship admits a longer operational life and it admits rebuildings to keep it updated.
in any case we are assuming that this would have actually got off the ground ... otherwise drop the 'flying' and we have ourselves a nice aerodynamic vessel 8)
I’ve tried to complete the sideview to a 3-view, not too difficult, nevertheless not
to be taken too seriously, as probably the whole project wasn’t too seriously, too.
Span, wingchord at the root and tips and span of the tailplane was given in the article.
Although all those data were given with an accuracy of two decimals, I’m pretty sure
that this has is origin just in transforming all dimensions from feet into metres, not in
a very detailed design. Fuselage width is uncertain, as is the position and form of the
engine exhausts, but it is stated in the article, that for enhancing lift, blown flaps would
have been used, as well as blowing the exhaust gas over the wing surface. So a position
quite forward on the wing seemed logical to me.
Source grading 2 at best.


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Shorter direct links (corrected link for first one):
A great drawing by zeroc:

Maybe the whole point was never to launch aircraft while flying.. but only when a float and operating like any other seaborne carrier. But ( suspend reality here ) once all craft are below deck, the whole carrier could take off and fly! It could relocate quicker than any other type of Navy carrier? So ground effect may be all it did, but even that would have been something to see. Apologies, but just speculating.
I am not so sure, Zeppelin. I think the key to understanding the intended use was the mention of the "magnetic track." Was this some sort of magnetic conveyor built that would have held a landing aircraft firmly to the "deck" until switched off for takeoff, moved it around the "ramp," and also pulled and held it down on landing? If so, I can definitely see this working even in the air. There are even some advantages--high altitude air can be bumpy but it's easier and quicker to fly somewhere else than to escape a rough sea. Relative speed between the carrier and the fighters could have been almost nil since the carrier's operational speed would presumably be above the stall speed of the plane. The real question is endurance--how long could something like this actually stay on station?
Not sure I'd fancy piloting the aircraft 'landing on' if the carrier was airborne at the time. Think about the flow field around the tailplane...
Oh- I was about to post my drawing here but I see Grey has done the job for me! Thank you, hope you like it! ;)
Thank you, hope you like it!

Your work is fascinating. I love your art and the way you bring it to life.


Great job! At Skybolt, on page 1 you mentioned a Martin project like this. Was that Project Jupiter by any chance?
cutaway Leoning Flying Aircraft Carrier concept, general arrangement


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