Larger British light fleet carriers?

Hood

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From a pilot’s perspective trying to land on Unicorn was far from ideal due to her Aircraft Maintenance Ship origins. The shape of her hull and flight deck aft generated wind shear effects on aircraft crossing her stern. It has been described as like “dropping off a cliff”.
True I would envision dropping the Lighter hangar and gantry at the stern to make run down a little more aerodynamic.

I don’t know if chopping the upper hangar deck to give her a lower profile would help with the airflow or not. But the shorter flight deck length impacts on the ability to operate the USN style “deck load” strikes that became a feature of RN carrier warfare from 1944 and especially so with heavier aircraft.
Agreed, too short really and I can see the Admiralty wanting more length then finding its too heavy so chopping a hangar deck then slimming the hull, the arguing about the 4.5in guns, then how many accelerators, making it wider again, still too heavy, remove some armour, and hey presto an overweight Colossus emerges.
Or the temptation to lengthen and keep the double hangar deck and end up with something like an intermediate lesser-armoured I-series ship, probably can't be built quick enough either way.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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151ft is 46m
177ft is 54m
199ft is 60.7m
210ft is 64m
250ft is 76.2m

Pressure figures seem off.
I thought BS.4 and BS.5 used 450psi
Though the 1952 studies include 650psi.

157ft seems a curious figure.
It is curious to me too, especially if the 52 metres/171 feet that's usually quoted is the total length.

Perhaps the peculiar length was due to it being the longest catapult that could be fitted in the available space? To be clear I don't know that it was the longest catapult that could be fitted and am speculating that it was.
 

bobtdwarf

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Out of interest... What were the material defects that plagued Ark Royal?
built with wartime grade steel... she was a ball of rust waiting to happen at the very least and at the worst prone to early metal fatigue/cracking
There was this comment up thread about Bonaventure.
One of the reasons the RCN's midlife refit on the Bonnie went from roughly 4 million dollars to 17 million was they really opened her up.

And found an incredible amount of corrosion. Apparently the shipyards concept of corrosion management consisted of either a coat of paint over it or walling it up and hoping the Customer never noticed it.
During the fifties and sixties the phrase fine British craftsmanship in shipbuilding became an oxymoron it seems.
Do you know whether "being a ball of rust waiting to happen" was a problem faced by many British warships that were built with wartime grade steel?

As far as I know Albion, Bulwark, Centaur, Eagle and Hermes didn't have that problem, but as I know next-to-nothing about the subject it could be due to ignorance on my part. Hermes herself was an operational warship into the 2010s and some of the Colossus/Majestic class were in service for several decades.

What started this off was the statement made by Drachinifel in his Dry Dock Episode 198. That is Ark Royal's poor material condition was due to her hull not being preserved properly, when she was laid up after the war, which allowed a lot of water to get into places where it shouldn't, which in turn created a lot of issues that weren't entirely solved.

He attributed Eagle's better material condition to being launched relatively soon after laying down. (So were all but 2 of the British aircraft carriers that were laid down during the war. The exceptions were Ark Royal and Hermes). Eagle was launched 41 months after being laid down while Ark Royal was launched 84 months after being laid down which is twice as long. (Dates are according to Conway's 1922-46.)

However, Hermes was on the stocks for even longer than Ark Royal (104 months). If she did have severe corrosion problems they didn't stop her remaining in service for the thick-end of 60 years (1959-2017 according to Wikipedia). That or she didn't have them in the first place due to her hull being preserved properly and/or her hull had less wartime grade steel in it because she was laid down 14 months after Ark Royal which might have meant that her hull was less complete when she was laid up.

Ark Royal was built by Cammell-Laird, while Hermes was built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. Could that have been a factor in the ships having better quality hulls? Was the latter have been better at preserving hulls than the former? The other Eagle was also being built by Vickers-Armstrong, albeit at their Tyne yard. If Vickers-Armstrong was better at preserving hulls than Cammell-Laird then the other Eagle might not have had the material defects that plagued Ark Royal.
It was probably a factor on ALL the types like Bonnie.. the colossus etc class since they were built to Lloyd's merchant standards and only expected to last not much longer than 10 years.

They probably didn't that great a job on storing Ark Royal whose modifications did not require massive engineering whereas Hermes was rather radically rebuilt so it is very possible that the most rotten bits of her were replaced during it..she cost more than final conversion costs for Victorious from what I have read.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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...she [Hermes] cost more than final conversion costs for Victorious from what I have read.
That's what I used to think, but that's before I discovered that they weren't like-for-like costs.

Brown and Moore say Victorious cost £30 million to rebuild, but Marriott and 1960s editions of Jane's Fighting Ships say £20 million.

Marriott said that Hermes cost £37.5 million, but he didn't write that the figure included the aircraft. According to replies by Mr Ian Orr-Ewing the Civil Lord of the Admiralty to questions asked by Mr Emrys Hughes the cost of the ship was approximately £18 million and the initial capital cost of her aircraft was in the order of £10 million.


If memory serves me well part of the difference in the costs of the two helicopter cruiser conversions was that Tiger's included the cost of the 4 helicopters and Blake's didn't.
 

Archibald

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Which is pretty silly, when you think about it. Imagine if the cost of a Nimitz included cost of the maximum number of (expensive) F-14 Tomcats it could carry.
Same for a Ford carrier with all the F-35s (shudders).
A hundred Tomcats or a hundred F-35s ain't exactly cheap...
 

NOMISYRRUC

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It was probably a factor on ALL the types like Bonnie.. the Colossus etc class since they were built to Lloyd's merchant standards and only expected to last not much longer than 10 years.
For what it's worth this is part of the opening paragraph of the chapter on the Colossus/Majestic class from Friedman (Page 218) which suggests the service life was expected to have been even shorter than that.
Remarkably, although they were designed as a war expedient (and perhaps for an operational lifetime as short as two years), three of these Colossus class carriers remain in active service, greatly modified, more than forty-five years after having been laid down.

They probably didn't that great a job on storing Ark Royal whose modifications did not require massive engineering whereas Hermes was rather radically rebuilt so it is very possible that the most rotten bits of her were replaced during it.
I'm having one of my blond moments. Does that mean that you agree with Drachinifel?
 

NOMISYRRUC

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Which is pretty silly, when you think about it. Imagine if the cost of a Nimitz included cost of the maximum number of (expensive) F-14 Tomcats it could carry.
Same for a Ford carrier with all the F-35s (shudders).
A hundred Tomcats or a hundred F-35s ain't exactly cheap...
It has been claimed that the costs that Dennis Healey quoted for CVA.01 in February 1966 included CVA.02, 8 Type 82 escorts and I think the aircraft.

An aircraft carrier without aircraft to carry isn't of much use so including the cost of the initial air group isn't such a bad idea. I do know that the building costs of pre-World War One destroyers included the torpedoes and the ammunition so including the cost of the aircraft in the cost of the ship may have been a continuation of this practice.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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Building costs that I collected from Jane's Fighting Ships and Leo Marriott's Royal Aircraft Carriers 1945-1990.

Building Costs.png

The building cost of Hermes according to the Hansard report that I quoted earlier on was £18 million for the ship and £10 million for the aircraft.

Refit costs that I collected from the same sources.

Refit Costs.png

As noted in an earlier post one of the reasons for Tiger's refit costing more than twice as much as Blake's is that one included the cost of the helicopters and the other didn't.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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...she [Hermes] cost more than final conversion costs for Victorious from what I have read.
As I wrote in Post 164 Brown and Moore say Victorious cost £30 million to rebuild, but Marriott and 1960s editions of Jane's Fighting Ships say £20 million.

According to the reply by Mr Ian Orr-Ewing the Civil Lord of the Admiralty to a question asked by Mr Emrys Hughes the cost of the refit was nearly £20 million.


When I read Emrys Hughes I keep thinking Emlyn Hughes former captain of Liverpool and England. Does anyone else?
 

Archibald

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Liverpool - a pool of livers ? that would make Hannibal Lecter salivating. Is there a Chiantipool somewhere ?
 

zen

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Hmmmm....1954 estimate of Medium Fleet Carrier was £18 million.
1953 estimate of the 1952 Carrier was £26 million.

1947 estimate of modernisation of Victorious was £5 million
August '50 was £5.4 million
October '50 was £7.7 million
March '52 was £11 million
December '53 was £14.16 million
 
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