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Malta Class: The UK's Cancelled Equivilent to the American Midways

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Royal Navy Malta-class aircraft carrier

The Malta-class aircraft carrier was a British large fleet aircraft carrier design of World War II. There were to be four ships:

* HMS Malta (D93) Assigned to John Brown & Company. Cancelled 21 December 1945.
* HMS New Zealand (D43) Assigned to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. Cancelled 21 December 1945.
* HMS Gibraltar (D68) Assigned to Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne. Cancelled 5 November 1945.
* HMS Africa (D06) Assigned to Fairfield, originally as Audacious class. Cancelled 15 October 1945.

The design was a major departure from previous Royal Navy designs, incorporating features such as an open hangar deck and reduced armor. Overall, the design appears to show the influence of the big US carriers, especially their relatively large aircraft complement and the hangar arrangements to make the large air wing possible.

General characteristics:

Displacement: 56,800 tons full load
Length: 915 ft (279 m)
Beam: 136 ft (41 m)
Draught: 34 ft (10 m)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, 200,000 shp
Speed: 32.5 knots (60.2 km/h)
Complement: 2,780 (3,535 wartime)
Armament: 8 × twin QF 4.5 inch naval guns
8 × 6-barrel 40 mm AA
7 × single 40 mm AA
Aircraft carried: 81

Outboard profile of Malta-class aircraft carrier.
 

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TinWing

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Re: Royal Navy Malta-class aircraft carrier

A topic on the Malta class already exists. Please use the very accurate search function.
 

AKS

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The drawings look very good - thanks Tinwing.

The only thing is that rudder looks way too small! It should be at least 1/50th of the underwater side area.

Say a water line length of 870 ft x 34 ft draft = 29920 sq. ft. divided by 50 = 600 sq. ft
Allowing for the draft (34 ft) the rudder would be about 25 ft deep then it should be about 24 ft long.

As it's an aircraft carrier with a huge amount of windage, my guess is that the rudder would probably be made at least 20% bigger than this.
Probably it would be about twice the area of that shown on the drawing.
 

Abraham Gubler

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AKS said:
The only thing is that rudder looks way too small! It should be at least 1/50th of the underwater side area.

How many rudders did you count? There would be at least two (four shafts) and could be more...
 

AKS

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How many rudders did you count? There would be at least two (four shafts) and could be more...

A good point and in fact an arrangement with two rudders and 5 shafts was discussed for these ships - D.K. Brown Nelson To Vanguard

But the two side views in the first image clearly show a single rudder.
If there were two, in the lower view the skeg would be seen part way up the hull and not projecting from the bottom.
 

red admiral

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AKS said:
But the two side views in the first image clearly show a single rudder.
If there were two, in the lower view the skeg would be seen part way up the hull and not projecting from the bottom.

Well, there's also the retractable bow rudder...
 

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