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USN Fleet Carrier Studies (Fall 1945)

Antonio

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A comprehensive source is Norman Friedman's "U.S. Aircraft Carriers".
"By 1945, the Essex class was considered unsuited to the new generation of naval aircraft. The 1945 fleet carrier was to have solved such problems in a hull suited to mass production". Also incorporating those learned from WWII experiences.

The Midway design started as an armored Essex. In pre-WWII thinking that was found an improvement. The addition of armour, demanded an increase in size in order to keep the same number of aircraft. At the end, Midway class was found oversized and less performant than Essex class for WWII needs.

However, the basis for the Essex replacement was to start from the Midway design without armour. The definitive iteration was Scheme C-2, 8 May 1946. Once it was ready, that project and the parallel developed United States Class were cancelled in preference for a new combined design from both into what became the Forrestal Class.

I have attached Friedman's book illustration.And a second attachment, an artistic rendering published in the back cover of Warship International Vol. 28, No. 3 1991. This is published by the International Naval Research Organization.


I scanned it from a photocopy made almost 30 years ago, that's why it looks awful.
 

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  • Fleet Carrier Scheme C 1946 Friedman.jpg
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isayyo2

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Wow this is super neat stuff.

Not a single deck elevator and the port catapult is similar to the United States layout.

What was the "30-35mm HMG"? An Oerlikon replacement I'm sure, but it's new to me.
 

Tzoli

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Friedman provides more designs from 1945-46:
Schemes 1,3,4,5,6,8
Schemes A-1,2, B, B-1,2,3, C-1,2
Design CVB-X
Mostly quite similar proposals
 

TomS

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It is worth to note the angled deck, even if only for the sporting catapult.

Not an angled deck, really, as that would imply that the recovery area would be angled. Very much reminiscent of the USS United States, which was an axial deck design with two angled waist catapults. This is basically the same but the island is sited where the flush-decked CVA-58 would substitute a fourth catapult.
 

TomS

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What was the "30-35mm HMG"? An Oerlikon replacement I'm sure, but it's new to me.

Originally the Navy was looking at a 37mm free-swinging gun (possibly related to the M9 37mm gun deployed on a few PT boats. Interest swung back to something in the 30-35mm range but I think very little real work was done on this. So that was basically a placeholder for a "canon to be named later."
 

archipeppe

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It is worth to note the angled deck, even if only for the sporting catapult.

Not an angled deck, really, as that would imply that the recovery area would be angled. Very much reminiscent of the USS United States, which was an axial deck design with two angled waist catapults. This is basically the same but the island is sited where the flush-decked CVA-58 would substitute a fourth catapult.

I'm aware of that.
I was wondering if such configuration did triggered something in Dennis Campbell's mind before he introduced the angle deck idea to real world during August 1951.
 

archipeppe

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It is also interesting to note the use of two distinct islands, exactly like in modern CV Queen Elizabeth class or in the LHD Trieste.
Such ship appears to be ahead of its times in many respects.
 

ceccherini

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It is also interesting to note the use of two distinct islands, exactly like in modern CV Queen Elizabeth class or in the LHD Trieste.
Such ship appears to be ahead of its times in many respects.
Queen Elizabeth and Trieste have two islands to provide uncompromised disposition of navigation and aircraft control facilities, while Malta had two not for an operational advantage but for a structural reason, an expansion joint was positioned between the island. I've read the expansion of very long decks on very large carriers started to be recognized as a serious technical problem by mid '40s and I think the reason of the twin islands on this design is the very same of the Malta's ones. Also a proof can be the clear outline of an expansion joint between the two islands in the drawing.
 

EwenS

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It is also interesting to note the use of two distinct islands, exactly like in modern CV Queen Elizabeth class or in the LHD Trieste.
Such ship appears to be ahead of its times in many respects.
Queen Elizabeth and Trieste have two islands to provide uncompromised disposition of navigation and aircraft control facilities, while Malta had two not for an operational advantage but for a structural reason, an expansion joint was positioned between the island. I've read the expansion of very long decks on very large carriers started to be recognized as a serious technical problem by mid '40s and I think the reason of the twin islands on this design is the very same of the Malta's ones. Also a proof can be the clear outline of an expansion joint between the two islands in the drawing.
The need for expansion joints is also driven by where the strength deck is in the vessel. In US carriers and the Malta the strength deck was the hangar deck, so there was flex in the flight deck above that. In Ark Royal and the Armoured carriers the strength deck was the flight deck so no expansion joints were required.
 

Sherman Tank

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Of course, it's not strictly necessary to have to split the bridge in two to accommodate an expansion joint. The Midway class had one forward of the bridge. At least I think it was forward of the bridge, I used it as a short cut while I was doing rounds as a volunteer at the Midway Museum and never looked up its exact position relative to the bridge.
 
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