Amazing aircraft carriers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Velius, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Hey everybody!

    I became interested in aircraft carriers recently. It amazes me how these floating cities can launch aircraft from virtually anywhere. But I came across something recently that REALLY surprised me. Apparently, flying aircraft carriers and submarine aircraft carriers have been made, both of them before the end of WWII :shock: . For the flying aircraft carrier I found an airship called the USS Macon. For the submarine aircraft carrier, I found the Japanese I-400 class submarine. I tried to find more information about these two but I'm not finding much. Does anyone know any good sites or links about these? Were other similar vessels ever made? What does anyone know about these? Any help and info is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    These are some pictures from the magizine Monogram on the Aichi M6A1.

    First one is the rail system for catapulting the aircraft off the sub, next to the rail system on the left is the crane used to recover the aircraft. The next picture is the cart and hanger used to store the aircraft on the sub and the bottom picture is a drawing of the aircraft folded up for storage in the hanger or tube on the cart.
     

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  3. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    A complete(?) list of aircraft that could be carried by submarine. Try and ‘Google’ some.

    AICHI M6A1
    ARADO AR 231
    CASPAR U-1
    COX-KLEMIN XS-1
    FOCKE-ACHGELIS FA 330
    FREIDRICHSHAFEN FF 29a
    HANSA-BRANDENBURG W20
    YOKOSUKA E14Y1
    LFG V19 ‘PUTBUS’
    LOENING ‘KITTEN’
    LOENING XSL-1
    LOENING XSL-2
    MARCEL BESSON MB 411
    MARTIN MS-1
    PARNALL PETO
    SOPWITH SCHNEIDER
     
  4. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    I know that airborne "aircraft carriers" were experimented with, basically a dirigible with a hangar and hook system to store and recover biplanes. Cool concept, but not practical or safe.
     
  5. fer-de-lance

    fer-de-lance Member

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    The Japanese aircraft carrying subs were also very tough to sink. The report from VC-13 of the July 16 1945 attack on one of them showed just how tough they were.

    The Japanese sub was detected on the surface bu a TBM using radar. The initial attack resulted in a rocket broaching on the far side of the target - suggesting that it may have penetrated the hull through-and-through. A trail of oil suggests that damage was done by this attack.

    The TBM followed up with a depth charge attack. Then a Mk24 FIDO homing torpedo was dropped in the swirl and signs were seen of an explosion (scum rising to the surface when the warhead explodes).

    Sonobuoys (CRT-1) were dropped to track the sub. Two other TBMs and the DE USS Lawrence C. Taylor were homed in on the target. Cavitation noise from the propeller of the submerged submarine could be heard over the sonobuoys and its trail marked by an expanding oil slick. When the oil slick moved between two sonobuoys and noises could be heard on both, another Mk24 FIDO was dropped ahead of the slick. A loud explosion was detected on the sonobuoy and the oil slick stopped moving once again.

    Then, amazing, the oil slick appeared to move again. USS Lawrence C. Taylor was guided in by the TBM and sets up for a hedgehog attack. A number of hits were heard following a hedgehog salvo and that finally sank the target.

    It was not apparent at the time, but the TBM had helped sink a sub with the same number as their squadron ...

    the イ-13 (!)

    The イ-13 was believed to be on her way to support a daring attack on the US base at Ulithi. She had two Nakajima C6N2 Sai-un Kai which were to be delivered to Truk to be assembled. From there, the C6N2 would reconnoitering the target area and relaying information on locations of major targets like aircraft carriers to the attacking force. The attacking force consisted of two other aircraft carrying subs (イ-400 and -401) equipped Aichi M6A1 "Seiran" torpedo bombers as well as subs carrying "Kaiten" suicide subs. The war ended before the attack could be carried out.

    Ultra decryption of IJN communications contributed to the finding and sinking of the イ-13.
     
  6. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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  7. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    That Seaplane tender looks rather thin. Is there room for a plane in it? Is it just for landing planes on?
     
  8. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    During D-day some Landing craft carried Piper L4 Cubs and these where launched straight from the craft on tiny pre-fab strips so they could carry out Art spotting.
     

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  9. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    This could also include the topic of 'parasite' aircraft, which has a long history. For a while the Russians were particularly taken with the idea.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    I've never heard of anyone except the U.S. experimenting with parasite fighters. The B-36 was the only one I know of that they tried it on. That is a cool picture! A bomber carrying dive bombers, who woulda thunk. What are those SPB's, they look an awful lot like Polikarpovs.
     
  11. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    They are Aggie. However, unlike the American experiments, I don't think the Russians made any provision for the aircraft to 're-hook'.

    They also tried it above the wings.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Above the wings looks awfully interesting. They look they would roll off.
     
  13. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Found this today, from 'Avro Vulcan' by Andrew Brookes. The proposed fighter-support Vulcan, utilising three Gnat fighters for protection. The Gnats were to be released to 'deal' with trouble over enemy airspace and then expected to either land in 'friendly territory' or return to the Vulcan to replenish their tanks from a specially installed flight refuelling drogue.



    [​IMG]
     
  14. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Wow, now that surely is interesting. Jump a lone juicy Vulcan just to be counter-jumped times three!

    I'm sure the Germans tried something like this, this is pretty tame compared to most of their other experiments.
     
  15. rogthedodge

    rogthedodge Member

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    Love that Vulcan - first time I've seen anything like that since the crazy days of the Luftwaffe. Imagine seeing that thing at an air display :) :) :)
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I always found it interesting that the Japanese were focused on attacking the Panama Canal.

    The I-400 was poised to try..

    wikipedia

    One of Yamamoto’s plans was to use the sen toku (secret submarine attack), so that in the opening days of 1945, preparations were under way to attack the Panama Canal. The strategy was to cut the supply lines and access to the Pacific Ocean by U.S. ships. The plan was to sail westward through the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa, and attack the canal’s Gatun Locks from the east, a direction from which the Americans would not expect and were little prepared to defend. The flights would, of course, be one-way trips. None of the pilots expected to survive the attack, a tactic called tokko. Each pilot was presented with a tokko short sword, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice.

    Just think of all the resources Japan was prepared to expend just to attack a few locks on the canal.... I cant believe it would be down more that a couple weeks... but than again I'm sure it was a "soft" target that would let the world know that Japan is not finished yet.

    .
     
  17. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info and pics. I completely forgot about parasite aircraft. I've even seen a concept of such a plane on luft46.com, a big one that could carry 6 airplanes. I know there is no need for anything like that now, but I bet it would be something to see! Again, thanks!
     
  18. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I've got a Nat'l Geographic home with pic's of the recently discovered
    wreck of the blimp that crashed off of California. Some of the pic's show
    the aircraft that were launched and recovered by the blimp. I'll look for
    it tonight.

    Charles
     
  19. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    That would be the USS Macon, lost off the coast of Monterey in February 1935 during a storm.
     
  20. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    The Japanese had two heavy cruisers converted so that on the back half they had a flight deck and could carry 6 aircraft each. There names are the Tone and Tikuma.
     
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