Aircraft Carriers

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 06. února 2007
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Aircraft Carriers

Aircraft Carrier, ship with a long, unobstructed flight deck that permits take-offs and landings by high-performance military aircraft. Carriers, equipped with or capable of carrying missiles, are the heart of modern striking forces, accompanied by a variety of support vessels, such as destroyers and cruisers for protection, and supply ships bearing fuel, ammunition, and food.

An aircraft carrier is in effect a mobile air base. Planes are stored below deck and brought up and down on lifts. They take off under their own power or may be launched by catapults. Mirror landing systems and arresting cables that catch a hook on the outside of incoming aircraft facilitate safe landings. Decks are angled so that pilots missing the arresting gear will be able to go around again without hitting other aircraft.


The earliest flight from a ship was made off an improvised platform on the United States cruiser Birmingham in 1910. The first true carrier designed to permit take-offs and landings was the British merchant ship HMS Argus, completed in 1918.

After World War I, major carrier fleets were built by Britain, the United States, and Japan. By World War II Japan's carrier fleet was numerically and qualitatively superior to the American and British fleets in the Pacific. The use of six aircraft carriers by Japan to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, opened the war in the Pacific. No American carriers were present during the attack. The major carrier battle of Midway of June 3-6, 1942, cost the Japanese four carriers; America lost one, the Yorktown.

In the war Britain used carriers in support of operations in Norway and for convoy support in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. British carriers were a vital support in actions such as the sinking of the Bismarck. Car

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