Railway ships and the birth of the Aircraft Carrier.

A very interesting post! Check it out

National Railway Museum blog

Our Assistant Curator, Simon Batchelor, talks about the little-known role of railway ships in the birth of the Aircraft Carrier.

At the outbreak of the First World War the idea of aerial warfare was in its infancy. The Royal Navy had only just begun experimenting with aircraft support vessels in 1913 when the elderly Highflyer Class cruiser HMS “Hermes” had been converted into an experimental seaplane carrier with a forward launching ramp and aft hangar. At the end of the experiment the ship was reconverted and put in reserve. On the outbreak of war “Hermes” was reconverted to an aircraft transport and re-commissioned. She was sunk in October 1914

In May 1914 the Royal Navy purchased a vessel being built in Blyth, Northumberland. Originally intended to be a freighter the RN purchase led the vessel to be redesigned as a seaplane carrier, the first ship in history to be specifically designed…

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