Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Aircraft Carriers? We Don't Need Them!
Ladies and gentlemen, the Saunders-Roe SRA/1 jet seaplane fighter. Takes off and lands on the sea. Or the Convair F2Y Sea Dart. That was supersonic. It looked like this:
Or the BAe Skyhook (with thanks and acknowledgement to www. secretprojects.co.uk) or the Brodie Landing System that enabled light aircraft to take off and land on the side of suitably equipped tank landing craft.
But my choice is the aptly named CAM ships that were a desperate measure to provide air cover to convoys out of range of land-based aircraft and without escort carriers. Take a freighter, weld on a rocket catapult launcher, add a volunteer fighter pilot and an obsolescent Hurricane Mk Ia and you had a one shot chance to shoot down or scare awaya marauding Focke-Wulf Condor or Ju-88 threatening the convoy. Amazingly, despite the Hurricat's (as they were dubbed) poor ditching chacteristics (sank rapidly nose first as sea gushed into belly radiator) more enemy aircraft were shot down than pilots were killed. Fortunately, the CAM and CAS ships were soon replaced by escort carriers converted from feighters and tankers.