Author Topic: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design  (Read 6328 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2014, 03:55:29 AM »
Something like this perhaps:



See more details here
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2014, 06:14:03 PM »
Mmmm... so basically we can fit a minimally modified, folded Vigilante on / in a minimally modified Implacable class Armoured Fleet Carrier that may or may not have hypothetically been in RAN service in the 1960s?  Really starting to look like RAN crewing of the Implacables as part of the BPF followed by a post war transfer would have been a very interesting turn of events.

My one-eyed parochialism aside it is looking more and more as if the RN retired the class too early without really looking at what they could do with some quite limited upgrades.  Had they investigated acquiring Tigers under MAP both ships could have been quite viable into the 70s at lower cost than the Victorious rebuild.  Tigers and Furies from the mid 50s, Super Tiger, Mirage F1M.  They could even have made it into the 80s.

Offline Weaver

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Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2014, 10:33:15 PM »
Err, nope: the Implacables' lifts were 45' x 33' and 45' x 22' and lifts, decks and cats were all limited to 20,000lb aircraft. The proposed modification, the one that proved too expensive, involved combining the two hangars into one 17'6" one, strengthening the deck, lifts and cats to take 30,000lb aircraft, and enlarging the lifts to 55' x 32' ft. None of that would have helped handle a 60-odd' x 42' Vigilante that weighed 32,000lb when completely empty and 47,000lb when fuelled and bombed up.

Cutting larger lift wells in an armoured deck carrier is a non-trivial exercise, because you're weakening the strength member of the ship's hull. It was easier to do it on the Essexes because their deck was not load-bearing: it was superstructure. It might be possible on examination, but it's anything but minimal. When they were considering what to do about the Implacables' refits in the light of the emerging horror show with Victorious' simpler re-build, the problem was that the most basic modifications needed, the ones that simply couldn't be done without, were the structural ones that incurred most of the cost and most of the potential time delay.

Basically, the only way to keep The Implacables and their ilk in the fast jets business was to buy/build aircraft that fitted them. Even the Tiger and Skyhawk were marginal without the lift modifications. Neither of them fitted on the original aft lift and that was the only one which went down to the lower hangar.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2014, 12:08:52 AM »
Err, nope: the Implacables' lifts were 45' x 33' and 45' x 22' and lifts, decks and cats were all limited to 20,000lb aircraft. The proposed modification, the one that proved too expensive, involved combining the two hangars into one 17'6" one, strengthening the deck, lifts and cats to take 30,000lb aircraft, and enlarging the lifts to 55' x 32' ft. None of that would have helped handle a 60-odd' x 42' Vigilante that weighed 32,000lb when completely empty and 47,000lb when fuelled and bombed up.

Cutting larger lift wells in an armoured deck carrier is a non-trivial exercise, because you're weakening the strength member of the ship's hull. It was easier to do it on the Essexes because their deck was not load-bearing: it was superstructure. It might be possible on examination, but it's anything but minimal. When they were considering what to do about the Implacables' refits in the light of the emerging horror show with Victorious' simpler re-build, the problem was that the most basic modifications needed, the ones that simply couldn't be done without, were the structural ones that incurred most of the cost and most of the potential time delay.

Basically, the only way to keep The Implacables and their ilk in the fast jets business was to buy/build aircraft that fitted them. Even the Tiger and Skyhawk were marginal without the lift modifications. Neither of them fitted on the original aft lift and that was the only one which went down to the lower hangar.

Sorry Weaver, I have been a little loose and frivolous on this thread. I am aware of the planned modernisations for the various armoured fleets, Friedman covers them in some detail in the annexes of "The Postwar Naval Revolution" a book I have owned for over 25 years. 

It has always struck me as somewhat ironic that had the RN been aware of the material condition of Illustrious and Formidable in all probability Victorious would never have been modernised with efforts concentrated on the larger pair of ships instead.  Victorious' modernisation included lifting the entire flight deck, a rather non-trivial exercise in anyone's estimation and it is debatable as to whether that would have been more or less difficult than the planned merging of the two hangers on the Implacables together with the working in of a gallery deck, or not.

Long story short I got carried away with the thought of a cat, trap, lift upgrade, with or without and angled deck letting the ships operate Furies first (FJ-3 then 4 and finally 4B) and then Tigers into the 60s.  Love the FJ-4B in-particular and would love to see it in RN/RAN FAA colours and what better justification than the RN (or RAN) needed a capable, contemporary fighter that could fit in the carriers they had.

The biggest joke with this entire discussion is I do not think anyone makes a model of either Implacable, in any scale, so I have (considering my complete lack of scratch building cred) zero chance of ever doing any of these whiffs we are discussing.  Quite sad actually as they are great looking ships with lots of almosts and nearlys in their development and careers.  Australian crewing was apparently on the cards, as was a transfer to the RAN, while being the largest and most capable RN carriers for many years (closest to the Essex in capability) they had a lot of potential for future development, money permitting.  Imagine them deployed to Korea with MAP Bearcats and Avengers, or in the RAN case Hellcats and Avengers left in Australia post war that could have been acquired for next to nothing.

I actually have a 1/700 Eagle in my stash, what were your plans for Ark and Eagle with your US sourced FAA?  Any chance one or both could have ended up with the RAN as CVS?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 03:06:01 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2014, 01:45:55 AM »

I actually have a 1/700 Eagle in my stash, what were your plans for Ark and Eagle with your US sourced FAA?  Any chance one or both could have ended up with the RAN as CVS?


Nope!  :P

In my background, Ark was finished earlier, and to a similar axial-deck standard to Eagle, by abandoning work on Vanguard. Both served in Korea with Panthers and Skyraiders, but all Panther orders were converted to Cougars when the MiG-15 appeared. Faced with the costs of re-building them to angled deck configuration, the government decided to go 100% small carrier, finish all four Centaurs as angled deck carriers and convert Ark and Eagle to commando carriers (LPHs) for Suez, with transport helos in the upper hangar, troops and supplies in the lower one and LCVPs on davits (giant equivalents of the real world Bulwark and Albion, essentially). They prove incredibly useful and they see out their days in this configuration, and the RN clings to them for grim death, their swansong being the Falklands. They're eventually replaced by new build LPHs in the 1980s.

Full story (kinda, so far) here : http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=3361.msg52133#msg52133
and here : http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=3529.msg53106#msg53106

My story doesn't feature Furies either, sorry. However, this is Whiff World, so feel free to write your own story in which the RAN gets them, or something else cool. The real-world refitted Victorious might have been a financial disaster, but the end result was a pretty ship that was almost certainly retired too soon for political reasons. You might imagine the government offering her to Australia as a replacement for Melbourne after the 1967 fire and decomissioning. Airfix do a 1/600th model too......
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 11:12:05 AM »
Sort of like what I was speculating for the Implacables but using Sea Sprites due to limits in hanger height.

A more fanciful whiff of mine is the UK continues with building all four Audacious, eight Hermes as well as the three Maltas post war due to the Soviet threat and the realisation that Illustrious and Formidable are in poor condition and the remaining carriers are simply too small in the light of how doctrine (not to mention aircraft) has developed.  Financial reality soon curtails these plans but the ships exist in various states of completion and can be made available for sale as the Majestics were.

I imagine the Maltas would be retained and upgraded, as would some of the Hermes but everything else would be up for grabs.  RAN Eagle off the coast of Korea, flying Seahawks and Venoms, here we come.  ;)

Offline Volkodav

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  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 10:42:43 PM »
Something like this perhaps:



See more details here


Did the Vigilante ever fly off the Essex class CVAs?

Offline Volkodav

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  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: RN standardised the Ark Royal as their war emergency carrier design
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2016, 09:03:41 PM »
I now have 1/700 Aoshima Ark Royal and Victorious, Orange Hobby Modernised Victorious, Fujimi Eagle, Dragon Invincible (Falkland's Edition) and an Essex (cant remember which one  :( ) , Revell Kearsarge as well as an old (over thirty years), partially built Airfix 1/600 Victorious.

Thinking:
Ark Royal as either a UK built sister ship crewed by the RAN, or as an Australian built half sister with two shafts (fixing the vulnerability that sunk Ark) and a reprofiled flight deck making full use of her length, as well as larger lifts.  The other thought is a post war upgrade of either of the first two options for service in Korea operating either post war RN FAA types or surplus USN types.

Victorious either OOB, as transferred to the RAN after serving with the USN with the call sign Robin in 1943, an Australian built half sister with US airgroup, post war Korean service with RAN with either post war RN FAA types or USN types.

Modernised Victorious as RAN, either as bought in the late 50s prior to the completion of her modernisation, or as refitted after her minor fire in 1968 and transfer to RAN, alternatively as an Australian built ship that was incomplete and suspended at the end of the war and then completed to a design based on Vic's modernisation but with Mk6 3"/70s, Seacat etc.

Eagle, really not sure, will likely use bits on other projects as required and do major surgery on what's left.  My only thought on her, which is beyond my skill level, is there was a rumour with Australia deciding to develop a two ocean navy in the late 60s that the fleet would grow to 23 destroyers and frigates plus three larger, more capable carriers, with these ships being Eagle, Hermes and Victorious.

Invincible as an RAN derivative of the RN Escort Cruiser concept, may even be nuclear powered.

The Essex as a USN reserve ship transferred to the RN during Korea and maybe retained into the 60s, possibly as a CVS or maybe as an LPH.  Don't know if she will be completed with a Korean War type air group FAA or USN, a CVS group or a RAM assault group.

Kearsarge, most likely as a RAN CVS with cats and traps, trackers or maybe Vikings, Hawkeyes, Sea Kings / Seahawks / Merlins, and maybe even a CTOL fighter attack type of some sort.  Alternatively OOB as a RAN LHD with USMC type group.

The 1/600 Victorious as a modernised 1/700 RN Malta.  Incomplete at the end of the war Malta, or maybe the entire class were completed during the late 50s to a fully modernised design.  This is where some of the Eagle bits will go as well as some Tiger conversion bits from Shapeways and I will try and copy the relevant bits from the Orange Hobby Vic, i.e. the Type 984 etc.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 09:08:28 PM by Volkodav »