AHC: Carrier justification thread.

In immediate post Great War Italy, the conversion of Leonardo da Vinci's damaged hull into a carrier was considered. The Italians decided the hulk was too damaged for such a conversion. The Navy had also considered a new build fora carrier. Perhaps during this time of financial strain, the Italians are able to acquire the final design for Hermes, with the British concerns over her size and weaknesses. The Italians review the design in the mid to late 1920's, increasing the size of the ship by 30-40%. In 1929, the Italians order a new Leonardo da Vinci in the form of a CVL. Do they have time to develop viable carrier doctrine before stumbling into the next Great War?
Politics would've killed it long before then. The Italian airforce stonewalled virtually every attempt by the Navy to get into the fixed-wing aircraft business and as they had far more weight with the Fascist party they got there way

My vote is the Graf Zeppelin, just not as she was conceived or built. The first task of the KM is to counter the RN, to in a nutshell Pearl Harbor her battle line, and she had one or two ways to accomplish the task. More ideally the navy would gain a long range heavy bomber that could sink battleships at anchor, add long ranged torpedo bombers to in fact pull off a Taranto or PH, and the KM opens the door to the Atlantic. Oddly the former might suggest the He177 dive bombing strategic bomber, a plane that can hit a pin point target, but we digress into odd corners. Next best is to take the aircraft to the British anchorages. So despite my best efforts to find fault with a carrier for Germany, I can see a mission, and that mission demands something not aimed at lone distance hunting of merchants, not designed to be a raider, but rather a ship that can move a strike group to position, support it, and launch a raid to sink the Battleships before they get to sea, to strike one blow to level the playing field. I offer no promises it works, but that is the mission, the Graf Zeppelin would not be the bodge it was, rather a true strike carrier. I promise nothing as to if Germany can design or build this ship or her sisters, no promises on the aircraft, but if you want a fantasy ship, that is the carrier the KM could use to its war upon the RN. So if my KM Admirals cannot get warm and fuzzy over chasing commerse, then here is a real war making ship for their consideration.
The enemy always gets a vote and the Brits could and would out-build the KM several times over. Any attempt to try and hit the RN anchorages at Scapa and Rosyth is liable to intercepted both by British land-based air as well as by the RN's own carriers and it's not like the Brits wouldn't assign a carrier or two to cover their own capital ships if they know the Germans have a carrier of there own.
 
Politics would've killed it long before then. The Italian airforce stonewalled virtually every attempt by the Navy to get into the fixed-wing aircraft business and as they had far more weight with the Fascist party they got there way
I don't disagree with the struggle between Navy and Air Force. However, once the Regia Marina has a carrier, it has a stronger argument to acquire aircraft, even if they may not have total control over the aircraft. My question has more to do with their war time and post war desires, not Fascist politics.

So if they have a carrier by the end of the Twenties, could they develop a doctrine by 1940?
 
That's a good point. Having either a Malta or 1952 design carrier means the FAA could order a bone stock Phantom instead of the massive redesign the was needed to get them to operate off decks smaller than the US Essex class. Though there will still probably be a political push to use the Spey instead of the J79.
Using the Spey was the big problem for the British Phantoms. No matter how good of a powerplant it is it had a larger cross section than the J-79 and required every transverse frame to be redesigned to allow it to fit. Talking to McDonnell Douglas techreps (They were assigned to our F-15 wing) who had been involved the general feeling was no one realised how much structural rework had to be done when the project began. If the production run had been longer it may have been acceptable but as it was it was a financial and engineering nightmare.
 
That's a good point. Having either a Malta or 1952 design carrier means the FAA could order a bone stock Phantom instead of the massive redesign the was needed to get them to operate off decks smaller than the US Essex class. Though there will still probably be a political push to use the Spey instead of the J79.
Was there any differences in performance between the J79-equipped Phantoms vs. the F-4K?
 
AIUI, the J79 Phantom was faster, while the K had better takeoff and landing and short field performance
That pretty much sums it up. Plus the British wanted a higher proportion of UK sourced material so many instruments, etc were changed to Marconi and Ferranti products if I remember correctly
 
Aren't those Italian though? Not exactly quite UK sourced material really.

Still, it seems like the F-4K wasn't really a bad aircraft though. But if its probably the reason why Britain effectively became a Light Carrier force, then it might've been just easier to put the CVA-01 into service.
 
There was discussion in this thread about keeping Canada and Australia in the carrier business. The problem always come up that their ex British carriers were too small for modern fighters. When reading the thread about planes that shouldn't have been built and the mis-application of the CF-5 to the roles of the RCAF I remembered what the initial reason for the N-156 design by Northrup was. The U.S. Navy was looking for a modern jet fighter that could be used off of the Commencement Bay escort carriers. The Navy cancelled the competition when it decided to dispose of the CVEs (or reduce them to Transports or Helo carriers) The design was used in the N-156T version for the T-38 Talon and in the N-156F version as the F-5. So what if the naval N-156 (I'll call it the N-156N) was continued to be marketed to allied navies operating the ex Britis light carriers that needed something more potent than they currently had. In Canadian service it would replace the F2H Banshees In Australian service it could replace the The Sea Venom. It could even extend the life of Dutch carrier aviation by replacing the Sea hawks on the Karel Doorman. It is questionable whether the U.S. would allow supersonic aircraft to be exported to South American countries but later in their life there is a chance that they could be used by Argentina or Brazil.

S
 
There was discussion in this thread about keeping Canada and Australia in the carrier business. The problem always come up that their ex British carriers were too small for modern fighters. When reading the thread about planes that shouldn't have been built and the mis-application of the CF-5 to the roles of the RCAF I remembered what the initial reason for the N-156 design by Northrup was. The U.S. Navy was looking for a modern jet fighter that could be used off of the Commencement Bay escort carriers. The Navy cancelled the competition when it decided to dispose of the CVEs (or reduce them to Transports or Helo carriers) The design was used in the N-156T version for the T-38 Talon and in the N-156F version as the F-5. So what if the naval N-156 (I'll call it the N-156N) was continued to be marketed to allied navies operating the ex Britis light carriers that needed something more potent than they currently had. In Canadian service it would replace the F2H Banshees In Australian service it could replace the The Sea Venom. It could even extend the life of Dutch carrier aviation by replacing the Sea hawks on the Karel Doorman. It is questionable whether the U.S. would allow supersonic aircraft to be exported to South American countries but later in their life there is a chance that they could be used by Argentina or Brazil.

S
That gets misconstrued a lot. The F-5 only drew very abstractly from the N156. Trying to turn the F-5 into a carrier borne fighter would murder the already marginal performance of the aircraft.
 
That gets misconstrued a lot. The F-5 only drew very abstractly from the N156. Trying to turn the F-5 into a carrier borne fighter would murder the already marginal performance of the aircraft.
I'ld like some more information about that. Everything I've seen over 30 or more years supports the idea of pretty straightline connection. I wish I still had access to some of the sources I had in years past.
 
That gets misconstrued a lot. The F-5 only drew very abstractly from the N156. Trying to turn the F-5 into a carrier borne fighter would murder the already marginal performance of the aircraft.
Wouldn't this naval F5 be restricted in range to take off, climb to altitude, fly for ten minutes, return to carrier and land?
 
I'ld like some more information about that. Everything I've seen over 30 or more years supports the idea of pretty straightline connection. I wish I still had access to some of the sources I had in years past.
I realized after I wrote it that I wasn't clear in what I was trying to convey. The N156 was not very advanced at the time the Navy RFP was cancelled. It was really no more than a basic idea. So when the USAF wanted a cheap supersonic trainer, they had a basic idea that hadn't even been navalised yet.
 
I realized after I wrote it that I wasn't clear in what I was trying to convey. The N156 was not very advanced at the time the Navy RFP was cancelled. It was really no more than a basic idea. So when the USAF wanted a cheap supersonic trainer, they had a basic idea that hadn't even been navalised yet.
I can agree with most of that but Northrups concepts were to design a basic airframe that could grow and adopt over the lifecycle and were known for their strength. Given that the target carrier would now be a larger faster CVL with potentially steam cats and an angle deck the potential for growth over the very limiting straight slow CVE would allow a reasonable chance of success.

Several things worked out well for the Northrop proposal 1) area rule had been nailed down in time for it to be incorporated into the design instead of being added on 2) The very efficient J-85 had been developed for other projects and was available 3) high lift but efficient supersonic wings had been developed. In the N-156 this allowed a compact wingspan which could have negated the need for wing folding (wing span was almost the same as the A-4). It would have had limited all weather capability but that was common in the era.
 
Wouldn't this naval F5 be restricted in range to take off, climb to altitude, fly for ten minutes, return to carrier and land?
I don't think it would have been much more limited than the Sea Hawk or Sea Venom of the era especially when used off a ship that was capable of getting 30+ knots of wind over the deck and had steam cats.
 
I can agree with most of that but Northrups concepts were to design a basic airframe that could grow and adopt over the lifecycle and were known for their strength. Given that the target carrier would now be a larger faster CVL with potentially steam cats and an angle deck the potential for growth over the very limiting straight slow CVE would allow a reasonable chance of success.

Several things worked out well for the Northrop proposal 1) area rule had been nailed down in time for it to be incorporated into the design instead of being added on 2) The very efficient J-85 had been developed for other projects and was available 3) high lift but efficient supersonic wings had been developed. In the N-156 this allowed a compact wingspan which could have negated the need for wing folding (wing span was almost the same as the A-4). It would have had limited all weather capability but that was common in the era.
That's not exactly how navalisation works. You're talking an aircraft roughly the size of an A-4, that was already heavier than an A-4 without being navalised. To make the F-5 suitable for carrier operations, the entire airframe needs to be strengthened to withstand the massive stresses put on it from being shot off of a catapult, then give through a controlled crash to trap back onboard. The landing gear needs to be strengthened to handle carrier landings and the nose gear will need to be swapped to a dual wheel from a single nose wheel. A launch bar (or hooks for a cable) will need to be added along with a tailhook. By the time you're done, you'll have added a couple thousand pounds to the airframe and likely have had to reduce internal fuel because the stronger frames take up more space. There's a reason people don't navalise land fighters
 
Who are these peer opponents with the power to withstand the RAAF and still find the resources to find and successfully attack a carrier escorted by modern DDGs that Australia is fighting alone?
Pretty much the only conceivable opponent I can think of would be an Indonesia that goes hardline communist and receives a fuck ton of support from the Soviets.
 
I think someone wrote in a thread that the 1964 UK general election could be changed by 8,000 votes over something like 10 constituencies. If this actually happened the Conservatives return to power and CVA 01 gets ordered and Eagle get Phantoms.
@Marky Bunny was I believe the first person to point that out in this thread. 8,655 people switching their votes in 20 marginal constituencies would give the Conservatives a majority of 17 rather than our timeline's Labour majority of 5. That would be enough to see Home through to 1969 and the inevitable large Labour victory, although since that likely guarantees re-election in 1974 and their governing for nearly all of the 1970s the phrase 'poisoned chalice' does somewhat spring to mind.

As to the question of aircraft carriers it all depends on what they do in power. For all that the 1970s are seen as the troubled decade things weren't great, although not as bad as they later became, in the second half of the 1960s. Conservative governments might get a bit more leeway from the markets but at the end of the day they still need to obey the laws of economics. Some mild trade union reform could help, I believe they were talking about it. Slightly more extreme is their becoming actively involved in Vietnam, as @Blackadder mk 2 has them in The Crowned Prime Minister, IIRC LBJ had offered or would offer, I forget the exact timing, quite large-scale American support for the British economy as a quid pro quo.
 
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