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Unsinkable aircraft carrier revisited

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  • Unsinkable aircraft carrier revisited

    During ww2 british made Project Habbakuk
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk

    Idea was quite new and untested - to make giant aircraft carrier using pykrete (frozen mixture of wood pulp and water). It's advantages were that, since it is lighter than water and enormous, it was unsinkable, and it could provide air cover for convoys, during battle of Atlantic.

    Since it took too long to develop, and escort carriers were made in large numbers, it was cancelled - but not before lot of ships were lost due to submarines.

    Later during war, concrete structures were used to make artificial harbour during landing at Normandy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulberry_harbour
    Technology of caissons was not new, and it was succesfully used before.

    Regarding all this, my question is
    Was it possible to make large structure, made of concrete sections, that could act like aircraft carrier?
    Sections could be around 100 meters long, with torpedo bulges, and large internal storing area. It could provide hangars and storing area. If several sections were joined, even heavy aircraft could be used. Also, it could be possible to operate seaplanes, if cranes were fitted.
    It would need engines, to move it at slow speed in need, and to turn it to wind. For longer distances, it would be moved by tow boats.
    At operating position, it could be anchored.

    Thanks to it's large dimensions, it could also serve as a floating base for escort ships. It could stay at sea almost without a stop, with crews and equipment being replaced.

    Disadvantage would be:
    - speed - not so much since it's mission would be to protect naval route against subs
    - time to construct and to put in place
    - how it would behave at rough seas - although I don't know much about this, it seems this would be largest problem
    - section joints would have to be specially made for smooth landing strip. (or sections could be solidly connected)
    Last edited by vathra; 29 May 10, 11:31.

  • #2
    The TV show "Mythbusters" featured this.They built a small boat using the same method that would have been used to build this carrier.They motored around a bay in San Francisco.But,of course,it started to melt.

    I guess that they could have built this carrier.If the vessel is deployed in freezing temperatures it would work,but the parts exposed to the sea would still melt.
    ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

    BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

    BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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    • #3
      Who said that size didn't matter?

      An ice cub in a glass melts rather quickly, but large icebergs take many months to melt, the Mythbuster exercice was not a convincing test due to its very small scale.

      One of the main problem of these huge platforms would have been to achieve enough speed to launch and recover aircrafts unless they would have been as big as regular air bases and then speed would not matter.

      kelt

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
        Who said that size didn't matter?

        An ice cub in a glass melts rather quickly, but large icebergs take many months to melt, the Mythbuster exercice was not a convincing test due to its very small scale.

        kelt
        What difference does it make?It's still melting.So to you it would be efficient to build such a large frozen carrier for it to only last a few months?Never mind the frigid living conditions.

        Although an interesting concept,it's really a stupid idea.About as stupid an idea as a plan for the USAAF to paint Mt.Fuji red with paint bombs.
        ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

        BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

        BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry if I was not clear enough.
          My question was if it was possible to make concrete floating structure, and to use several of them joined to make unsinkable aircraft carrier.

          Pykrete, or Mythbusters superpykrete (made of newspapers) are too complicated idea.
          Building such structure from concrete could be done at the time.

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          • #6
            Vathra, Yes it would have been feasible, practical I doubt it but feasible yes.

            In 1973, I was involved in the construction and installation of a concrete made storage tank for Phillips petroleum, a 100M cubic structure, the tank was built ashore in Stavanger, and towed out to the middle of the North Sea and sunk on location at the Ekofisk field in 75M of water.



            Originally posted by Gixxer86g View Post
            What difference does it make?It's still melting.So to you it would be efficient to build such a large frozen carrier for it to only last a few months?Never mind the frigid living conditions.

            Although an interesting concept,it's really a stupid idea.About as stupid an idea as a plan for the USAAF to paint Mt.Fuji red with paint bombs.

            Gixxer86g, did I wrote that it would have been an efficient concept? NO.


            kelt
            Last edited by kelt06; 30 May 10, 16:52.

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            • #7
              Here's a link to a site on concrete ships from WWI and WWII built in the US.
              http://www.concreteships.org/

              The Atlantis,in Cape May,NJ is a great wreck to fish.
              ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

              BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

              BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

              Comment


              • #8
                No, it's not possible. If it can be built, it can be sunk.

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                • #9
                  Not to stray off topic, but whenever I hear "unsinkable aircraft carrier," I immediately think of PM Yasuhiro Nakasone's reaffirmation of the Japan-US alliance in the early 1980s to the effect that Japan would serve as an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gixxer86g View Post
                    The TV show "Mythbusters" featured this.They built a small boat using the same method that would have been used to build this carrier.They motored around a bay in San Francisco.But,of course,it started to melt.

                    I guess that they could have built this carrier.If the vessel is deployed in freezing temperatures it would work,but the parts exposed to the sea would still melt.
                    If memory serves were the carriers not to be fitted with refrigeration units so that the ice could be topped up as and when required.

                    Regards

                    Andy H
                    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                    • #11
                      Yup. Everybody points out that the Canadian-built prototype melted, but neglects to mention it took about ten years.

                      It just wasn't feasible to build the thing in the time allowed.

                      If not unsinkable , it would've been very difficult to take out.
                      Last edited by the ace; 06 Jun 10, 08:23.
                      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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                      • #12
                        the biggest problem I see would have been to move these huge floating objects with a big draft to a tactically useful location somewhere in the middle of the north Atlantic.

                        In 1973, the tow of the concrete Ekofisk tank, a 100x100M structure with a 64M draft from Hinna (Stavanger fjord) up to the middle of the North sea took a week while towed by three of the most powerful ocean going tugs available in the 1970 (twice the power of 1940 era tugs), The RotZee, WhiteZee, Atlantic and a medium Norvegian tug the Bas.

                        kelt

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                        • #13
                          That's why she had engines.

                          Obviously, such a large craft'd be slow, but this wasn't seen as a major problem.
                          Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                            Not to stray off topic, but whenever I hear "unsinkable aircraft carrier," I immediately think of PM Yasuhiro Nakasone's reaffirmation of the Japan-US alliance in the early 1980s to the effect that Japan would serve as an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
                            Much like Great Britain did in WW2.
                            Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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