|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Thu Aug 19th, 2010 10:57 am||
That all depends on your definition of what an aircraft carrier is. If an aircraft is any device that travels through the air, it would seem that a hot air balloon qualifies as an aircraft. If you're going to consider a ship or a barge that launches a tethered balloon an aircraft carrier, then the nod goes to the FANNY (03 August 1861) over the GEORGE WASHINGTON PARKE CUSTIS (10November 1861).
US Aircraft Carriers -The Forerunners
I have to wonder what the argument was that was given for calling the CUSTIS the first. I suppose it was that the FANNY was a transport that remained a transport, while the CUSTIS was a coal barge that was specifically modified so that its purpose was to launch balloons.
If you're going to limit the argument to actual airplanes, then you can still have a debate about what ship should be considered the first. An airplane was launched from a wooden platform on the cruiser BIRMINGHAM on 24November 1910, but it landed elsewhere. An airplane landed on a platform built on the cruiser PENNSYLVANIA on 18January 1911.
The first US ship (The Brits were earlier with HMS ARGUS) that would be recognized as a true aircraft carrier was the converted collier LANGLEY which began its life in that role 20March 1922.
Acraft Carrier History (The Early Years)
The LANGLEY continued in its new role until 1936, when it was converted again into a seaplane tender. It was destroyed by the Japanese on 27February 1942.
USN Ships--USS Langley (CV-1, later AV-3)
Last edited on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 11:59 am by Texas Defender