The Ark Royal commissioned


History on 9th December

The Ark Royal commissioned

Blyth, Northumberland The 9th of December 1914 AD

The British and French navies had been testing the water, as it were, for aircraft carriers with the Hermes and La Foudre respectively, but they were conversions of, or more accurately alterations to, existing ships. The Ark Royal, commissioned on December 9 1914, was an aircraft carrier proper, a first.
The navy, keen to get ahead in the field, bought in 1913 a partially-built grain carrier or tramp-steamer hull under construction in Northumberland at the Blyth Shipbuilding Company, paying 81,000 for it. With the benefit of the Hermes trials and subsequent experience various design changes were incorporated in the new vessel: a forward aircraft deck; an aircraft hold capable of housing seven planes (her original complement was five float-planes and two wheeled models, the latter forced to put down on land); two cranes able to lift the seaplanes on deck after they landed on the water; and intriguingly and probably uniquely, a sail to keep the ship head-on to the wind, facilitating take-off.
Ark Royal saw action in the Dardanelles in 1915, and in various regional campaigns after WWI ended; indeed she remained in service until 1944, though after December 1934 sailed with a new name, HMS Pegasus, making way for the naming of a new HMS Ark Royal.

More famous dates here

6387 views since 4th December 2009

Brit Quote:
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. - W H Auden
More Quotes

On this day:
The Battle of Basing - 0871, 1st British Colonists reach New Zealand - 1840, Spanish Steamer Sinks SS Northfleet - 1873, Battle of Isandlwana - 1879, Queen Victoria dies - 1901, Ramsay MacDonald becomes Britain's 1st Labour PM - 1924, BBC Broadcasts 1st live Football Commentary - 1927, Public Sector Strike Begins - 1979, Space Invaders Hit UK - 1979
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages