Posts tagged ‘Submarine’

February 2, 2012

Submarine Aircraft Carrier

sen-toku

Submarine aircraft carriers are submarines equipped with fixed wing aircraft for observation or attack missions. These submarines saw their most extensive use during World War II, although their operational significance remained rather small.

The most famous of them were the Japanese I-400 class submarine and the French submarine Surcouf, although a few similar craft were built by other nations’ navies as well. Except for the I-400, submarine aircraft carriers used their aircraft in a supporting role (usually for reconnaissance), unlike the typical surface aircraft carrier, which describes a ship whose main function is serving as a base for combat aircraft.

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February 2, 2012

Sen Toku I-400

i400-stern

The Sen Toku I-400-class Imperial Japanese Navy submarines were the largest submarines of World War II and remained the largest ever built until the construction of nuclear ballistic missile submarines in the 1960s. They were submarine aircraft carriers able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They were designed to surface, launch the planes then dive again quickly before they were discovered. They also carried torpedoes for close-range combat. The I-400-class was designed with the range to travel anywhere in the world and return. A fleet of 18 boats was planned in 1942, of which only three were completed.

Located approximately amidships on the top deck was a cylindrical watertight aircraft hangar, 31 m (102 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter. The outer access door could be opened hydraulically from within or manually from the outside by turning a large hand-wheel connected to a rack and spur gear. The door was made waterproof with a 51-millimeter-thick (2 in.) rubber gasket.

February 22, 2011

Flying Submarine

Cormorant

ushakov

A flying submarine or submersible aircraft is a craft able both to fly or travel under water. The Soviet Union made an unsuccessful attempt at developing a flying submarine during World War II. In 1961 American engineer, Donald Reid designed and built a single-seat craft (32.83 ft length) capable of flight and underwater movement, the Reid Flying Submarine 1 (RSF-1). The first full-cycle flight [underwater at 6.5 feet (2 m) depth, airborne at 33 ft (10 m) altitude] was demonstrated on 9 June 1964.

The US Navy is looking at the Lockheed Martin Cormorant, a drone aircraft launched from a submarine. On launching it floats to the surface and after flight it is retrieved from the water surface; it cannot travel directly underwater. In 2008, DARPA announced that it was preparing to issue contracts for a submersible aircraft.