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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

CAPITAL SHIPS & MONITORS

FURIOUS light battlecruiser - aircraft carrier (1917)

Furious 1917

Furious 1918

Furious 1925

Furious 1939

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Furious 65, 40, 47 896 Armstrong, Elswick 8/6/1915 15/8/1916 7/1917 aircraft carrier 3/1918, test ship 5/1945, sold 3/1948

 

Displacement normal, t

19513

Displacement full, t

22890

Length, m

239.7

Breadth, m

26.8

Draught, m

6.40 mean

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets Brown-Curtis geared steam turbines, 18 Yarrow small-tube boilers

Power, h. p.

90000

Max speed, kts

31.5

Fuel, t

3393 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 6000(20)

Armour, mm

belt: 76 - 51, bulkheads: 76 - 51, barbette: 178 - 102, turret: 229 (face, sides, rear) - 127 (roof), CT: 254, main deck: 76 - 19 with 25-mm slopes

Armament

1 x 1 - 457/40 BL Mk I, 11 x 1 - 140/50 BL Mk I, 6 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I, 2 - 533 TT (beam, 10), 8 aircraft (Pup fighters, 11/2-strutter recon planes)

Complement

737

Aircraft facilities (fd - 1,512 m², ha - 419 m² / 1,800 m³) as completed: fwd flying-off deck 84x18m, under-deck hangar (27x15.5x4.3m) with elevator (9x5m) and 2 derricks for seaplanes handling. Wheel planes had to land on land bases.

Year fighters bombers torpedo-bombers reconnaissance and other
1917 5 - 6 Pup --- --- 3 - 4 Short 184 seaplanes
3/1918 6 Camel 14 11/2-strutter --- ---
1919 --- 9 11/2-strutter 3 Cuckoo ---
1919 12 Camel 2 11/2-strutter --- 4 Short 184 seaplanes
1925 6 Flycatcher --- 12 Dart 12 Fairey III, 6 Bison
1935 3 Osprey, 9 Nimrod --- 12 Baffin 12 Fairey III
8/1939 --- --- 18 Swordfish ---
9/1939 --- 9 Skua 18 Swordfish ---
5/1940 --- --- 24 Swordfish ---
6/1940 9 Fulmar 6 Skua 9 Swordfish ---
7/1940 --- 9 Skua 18 Swordfish ---
4/1941 --- 12 Skua --- ---
6/1941 9 Fulmar, 4 Sea Hurricane --- 18 Swordfish, 9 Albacore ---
11/1942 27 Seafire, 1 Fulmar --- 8 Albacore ---
2/1943 9 Seafire, 6 Sea Hurricane --- 9 Swordfish, 9 Albacore, 12 Barracuda ---
4/1944 14 Seafire --- 9 Barracuda ---
7/1944 3 Seafire, 20 Hellcat --- 3 Swordfish ---
8/1944 24 Seafire --- 9 Barracuda ---

Project history: This ship made huge impact on class evolution. She was ordered as a light battlecruiser, the third ship of Courageous class with two single 457mm turrets, but already during building have converted into "semi-aircraft-carrier", having arranged a hangar in a fore end  and a flying-off deck aft. Soon after commission she was returned on shipyard again and fitted with a second, landing deck in an aft part.

Because of the vortexes of air arising at a flow of a superstructure and funnel arranged in a centreline, boarding of aircrafts on Furious stern deck  has appeared is interfaced to the big risk. Therefore  the ship has passed the next conversion in 1922-1925. She lost all superstructures, a funnel and a mast. Fore and aft hangars have pooled into one over which have raised upper. Planes could start now at once from two levels: with short fore flying-off deck and from upper deck holding ¾ lengths of the ship. Aircrafts lifted on an upper deck by two 5.5t lifts. Catapults and arrestment gears was not. Underwater protection was calculated for an underwater explosion of of 200kgs of TNT.  Furious has passed large refit in November 1938 May, 1939. There was a small island superstructure on a flight deck from starboard. A short lower flying-off deck have ceased to use directly. Capacity of one of lifts was increased to 6.4t. Artillery was completely changed.

Protection: The main belt was constructed from 51mm armour from HT (high tensile) steel on 25mm hull plating between the 'Y' barbette and former 'A' barbette. This belt was 8.4m deep, its lower edge was in 1.4m below the waterline, and upper edge was connected with the upper deck. Fwd from former 'A' barbette summary thickness of main belt was 51mm (it had some smaller deep), it was closed by 51mm transverse bulkhead, there was additional 76mm bulkhead abreast former 'A' barbette. Aft from the aft engine room also there was a 51mm belt, closed by 51mm bulkhead abreast 'Y' barbette, aft bulkhead of aft engine room (in point of connection of 76mm and 51mm belts) had 76mm thickness. 

    Turret had 229mm face, sides and rear and 127mm roof. Barbette had 178-152mm thickness above the upper deck and 76mm below the main deck. CT had 254mm sides, 76mm floor and 51mm roof, communication tube had 76mm protection. Main director had 152mm vertical and 76mm horizontal protection.

    Forecastle deck between 'Y' barbette and former 'A' barbette had 25-19mm protection, but in area of superstructure was protected only near the sides. Upper deck between fwd 51mm transverse bulkhead and 'Y' barbette had 25mm armour. Main deck was 44mm at flat and 51mm at slopes. Lower deck was 25mm between former 'A' barbette and stem and between 'Y' barbette and stern, its thickness was increased to 76mm over steering gear compartment.

    Additional 19mm longitudinal amidships bulkhead protected funnel uptake, this uptake and ventilator pipes had 38-25mm protection above forecastle deck. There was internal underwater protection with 38-25mm longitudinal bulkhead between former "A" and "Y" barbettes, but this bulkhead was placed between center line and outer shafts turbine sets and can not successfully protect the ship machinery, these bulkheads were closed by 25mm transverse bulkheads. Maximal deep of underwater protection was 3.7m.

Modernizations: (Armstrong, 11/1917 - 3/1918): ship received landing deck (86.6 x 21.3 m) with hangar (35.3x10.1x4.3m) (fd - 3,357 m², ha - 776 m² / 3,333 m³). Lifts were fitted on both hangars; - 1 x 1 - 457/40, 1 x 1 - 140/50; + 4 x 3 - 533 TT, can carry 16 aircraft (up to 26 since 10/1918)

(Devonport DYd, 6/1922 - 8/1925): Two old hangars were connected into one, new upper hangar was fitted (fd - 5,819 m², ha - 4,957 m² / 22,801 m³). There were two flight decks: fwd flying-off deck (49x26.8m), connected with upper hangar, and upper flight deck (175.5 (usable length 161.5)x27.9m). Hangars dimensions: lower - 167.6x15.2x4.6m, upper - 158.5x15.2x4.6m. There are two lifts on upper deck: fwd (14x14.3m, 5.7t) and aft (14x14.3m, 6.4t). There was no island. Petrol stowage was 93.6t. Original bulges had been increased in height. AA armament was changed.

 

Data variant 1925 modernization

Displacement standard, t

22450

Displacement full, t

27165

Length, m

224.0 pp 239.7 oa

Breadth, m

27.5 over bulges, 27.9 over flight deck

Draught, m

8.56 deep load

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets Brown-Curtis geared steam turbines, 18 Yarrow small-tube boilers

Power, h. p.

90000

Max speed, kts

30

Fuel, t

3830 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 6000(20)

Armour, mm

belt: 76 - 51, bulkheads: 76 - 51, decks summary: 76 - 19

Armament

10 x 1 - 140/50 BL Mk I, 2 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II, 36 aircraft (Flycatcher fighters, Dart torpedo bombers, Bison, Blackburn, Fairey III recon planes)

Complement

1218

1931 - 1932: - 4 x 1 - 40/39; + 1 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 2 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

(11/1938-5/1939): New island superstructure was fitted. - 10 x 1 - 140/50, 3 x 1 - 102/45, 4 x 1 - 47/40; + 6 x 2 - 102/45 QF Mk XVI, 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 4 - 12.7/62

4/1941: + 1 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

1941-1942: + 4x type 282, 2x type 285, type 290 radars

1942: bulges were deepened; full displacement was 28495t; - 2 x 4 - 12.7/62; + 15 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1943-1944: + 7 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

Naval service: Seven Camel fighters started from a deck of Furious 19/7/1918 and made the first successful attack of German Zeppelins base. Furious was laid up before WWII. She was actively used in days of war (including Malta convoys and strikes on German battleship Tirpitz), that has affected her technical condition. In September, 1944 she was laid up again and later converted to test ship for tests of underwater protection systems.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

Furious 1918

Furious 1926

Furious 1933

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14