US’s flying aircraft carrier
we’ve seen those giant helicarrier’s from the Marvel Universe or the prydwen from fallout 4 they can carry launched retrieve and support other smaller aircraft but are there really plans to build a flying aircraft carrier like this both the Brits and the Americans were convinced to give constructing such an aircraft to go after seeing Germany have a degree of success with the Zeppelin’s during the Great War sadly for fans of warfare airships lack the maneuverability required to make them efficient bombers but the Navy had the foresight to propose using them for other means back then the Brits were still arrogant enough to have an empire and we’re toying with the idea of connecting all the countries within that Empire with airship routes to this end they constructed two sizeable helium-filled airships and one of them made a successful trip all the way to Canada and back but sometimes things can end up going disastrously wrong and the other airship crashed on its way to Karachi the US Navy’s own experimentation with the idea was the Akron class airship the only flying aircraft carrier put into actual service the Akron class was like the newest Star Wars trilogy promising at first but the project ultimately fell apart these carriers had severe limitations that led to a pair of sizeable accidents this saw the carrier fleet destroyed prompting the entire concept to be dropped the Akron was first built in the late 20s and was designed much like conventional seagoing aircraft carriers to reconnoiter the seas as they searched for the enemy’s fleet from here the battleships would close with the enemy and ultimately defeat them the two Akron airships designed dubbed Akron and Macon were ordered in 1926 and commissioned into service in 1931 and 1933 respectively they were a classically shaped interwar airship with a rigid skin made of aluminum and cloth filled to the brim with helium they were absolute beasts of machines being a whopping 785 feet longer than a tennessee class battleship and requiring eight Maybach 12-cylinder engines putting out a combined 6700 horsepower the Akron carried fixed-wing aircraft and was able to both launch and recover them in flight and was twice as fast as surface ships so by all accounts it should have been the perfect machine so what went wrong both Akron and Macon struggled when up against tumultuous weather with high winds rendering both carriers tricky to steer trouble hit February of 1932 when winds ripped Akron away from its handlers mere seconds before a group of visiting congressmen was waiting to bore and then little more than three later in San Diego two unfortunate sailors were thrown off the airship and a third was badly injured in a botched attempt to moor the ship to the ground come April 3rd 1933 yet more bad things came Akron’s way a mission to calibrate its radio equipment just off the coast of New Jersey saw the troubled airship running into its biggest problem yet an epic surge of strong winds saw the Akron plunge devastating 1,000 feet in mere seconds in the panic of the moment the crew was forced to make a tough decision and chose to dump the water ballast in a desperate attempt to regain altitude this would prove to be a horrific error of judgment it cost the airship to rise far too quickly and the crew completely lost control crashing into the depths of the ocean below and just two years later it was the Macon that came head to head with trouble in the midst of flying over the Pacific Ocean a mighty storm caused the upper fin to failed completely and in the process the ship lost 20% of its helium prompting the ship to rise at a devastatingly rapid rate in a desperate spots doomed attempts to remain airborne the crew released additional helium to make the airship dip back down but too much was released too rapidly and the ship swiftly crashed into the dark depths of the waters below the Macon plunged into the depths of the Pacific on February 12th of 1935 and remarkably it was only recently found a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute research ship that’s a mouthful deployed a remotely operated vehicle into the area surrounding the site and managed to capture high-definition still images and video of the historic wreckage visible in the airships hangar bay which still contains four Sparrowhawk biplanes as well as five of the ship’s 12 gasoline engines and many objects from the vessels gallery among them are propane tanks and sections from an aluminum stone it’s not quite the treasure you would find with the Titanic though there’s an argument to be had that the contents are just as historic if not as valuable the precise location of a submerged aircraft eluded experts for almost five decades until it was stumbled upon of all people by a humble fisherman he snagged a piece of the Macon’s girder in his net and oblivious to what he had found because this video didn’t exist for him to watch and learn back then he decided to get the peculiar object displayed as little more than an intriguing trinket for a local seafood restaurant all the while those experts were struggling to pinpoint the wreckage because the objects they were looking for weren’t at the recorded sinking location but hearing about that girder alerted them to the fact that they may have been looking in the wrong place and soon they were able to relocate their efforts and find the missing maked because of these many and lethal failures the idea of flying aircraft carriers was dropped existing only between the first and second world wars and never coming into fruition in the time since it’s interesting to hypothesize what might have happened if the program had not ended what airships become in place has it been long enough now that we should consider bringing them back expert in the field Kyle mizukami is keen to see airships make a comeback arguing that the necessary technology already exists for unmanned air ships to team up with UAVs to provide modern-day equivalents of the Akron class airships but could and should are two very different things but miss akame needs to learn a lesson from frozen’s elsa because he just will not let the idea go on another occasion he wrote a high flying airship equipped with sensors and networking capabilities could reach its destination faster than a seaborne aircraft carrier and remain on station for days or weeks at a time the airship could carry a battery of several dozen unmanned aerial vehicles each equipped with radar electro-optical and other sensors to extend the sensor reach of the mothership and hence the surface fleet those same drones could pack a variety of weapons for use against ships submarines lower performance aircraft such as helicopter and targets on land he’s also insisted that they could augment traditional surface warships providing Navy fleets with a new layer distributed lethality aircraft carriers could offer up the unprecedented ability to screen large swatches of the ocean at a time which could be extraordinarily helpful when it comes to protecting one’s country from enemy attack though there are of course arguments against one expert is quoted as saying in regards to the topic we would want to minimize the weighted cost of a flying Helicarrier itself in order to maximize the number and capability of the aircraft that could be carried on it the Navy official said the number and size of the thrusters required to lift the carrier the number and size of the engines to drive them and the fuel to keep the engines running etc all make this system unrealistic sadly for the likes of Miss okami the reality is it is far more expensive to fly than it is to float swimming to France is cheaper than getting on a plane an aircraft carrier designed with any form of flight assistance such as wings would require significant amounts of power for the thrusters in both forward airborne flight and lifting mode but if the design is the issue could we look to the aforementioned Helicarrier from marvel movies as inspiration after all many modern real-life gadgets were once prototypes based on fictional gizmos from Star Trek Nick Fury’s fictional Helicarrier seems to use ducted rotors for its vertical takeoff and landing which isn’t actually all that far from how real Navy aircraft such as the av-8b Harrier fighter jet and the v-22 Osprey work so the marvel movies do seem to be in sync with the reality of Technology suggesting a modern-day aircraft carrier that dodges the design issue could be possible but sadly this type of ducted rotor is also the most expensive air transport option for the US military meaning it would cost an absolute arm and a leg to bring shields flying base into the real world the modern military is not funded in a way it once was and their budget would likely burst building such a thing so will America build them again it seems fanciful they seem to be the work of science fiction and the cost could be astronomical but flying aircraft carriers may go back into construction sooner than you think for half a decade now the defensive Research Projects Agency often called DARPA by people who are too busy has been hard at work building a prototype flying aircraft carrier capable of launching and recovering drone aircraft sadly for DARPA two other companions beat them to the finish aerovironment and kratos defense and security for a long time now aerovironment has been the cream of the crop when it comes to military drone production while kratos defense and security have been making waves as the biggest name in jet-powered weaponized combat drone for the Air Force these two companies decided to take the Beatles advice and come together creating a system of remotely piloted drones that could launch other drones from midair it’s in the same area as DARPA project the question with no known answers as of yet is will it prompt DARPA to give up on their own project at the very least what it does showcase is that modern remixes on the idea of flying aircraft carriers already exists more maybe to come do you think we not us specifically experts should return to building flying aircraft carriers or would we be better off making modern variations such as the aforementioned drove project let us know in the comments and if you liked the video make sure to subscribe and turn on notifications so you’ll be the first to know when a new video arrives thanks for watching [Music] [Applause] [Music] you
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