Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hybrid Carriers

There seems to be a strange fascination with the subject of hybrid aircraft carriers. Usually these are either mixed carrier and battleship or carrier and cruiser designs. There have been real and imagined designs over time and I thought I'd present a few here. In the picture, starting from the bottom (these are all 1:2400 scale, that's one inch equals 200 feet) is the Shapeways model of Providence, a carrier/light cruiser hybrid based on a 1935 Board of Construction & Repair scheme No. 39 featured in Norman Friedman's U.S. Cruisers book, page 171. Next forward is one of my own conversions using a Baltimore heavy cruiser hull and forward two eight inch gun turrets with the cut down flight from a Casablanca CVE, which I call the Cambridge. Next up is another Shapeways model of a hybrid featured in Hector Bywater's novel "The Great Pacific War," the Alaska class with two eight inch guns forward. Then we have an offering from Panzerschiffe, who makes epoxy resin models, of a hybrid they call the Stoney Point, which looks to be mounting six inch guns. Then we have another creation from me, which I call the Lakehurst, using a Brooklyn light cruiser hull and another cut down Casablanca. Finally we have the big guy, which is one of my scratch builds from bass wood of a Gibbs & Cox design for a hybrid battleship for Russia, called Design "B" of 71,850 tons and mounting twelve 16" guns. I actually have incorporated it into my U.S. fleet with the understanding that it was building in 1941 when we got involved in the war and we took it over from Russia. These are all interesting designs, and as you can see, they interest a lot of people. However, they were never very practical. As Friedman comments in an article in Naval Institute Proceedings for April 1979, "...they were lousy carriers and not too good as anything else." They were still a lot of fun.

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