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Design, Development, and Service Histories
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591140740
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era:
  • Number of Pages: 352
  • Subject: Ship and Aircraft Reference
  • Date Available: January 2014
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$85.00 List Price
$68.00 Member Price
Full Description:

“Naval historian Hobbs covers every conceivable type of ‘aircraft carrier,’ from the earliest days of naval aviation to the present. This begins with airship support vessels in the early years of the twentieth century and continues on through two world wars and the Cold War to the most recent fleet carriers of the Queen Elizabeth class. For each type of ship, even World War II ‘Merchant Aircraft Carriers’ and the Habbakuk project, Hobbs has design, construction, and technical details, followed by an outline history of each ship in the class, which provides a roughly chronological account of British and Commonwealth naval aviation in action since the onset of the First World War, during which the Royal Navy made the very first carrier air strikes. Coverage of operations in World War II will probably be particularly informative for American readers, given the great neglect of British carrier operations in the war on this side of the pond. Hobbs interweaves his treatment of the various types of carrier with chapters on the evolution of carrier aircraft. In addition, and rather unusual for works of this type, he includes chapters comparing British trends in carrier design and technology with developments by the other naval powers, notably the U.S. and Japan, but also France, Italy, Russia and more. A host of pictures, plans, and diagrams supplement a clear, well-written text, making British Aircraft Carriers a valuable resource for anyone interested in naval and aviation history.”—

This book is a meticulously detailed history of British aircraft-carrying ships from the earliest experimental vessels to the Queen Elizabeth class, currently under construction and the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. Individual chapters cover the design and construction of each class, with full technical details, and there are extensive summaries of every ship’s career. Apart from the obvious large-deck carriers, the book also includes seaplane carriers, escort carriers and MAC ships, the maintenance ships built on carrier hulls, un-built projects, and the modern LPH. It concludes with a look at the future of naval aviation, while numerous appendices summarize related subjects like naval aircraft, recognition markings and the circumstances surrounding the loss of every British carrier. As befits such an important reference work, it is heavily illustrated with a magnificent gallery of photos and plans, some reproduced in color.

Written by the leading historian of British carrier aviation, himself a retired Fleet Air Arm pilot, it displays the authority of a lifetime’s research combined with a practical understanding of the issues surrounding the design and operation of aircraft carriers.

British Aircraft Carriers is certain to become the standard work on the subject.       

David Hobbs served 33 years as a RN pilot.  Since retirement he has spent a period as Curator of the Fleet Air Arm Museum and has become the author of many highly regarded books, including A Century of Naval Aviation (2009) and The British Pacific Fleet (2011). 

Customer Reviews
1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
The "GO TO" book for British aircraft carriers.
Monday, May 23, 2016
By: ken griffin
The "go to" book for British aircraft carriers. A must-have for anyone interested in Naval aviation history. A big book with great illustrations and text.


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