Hermes Class (1953) CVL

The Hermes Class carriers were planned as part of the Admiralty's 1942-43 building programme. 

The Class was to be of eight ships, about 18,300 tons (18,594), with a flight deck of 736 ft (224m), and able to carry 50 aircraft. Their construction was protracted, as lessons from the Pacific were incorporated. With the post war cutbacks, only four were eventually completed. 

On completion they were intended to replace the Colossus Class (1944) light fleet carriers.

During their life they tested and introduced many features needed to operate heavy jet aircraft safely. 

Centaur was the first with an angle flight deck, even although it was achieved by painting the aircraft centreline off centre.

Three of the four, Albion, Bulwark and Hermes were converted to Commando Carriers which extended their service lives considerably.

Hermes, even lasted beyond life as a Commando Carrier and went on to operate fixed wing aircraft again as RN Sea Harriers and RAF Harriers went into action during the Falklands War of 1982.


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This page last edited - 23 October, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.