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PHOTOS - circa 1927: Submarine Aircraft Carrier
Retronaut ^ | 1927 | Retronaut

Posted on 03/02/2014 10:54:01 AM PST by DogByte6RER

Submarine Aircraft Carrier

1927: Submarine Aircraft Carrier

Submarine Aircraft Carrier

Submarine Aircraft Carrier

HMS M2 was a Royal Navy submarine monitor completed in 1919, converted in 1927 into the world's first submarine aircraft carrier. She was shipwrecked in Lyme Bay, Dorset, Britain, on 26 January 1932. She was one of three M-class boats completed.

• Design and Career

Four M-class submarines replaced the order for the last four K-class submarines, K17-K21. Although they were similar in size, the M class was an entirely different design from the K class, although it is possible that some material ordered for the K-boats went into them. In any event, the end of the First World War meant that only three were completed.

M2 was laid down at Vickers shipyard at Barrow in Furness in 1916, and launched in 1919. Like the other members of her class, she was armed with a single 12-inch (305mm) gun as well as torpedo tubes. The Mark IX gun was taken from spares held for the Formidable-class battleships.

The M-class submarines were very large for the time at 296 feet (90 m) long. They were designed to operate as submarine monitors or cruisers. They displaced 1,600 long tons (1,600 t) on the surface and 1,950 long tons (1,980 t) when submerged. Two 12-cylinder diesel engines producing 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) drove them on the surface; underwater, they were driven by electric motors producing 1,500 hp (1,100 kW).

After the accidental sinking of M1 in 1925, M2 and her sister M3 were taken out of service and reassigned for experimental use. Her 12-inch gun was removed, replaced by a small aircraft hangar, the work being completed in 1927. This could carry a small Parnall Peto seaplane, specially designed for the M2, which, once its wings had been unfolded, could be lowered onto the sea alongside by a derrick for take off. On landing, the aircraft was hoisted back onto the deck and replaced into the hangar. In October 1928, a hydraulic aircraft catapult was fitted, to enable the seaplane to take off directly from the deck. The submarine was intended to operate ahead of the battle fleet in a reconnaissance role, flying off her unarmed seaplane as a scout.

The concept of a submarine cruiser was pursued with X1, but was not a success and was later abandoned.

• The Accident

M2 left her base at Portland on 26 January 1932, for an exercise in West Bay, Dorset, carrying Parnall Peto serial N255. Her last communication was a radio message at 10:11 to her submarine depot ship, Titania, to announce that she would dive at 10:30. The captain of a passing merchant ship, the Newcastle coaster Tynesider, mentioned that he had seen a large submarine dive stern first at around 11:15. Unaware of the significance of this, he only reported it in passing once he reached port.

Her entire crew of 60 was killed in the accident. The submarine was found on 3 February, eight days after her loss. Ernest Cox, the salvage expert who had raised the German battleships at Scapa Flow, was hired to salvage the M2. In an operation lasting nearly a year and 1,500 dives, on 8 December 1932, she was lifted to within 20 ft (6.1 m) of the surface before a gale sprang up, sending her down to her final resting place.

The hangar door was found open and the aircraft still in it. The accident was believed to be due to water entering the submarine through the hangar door, which had been opened to launch the aircraft shortly after surfacing.

Two explanations have been advanced. The first is that since the crew were always trying to beat their record time for launching the aircraft, they had opened the hangar door on surfacing while the deck was still awash. The other theory is that the flooding of the hangar was due to failure of the stern hydroplanes. High pressure air tanks were used to bring the boat to the surface in an awash condition, but to conserve compressed air compressors were then started to completely clear the ballast tanks of water by blowing air into them. This could take as long as 15 minutes to complete. The normal procedure for launching the aircraft was therefore to hold the boat on the surface using the hydroplanes whilst the hangar door was opened and the aircraft launched. Failure of the rear hydroplanes would have sent the stern down as observed by the merchant officers and water would have eventually entered the hangar.

• The Aftermath

The submarine currently lies upright on the sea bed at (50°34.6′N 2°33.93′W). Her keel is about 100 ft (30 m) below the surface at low tide, and her highest point at the top of the conning tower at around 66 ft (20 m). She is a popular dive for scuba divers. The wreck is designated as a "protected place" under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

After the loss of M2, the Royal Navy abandoned submarine-launched aircraft, although other navies experimented with the concept in the inter-war years and with Japan producing some 42 submarine aircraft carriers both before and during the Second World War.

Source: Wikipedia


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Chit/Chat; History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: aircraftcarrier; maritime; royalnavy; submarine
Interesting history about modern naval warfare ...
1 posted on 03/02/2014 10:54:01 AM PST by DogByte6RER
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To: DogByte6RER

I suspect landings are real tricky.


2 posted on 03/02/2014 10:55:56 AM PST by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
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To: umgud

The plane had pontoons, so I don’t think it was much of a problem. What I’m more concerned with is the amount of G’s a pilot was subject to, taking off on a platform not much longer than the plane itself.


3 posted on 03/02/2014 10:57:46 AM PST by wastedyears (I'm a pessimist, I say plenty of negative things. Consider it a warning of sorts.)
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To: umgud

Okay hold you breath in 3 2 1...........


4 posted on 03/02/2014 10:58:03 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: DogByte6RER

Talk about true men. Big time tough guys.


5 posted on 03/02/2014 11:05:54 AM PST by albie
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To: Dr. Ursus
The Lucas Electric hangar door controls operated as well as could be expected in damp conditions..

The engine for the Peto (Latin for "fart," actually) lived on in the Hillman Minx Station Wagon of 1954.

Fly English
Fly the best
Fly 'bout a mile,
Swim the rest.

6 posted on 03/02/2014 11:08:44 AM PST by Kenny Bunk (Don't let the aftershave and embalming fluid fool you. Many RINOs are actually dead meat.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I bet current submarines could launch drones if need be.


7 posted on 03/02/2014 11:09:08 AM PST by null and void (<--- unwilling cattle-car passenger on the bullet train to serfdom)
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To: null and void

8 posted on 03/02/2014 11:13:59 AM PST by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: null and void
I bet current submarines could launch drones if need be.
9 posted on 03/02/2014 11:15:11 AM PST by rottndog ('Live Free Or Die' Ain't just words on a bumber sticker...or a tagline.)
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To: wastedyears
What I’m more concerned with is the amount of G’s a pilot was subject to, taking off on a platform not much longer than the plane itself.

The sub probably was going full speed astern into the wind. The launch ramp extends about 30 feet or so beyond the airplanes propeller. Given a takeoff speed of about 50mph, the G-force of launching shouldn't be excessive.

10 posted on 03/02/2014 11:26:15 AM PST by fso301
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To: DogByte6RER

The Japs had similar subs.


11 posted on 03/02/2014 11:29:51 AM PST by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: DogByte6RER; null and void
The WWII Japanese I-400 class was so impressive the US Navy sank them to keep them from the Russians (perhaps preaching to the choir, I realize).

Imperial Japanese Naval Aircraft Carrier Submarine PAGE.

And http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1366913/posts

and US Navy Submarine-launched XFC drone

12 posted on 03/02/2014 11:30:15 AM PST by logi_cal869
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Woo Hoo!

Less than $3.3k to go!!
GIT-R-DONE!

Make Today, Day 61 the day!

13 posted on 03/02/2014 11:34:48 AM PST by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: rottndog

Regulus 1955

14 posted on 03/02/2014 12:15:33 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: wastedyears

Possibly just hopped into the water and took off like a seaplane


15 posted on 03/02/2014 12:25:00 PM PST by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: fella

My only question about sub launched drones...how quietly can this be done?

These kinds of ops would most likely take place close to land, and well within coastal defenses of foreign countries who could likely have some semblance of a submarine force. This would make the drone launching boat quite vulnerable to detection and attack, IMHO.


16 posted on 03/02/2014 12:26:28 PM PST by rottndog ('Live Free Or Die' Ain't just words on a bumber sticker...or a tagline.)
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To: Kenny Bunk

Yet another reason to convert from Lucas to Bosch.


17 posted on 03/02/2014 1:00:28 PM PST by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: rottndog
A Regulus launch Not so stealthy. And longer launch.

Now days they can float one to the surface and let it set there while the sub left the area before the drones launch.

18 posted on 03/02/2014 1:27:26 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: fso301
The sub probably was going full speed astern into the wind.

Not likely. First off, with an antiquated propeller driven pontoon plane such as this, you're going to need a heck of a lot more than 30 ft. to reach 50 MPH.......

To launch the plane, the sub released the holdings on the pontoons, went under water then let the plane do what pontoon aircraft usually do while on water.......take off.

The 30 ft. deck was designed to accomodate the sub's ability to surface under the pontoon plane once it had landed on water.........

19 posted on 03/02/2014 1:40:07 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Was Occam's razor made by Gillette?)
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To: Hot Tabasco
The 30 ft. deck was designed to accomodate the sub's ability to surface under the pontoon plane once it had landed on water.........

Could be but does that mean the 3rd photo is of the plane doing a close flyby rather than taking off?

20 posted on 03/02/2014 2:57:10 PM PST by fso301
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To: rottndog

“Lockheed Martin MPUAV Cormorant”

Well the difference between the LM “Cormorant” and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMT_Aladin used on Gabler’s Triple M is the price. You don’t have to recover such a cheap UAV. Another “UAV” that is already in use is the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDAS_%28missile%29. Four missiles fit in one standard torpedo tube. The missile is wire guided while the UAV can stay in contact with a special buoy called CALLISTO. http://maschinenbau.gabler-luebeck.de/en/entwicklungen/kommunikationssysteme/

The buoy and the missile are already operational. Cormorant made just some money for LM.


21 posted on 03/03/2014 1:13:05 AM PST by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
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