:: AQUILA (1941) ::

Aquila aircraft carrier (1941) High resolution picture

The Aquila was an Italian aircraft carrier launched in 1941 and hastily built as a reconversion from the transatlantic Roma. The negative attitude adopted by the Italian autorities towards the construction of a carrier fleet had a turn after the unfortunate events of Taranto, Gaudo and Matapan. By modifying the transatlantics Roma and Augustus Italy should own in a short time two aircraft carriers (Aquila and Sparviero, respectively). The project of the Sparviero was actually not worthy at all, since it would consider only the installation of a flight deck without isle, leaving practically untouched the rest of the hull, including the machinery, which only allowed for a speed of 18 knots.

The works for the Aquila started in July 1941 and in September 1943, she was ready for testing, but because of the arrival of the Armistice, she was abandoned in the dock of Genoa, seized and mined by the Germans, remaining docked during the rest of the war and suffering severe damage during Allied attacks. Refloated after the war, she was towed towards La Spezia with uncertain fate, and in 1952 the Aquila was finally scrapped. This was the sad story of an elegant warship which was gifted with vanguard techniques and however could not even abandon her construction site by her own means. Not even the Germans, who lacked aircraft carriers in their Fleet, were interested in using the Aquila.

Class: Aquila (1 unit)

Type: Aircraft carrier

Length: 235.5 meters

Beam: 30 meters

Draught: 7.3 meters

Displacement (standard): 23900 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Belluzzo, 8 x boiler RM, 151000 horsepower

Speed: 30 knots (56 kilometers/hour)

Range: 5500 nautical miles (10200 kilometers) at 18 knots

Complement: 1175 of naval crew, 245 of air wing

Armament: 8 x 135-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 12 x 65-millimeter 54-caliber cannon, 132 x 20-millimeter 65-caliber cannon

Armor: 400-800 millimeters in waterline (by application of steel and reinforced concrete), 70-80 millimeters in fuel deposits/magazines

Aircraft: 51 (with 2 catapults)

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