:: HMS ARK ROYAL (1937) ::

HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier (1937) High resolution picture

The HMS Ark Royal was a British aircraft carrier launched in 1937 and probably the best one that served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. She was superior to her counterparts USS Yorktown and IJN Hiryu in almost every registry. The HMS Ark Royal was particularly maneuverable and her antiaircraft armament was powerful and well disposed. However, the sinking of the HMS Ark Royal in November 1941 revealed a weak point in the protection scheme: a single torpedo hit allowed the water to flood the boilers, causing the machinery to lose power, eventually leading to wreckage.

The illustration shows the HMS Ark Royal as she was in 1939; note the high silhouette of the ship and the protrusion astern, as well as the short stroke of the catapults.

Class: Ark Royal (1 unit)

Type: Aircraft carrier

Length: 244.3 meters

Beam: 29.3 meters

Draught: 8.5 meters

Displacement (standard): 22350 tonnes

Propulsion: 3 x shaft, 3 x steam turbine Parsons, 6 x boiler Admiralty, 103000 horsepower

Speed: 31.5 knots (58.3 kilometers/hour)

Range: 7600 nautical miles (14100 kilometers) at 20 knots

Complement: 1636

Armament: 16 x 114-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 32 x 40-millimeter 39-caliber cannon, 32 x 12.7-millimeter machine gun

Armor: 114 millimeters in belt, 64 millimeters in lower hangar deck/upper deck, 89 millimeters in lower deck

Aircraft: 50-72 (Fairey Sworfish torpedo bombers, Blackburn B-24 Skua dive bombers and Fairey Fulmar fighters)

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