Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Iceberg .

This is coolbert:

Place this one in the strange but true category.

Project Habakkuk.

A plan by the British to build an aircraft carrier of immense size - - out of a material that is a mix of ice and wood pulp.

A material, pykrete, "The building material . . . a mixture of ice and wood pulp", fashioned into a ship, THAT WILL NOT MELT!! [pykrete]

I think it has been common knowledge that the original concept was to "move" [towing or pushing by tug?] an iceberg from the polar regions to the south Atlantic. Become an aircraft carrier [after proper contouring] that would allow allied anti-submarine aircraft to operate in territory hitherto deemed "out of reach" for land based aircraft.

"breaking off huge sheets of ice from the Arctic [I had thought is was from the Antarctic icecap. The bergs available are much larger and last a lot longer, and are closer to where the area of operation would be??] icecap, towing them to the war zone in the mid-Atlantic, and using them as landing fields for aircraft—a sort of combination iceberg-aircraft carrier."

[there did exist in the south Atlantic [south Atlantic alone?] a gap of ocean where German U-boats could operate on the surface with impunity! Within this "danger zone" protection as normally available from allied aircraft was not possible.

"an aircraft carrier out of Pykrete (a mixture of wood pulp and ice), for use against German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic, which was out of range of land-based planes."

A "ship" made of pykrete could be fashioned that would DWARF any existing vessel of the period, OR EVEN NOW!!

"was to be approximately 2,000 feet (610 m) long and 300 feet (91 m) wide, with a deck-to-keel depth of 200 feet (61 m), and walls 40 feet (12 m) thick.[1] It was to have a draft of 150 feet, and a displacement of 2,000,000 tons or more"

[by contrast, the Queen Mary, a liner used for troop transport, displaces about ONLY 80,000 tons. A MODERN U.S. aircraft carrier is about 1,000 feet long!!]

"it would have housed an airstrip and up to 150 twin-engined bombers or fighters"

"The Habakkuk was imagined to be virtually unsinkable as it would have effectively been a streamlined iceberg or floating island kept afloat by the buoyancy of its construction materials, and to be highly resilient to damage by virtue of its sheer bulk."

A "ship" that would have had a propulsion system, but basically would have more or less floated with the currents, holding station, not even needing any degree of maneuverability, other than turn into the wind when taking off and landing aircraft.

And more or less impervious to damage from enemy torpedoes, bombs, OR ANY FORM OF ATTACK PERIOD!!!!

Read here an intesting forum where the concept of a pykrete aircraft carrier is discussed.




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