Military history

Jets at Sea: Naval Aviation in Transition 1945-1955

Jets at Sea: Naval Aviation in Transition 1945-1955

As World War Two drew to a close, jet-powered aircraft were beginning to be introduced into service. To take advantage of this major development it was necessary for all the world’s air powers to rethink combat tactics and develop the means of handling these faster and generally larger aircraft in the air, on land and especially at sea. As this modern breed approached and finally broke the sound barrier, so did landing and takeoff speeds. The decade after the war saw rapid developments in the design of both naval aircraft and their seaborne bases – the aircraft carrier.

The first jet to land aboard a carrier was a modified de Havilland Vampire in 1945 on H.M.S. Ocean. Progress was rapid and the application of British inventions such as the angled flight-deck, steam catapult and mirror landing sight soon became adopted by the major navies of the world. Naval aircraft too became more sophisticated by the addition of high-lift flap systems and strengthened undercarriages to allow them to operate more safely at sea.

GLOSSARY

INTRODUCTION: A BRIEF HISTORY OF NAVAL AVIATION TO 1945

Chapter 1. PROPELLER SWANSONG - ROYAL NAVY

Chapter 2. PROPELLER SWANSONG - US NAVY

Chapter 3. CARRIER FLEETS - 1945 TO 1950

Chapter 4. THE COMING OF THE JETS

Chapter 5. ADAPTING THE CARRIERS - 1950 TO 1955

Chapter 6. SWEPT WINGS AND SUPERSONICS

Chapter 7. ATTACK, REPEAT, ATTACK

Appendix I. ASW AND AEW

Appendix II. FRENCH NAVAL AVIATION

Appendix III. AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS - 1945 TO 1955

Appendix IV. BRITISH AND AMERICAN AIRCRAFT CARRIERS - 1945 TO 1955