Aircraft carrier

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An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations. They have evolved from wooden vessels, used to deploy balloons, into nuclear powered warships that carry dozens of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.



Balloon carriers were the first ships to deploy manned aircraft, used during the 19th and early 20th century, mainly for observation purposes. The 1903 advent of fixed wing airplanes was followed in 1910 by the first flight of such an aircraft from the deck of a US Navy cruiser. Seaplanes and seaplane tender support ships, such as HMS Engadine, followed. In the World War I Battle of Tsingtao in 1914, the Imperial Japanese Navy seaplane carrier Wakamiya conducted the world's first naval-launched air raids[1] from Kiaochow Bay.[2] It launched four Maurice Farman seaplanes, which bombarded German communication centers and command centers and damaged a German minelayer.[3]

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