3 November – Up and away

Towler about to take off from HMS Vindex

Flight Lieutenant Harold Frederick Towler RNAS became the first British pilot to successfully take off a landplane from the deck of an aircraft carrier. He took off in his Bristol Scout C (1255) with the ship steaming at 12 knots. The aircraft only used 46 feet (14.0 m) of the flight deck.

The ship in question is HMS Vindex. The Vindex has only recently been commissioned. The Isle of Man passenger steamer Viking was purchased and converted in September 1915. (2,^00 tons), ofaspeedoftwenty-twoknots. The vessel can now take four large and one small seaplane aft, and two single-seater flghting aeroplanes forward. Electric cranes are installed for the hoisting in and out of the seaplanes, and a special flying-off deck and hangar has been built forward for the aeroplanes. As space was restricted the aeroplanes were carried dismantled in their hangar, but they could be quickly assembled. The Vindex is the first of the smaller carriers to be fitted with a forward flying deck, an arrangement which marks a considerable advance for this type of vessel.


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