20 September 1916 – Conto Rossi

The Admiralty have finally bowed to the inevitable and accepted the the limitations of the current swathe of aircraft carriers. The current designs suffer from a major design flaw in that wheeled aircraft are now able to take off but cannot be landed, meaning the aircraft must be flown back to shore or ditched.

The alternative is to use floatplanes of various sorts, but these are difficult to launch and land except in the calmest of weather, severely limiting their availability.

Back in 1912, the ship builder William Beardmore had proposed to the Admiralty an aircraft carrier design with a continuous, full-length flight deck, but it was not accepted at that time. The design has now been dusted off and the Admiralty today purchased the Italian ocean liner Conto Rosso whose construction by William Beardmore had been suspended at the outbreak of the war. The company will now begin the process of conversion into an aircraft carrier.

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