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HMS Hermes before conversion
Short Folder S 64, HMS Hermes

On this day 7 May 1913

Published: 07 May 2013

On this day 7 May 1913 HMS HERMES (a light cruiser) is commissioned as the experimental ship for operating aircraft at sea.

HMS HERMES (a Highflyer class cruiser) is commissioned after being converted to be the first British warship for operating seaplanes.  The conversion involved fitting a stowage platform at the rear of the ship and a launching platform at the front. The aircraft took off using wheeled trolleys and were retrieved by cranes. Two seaplanes were carried during trials in 1913. The design arrangements were obviously acceptable as she set the pattern for the bulk of the First World War conversions undertaken during the next four years. 


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