A Quick Visual Primer to Every American Aircraft Carrier Class of the Past 97 Years

USS Langley underway. (Department of the Navy. Naval Photographic Center)


The Naval History & Heritage Command put together this awesome and simple graphic that demonstrates the evolutionary history of American aircraft carriers throughout the U.S. Navy’s involvement with naval aviation. It starts off with the USS Langley, the Navy’s first flattop, and ends with the USS Gerald R. Ford, the lead ship of her class due to enter active service within the next two years. It’s cool to see how far we’ve come from the Langley, which was a converted collier with a flat flight-deck added atop the ship’s superstructure, to the Ford, which in itself represents the employment of 100+ years worth of lessons learned in naval aviation.

About Ian D'Costa (240 Articles)
Ian is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Air Network. His work has been republished and quoted in a number of publications, including The Toronto Star, Airsoc, Business Insider and The Aviationist. You can reach him at idcosta@tacairnet.com.

2 Comments on A Quick Visual Primer to Every American Aircraft Carrier Class of the Past 97 Years

  1. Joe Smith // April 25, 2015 at 16:27 // Reply

    You are missing the USS Wasp CV 7. The wasp was a seperate design from the Ranger. She was built to use up the left over tonnage for CV’s and to keep the group who favored smaller carriers over the large ones happy. They both showed in service that you couldn’t make them small and put all you wanted in them, there was no room to grow with changes dictated by combat.


  2. Good stuff Ian! Thanks for all the great info and work. Much appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: