Aircraft carriers are as old as aircrafts are. The oldest aircraft carrier in the world was discovered rusting away by a river bank. It was found lying in the Thames River and looked like any other rusting hull poking its head out of the water, covered with dirt, moss and rust. This vessel was spotted by a marine journalist and he identified it as a 1918 model Thorneycroft Seaplane Lighter.
At 58 feet (17.6m) in length, it’s not impressive and it looks nothing like the current day aircraft carriers that are 10 times the length of this bygone era wonder. It’s a very tiny craft, and had been discarded in the Thames like a piece of litter. In its heyday, it must have seen some action during the course of the FWW as that was when aircraft carriers had been introduced for the 1st time. Now, this aircraft carrier is at Somerset’s Fleet Air Arm Museum and experts are hard at work restoring it.
It must have carried 1 plane that would be launched by towing it straight into the wind. After the flight, the plane would then be ditched into the ocean and the aircraft carrier would recover it. Experts from the museum are saying that the find is a significant one. Though this ship is very tiny, it is this carrier that eventually led to the development of the humungous modern aircraft carriers that have runways of their own. This is the 1st aircraft carrier in the world and restoring it to its original glory and showcasing it at the museum is a fitting tribute to the vessel.
Graham Mottram, the director of the museum said that they had given up hope of finding any one of these early 20th-century boats intact. He was aware about the fact that these seaplane lighters existed, but finding it lying intact in the waters of the Thames was a true wonder.