Unicorn class Maintenence Carrier
Name Pennant Biulder Completed Fate
Unicorn I72 Harland & Wolff 12/3/43 Scrapped 1960

Unicorn was the aircraft carrier eqivalent of a submarine / destroyer depot. ship., and the moder day RFA Argus. She was fitted out to operate and support any aircraft used by the FAA, with a full flight deck, catapults, arrester gear, a crane for seaplane / floatplane handling and a 16.5' hangar headroom .
She followed the layout of any conventional carrier - and was visibly influenced by the Invincible and Ark Royal class. Internally however, there were excellent workshop facilities, and a vast array of stores was carried, including 36,000 gallons of aviation fuel. Upper and lower hangars were served by disproportionately large lifts, to accomodate any FAA planes, and the repairs were done in the hangars.
Although used operationaly for short periods in 1945 & 45, it was in her intended role that she excelled, being an excellent asset, for aircraft repair and transport, and fleet backup and support. This was so much so, two of the "Collosus" class carriers were suspended and similarly converted - although without the flying-off capability off Unicorn.
A powerful AA armament was shipped controlled by two AR type 285 RDF fitted HA/DCT's and three AR type 282 fitted barrage directors. AW type 290 was carried at the masthead.

HMS Unicorn postwar, with two SeaFires on deck. Thanks to Stephen Williams for picture. The crane allowed seaplanes / floatplanes and lighter-borne planes to be handled.
Dimensions Empty displacement 20300 tons Length 640'
Full displacement 16510 tons Beam 90.25'
Load 3790 tons Draught 23' maximum


Performance & Propulsion
Range ? nm @ ? knots Speed 24 knots
Propulsion 4 x Admirality 3-drum boilers; 4 x Parsons geared steam turbines @ 40000 hp, 4 shafts


Armament, Aircraft & Complement
Complement 1000 Officers & Ratings
  • Gun
    • 4 x 2 x 4" AA
    • 3 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
    • 2 x 2 x , 8 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • up to 36 aircraft, see below;
Air Groups
For when Unicorn was engaged on operations.
March 1943
  • 12 x Sea Hurricane Fighters
May 1943
  • 18 x Fairey Swordfish T.B's
July 1943
  • 13 x Fairey Swordfish T.B's,
  • 10 x Supermarine SeaFire Fighters
September 1943
  • various detachments;
    • 12 x Supermarine SeaFire Fighters / 3 x Fairey Swordfish T.B's or;
    • 10 x Supermarine SeaFire Fighters / 9 x Grumman Martlet (F4F) Fighters or;
    • 8 x Grumman Martlet (F4F) Fighters or;
    • 6 x Supermarine SeaFire Fighters
    • 10 x Supermarine SeaFire Fighters
Хостинг от uCoz