The Underwater Japanese Aircraft Carrier

Here’s an interesting bit of history: during World War II, the Japanese made several large submarines that were able to carry and launch small planes. The I-400-class submarines literally were underwater aircraft carriers. The idea being, of course, that the Japanese could launch sneak attacks with planes that seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

0849612via

A small hangar contained up to three airplanes with collapsible wings that would be launched from a catapult track (much like modern air craft carriers). Of course, the submarine had to surface first.

I-400 Diagram Bvia

fig02fvia

They were the largest submarines made until the nuclear subs of the 60s. Reminds of me the anime Space Battleship Yamato.

titlevia

Thanks, Wikipedia. That gives me another idea for a ship in a bottle: a submarine in a jug literally filled with murky water.

PS. And oh how the times have changed. Or haven’t changed? I don’t know. X-47B stealth drone successfully launches from an aircraft carrier.