France Builds DIVING Plane Carrier (Jun, 1930)

France Builds DIVING Plane Carrier

CAPABLE of carrying a fighting seaplane, a full complement of big guns, and a crew of 150 men, the most powerful submarine in the world was recently added to the equipment of the French navy. It is known as the Surcouf, and is in reality a light cruiser capable of traveling under water, since when submerged it has a greater displacement than a floating cruiser. The Surcouf is by far the most powerful submersible yet conceived, and represents France’s latest bid for sea power.

As depicted on this month’s cover of Modern Mechanics, the submarine carries its seaplane equipment in a water-tight tubular compartment on deck which is tightly closed when submerging. When emerging on the surface one end of the compartment is moved toward the stern of the sub on tracks built for that purpose, a seaplane is lifted to a catapult by a derrick and launched into the air, all within a space of a few moments. At the same time the planes are being launched, the sub’s war guns can be bombarding an objective while torpedoes are being launched at a distant battleship, giving the submersible tremendous destructive power.

Diesel engines drive the Surcouf at a speed of 18 knots per hour on the surface; electric motors develop a 10-mile speed submerged.

  1. Tom Bates says: October 24, 20088:10 am

    Thanks, this is a link to some of the plans for the sub The site is in french. http://www.servicehisto…


  2. StanFlouride says: October 24, 20082:11 pm

    Thanks, Tom and thanks to here’s a translation with a photo of this impressive machine:….

  3. Eliyahu says: October 24, 20087:12 pm

    It must have given them quite the military advantage, being able to resoundingly defeat any enemy ships that they encountered. No wonder the Germans didn’t dare attack them in WW2…

  4. Torgo says: October 24, 20089:50 pm

    Eliyahu, learn some history then come back.

  5. mestizo says: October 24, 200810:14 pm

    Um…Torgo….I think Eliyahu was using sarcasm. Get it?

  6. John M. Hanna says: October 26, 20081:15 am

    The Germans looked at that and in their best Count Floyd voice said “OOOH! Scary!”

  7. dan says: February 12, 200912:27 am

    yes cause the germans are sooooo scared of the french thought the french did build the maginot line and to protect themselves from the germans so the germans went around it

  8. Crazy Ideas says: April 9, 20093:19 am

    It seems most nations had ideas for one of these (the aircraft parts anyway). Japan had a relatively prominent idea for a submersible aircraft carrier too… too lazy to look it up though.

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