Skip to content

CV-1 — first U.S. air craft carrier — the USS Langley

4 June 2012

CV-1 — first U.S. aircraft carrier — the USS Langley

Model of CV-1 Langley,  port forward quarter aspect — photo by Joseph May

Named to honor scientist, inventor and aviation pioneer Samuel Pierpont Langley the U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier was a conversion of the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3) to continue the development of naval aviation. She had an elevator and a catapult  — maintenance was carried out on the hangar deck which was immediately below the flight deck where the compliment of aircraft was normally borne. The early convention in carrier design was to have a clean deck, which meant the stacks were angled outward from below the flight deck — a flight deck with no island as well.

The Langley’s elevator, note the three sailors during a casual moment (this is a great model in part since it has details such as this) — photo by Joseph May

The aircraft aboard the Langley were usually Vought VE-7 Bluebirds, U.S. Army two seat trainers modified into single seat fighters. The hangar deck was also open to the sea which was a safety design element so that munitions, fuel and aircraft could quickly be pushed overboard in the event damage control parties thought such action required to save the ship.

Vought VE-7 Bluebirds are prepared for launch, note the launch command station immediately forward of the stack  — photo by Joseph May

The Langley was converted a second time to evolve into a seaplane tender, keeping her name but redesignated to AV-3. Langley served in WW II delivering aircraft as well as supporting submarine patrols until February 1942 when crippled by the Japanese with heavy loss of life south of Java, ironically by aircraft. She was subsequently sunk by friendly fire to prevent her from falling into enemy hands.

CV-1 Langley’s hangar deck crowded with Vought VE-7 Bluebird fighters — U.S. Navy photo

The Langley makes way under a bright sky upon a calm sea — U.S. Navy photo

The model pictured in this post of CV-1 Langley is on exhibit in the National Naval Aviation Museum.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: