Question: On Indomitable's freeboard

Dear WebMaster,
Thank You and Congratulations on a very interesting-looking website, and theme.
I have been looking for a definitive comparison - preferrably drawings, but one or two key dimensions/specifications could also suffice - quantifying the difference, if any, in freeboard height between HMS Illustrious as-launched, and HMS Indomitable, also as-launched, with her extra "half-height" hangar.
So far my every attempt to measure (at which I am expert) the above difference from historical photos - some of which even present the two (sub-classes) alongside each other - although suggesting Indomitable to be taller than Illustrious/Victorious (though this could also be an optical illusion of their very stark camouflage schemes), have failed to reliably yield any quantitative difference(s).  Thus, the question still remains open in my mind.
Can you provide any guidance to the best source(s) - again, drawing(s) preferred, but key freeboard/flight deck elevation specs or even suitable historical photo-references also potentially sufficient - to resolve the above question?
Any help greatly appreciated!



Thankyou for your feedback.

I do recall seeing reference to this several times in my reading.

Indomitable quite clearly had the highest freeboard because of the combination of her 16ft and 14ft hangars.

The Implacables had two 14ft hangars, and the Illustrious class a single 16ft.

It really was (almost) a simple as that: The remainder of the ships' designs were so similar.

Exactly what those figures were I will have to search for.

Regrettably I have just put most of my books into temporary storage in preparation for moving house! (And I had deliberately decided to keep too many statistics and figures out of the website- at least until I build a comparative table).

Until I can get my hands on my books, the following may help you extrapolate freeboard:

a) A link to a pdf the Anatomy of the Ship Victorious book:

b) a portion of the original battle-damage 1:16 scale drawing for Indomitable (with length in feet marked out along the bottom)


c) As for the books I recommend (but I cannot guarantee these have the figures you are looking for), they are in my References page on armouredcarriers. com:

- British Aircraft Carriers (Hobbs)
- British Naval Aviation (Friedman)
- Aircraft Carriers of the British and Commonwealth Navies  (Hobbs)



I found this line in British Aircraft Carriers (Hobbs) about Indomitable's freeboard:

Page 100

"The flight deck was 14ft higher above the water level than that in Illustrious, making her less likely to ship 'green water' in rough seas and a better sea boat overall."

Within Friedman's British Carrier Aviation is this about Indomitable:

Page 143

"She was not altered from keel to upper deck, but by adding 6ft to the total hull depth (73ft 9in rather than 67ft 9in as in Illustrious) the constructors were able to provide two hangars."

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