The old Ark Royal and Eagle - size of lower hangar?

Discussion in 'History' started by Stewartg, Jan 12, 2009.

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  1. Hi, a newbie here with a historical question on the old Ark and Eagle.

    I'm looking for confirmation (or not) that both ships progressively had the aft ends of their lower hangars "filled in" with accommodation, storage and so on.

    I had a look at their Ships' Covers years ago and that's what they said, but I can't find any confirmation in published sources.

    Any assistance gratefully received!
  2. I served in Eagle from 65 to 67 and Ark from 74 to 76. At no time was any of the lower hanger purloined for storage of accommodation.
    Radio Workshops was located Aft of the lower hanger.
  3. HMS Victorious sailed From Sydney Friday 28 th June1946 with 619 war brides in the Hangar accommodation :thumright: :thumright: :thumright:
  4. OK, but to be clear, was the lower hangar the same length (364') as the upper one, or was it shorter?

    (I mean between the forward and aft lifts; I know the upper hangar had an extension forward of the forward lift.)

    And was the lower hangar different in size between the two ships?

    Thanks again.
  5. The lower hanger was shorter than the upper hanger.
    The upper hanger could be accessed by both the after lift and the fwd lift. The lower hanger could only be accesed by the fwd lift.
  6. Brilliant. Exactly what I was after.

    My understanding is that they were designed and originally built with both hangars the same length, but the lower one was progressively cut down from the aft end.

    E.g. Ark lost the aftmost 69' of the hangar in 1958/59 and a further 78' in the 1966-70 Phantomisation refit.

    Can you recall whether the sizes of the lower hangar were different between the two ships?

    There are published sources saying Eagle's lower hangar was only 172' feet long, whereas my figures would imply Ark's was 217' long.
  7. Sorry all that I can confirm is that the lower hangers were indeed smaller than the upper hangers. The lower hangers on both ships were used by the buccaneer squadrons.
  8. No, thanks all the same.

    You have saved me from thinking I had gone a bit mad a few years ago.
  9. Both carriers had the lower hangars reduced during refits, but Eagle was the more comprehensive. Eagle's aft lower hangar was split into 4 and 5 decks, and used for a variety of purposes. Missile workshops were the main priority (IIRC), but accommodation aft became far more salubrious, with the aft lift well on 4 deck becoming the wardroom ante room, the old hangar on 4 deck becoming the wardroom dining room, and the space in between was the bar :D Cabins were also incorporated into the old 6 deck wardroom area, and in the same refit Eagle had much superior radar and control fitted.

    Ark was scheduled for the same refit, but politics got in the way and she was only given a quick "once over" to operate Phantoms. The break downs of basic machinery through the 70's plagued Ark: we were adrift for about 12 hours due to feed water contamination in 74, and had to take a feed water transfer from Blake to get into Gib for repairs :cry: The Ark lower hangar was made over into workshop areas only, IIRC. No refit aft of the hangar.
  10. Can't help with the actual sizes but the lower hangar on Eagle 67/68 could take 6 buccaneers.It used to be a bit of a procedure if a bucc. from the front was moved up on deck as you had to move at least 2 others on to the flight deck first.
  11. There is contradictory info available.

    From various "Aircraft Carrier Handbooks" and amendments ;


    1947 edition (whilst ships were building) - the hangar area was meant to be 51,216 square feet.


    The 1954 Amendment has drawings with the following dimensions :

    Lower Hangar : 364 feet by 53' 6" minimum / 67' maximum (plus torpedo body room forward of the lift.

    Upper Hangar : 364 feet by 67 feet plus "hangar extension - Aircraft Repair Section" forward of lift.

    (Dimensions exclude lifts)


    The 1958 Edition is as the 1954 Amendment, but on a drawing it shows the lower hangar with rooms blocking off about 80 feet of the rear hangar and the forward hangar extension is now noted as 45 feet.

    The dimensions table however states that Ark Royal had a 364 foot lower hangar with Eagle having a 172 foot lower hangar !


    Lots of info, no answers.


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