Displacement: 23,350 tons / 23,724 tonnes (standard);
27,800 tons / 28,245 tonnes (deep load).
Length: 680ft 1in /207.3m (pp); 759ft 2in / 231.6m (oa);
700ft / 213.35m (fd).
Beam: 96ft 6in / 29.41m (hull); 83ft / 25.3m (fd).
Draught: 24ft / 7.31m (mean).
Machinery: Belluzzo geared turbines; 8 Thorneycroft boilers;
4 shafts. S.H.P. 140000=30 kts.
Bunkerage: 2,800 tons / 2,845 tonnes.
Range: 4,000 nm at 18kts.
Aircraft: 36 (50) Re2001 fighters.
Equipment: Hangar 1 (525ft*60ft); lifts 2; catapults 2.
8 - 5.3in single-mount low-angle;
12 - 65mm single-mounted;
132 - 20mm sextuple-mounted.
In the Italian Navy (Regia Marina), the use of
aircraft carriers was not widely accepted: the main causes being
a political interest toward other forms of naval power (115 high-sea
submarines built at the beginning of the II world war), and diffidence
between the highest ranks of the Navy. Projects were made to
create a class of "aircraft launchers", fast ships
with catapults for launch of airplanes, and hangars for their
transport to North Africa.
However Italy planned to build 3 aircraft
carriers: Aquila, Sparviero, Bolzano.
Aquila was realized during the years 1941-1943,
transforming a cruise liner of the '20s, Roma.
It was almost completed (hull 99%, engines 98%, fittings/armaments
70%) when the works were suspended on june, 22 1943. German forces
requisitioned the hull, planning to sink it and block the entrance
to the port of Genova, but an Italian frogmen unit sabotaged
it on the night
between 19 and 20 april 1945.
Sparviero was to be built transforming the
liner Augustus (1936): the project was smaller than Aquila, but
it was never completed, remaining an empty hull.
Bolzano was projected as a fast aircraft launcher;
the building was very slow, the hull was damaged in 1942 during
a battle against british ships, and sunk in june 1944.
They never entered active service, and their
hulls were demolished in 1951.