Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.

Angle Deck Landing Trials on the painted angle of HMS CENTAUR.

She was first RN carrier to be modified with an angled deck. In the usual Government/RN response to the invention, no money was allocated for construction so all that was done was to paint an angled centreline on the straight deck!!!!!! [In their usual "get up and go" attitude the USN had already modified the USS Antietam.

I did some trial DL's on the "angle" of HMS Centaur, 24th to 27th May 1954, in a Sea Fury. I don't know if these were the first. Joined circuit, received "roger" all the way round from the "bats", levelled wings, cut and landed on. Piece of Cake!!!!! Except there was then a clunk as my port wheel went into the catwalk. Said a few strong words in Flyco. On levelling wings lost sight of the centre line, of course, and there was NO port or starboard guide lines so how the hell does one decide how much to angle??? There was then a cooling off period while white lines were painted in the proper place. Then 8 more landings without incident. Centaur never did get the proper bow end for an angled deck."

-- Personal Testimony Cdr.(F) David. "Shorty" Hamilton. RN. May 2007

General interest admin note: HMS Vengeance a Colossus Class Carrier that was originally RN, then an RAN Carrier and then returned to the RN, was the first light fleet carrier to be fitted with a real angled deck. She had however to wait and be sold to the Brazilian Navy for this modification. Meanwhile FAA pilots soldiered on with painted angles.

photo archive of Cdr. (F) D. "Shorty" Hamilton. RN.


The viewer can assess the difficulty of perspective if there were no Port or Starboard Guide lines. Seen here on HMS Albion.

Light Fleet Carrier HMS Vengeance with angled deck.

HMS Centaur, with the painted angled deck.

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