Winston Churchill wanted to build an aircraft carrier from ... ice

In 1942, the situation on the West Front for the UK was catastrophic. German crigsmarine once at once applied significant losses to the Royal Fleet. The powerful industrial base of Germany allowed the country to quickly reimburse its losses in the technique, while the United Kingdom, having entered the war was not sufficiently prepared, considered any, even the most insane ideas that could help her confront the enemy.

One of these ideas was the option of creating an aircraft carrier, the construction material for which the ice would serve - the temporary replacement of steel, the deficit of which at that time reached his peak. It is known that in 1942 this idea was discussed in the highest circles of the United Kingdom, including Winston Churchill, who then fulfilled the obligation of the Prime Minister.

Two approaches to creating an aircraft carrier are developed at once. The first is the cheapest - consisted in the spilling of the top of the major iceberg and the re-equipment of its surface under the runway. It was assumed that such ships, characterized by extreme cheap, will be used for stealing air operations against the strategic objects of the enemy. Such an iceberg aircraft carrier was also supposed to be equipped with defense systems, residential compartments and engine steering. Time to use such a ship would be limited to several months.

The second approach suggested the creation of an aircraft carrier from scratch from pre-prepared ice blocks, between which the refrigeration pipes would have passed, which would allow the ship without melting and perform their functions for a long time.

After long discussions, the British Ministry of Defense chose the second option as the most promising. The project manager was appointed Engineer Jeffrey Pike. Experimentally, he found that if mixed water with cellulose, then after freezing, ice, superior by the strength of the usual and longer than melting. The new material, which, as it turned out later, has also more buoyancy, it was decided to call "Pykret". The British project was attracted by American and Canadian allies, and soon a test sample of the ship was built in just two months and descended into the water in Canada, where his tests began.

By 1943, the 18-meter vessel was successfully tested in summer conditions, but the English Admiralty had several questions about the engineers: they asked to increase the durability of the deck for landing heavy bombers and equip the vessel with additional protection against the torpedoes of German submarines. For these improvements, it was necessary to strengthen the metal frame of the vessel, which was poured into additional money, and the main time costs. The project no longer seemed like a panacea from the superiority of Germany at sea, especially since by the end of 1943 the situation in the war turned into the benefit of the allies. Britain finally managed to overcome the deficit of steel and establish the production of cheap aircraft ships. An unusual project was gradually forgotten and remained only in the form of drawings. The test copy of the ship soon melted, leaving a metal frame-skeleton after himself.