Flying Aircraft Carrier
|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Flying Aircraft Carrier, Helicarrier, Cloudbase, Valiant|
|Related:||S.H.I.E.L.D., U.N.I.T., Spectrum|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Flying Aircraft Carriers and other flying ships have been a staple of science fiction and comics since the nineteenth century; early examples appear in the works of Jules Verne, George Griffith, and other authors of this period. The first real-world examples were airships which carried one or more fighters, from the 1930s onward.
Typically fictional flying aircraft carriers are heavier than air aircraft supported by jets, propellers or antigravity, although dirigibles appear occasionally. They serve as mobile headquarters, barracks and aircraft carriers, much like their floating counterparts, but aren't limited to the oceans. They are most often associated with "secret" agencies such as S.H.I.E.L.D., Spectrum and U.N.I.T.. There is usually some vagueness about the power sources required to keep several thousand tons floating in the air; nuclear or solar power seem the most common choices. In the canon in which these vehicles appear they are generally attacked or go wrong sooner or later, at which point the wisdom of spending billions on something that will fall out of the sky if the power goes out, rather than floating on the surface, becomes debatable.
- Numerous examples in Anime and Manga.
- S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarriers are probably the best-known western examples, seen in comics since 1965 and on screen in animation and in the The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, etc.
- Some S.H.I.E.L.D. transport aircraft (e.g. The Bus, Zephyr One, both in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) are capable of docking at least one smaller aircraft such as a Quinjet.
- The Valkyrie, Hydra's aircraft in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) carries several small fighters but does not perform many of the other roles seen in this trope.
- While technically a spaceship, the Galactica launched its fighters in atmosphere at least once - while plummeting towards the ground, since it was not designed for atmospheric flight.
- Cloudbase, in Captain Scarlet (1967), renamed Skybase in the 2005 remake.
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) has a fleet of British carriers, which are seen launching a large-scale fighter attack.
- In Doctor Who U.N.I.T. owns at least one flying carrier, the Valiant (2007-8). It is ultimately destroyed by Daleks, but later rebuilt.
- Atlantis, in Stargate: Atlantis, performs this role occasionally. It's also a spaceship and a submarine.
- Girl Genius (2001- ) has several, most notably Castle Wulfenbach; they are mostly airships.
- The web comic Texts from Superheroes has strips related to this theme - Howard Stark to Agent Carter and Nick Fury to Captain America