The idea of uniting the ship and the aircraft is a simple one.
But this simple idea has been the subject of great technical innovation, has led to decisive military success, and has found itself the focus of increasing controversy.
The first ships to carry aircraft appeared during the First World War. To begin with, they were little more than floating hangers. They had to find calm water and then stop to launch and recover their fragile reconnaissance seaplanes.
This film looks at the development of the aircraft carrier, from WWI through to WWII