The world’s 46 aircraft carriers are between 88-250 feet tall, with the USS Gerald R. Ford being the tallest aircraft carrier in the world at 250 feet.

Aircraft carriers, which can weigh up to 110,000 tons, displace a massive volume of water, which lets them stay afloat.

Aircraft carriers impressive size naturally translates into requiring a huge investment to build and maintain them – costing between $8 to $10 billion to build and over $1 billion to operate annually.

What is the Shortest Aircraft Carrier in the World?

Australia’s HMAS Adelaide is the world’s shortest aircraft carrier, with a height of 88.5 feet or 27 m. 

What is the Tallest Aircraft Carrier in the World?

The United States USS Gerald R. Ford is the world’s tallest aircraft carrier, standing at 250 feet or 76 m tall.

How Tall Are Aircraft Carriers?

Aircraft carriers are between 88 and 250 feet tall.

The height of an aircraft carrier depends on its class and purpose. 

These are the heights of the world’s 46 aircraft carriers. 

1. United States

  • USS Gerald R. Ford: 250 feet or 76m
  • USS Dwight D. Eisenhower: 244 feet or 74.4m
  • USS Nimitz: 244 feet or 74m
  • USS Carl Vinson: 244 feet or 74m
  • USS Theodore Roosevelt: 244 feet or 74.4m
  • USS Abraham Lincoln: 206 feet or 62.9 m
  • USS George Washington: 244 feet or 74.4m
  • USS John C. Stennis: 244 feet or 74.4m
  • USS Harry S. Truman: 244 feet or 74m
  • USS Ronald Reagan: 244 feet or 74m
  • USS George H.W.Bush: 244 feet or 74m

Related: How Many Aircraft Carriers Does the US Have?

2. Australia

  • HMAS Canberra: 90 feet or 27.5m
  • HMAS Adelaide: 88.5 feet or 27m

3. Brazil

  • NAM Atlântico: Height unknown but draught is 6.6m or 21 feet

4. China

  • Liaoning: Height is unknown but draught is 9.14m or 31 feet
  • Shandong: Rumored to be around 240 feet or 73 m 

5. France 

  • Charles De Gaulle: 218 feet or 66.5m

6. Egypt

  • ENS Gamal Abdel Nasser: 190 feet or 58m
  • ENS Anwar Al Sadat: 210 feet or 64.3m

7. India 

  • INS Vikramaditya: 196.8 feet or 60m
  • INS Vikrant: 194 feet or 59m

8. Italy

  • Cavour: Height unknown but draught is 28.7 feet or 8.7m
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi: Height unknown but draught is 27 feet or 8.2 m 

9. Japan 

  • JS Izumo: height unknown but draught is 24.7 feet or 7.5m
  • JS Kaga: height unknown but draught is 24.7 feet or 7.5m

10. Russia 

  • Admiral Kuznetsov: 211.6 feet or 64.5m

11. Spain

  • Juan Carlos 1: 190 feet 3 inches or 58m

12. Thailand 

  • HTMS Chakri Naruebet: 240.3 feet or 73.3 m

13. United Kingdom

  • HMS Queen Elizabeth: 184 feet or 56m
  • HMS Prince of Wales: 184 feet or 56m

How Many Stories Tall Are Aircraft Carriers?

Aircraft carriers are between 7 and 25 stories tall.

Most US aircraft carriers are over 20 stories tall. 

How Much of an Aircraft Carrier is Underwater?

On average, between 32-37 feet of an aircraft carrier is underwater.

The USS Nimitz is 40 feet underwater at full load. 

What Stops an Aircraft Carrier From Tipping Over?

Aircraft carriers float on water because the ship’s hull displaces a larger volume of water than the ship’s weight.

So the buoyant force of the displaced water is greater than the gravitational force of the aircraft carrier, which ensures the aircraft carrier stays afloat.

Related: Do Airplanes Float on Water?

How Long is an Aircraft Carrier?

Aircraft carriers are between 667 and 1,092, or 203.4 and 333 m feet long.

The world’s largest aircraft carrier is the USS Gerald R. Ford, which is 1,092 feet or 333 m long.

The world’s shortest aircraft carrier is the Giuseppe Garibaldi, which is 591 feet or 180.2 m long.

Related: How Long is an Aircraft Carrier?

How Much Does an Aircraft Carrier Weigh?

Aircraft carriers weigh anywhere between 27,000 to 110,000 tons.

Italy’s Giuseppe Garibaldi is the world’s lightest aircraft carrier, at 27,000 tons.

The world’s heaviest aircraft carrier is the U.S.S Gerald R. Ford, at 110,000 tons. 

How Much Does an Aircraft Carrier Cost?

Building an aircraft carrier costs between $5 billion and $10 billion.

The exact price of an aircraft carrier depends on its size, type, intended role, and the country that manufactures it. 

For example, the building cost of a US Nimitz Class carrier is $9.7 billion.

In contrast, a Russian aircraft carrier costs close to $7 billion. 

The average annual operating cost of an aircraft carrier is $1.18 billion. This figure translates to a daily maintenance cost of between $6 million and $8 million. 

While the maintenance costs of aircraft carriers are not publicly released, it is estimated to be between $2 and $4 billion over a 32-month maintenance cycle. 

How Fast Are Aircraft Carriers?

Most aircraft carriers travel at a speed of 30 knots. The USS Gerald R. Ford can travel as fast as 35 knots. 

In conclusion:

  • Aircraft carriers are between 88 and 250 feet tall (7 to 25 stories tall).
  • The world’s tallest aircraft carrier is the USS Gerald R. Ford, which stands at 250 feet.
  • Aircraft carriers can weigh over 100,000 tons. 
  • Aircraft carriers are able to float on water because their hulls displace a massive amount of water.
  • The buoyant force of the displaced water is greater than the gravitational force of the aircraft carrier, which keeps aircraft carriers from tipping over.
  • Aircraft carriers are also extremely expensive, costing upwards of $10 billion dollars to build and another $1.18 billion on average to operate annually.

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