The Hosho (translates to flying phoenix) was one of the world’s first aircraft carrier that designed, built, and commissioned as one. Though it wasn’t the first one planned, that being the HMS Hermes. The Hosho was built through 1920-1922 and commissioned in 1922 through 1945 used mostly for testing aircraft operations, equipment, and techniques which included takeoffs and landings, operational methods, and tactics.
The ship proved to be valuable allowing for Japan the experience needed for their early carrier operations. She was designed originally as a seaplane carrier a lot like Britain’s HMS Campania with only a forward flight deck and was originally going to have a sister ship named ‘Shokaku’ (which would be given to a later IJN carrier class: Shokaku class). The idea was revised after Japanese observers in the Royal Navy in Europe found out about their plan to create a ship that is not only able to launch aircraft but land aircraft as well. Some parts of the Hosho were modeled after the HMS Furious a Courageous-class Battlecruiser circa the time she received her rear flight deck. The Hosho was built to be capable of 30 knots (35 mph) and to be fitted with a forward flight deck, a superstructure funnels amid the ship and a large hanger aft. Though after observations on landing trials on the HMS Furious and HMS Argus (one of the first flushes decked aircraft carriers), the Hosho’s flight deck design was revised once more with the superstructure removed with the funnels removed and placed on the starboard side of the ship. Her hull was redesigned based on one of a large cruiser (but still basically left the ship unarmored) given a small island on the deck, to add to that the deck was slightly declined in order to accelerate the lift of aircraft being launched. Though after some flight trials, the island was removed and the deck was flattened.
The armor caused the ship’s knots to reduce to about 25 knots (29 mph). The Hosho on completion had an overall length of 168.25 meters (552 ft), a beam of 17.98 meters and a draft of 6.17 meters.
Her AA consisted of 4-140mm/50cal guns, 2-80mm/40cal anti-aircraft, machines guns. She complimented about 512 people including officers and men. aft of 6.17 meters (20 ft and 3 in). She had a displacement of 7470 long tons at a standard load while weighing about 9494 long tons at a normal load. The Hosho could accommodate around 512 people including both officers and men. The Hosho could hold up to 26 aircraft, she was first commissioned with an air group of 9 Type 10 Mitsubishi 1MF fighters and around 3 to 6 Type 13 Mitsubishi B1M3 torpedo bombers.
In 1928 though the fighters were replaced with Type 3 A1N1 fighters.