Fact Check: The US Navy Does NOT Have a Flying Aircraft Carrier

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: The US Navy Does NOT Have a Flying Aircraft Carrier Marvel Concept

Is the U.S. Navy ready to deploy a multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier that can go airborne? No, that's not true: A video that announced supposed U.S. Navy plans to deploy such a carrier used images from the fictional Marvel Cinematic Universe. A U.S. Navy spokesperson told Lead Stories that the video's claim is not accurate.

The video (archived here) was published on Facebook on August 29, 2022, with the caption "Finally! The US Billions $ FLYING Aircraft Carrier Is Ready For Action". The video opened with a male voice saying:

The U.S. Navy is about to become the U.S. Air Force. Aircraft carriers are about to become aircraft.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-08-31 at 10.17.35 AM.png

Facebook screenshot(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Aug 31 14:38:52 2022 UTC)

A reverse image search of the posted video's first few seconds of footage found a YouTube clip from the 2012 Marvel Studios movie "The Avengers," a fantasy film. At its 46-second mark, this YouTube video shows "The Helicarrier," a fictional craft that appears in the film.

MovieScenes-Clips-Marvel-Battle Ship.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Thurs Sep. 1 00:40 2022 UTC)

This footage also appears in the posted video at 0:11.

A few frames later, at 0:13, the video posted on Facebook uses an apparent outtake from a later Marvel Studios film, the 2015 movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron," another fantasy film. This film footage can be seen at 01:41 in another YouTube fan video.

Avengers Age of Ultron - flying aircraft carrier.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Thurs Sep. 1 00:55 2022 UTC)

The narrator on the posted video claims that, "Although real carrier concepts may not be as dramatic as Marvel's fictional Helicarrier, the ones that do exist are close as they've gotten in the last 100 years." While he says this, clips of Marvel's Helicarrier flash across the screen.

The video's narration does not elaborate about any purported U.S. Navy plans to deploy a flying aircraft carrier.
Most of the video focuses on the history of 20th-century U.S. attempts to adapt military aircraft into flying aircraft carriers.

A U.S. Navy spokesperson, Lt. Cmdr. Travis Callaghan, denied the video's claims that the U.S. Navy now has a flying aircraft carrier ready to deploy.

"That claim is not accurate," Callaghan wrote in an August 31, 2022, email in response to an inquiry from Lead Stories.
He also provided a link to an official site that provides information about U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the U.S. Navy can be found here, here and here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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