Italy's newest aircraft carrier like a son-captain

Tue Oct 6, 2009 1:25pm EDT
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By Jo Winterbottom

LA SPEZIA, Italy (Reuters Life!) - Italy's newest aircraft carrier is a pretty big baby. But the Cavour's captain sees his ship as exactly that: a son growing up before his eyes.

"I saw the ship growing day by day. So I feel it's like a son," Captain Gianluigi Reversi told Reuters in a recent interview aboard the 27,500 tonne ship.

The Cavour is docked at La Spezia while it undergoes maintenance following a year of tests, before it goes into full service probably some time in 2010.

Reversi became captain in 2005, when the ship started to be built, and will hand over to a successor next year.

"I have followed each step and I know every part, all the hidden angles," he said. He also had the 545 strong crew to train on the new ship.

"I will give the captain who follows me not only a body but a body with a heart and a brain," Reversi said.

Last week, that body was flexing its muscles to move journalists on board for the launch of Fiat's Punto Evo model.

The press conference was raised en bloc from the hangar to the 220 meter (yards) long runway deck by the massive lifting platform that normally hoists aircraft or helicopters.   Continued...