The article considers the composition of aircraft carriers of the Black sea fleet during the First World War. The attention is paid to their tactical and technical characteristics. The authors used as materials the documents of the Russian state archive of the Navy (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation). These documents were first introduced into scientific circulation. The reference materials on the research topic were also used in the work. The research methodology is based on historicism, objectivity and retrospect. The use of these methods allowed us to consider the composition of aircraft carriers of the Black sea fleet in the context of a specific historical situation. The retrospective method allowed us to analyze the process of creating aircraft carriers due to the rearmament and retrofitting of civil cargo-passenger steamers at the very beginning of the First World War, this was made possible by applying the unique technological competencies of scientists and engineers to create an innovative technology, which in turn led to the formation of new competencies. In conclusion, the authors state that the Black sea fleet by the beginning of 1917 had a large number of aircraft carriers. There were not only large minelayers and hydro-cruisers, but also ordinary cruisers and gunboats. The total number of aircraft that could be simultaneously taken on board aircraft carriers exceeded 100 units and was quite sufficient not only for intelligence activities and adjustments to artillery fire, but also for massive bombardments. Copyright © 2021 by Cherkas Global University.