But, incredible as it sounds, someone in Downing Street thought this idea was worth investigating.
For a couple of weeks, officials in Paris and London were busily working on a plan to bring Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron together on the deck of a carrier.
Team Cameron thought it would provide a splendid backdrop that emphasised the strengthened Anglo-French military ties.
But finding the right spot proved tricky.
The most practical option was Ark Royal, which is based in Portsmouth. With impeccable timing, I’m told the Downing Street location scouts paid a visit within days of the Ark Royal crew being told the ship was to be scrapped. Cameron’s emissaries were, understandably, not given the warmest reception.
If this mini-blunder does highlight anything, it is the weakness of Cameron’s position.
There are likely to be some serious announcements at the summit, particularly on naval co-operation. But any progress will inevitably be judged against the fact that Cameron has agreed to have carriers with no planes for the next decade.
Even to regenerate the capability in 2020, Britain is heavily reliant on the willingness of allies to help the British deck crews and pilots train.
Cameron argues he had little alternative but to accept this capability gap, given the budget constraints and unbreakable contracts for the new carriers. But this decision could well come to define a fraught defence review.
It is a tough sell politically and the fallout is far from over. Just think of the launch of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the biggest ship ever built by the navy, which will go to sea in 2014 with no planes to fly of it. Will they allow Cameron anywhere near it?