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The PT Boat Forum ª PT Boats of WWII ª  PT Boats - General

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 Author  Topic: Potential book topic
alross2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of alross2   Send Email To alross2 Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 - 11:07am
The last year or so has seen the publication of a few books on areas of PT history seldom addressed - Frank's look at the support network, Charlie's history of MTBSTC.

One topic I've always found interesting but never addressed is why the boats, both US and foreign, looked the way they did. PT1-4, 7, & 8 had similar hulls and superstructures but were designed by different yards; 5 & 6, designed by Sparkman and Stephens but built by Higgins, had superstructures similar to the other experimental boats, but vastly different hull forms. ELCO, Higgins, and Huckins boats were certainly outwardly dissimilar, as were those designed and built by Vosper, BPB, AC Loire, Baglietto, Lurssen, Yokohama, etc.

So, anyone feeling adventurous? It's a topic that certainly needs input from an engineer or someone with a lot of experience with boatbuilding (you reading this, Smallshaw?) to be done right, but one that would be a great contribution to the literature on small combatants.

Al Ross


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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 - 2:54pm
Al, you just named your own poison. This is something that would be a great joint effort by yourself and Smallshaw. I can see someone like B.G. Marshall getting involved with this one as well.


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alross2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of alross2   Send Email To alross2 Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 - 4:34pm
Would be a pleasure working with either/both, but I'm on a long-term project with the Higgins material.

Al


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 - 5:27pm
Al, can I ask how the Higgins project is progressing?

Will

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alross2

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of alross2   Send Email To alross2 Posted on: Apr 2, 2011 - 6:24pm
Quote:

Al, can I ask how the Higgins project is progressing? Will



You can ask, but if I tell you, then I'll have to...well, you know

I'm still primarily in the reference collection stage. I have the plans for PT5, 6, 6' and 70, plus some interesting primary documentation and photos on the 70' boats. Am mostly done drawing MRB 2 and the Dutch version (H-8); still have to do the Finnish and RN versions. I have factory drawings for the HELLCAT and all of the major groups of the 78' boats, including the RN CT types and the Italian post-war configurations. Am acquiring material on the TC 108 class Jugoslavian copies and the boats acquired by Argentina. Have completed most of the weapons drawings for the PTs. Have not acquired anywhere near the volume of primary documentation I want on the Higgins Corporation; not much out there.

At the moment, I want to set up the book much like John and my ALLIED COASTAL FORCES. It will include a short history of Higgins; lots of drawings and photos of all the Higgins designs plus weapons, engines, radar, etc; a section on camouflage; the usual tech specs; possibly short histories of each Higgins RON. There will be little or no operational history text.

I'm in no rush to finish; just want it to be as comprehensive as I can make it. Will probably self-publish it, possibly electronically. Haven't thought that far ahead yet.

Al


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Will Day

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 3, 2011 - 7:08am
Thanks for the update. The ALLIED COASTAL FORCES volumes are truly a benchmark in the field; anything approaching that work will be a great addition...

Will

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Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 - 1:34pm
Al
I'm neither an enineer nor a shipbuilder, but I do recall reading somewhere that the graceful lines of the Elco were attributed to the design philosophy of its chief naval architect, Bill Fleming (whom I had the wonderful experience of knowing when I was a child), and that the Elco hull designs drew on his earlier work on their beautiful yachts. I've always been a little skeptical of that claim, since there's a pretty big difference between a planing hull and a displacement hull, but that's what I've read and there's probably some truth to it. At Huckins their PTs were based on Frank Huckins' quadrasonic hull design, which he actually licensed the company to use on their PTs. I'm not familiar with the Higgins design pedigree, but I suspect that, like at Elco and Huckins, the biggest reason for design dissimilarities on USN PTs is that the Navy's initial contract specs were very high level compared to today (they were basically just performance specs, and few at that), and this gave the designer great latitude -- naturally and inevitably resulting in dissimilar designs and dissimilar performance characteristics. Wonderfully of course, this gave rise to the great debate over which PT was the best. And at great risk of resurrecting that debate, I believe the truth is, depending on operational conditions, mission requirements, etc., that for any given circumstance, either an Elco, Huckins or Higgins could rightfully claim to be the best for that particular occasion. So that's only about two cents worth answer to your million dollar question, but that's all I got.


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smallwi

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of smallwi  Posted on: Apr 30, 2011 - 9:52am
Al,

A design study of MTBs would be interesting. I am not sure it warrants an entire book, but interesting non-the-less.

From an engineering perspective all of the allied boats are derivatives of the same principle, there are two very good books published on the subject. One by the designer of the Huckins boats, the other by the designer of the Vospers. These books do contain analysis that have been proven to be faulty over the last twenty years bu they do point to the design concepts.

Fundementally the idea is that an infinately wide flat surface will provide ideal lift characteristics to allow a boat to travel extremely fast in (over) the water. Looking at the allied MTBs at the stern you will notice that they are very close to a flat straight line in cross section. There is a slight "v" profile to assist with some level of directional stability. Anyone who has made a running jump onto a boogy board in a pool understands how a flat surface has no driectional control as it skims over the surface of the water.

The real difference in the Allied boats was in the bow design and the point at which the deep vee transforms to a flat plane. This is a long story for another time. Business considerations were also part of the designs. The 80 foot ELCO was redrawn in a way to nulify the agreement with Scott-Paine for royalties owed on the 70 foot and 77 foot boats.

The design difference in the boats is less interesting from a conceptual perspective, as they are all the same. What is of bigger interest to me, did small variation in the concept make any appreciable difference in the performance of the boats. This would require some engineering modelling for which I do not have the tools. But it would be interesting to see if ther is any validity to the ELCO verses Higgins performance discussions.

By the way the ELCOplane was a whole different story, stay tuned, Victor has some interesting stuff forthcoming.


Bill



Bill Smallshaw

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