Digital library
Digital library

Waddington’s Porpoise

A wide variety of inventors proposed different types of submarines between the 1870s and the 1890s, and several were built. In 1886, Andrew Campbell and James Ash of Britain built and tested a 60ft-long craft. Nautilus had four cylinders which retracted or extended from the hull to increase and decrease buoyancy to dive, and twin 13hp engines powered by 52 batteries. Nautilus was advanced and held potential, but unfortunately, on a demonstration dive off Tilbury it became stuck in the mud, only finally coming away after the crew and observers on board ran back and forth inside the craft to rock it free.

Perhaps of more promise during this time was the craft built by James Franklin Waddington, a former employee of the Cochrans’ Birkenhead yard where George Garrett had built Resurgam, who designed his own electric-powered submarine, which he named Porpoise. Roughly the same size as Resurgam, Porpoise was 37ft long with a 6ft 6in beam. The propulsion system was described in 1888:

The motive power, as already indicated, is electricity, and the arrangements for utilizing it consist of forty-five large accumulator cells which have a capacity of 660 ampere hours each. They are coupled up in series to an electro motor which drives the propeller, direct at about 750 revolutions per minute. The motor, when working at full speed... would drive the vessel for ten hours at a rate of 8 miles an hour, thereby enabling the vessel to go eighty miles at full speed without replenishing the accumulators, while at half-speed the vessel would travel a distance of 110 miles, or at a slow speed for a distance of about ISO miles.'

A diagram of Waddington’s Porpoise, 1888. (Bettmann/Corbis)

Waddington armed his electric boat with “two locomotive torpedoes” that were externally moimted alongside the conning-tower and “secured by grips, which can be cast adrift from the inside of the vessel. At the same time as the grips are released, and by the same action, the propelling motor of the torpedo is started, and it shoots ahead of the vessel.’’Additionally, a “mine torpedo is also carried for the purpose of attacking any vessel at anchor with its torpedo nettings in position. Attached to the mine is an electric wire, which can be readily payed out of the vessel, and by means of which the mine can be fired from a distance.”

Waddington referred to Porpoise as the first practical electrically propelled submarine, but it was not. It was a well-thought out and advanced craft for its time, as several submarine historians such as Compton-Hall note, and the submarine apparently worked well during its trials at Liverpool in March and April 1886, and various foreign agents examined it. However, Waddington failed to sell his concept sufficiently to obtain further contracts and ended up bankrupt.' As for Porpoise, it was reportedly broken up for scrap after “rusting away on the shore at Waddington’s yard.”

скачать dle 12.1

Literatura: GNM-SilentKillers