Author Topic: QE2 model test propeller  (Read 279 times)

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Offline Max Robinson

QE2 model test propeller
« on: Nov 20, 2019, 03:17 PM »
Hi guys,
Peculiar piece of history. Can anyone shed light?
A few years ago I was given a peculiar object by my grandfather, which appears to be a test propeller from a QE2 model in the design and development stages of its construction. I have been unable to find out much about it on the internet and therefore I have attached some images In the hope that one of you might shed light on the matter. As you will see it has the inscription: “Queen Elizabeth II  Model Test Propeller, National Physics Laboratory, Feltham, 1965.” Has anyone seen anything like this before?”

Best wishes,

« Last Edit: Nov 20, 2019, 06:46 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Peculiar piece of history. Can anyone shed light?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 20, 2019, 03:45 PM »
In the early 1960s Cunard had designed a ship that used more power for each propeller than any other passenger liner afloat. The difficulty was not in making sufficiently powerful engines but in absorbing that power efficiently. It was done by taking advantage of all the recent work on the design of propellers and using, for the first time on a passenger liner, propellers with six blades instead of the more usual four. Some naval ships did use even more power per propeller but only for short bursts whereas Q4 would have to run at full power all the time. An exhaustive series of resistance and propulsion tests, involving four and six bladed propellers, had been carried out at the Clydebank Experimental Tank and at the Ship Division of the National Physical Laboratory. The latter had also been involved in extensive maneuverability trials in proving the aft underwater hull form. Cavitation tests on models of the propellers were carried out at Newcastle University and vibration studies were carried out in conjunction with the British Ship Research Association (B.S.R.A), N.P.L and Pametrada.

QE2’s first set of propellers were designed and manufactured by Stone Manganese Marine at their London works in Greenwich. Stone Manganese was concerned about the amount of power that each of their products would have to absorb and were greatly relieved when the initial four boilers were reduced to three during the December 1964 cost cutting implementation. The reduction of one boiler would mean 110,000 shp being produced (giving the same service speed) which was the maximum Stone Manganese had insisted on.

Stone Manganese tested four- and six-bladed propellers and after completion of the model tests by John Brown in summer 1965 it was decided that six-bladed propellers would be preferable from the point of view of axial shaft vibration, general hull vibration and bossing vibration. These results were in line with the findings of the BSRA in 1964.

Cunard’s Director of Engineering, Tom Kameen:

“Six-bladed propellers are not a gimmick and the advantages we anticipate by eliminating vibration at the after-end will far outweigh any slight loss of efficiency.”

« Last Edit: Nov 26, 2019, 06:31 PM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline Max Robinson

Re: Peculiar piece of history. Can anyone shed light?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 20, 2019, 05:24 PM »
Thank you very much Michael, that was very informative!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 model test propeller
« Reply #3 on: Nov 20, 2019, 06:49 PM »
Another fabulous piece of history, Michael! Thank you so much for a fascinating read.

Max, what size is this piece? Would it have been a real model propeller used in the experiments?

Definitely an item to treasure :) .

Offline Max Robinson

Re: QE2 model test propeller
« Reply #4 on: Nov 20, 2019, 08:13 PM »
Yes i think There’s no doubt it was used in testing considering the damaged boss cap and dented blades. It was mostly likely mounted and presented to one of the individuals working at the NPL after working on the project. It’s about 15cm blade tip to blade tip (see disclosed images).
« Last Edit: Nov 21, 2019, 07:15 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 model test propeller
« Reply #5 on: Nov 20, 2019, 08:19 PM »
Thanks to Max for asking the question and thank-you Michael for your very informative response. 

In the Press Release April 1967 (page 10 of the PDF) it is noted:

"Her main turbines are the most powerful ever built for a passenger liner. She will have the largest six-bladed propellers to be fitted to a passenger ship."

Fantastic to see Max's photo and to know that this has still survived after all these years. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank

Offline Max Robinson

Re: QE2 model test propeller
« Reply #6 on: Nov 20, 2019, 08:32 PM »
Many thanks Lynda :)

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 model test propeller
« Reply #7 on: Nov 21, 2019, 03:58 PM »
Many thanks to Max and to Michael for all of this information.  It is very interesting and, Max, you have quite a treasure !   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !


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