International Hydrofoil Society...

(Posthumous) Award Citation

Dr. Michael Curtis Eames

[Revised 13 Mar 03]

[Note: Mike Eames died several years ago, a great loss to the hydrofoil community]

Award Citation

Dr. Michael Curtis Eames has devoted the major portion of his professional career to the design, development, and application of advanced naval vehicles, in particular, naval hydrofoil ships and craft and their mission equipment. Upon his graduation in 1951, with honors in naval architecture from King's College, University of Durham, he migrated to Nova Scotia and became Scientific Officer at the Naval Research Establishment (NRE) in Dartmouth, NS. There, he was involved in projects directed toward development of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) hydrofoil ships, variable-depth sonar, and helicopter flying from frigates. He also was responsible for setting up the first digital computer facilities at NRE.

In 1948, Duncan Hodgson, a former Canadian naval officer, had commissioned Bell & Baldwin's associate Phillip Rhodes to design a hydrofoil capable of setting a new world water speed record. Hodgson was subsequently persuaded to divert his craft to a demonstration of the military potential of the hydrofoil. In 1951, NRE initiated a project for this purpose and Eames was put in charge. The 5-ton 45-foot craft designated the R-100 and unofficially named the MASSAWIPPI, had a ladder foil system in an airplane configuration similar to the Bell-Baldwin HD4. Trials of R-100 were not successful, and the craft was redesigned as the 7.5-ton R-102. Trials of this craft were conducted in 1956, and their success led Canada to fund another test craft, the 17-ton R-103 built by Saunders Roe in England and named the BRAS D'OR. Trials began in 1958 and, on the first foilborne flight, Mike Eames was at the helm. A picture of him at the helm later appeared on the cover of Life magazine. These trials led to the conclusion that the airplane configuration with main foils forward was not the best approach for a surface-piercing hydrofoil operating in rough seas.

In 1959, NRE undertook a study of design requirements for a nominal 200-ton ASW hydrofoil ship designated the R-200. The same year, Eames was persuaded to leave NRE and join Bill Ellsworth at Cleveland Pneumatic Industries, System Engineering Division in Washington, DC. Meantime, the Canadian interest in hydrofoils continued to grow and, in 1960, a contract was awarded DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada to carry out engineering studies of a hydrofoil ASW ship. Eames could not resist the attraction of being a driving force in this new program and, in 1961, he returned to NRE at their invitation and became a special consultant to DeHavilland on the design of the hydrofoil ship FHE-400. The design of this beautiful ship clearly reflects much of Eames flair for naval architecture. The ship, officially named the BRAS D'OR, was finally delivered to NRE in 1968 in spite of a disastrous fire that occurred in 1966. A long series of trials began with a military crew and extensive involvement by technical personnel at DeHavilland and NRE. Here again Mike Eames played a major role. In 1972 he became Associate Director of the Technology Division at what was then called Defense Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) vice NRE. Later in 1974, he became Senior Scientist and was appointed Study Director of the NATO Long Term Scientific Study of new technologies for high-speed surface vessels. He was the principal driving force in this important study and a follow study of mission applications for advanced ships and craft until his retirement from DREA in 1989. Since then, he has continued to teach at Dalhousie University and consult in Canadian Marine Policy and Strategic studies.

Throughout his long and fruitful professional career Dr. Michael C. Eames has been a major force in the conception, development, design, and application of hydrofoil ships and craft. He is internationally recognized as a true pioneer in the field of Naval Architecture and hydrofoil development and is clearly deserving of this award given by the International Hydrofoil Society.


Need Info About Michael Eames and MOSQUITO...

[18 Jun 01] I stumbled upon your wonderful web site while doing a search for "Michael Eames" and found your Award Citation page for him very interesting. I live in Nova Scotia and recently acquired a book put out by the Northern Aluminium Company during the 1940s and it had a bookplate belonging to Michael Curtis Eames, but more importantly a dedication from the company saying the book was presented "for the design of Mosquito". I was wondering if you or anyone would know if "Mosquito" was a hydrofoil boat he may have designed or what it might have been? -- Juanita Nicholson (


[6 Jul 01] I have had a look through the book The Flying 400 - Canada's Hydrofoil Project in case any reference were made to such a craft, but I have not found anything about it. -- Martin Grimm (

[13 Mar 03] At last I have entered the computer world and have seen your question asked so long ago about my late husband and 'Mosquito'. Mosquito was the first small sailboat, not hydrofoil, that Mike and his colleagues in the naval architecture program at Newcastle University, designed and built. I'm afraid I don't know that much more about it but please feel free to write again with any other questions. Thanks for your interest. -- Judy Eames (

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