International Hydrofoil Society Correspondence Archives...

US Navy PHM Archive


Click Here to download the original PHM Brochure by Boeing Marine Systems

Hydrofoil Missile Patrol Ship Saved From the Scrap Yard, Plus Other PHM-Related Correspondence

Click Here to read a history of the PHM Program by George Jenkins

Click Here to visit the website of the USS ARIES PHM-5 Hydrofoil Memorial, Inc.

(Last Update: February 12, 2015)


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PHM Veterans and Websites

A Quiet PHM Get Together on July 30?

[17 Jun 03] PHM Anniversary: This July 30th will be the 10th anniversary of the PHM squadron decommissioning. I wish to extend all best wishes to our shipmates, the veterans of the PHM crews, MLSG and PHM Squadron 2 staff. I look forward to raising a glass (splice the main brace) at "Turtle Krawls" in Key West on this date, to you all. Turtle Krawls Bar & Grill, 1 Margaret Street, Key West, FL, 305-294-2640. -- Steve Novell (Jolly-OS1, PHM1) (


[10 Jul 03] Is it still on??? I am a staff guy from 88-92 (et1 white from training; mate of duplechain)... Have been in contact with some of the folks...they are interested... - Don White (

[17 Jun 03] Goto, you will find a number of the old gang from various years listed under USS PEGASUS -- Steve Novell (Jolly-OS1, PHM1) (


[3 Jul 03] Each of the PHMs has its own section in classmates, as well as PHMRON TWO MLSG and the Squadron( under shore commands). -- Chuck Shannon MLSG 82-86 (

Wants PHM Photos

[27 Apr 02] Is there any way to get some copies of some of the photos on this site? I was with the hydrofoil program from 1981 to 1985. Due to theft all my photos are gone. I do have a black and white photo of the USS GEMINI (PHM-6) that I can send you. So if there is any way that I may purchase any 8x10 photos please let me know. -- Steve Stratton(


[27 Apr 02] I have no actual photographs of the PHMs, as everything is sent electronically. I have some of the photos in higher resolution as I try to cut them down to look OK on a web page, and if you would like a copy of those, I can send what I have. They would probably look better that what is on the web if printed out. -- Malin Dixon (

[27 Apr 02] Try the Navy's page on obtaining archived photos: I have also occasionally seen PHM photos go up for auction on the eBay site -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[31 May 03] I remember working in the engineman shop with you. Not too many ENs on this site. I have a couple pictures that I can scan and send. Its hard to come across hard copies. There are some sites I have stumbled across with some pretty good pics but I never think about writing them down. Then I can't remember how to get back to them. I ran across one picture with Chuck Shannon on the pier in front of one of the PHMs, again I didn't think to bookmark that site. I keep searching though. I can't believe that all the ships are gone. I'm glad there are some restoration projects going on though. -- Steven Matkovich, EN3 MLSG 1983-1985 (


[31 Mar 02] Former CO of ARIES here ('91-'93), Capt Chris Nichols, now CO, USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CG 58) in Mayport, Fl. -- Nichols, CAPT Chris (

Refueled PEGASUS

[31 Mar 02] I was onboard USS OGDEN from 1978-1980. Looking in my Westpac 78 Cruisebook - page 6 is titled "20 March - Refueling PEGASUS." I remember the day well. Was the strangest looking boat I ever saw! Would you like me to scan this page and send to you folks for posting? Would your members appreciate seeing this... ?? It's not much, but you never know until you ask, right? That's why I am writing in advance. Please email me back if interested. Happy to scan and send - Jim Baron (JOCS(SW), USN Ret.) 1976-1999 (

Going to Sea Again

[15 Mar 02] I've been sitting behind a desk for 3 years here at Coast Guard headquarters am transferring to Charleston this summer, and I'll be underway on the mighty Coast Guard Cutter GALLATIN -- FT1 R. Lee Madson Jr., Non-rate assignment officer, d1, d5, LANT Area cutters and various HQ hq units (

Concise and to the Point

[15 Mar 02] Was GSE up till decom. -- Timothy M. Dougherty, I&E Technician, Androscoggin Energy LLCT (

PHM Maintainer

[2 Feb 02] I was stationed at PHMRON II MLSG from 1987-1993 as a DS (Data Systems Technician) working on all six PHM hydrofoils. I still can't believe that they are no more. I enjoyed my time at the command, and don't think I will ever work on a more interesting platform. -- Stephen C. Smith (formerly DS2) (


[2 Feb 02] I have been trying to locate some of the crew for awhile just to see how things are going. I got stationed in the Mayport area 1994-98; during that time I have run across a few of the old crew, GSMCS Smith was on the Mayport waterfront for awhile, GSMCS Denali was on a SPRUANCE class, and MSCS Hurley was on the PHILLIPINE SEA, then transferred to do recruiting duty in the Jacksonville FL area for another year or two, then plans to retire. Leendert Hering was the CO on the DEWERT 1994-96 and tried to get me cross-decked from the STARK. Chris Nichols just took over the PHILLIPINE SEA. Flo (Victor Nightingale) got out of the Navy in Great Lakes after getting married there to a local girl and is doing great. Those are the only guys I have seen or heard from other than guys here in Mayport area that were at MLSG or on the other boats. The ET1 that was on the AQUILA is stationed here at Mayport were I work (civil service). Maybe we can find everyone and plan a reunion. -- Reggie White (


[20 Apr 02] I think that you are ET1 White, if this is correct we went to HYCATS training together. I am Merv Turner (ET2 Turner). I was proud to be part of MLSG and the hydrofoils. I am currently working at Barksdale AFB as a system engineer for General Dynamics. After the decom I went to Iceland, then back to Key West where I received an injury that prompted me to leave the Navy. I have a website with a few photos of 'our' great ships. I also have a video of the final flight. (Someone needed some video of the ships in flight.) It's good to hear from people that are 2.2 meters above the rest! -- Merv Turner (



PHM History Appreciated

[13 Jan 02]  Thank you to George Jenkins for such an informative, well documented account of the history of PHMs. For myself I served onboard USS PEGASUS (PHM-1), as CICO (OS1) back in the early 1990s until decommissioning. A number of the old crew members keep in touch and have found each other via the internet over the years. I know I can speak for my shipmates in expressing our gratitude for your article. Every Foil-Mariner you meet will say with pride that serving with the officers and men of the PHMs, was one of the high points of their lives. One additional note, the year of the PHM decommissioning, every PHM was awarded the Battle "E". Further USS HERCULES completed a successful CN interception of a drug shipment a week before our departure to Norfolk. To the end this squadron of small fast fighting ships continued successfully to the last with their assigned mission. For July 30, 1993 has a double meaning, the squadron decommissioning fell on my birthday. Remember the old Navy joke of "What are the going to do? ...take away my birthday?" Well CINCLANT did! -- Steve Novell (

USS ARIES Veteran Finds IHS

[13 Jan 02] I have stumbled across this web site and found it to very interesting. I was stationed aboard the USS ARIES from 87 to 90 as one of our three engineman. Duty aboard sure beat the old minesweeper I was first stationed aboard. Being on board the USS ARIES during foilborne operations was an experience I will never forget. I have some old training manuals from some of the PHM engineering schools I attended if you would like them. Has any other USS ARIES crew members contacted you? If I could be of any help or you have any interest in "USS ARIES stories" such as what happened when the names "Polaris" and "Polar Ice" get mixed up during Drug Ops, drop me a line. EN2 Dave Redston, USS ARIES (

PHM Veteran Remembers

[16 Dec 01] Just wanted to know that, although I haven't read everything on PHMs listed on the site, very good information here! I was stationed onboard the USS PEGASUS from 1989-93 when we decommissioned the six of them. That was my all time favorite duty station. It's nice to know that there are a lot of people out there that still have a high interest in the PHMs. Thank You for helping to keep them alive. -- Tony Larson (


[16 Dec 01]Great to hear from you Tony. I worked on the PHM program from the early studies in 1971 through the lead ship OT&E and also on the follow-ship specifications and design reviews with Boeing. Got to ride on PEGASUS several times and it was fantastic, including a drag race with a Boeing commercial JETFOIL on Puget Sound. I was there for the decommissioning, and it was a sad day indeed. -- Mark Bebar, Naval Sea Systems Command, Total Ship System Concepts Division, Washington Navy Yard, DC (

PHM Memories From Mayport

[16 Nov 01] I have thoroughly enjoyed all the PHM stuff/ theories. I can feel y'all's excitement! So let me put in my 2 cents. I think we have SOOMMs here in the Mayport FL Basin, at the SUPSHIP facility. I will poke around and see what I can locate. There is quite a stable of hydrofoil mariners here in the Jacksonville FL area. We run into each other frequently and reminisce. There are: CO AQUILA, CO GEMINI , CO PEGASUS , CO ARIES, CO HERCULES, PHMRON 2 CHAPLAIN , 2 CHIEF STAFF'S , ET , GSE , RM , OS , FC. My opinion on the cavitation issues is that you will be able to attain 60kts with the current foil configuration with minimal cavitation if any, due to the overall weight decrease from 240 metric tons. What do you calculate your finished weight to be? There are many factors involved to maxing out your performance, i.e. drag on the foils and struts, ours were painted and were kind of rough in texture. Can you obtain a silicone-based varnish type of finish possibly? There is also the drag of the foil ailerons as they compensate, which will have an impact on the cavitation. I have been prone on the fo'c'sle watching the foil ailerons in action peeking over the bull nose, and the aileron action causes "some" cavitation anytime you're foilborne. Good luck with the ACS and sonic/radar height sensors! Speaking of ACS, your speed over ground will definitely be affected by your heading hold operation. When heading hold is disengaged even the best helmsman cannot be as efficient as heading hold, you can see the wobble in the wake. Just FYI, heading hold will disengage if it exceeds more than 3 degrees deviation. Also, if you can produce propulsor output of 103 kgpm plus keep in mind that there is a happy medium between foil depth and max speed. Yes, the less foil depth (1.5mtrs min) = less drag, but it also increases the distance of the water jet, decreasing effective thrust. Maybe y'all can figure out a better conduit than the flexible bellows between the inlet and propulsor. If you can, than you can jam the high torque limiting, and increase your horses by approx.15%. And not have to worry about inlet/ output pressure differential. Also, it might help to erect some type of aerodynamic aid from the gun mount site to the deck house. I did not read where anyone talked about fuel consumption, you will burn about 7% per hr foilborne of JP-5 or DFM at 63k ltrs full. Y'all should bring her to the St. Johns River here in Jacksonville. There are plenty of crew and yard birds that worked on all 6 of them over here. If y'all need a helmsman let me know, if I could bring her up on the sticks one more time I would die a happy squid. If y'all are interested in the tale of the whale, I'm happy to share. Also, I disagree with the comment from Mr. Coile that AQUILA was a dog. Once, we left Key West and arrived at Ft. Lauderdale mysteriously way ahead of PIM, with no missiles or bullets on board, turbine at 95%, foil depth at 2.0m, the EM log had us at steady 48kts and HYCATS at 52 kts over ground. After we secured sea and anchor detail the navigator, QM, and myself went over the deck logs for foilborne to hullborne, reviewed the HYCATS tape, and recalculated the track 3 times. Our calculations came up with 63 kts! We shrugged and went on with business. AQUILA collected the most battle efficiency awards... coincidence? I think not! -- Robert N. Desendi, Robert ET1 (NSMAYPORT) ( USS AQUILA PHM-4, 89-93 ; PARATUS PULSAR


[16 Nov 01] The 60-knot opinion is probably close to the mark. I recall that when the first production PHM was delivered and tested at light load, (with reduced foil submergence in relatively calm water), the ship hit around 58 knots, with little cavitation. Production PHMs were built to a foil contour tolerance requirement developed jointly by the Navy and Boeing, and this worked very well. -- Mark R Bebar ( Mark Bebar NAVSEA 05D1; Total Ship System Concepts Division, formerly PHM-3 Ship Design Systems Engineer (1975-1980)

Commodore Remembered

[1 Nov 01] Captain Ronald C. Berning, USN (Ret.). died on 2 August 2001 at his home in Norfolk VA. following a most courageous battle with cancer. He was buried with military honors at Arlington Cemetery on 23 August 2001. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1968. Following graduation, Ron began a long and distinguished career as a surface warrior that was to include four commands, including command of Patrol Hydrofoil Missile (PHM) Squadron 2 (COMPHMRON TWO) in Key West FL. A donation in Ron's name can be made to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters; P.O. Box 2156; Norfolk, VA 23501

PHM Gunner Checks In

[30 Oct 01] I was the Gunner on AQUILA when she was decommissioned. I saw your picture of the ARIES, and I still can't believe they are all gone. Let me know if you need info on the gun or harpoons. -- "Gunz", ( GMC(SW) Mark A. Vogelmeier; R-75 Armory Chief; 31ST NCR, Port Hueneme Ca; DSN 551-5968/(805) 982-5968; Fax 982-4230


[27 Jun 02] Dude, how goes it? If you remember, we served onboard USS AQUILA! Hope you are doing well. -- Mike Boyle RN1 Ret! USN (

[22 Nov 02] Hey there Mike! Or excuse me EN1 or that's how I remember you anyways) I was on the Aquila from July 1991 to Decom. Remember a SCRAWNY little ICman named Dennis Burback? Well I hope you do, Cause I sure remember wiping alot of oil from the bilge underneath your diesels ;) . I ended up doing 9 years in the Navy, got out after a recruiting stint at NRD Denver. So you by chance have any video of the Aquila, like possibly on the way up to Little Creek when all 6 ships were steaming foilborne in formation? I remember seeing a video but didn't get a copy. Hope all is well with you and all the old Aquila guys. -- Dennis Burback (

PHM People and Memories

[29 Sep 01] I too am a former PHM'er. MLSG / PHM-3. I was an ET assigned to MLSG (1983 -86) and gapped a billet onboard the Taurus, (PHM-3). I received my Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist designation while assigned to the TAURUS in 1985 / 6. What can I do to help? If you need money, labor, or Moral support, let me know (I don't have much money, But...). There is a lot of People who would love to see any of the old ships FLY again. Some of the people I remember the most from my time in Key West, Fl. are:

And Everyone Else!!! -- (  


[1 Jul 01] I was the gunner's mate on the commissioning crew, but was discharged in 1983 shortly after going to Key West. Would appreciate any info on the ship's status, or on fellow plank owners.-- GMG2 John Drozdowski (


[17 Feb 03] ...had to laugh when I saw your name on this page......I remember the "wild ride" we took on your bike in downtown Bremerton WA......good to see there are still some of us out there that are still alive.....I had taken my wife to K.W. just before they decommissioned the boats....we were eating at the Turtle Krawls and the Gemini was just coming back in the channel.....last I saw of it until now...........never seen or heard anything from any one else......would like to find Terry Kurts....BM....from commissioning crew.......get back with me if you have time. -- FC1SW Karl James (

PHM Veteran works for the AltaVista Search Engine

[29 May 01] Being a member of the USS PEGASUS Pegasus (PHM1) crew was one of teh most rewarding experiences of my life. Great ships and proud crews. I was glad to read to comments regarding the break-up of PEGASUS, she was a fighter to the last! -- Your shipmate, Steve (Jolly) Novell (, former OS1 (1991-93) USS PEGASUS (PHM1), Systems Manager, Information Technologies, AltaVista The search company

PHM Plank Owner and Webmaster

[4 May 01] I was a Plank Owner on the USS TAURUS PHM-3. I am building a personal web site and am building a section on the TAURUS, it's not finished, but coming up fast. Maybe your members would be interested. -- L.R. Hargis MSCM(SS/SW), NAS Whidbey Island, WA; email: ( website:

PHM Decommissioning Crew

[20 Mar 98, updated 08 Apr 01] I was on the PHM hydrofoils from 1991-93, I was on the decommissioning crew. See photos on my website. -- Merv Turner (, website:


[20 Mar 01] I served on USS PEGASUS from about 1979 - 82 as the ship's ET. I was part of the crew that brought her down to Key West and helped reopen the base there. How can I get updates on the progress of the restoration? And what kind of help can I offer? -- John Rebori (

Former Tech Rep finds the PHM Page

[2 Mar 01] This is a great site which brings back many memories. I was a Field Engineer for the Sperry Corp for the MK92 Fire Control System (FCS) on PHM 3 and 4. I was there when the MK92 FCS's were installed at Boeing. I was in Bremerton for the commissioning of PHM 3 and 4. I was considered part of the crew on may cruises in Puget Sound. The ships would not leave unless I was on board. I don't know if that was good or bad :-). I ultimately escorted both of them from Seattle WA to Key West, FL through the Panama Canal. In fact, one of the pictures on this site was taken by me from the deck of the support ship USS FREDRICK prior to an Underway Replenishment (UNREP). I would love to know who you got it from. I have the negative. I then supported all activities on both ships for the next 9 months after their arrival in Key West. It is a time in my life I can never forget. I have numerous documents from PHM 3 and 4, commissioning brochures, a certificate declaring me a Hydrofoil Mariner as well as many pictures from the cruise from Seattle to Key West. I was also the first civilian to drive a PHM after commissioning! I live in San Diego, which makes assisting in restoration of ARIES difficult, but I will be more than willing to help in anyway I can. -- Howard Kukla (Sperry Field Engineering 1979 - 1986) (

Looking For an ex-Coastie

[9 Feb 01] Maybe you can help me run down a former hydrofoil guy. When I was in Annapolis for the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, I met a former Coastguardsman who lives in Annapolis not too far from the Eastport Yacht Club and used to be involved with the Navy PHMs. I didn't get a good look at his nametag, but I think his name was Phil Donough or something like that. He had some design concepts and patents he wanted to show me, but when I tried to find him later in the party he was gone. Can anyone give me a lead on who I was talking to? -- Tom Speer (; website:


[10 Feb 01] I don't know what type of design the coast guardsman talked to you about, but I have designed several hydrofoils sail and power. The small two or four man boats should have a market where someone needs a whaler sized boat but finds the water too rough to go over a few knots. My design will do 28 knots in seas that the whaler could not take. It is self righting and fuel efficient. Let me know if you are interested. -- John Slattebo (

A Test Engineer Finds the IHS Website

[15 Sep 00] I was there when we laid the keels for PHM boat 2 through boat 6, worked on all functional tests, for all systems. I have not read your page completely; Ii will do it later. I will also call a few of the test people and engineers to let them know about your site. -- Charles A. Stearns, Boeing Marine Systems (retired) (

PHM Vet on Lake Erie

[15 Sep 00] I have been reading about the new PEGASUS I spent 6 years as a gas turbine technician in the Navy and had the opportunity to repair and ride PHM 2 the HERCULES. My neighbor is also ex navy and is from an older destroyer background. He spends a few days a year going to an old tin can with the old timers to fix things up. Things like lights, toilets, painting, and so on. Have you ever considered having a long working weekend for some of us not-so-old timers to help do the pain and non-critical system work? I am very interested in your power distribution rework. I have experience with VFDs, LM2500s, Diesels, Generators, Pumps, & some HVAC. I have also noticed this month the other four PHMs have had their prices brought down to the US$40,000 to 75,000 price range. I would like to see the other PHMs not be destroyed. I live east of Cleveland Ohio and right on Lake Erie. I would like to see them in a maritime museum even if they never become more than hullborne. How can I get the ball rolling (most museum types think of hovercraft or whatever when I say hydrofoil)? Do you have any PHM pictures that aren't already on the web site? -- Daniel R. Schmidt (


[15 Sep 00] We are trying to figure out how we can push forward at a faster pace with the restoration of our PHM. We have done everything "out of pocket" so far. The most significant problem is our lack of administrative experience. We are very technical people, which has been very useful in getting done what we have, but if this baby is to fly again, it will take some administrative help. We have ended up with the only one of the ships that still had her foils attached. CSI owns and is trying to do something with the rest. We were contacted by a rep for CSI a few weeks ago and were asked what it would take to get one of them going again hullborne with basic systems the way we did ours. I quoted supplying the technical expertise, as well as basic controls. They decided against the plan. I was told that two of the ships, were damaged during a storm, unfortunately, I believe they were two of the best ones. I have been looking into a non-profit org such as a museum, I really believe that this may be our best chance at flying again. We have decided that we would donate the ship to such an organization, knowing that it will keep us from ever making money on the sale of the ship. We decided that we couldn't do that anyway and we also know that without donations in time or money, it will take longer than god gave us to get her flying again. Donations are nearly impossible if they are not tax deductible. I have been trying to find someone that could point us in the right direction, I understand that many old fighter aircraft are restored this way. We would love the opportunity to purchase one or more of the remaining ships for at least parts. It would make the restoration much easier. CSI also purchased the foils, which could be reinstalled at least for static display. One of the ships, sitting on the extended foils on dry ground would indeed make a very impressive display. I haven't got any other pictures at the moment, but as they get taken I will add you to the list I email them to. Since you have VFD experience, can you see any problem with our plan on using them for power supplies for the 400 hz? I have yet to locate large used ones at a price that I can afford. We need at least two 75 hp units. I would prefer 3 of the same units, we could use one to drive the 60 hp motor we hooked to one of the hydraulic pumps. With a VFD driving it, we would significantly reduce starting current, and be able to take the motor/hydraulic pump to near 100 hp for short duration which would be perfect for the hydraulic bow thruster, not to mention make the bow thruster variable which might be handy. We also installed a crane where one set of Harpoon missiles used to be mounted. This will make installation of the generator sets (among other things) considerably easier. It will also be use as a davit to float the launch, very important in a ship that sits 13 feet off the water and doesn't easily dock. -- Elliot James (

More PHM Vets

[27 Jun 00] I served onboard GEMINI 1989-91 as one of the Radiomen. I found it a very rewarding tour of duty. We had a very tight knit community down there in Key West. I wish those ships were still around as I would gladly go back there for more 20-hour work days. Good site... keep it up. Let's not forget these hard working ships. ITC(SW) Rich Powell (

[30 Nov 99] I spent 4 1/2 years (1982-1986) working in the MLSG. As an Engineering Technician (ET), I was responsible for maintaining all the Communications, radar, nav aids, and HYCATS (High speed collision avoidance and tracking system) on all 6 ships. Most of my time was in Key West, but I spent a few months in Bremerton before making the transit with USS ARIES (PHM-5). Maybe if a few more of us stumble in to this site we can start making plans for a reunion in Key West (I can hear Durty Harry's calling). -- Chuck Shannon, Engine Co. 68 FDNY (

[24 Nov 99, updated 01 Dec 01] Interesting web site. I spent 2 years (1990-1992) aboard USS GEMINI PHM-6. I was the ET (Electronics Technician) and spent most of my time taking care of the communications gear, navigation, electronic warfare (EW) and nearly anything with electronics! We did one overhaul during those 2 years at Bender Shipbuilding in Mobile AL. Otherwise we were always underway in support of Fleet exercises and counter-narcotics operations. I only have 2 pictures one is of the GEMINI flying high, and one of all 6 PHMs flying. I left as the Navy was starting to downsize and just prior to decommissioning. -- Todd Spates (

[29 Oct 99] I kind of stumbled across a web site devoted to the old Key West PHMs and was surprised to see that folks still talked about 'em. I was in the MLSG (Mobile Logistics Support Group) in Key West FL from 1983 to 1987, spending time in the 51A & G electrical shops, and 31T turbine shop. I also did a couple of stints on USS PEGASUS, USS HERCULES, and USS TAURUS. In 1991, I went back as a crewman on TAURUS, but left because of surgery. If anyone wants to talk foils, I'm teaching at Surface Warfare Officer's School. -- John R. Andersen, Master Training Specialist, Surface Warfare Officer's School Command; Newport, RI 02841-1209 ( )

[19 Sep 98] US Navy PHMRON2 REUNION! Hi, Shipmates. Any former US Navy Hydrofoil Mariners from PHMRON2 interested in a reunion in our old home port of Key West ? or you're looking for old shipmates? If we get enough interest hopefully we can get a reunion going for the old gang, or at the minimum get in touch with an old buddy? -- Steve Novell, USS PEGASUS (PHM1) (

[26 Mar 98] I found IHS while surfing the web and will be joining shortly. Didn't know there was such a group. Short Resume:

I probably qualify as a Hydrofoiler. -- Ken Plyler (

[6 Oct 97] Need some help with the LM2500 gas turbine engines? I used to run the turbine shop (31T) on the west coast for the US Navy, maybe I can be of some help. Let me know. -- Denis Hill GSCM(SW) USN ret. (

PHM Ships Service Power Units (SSPUs)

[28 Jun 00] I am presently working on the conceptual design of an integrated electrical power plant for a naval warship. While researching options for producing emergency power, I was interested to learn of the SSPUs used aboard the PHM class ships. I am attempting to learn more, so that I don't champion the "reinvention of the wheel". Could you tell me who I could contact that would have detailed technical insight into the design of the SSPUs, the systems that they were used in, and the integration into the PHM class ships? Any contact information or insight may be very helpful. -- Wayland Comer ( Office: (408) 735-2644


[28 Jun 00] Most of the personnel that worked on the PHMs have retired from Boeing. The SSPU for PHMs were manufactured by Garrett Airesearch, in Phoenix AZ. They might have someone that can spell out the particulars. The PHM SSPU powered a 400 hz "Y" connected generator, an air start compressor, and hydraulic pump. I am not aware of any other use than the PHMs, but contacting the manufacturer would be your best bet. My only contact was a one-day visit to witness the ongoing qualification tests for the Navy. -- Sumi Arima (

Restoring a PHM in Missouri

ARIES Update

[25 Feb 02] It is our intention to open the ARIES (ex-PHM-5) to tours this summer. Our plans are to cruise downstream and are going to be stopping at larger cities that have waterfront festivities. Tours of a docked vessel have a significantly lower risk factor than chartering. How far we go, will depend on the success of the tours to put fuel in the tanks. We are planning on using the Combat Information Center (CIC) as the main display area where we will have artifacts as well as video, still pictures, and text documenting hydrofoil development. We have a lot of cleaning up to do. We are also in need of some painting. In my investigations, it seems there are many types of paint that can be used. Could anyone tell me the best to use over the paint that already exists? Am I correct in assuming it is enamel? Is there an "official" color? Can someone explain the markings on the bridge exterior to us? The three big "E" and what the "campaign ribbons" mean? We are going to use the 25 hp aft ship hydraulic system to operate the crane we added as well as provide for back up for the steering system. We are going to tap in a 5 hp self contained hydraulic system to power the steering in normal operation. This keeps us from having to have all systems charged when we only need them at small intervals. The 60 hp forward system powers the bow thruster and capstan. We figure on being able to raise and lower the foils with this amount of hydraulic power. (We will have the capability of the 3000 psi but not the volume, which will significantly slow the hydraulic response time.) All the pumps are still on the main gearbox supplying foilborne hydraulic power. The oil I believe is a synthetic as there are warning signs stating that, it is red in color, can anyone tell me what it is and where to find some more of it? How much was the Automatic Control System (ACS) used, or more importantly, how effective was it in hullborne travel? Does anyone know how much power was required for the foil system? Foilborne or hullborne? I am wondering if we have enough to test an ACS in the hullborne mode without the main turbine in operation. -- Eliot James (


[25 Feb 02] I know what all the deck house art is, but not specifically ARIES. I know AQUILA's. If you can get me a picture of ARIES’ deck house I will translate the markings for you. Also, I think the internal color of ARIES was called "sea foam". As far as the external paint that was utilized, we used standard navy "haze gray" and "deck gray". They came in the standard 5-gallon can with the generic white label. When the "non-skid" on the weather decks became a little sun faded, we used a "deck gray" wash which was diluted with mineral spirits to freshen it up to black. I can re-create for you the systems in CIC by function and location. So you can say "over in this corner was the blah blah blah, which was used for..." if you would like? Let me know if there is anything I can help you with. -- Rob DeSendi (

[25 Feb 02] The big "E" markings on the bridge signify areas of excellence used during a grading cycle of the ship. These areas of grading were used to determine which ships would be awarded the Battle "E" award. The color signified the for engineering, green for ship handling and such, white for combat system functions. (I may have the colors wrong). The hash marks underneath are for multiple awards in each area. As to the ribbons, they are not campaign per se, they are awards the ship as a whole has earned for example...Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC), Coast Guard Meritorious Unit, Battle "E" award. If they are still painted on the bridge wings just go to your local Navy recruiting office and ask for the All Hands magazine issue which list all the ribbons and what they look like. Be careful of that synthetic gear lube, the number the Navy used was 23866 and it was highly toxic. -- FCC(SW) H (ret.) Kevin Hufnagle ( Decommissioning crewmember for USS GEMINI

[15 Jun 02] The answers, as best I can put them together, are as follows:

Hope this helps. -- George Jenkins (


PHM Update

[23 Jan 02] We had the opportunity to purchase some parts we needed for our restoration project. Jim Lovelace, the current owner of the PHMs- 2, 3, 4,& 6 is in the process of scrapping PHM 2, HERCULES. My father in-law Art Winkler and I drove out to Wilmington NC and spent three days removing parts. We accumulated 1500 lbs of parts. This wasn't the first time we gathered parts from the sister ships, we accumulated many when CSI owned them. We have many parts from all the ships, from seating, pumps, lockers, to electrical panels, railings, lighting, and hatches etc. This project would have been impossible without that source of spare parts. We intend to end up with many more. I have included a couple pictures showing the bow of HERCULES which has been severely damaged along side TAURUS (PHM-3). -- Eliot James (


[22 Mar 02] You need to put a warning on the site when you show such photos... It pains my heart...... what a great ship... she got our last bust. -- Steve Novell, OS1 PHM1 (

[27 Apr 02] Out of curiosity, what happened to the hull of PHM-2? When we decommissioned her there wasn't any damage to her hull. -- IT1(SW) G. E. Countryman, NAVCOMTELSTA Jacksonville FL, CWO/Tech Control LPO N32 (

Need PHM Video Footage

[18 Jan 02] I am looking for any film footage, or video taken of the USS PEGASUS or PEGASUS Class Hydrofoils, known as PHMs for Patrol Hydrofoil Missile. These include, PHM-1 PEGASUS , PHM-2 HERCULES, PHM-3 TAURUS, PHM-4 AQUILA, PHM-5 ARIES, PHM-6 GEMINI. I have been told that the show Beyond 2000 once did a story on these ships. I am willing to pay cost associated with the procurement of any footage. -- Eliot James, PHM Memorial -- The PEGASUS Project ( (


[27 Jun 02] I was stationed aboard USS AQUILA from 1990 to 1993 for decommissioning. I have a VHS tape of out ship flying around our Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) boat as well as an 8MM tape of our final flight out of Key West! I found this site from a friend; we were both onboard the AQUILA when it struck a whale in Apr of 91. Maybe I can get a copy made on VHS of the Final Flight! -- Mike Boyle (

[26 Jan 02] Beyond 2000 did make an episode about the PHMs, so if you can track that down that would be a good piece. It was kind of basic as it's designed for the average viewer of television. If you want more involved stuff, Boeing made some great marketing videos to sell the Navies of the world on the PHM concept. From Boeing Marine Systems in Seattle, I would think that the Boeing Museum folks out there might be able to dig deep in their archives and possibly come up with something for you. Final suggestion is to look into NAVSEA videos. We had a helicopter hover over us with a NAVSEA camera crew in it while three PHMs flew in line abreast at 45 Kts, 100 yard separation and did a Search Turn! Now if you don't know what a search turn is, that might not sound too crazy but let me try and explain. You line the ships up, side by side, and let's imagine the ships are numbered: 1 - 2 - 3 And let's imagine that the top of this e-mail is due north, so the ships are heading up the page at 45 knots like this:

1  2  3

The turn starts when ship number 1 turns HARD to the right, directly toward ship number 2. Since ship numbers 2 and 3 are still heading due north at 45 knots, the theory is that by the time ship 1 completes her turn to the east, 2 & 3 have moved up the page and ship 1 is directly in the wake of ship 2. It should look like this

2  3

At that point ship 2 turns HARD into ship 3 and since ship three keeps heading north she clears out and 2 ends up in her wake, when ship three throws the helm hard right turns east to parallel the others and the formation ends up line abreast again, heading due east toward the right side of the page. The formation now looks like this:


Got it? It's actually a maneuver for destroyers to use to clear their baffles of submarines sneaking up from behind in the blind spot of their sonar. No tactical use for PHMs except to look cool. And destroyers normally do it at 15 knots with 1,000 yard separation between ships line abreast. Anyway, in 1987 somebody at NAVSEA wanted to make a video of us doing a search turn at 45 knots and 100 yard separation. They hovered over us in a helo while we got ready to do it. It is an intimidating maneuver because at the beginning you are turning right into the side of the next ship over, before relative motion takes effect and she pulls ahead. When we lined up, my ship, the USS GEMINI (PHM 6) was ship number 1. The OOD (I wasn't driving so it wasn't me!) had gotten in a little close to ship number two, and we were only about 80 yards off when the command to execute came over the radio. Not having ever done this at foilborne speeds, or at these insanely close distances, the OOD ordered the standard command of "Right 3 degrees per second". We slewed over toward ship number 2, the USS AQUILA (as I remember it), and it became clear we weren't turning fast enough to clear her stern. The OOD quickly yelled "Left full rudder!" and we banked hard away from a certain collision. We backed out to the full 100 yards and tried it again using full rudder this time, which gave us 6 degrees per second of turn and it worked slick. Anyway, the NAVSEA guys got both the first aborted attempt and the final perfectly-executed foilborne search turn on video, if you can find those anywhere. -- Jon Coile, (Formerly) LT USN, Chief Engineer, USS GEMINI (PHM 6) (

[3 Feb 02] In connection with your request for video material on PHMs, I recommend you contact Tom Warring at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD). I was recently given his name from Jim Scott (Head of Public Affairs) for such requests. You need to explain what you want the videos for, etc. You should ask for the following:

-- John Meyer (

[22 Mar 02] Contact CNN News. They were aboard PEGASUS filming during the last trip out of Key West. Should be in June time period of 93. Also they filmed CIC, Bridge and other ships in formation! They rode PEGASUS (designated flagship for the trip) -- Steve Novell, OS1 PHM1 (

Update on PHM ex-ARIES in Missouri

[1 Dec 01] We have been doing quite a bit of work on the ship lately.

Diana and I went to Wilmington NC to the Historic Naval Ship Association conference which was held in conjunction with the Maritime Heritage Association conference this year and came away with a bit better idea of what would be necessary to start a non profit organization that would help with the restoration / rehabilitation of our ship. We have a few ideas that we would like some feedback on. We intend to form the PHM Memorial, a not for profit, 501c-3 tax exempt, organization. This is an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the only military hydrofoil fleet. As well as the history, technology, and related artifacts of hydrofoils, both military and civilian that pushed forward the development of the technology that made these ships possible. That which made them the most advanced and successful adaptation of hydrofoil technology to date and still represents the "state of the art". The focal point of the PHM Memorial will be the USS ARIES, PHM-5. It is the intention of this organization to restore and rehabilitate the PHM to a state that will allow her to cruise hullborne, and eventually foilborne. This will allow the Memorial to travel and display the history, technology, and artifacts in locations that would not normally be able to support a permanent display. Can anyone help and give reasons why, the marine industry, naval history, the general public, or anyone else would benefit, from the formation of this organization? How might such an organization be useful in the education of our country's youth or "At Risk Youth"?

After taking a ride on Harry Larson's hydrofoil TALARIA III, all I could do is wonder, "how can anyone spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a personal yacht and not spend 40 and make it a hydrofoil?". I asked Harry why people weren't beating his door down for him to make more, he replied "Because this is the only one." He cited Personal Water Craft (PWCs). They were invented decades before they actually became popular. 30 years ago Sea Doo modeled a prototype they never sold that could be mistaken for ones they produce today at a rate of thousands a year. Doesn't it make sense that this is why there aren't more hydrofoils? Education and exposure. Isn't this reason enough for such a Memorial? Why, or Why not?

Is there anywhere in this country for a naval architect, marine designer, commercial pilot, or deck hand to gain hands on experience with hydrofoils? Wouldn't such experience expand his knowledge and capabilities, subsequently enhance his marketability? I suppose there are Universities and trade schools that specialize in that sort of thing. Who are they? What sort of program could be put together that would entice those institutions to spend money on them. What of the other technical aspects of the ship, fly by wire, automatic stabilization control, advanced material used in construction, turbine power, waterjet propulsion? How could they be utilized in the education of all those formerly mentioned?

Why shouldn't we just scrap the whole idea, turn the ship into beer cans? If the people who see this letter to have no ideas, then there is no real reason to mess with it. -- Elliot James -- The Pegasus Project (


[9 Dec 01] I have some ideas in response to the question "Can anyone help and give reasons why the marine industry, naval history, and ...." There is so much happening these days with high speed ships and craft, and there is some recognition now that some transportation modes are fast approaching gridlock; examples: the interstate highways in major metropolitan areas, the advice now to seek other modes of transport for trips of 500 miles or less due to the airline issues. On the government side, we have:

It is incumbent on all of us to promote advanced naval vehicle technology and get the word out to the general public. By looking at the attached briefing on Norwegian surface Effect Ship (SES) Fast Patrol Boat (FPB) KNM SKJOLD, you can see that the PHM-3 series ships met or exceeded all SKJOLD operational capabilities in the 1970s/80s. So there is a good story to tell on the successes of the PHM program. -- Mark Bebar (

[9 Dec 01] Reasons for staying the course: It's fun. As long as it is not burdensome, stay with it, but don't expect too much. Regarding a use for the ship: Skipping over the cost of an LM2500 gas turbine engine, the more serious cost is that of flying the vessel. At about 1000 gallons per hour, serious gas money is needed just to fly. Without that money the ship will be a museum. That is OK, but we have greater aspirations. The only place I know of where $1000/hour is spent for operations outside of the military or commercial passenger service is for cruise ships, yachts and small cruise vessels for yachting-like purposes. I had the experience of flying down the inland passage from Ketchecan to Vancouver on a Jetfoil about 15 years ago. There were fewer than 2 dozen people on board. The trip took two days. We stayed overnight at hotels. If we had taken a few days longer, we could have stopped at many of the more scenic locations over that 800 miles. Around the world there are at least a few places where small (more expensive) cruising is done. Of course suggestions are easy. Making one happen is not. Regarding software: I might be able to be of some assistance, particularly if the software could be written in VB. -- Harry Larsen (

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

[31 Jul 01] We have been spending as much time as possible working on the PHM. We are having some difficulty figuring out the wire numbering. Thanks to a note book from John Monk, we were able to learn how all the equipment and compartments are numbered. We are having less luck with the wiring. I am going to be in Key West next week, I would like to talk to someone there that may have had experience with the PHM fleet operations, maybe even see what may still be around, like the hauling carts or other support equipment. If anyone could guide me in the right direction I would be very appreciative. The red tape involved with forming our non-profit organization is taking far longer than hoped but once established, we will be able to offer tax deductions for donations toward the restoration and preservation (technically "rehabilitation") -- Elliot S. James (


[31 Jul 01] The wire numbering system is standard Navy. As far as power, the number starts from the source, voltage, and then the circuit 1S would be switchboard #1. (2-13-5)-4P-2 would be the second circuit off of a power distribution breaker or fuse panel located on second deck frame 13, and would be of 450 volts. Interior communications, fire control, and electronics use a abbreviated nomenclature designations which identifies what type of circuits they are. This info is in the Electrical Information Handbook put out by Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for electricians. I don't know if the Navy put out a design data sheet on cable numbering. Maybe someone at NAVSEA could help you. -- Sumi Arima (

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

{28 Feb 01] Here is an update:

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

[15 Mar 00] Here is an update:

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

[13 Jun 99] We had visitors Sat. June 12. Jon Coile, LT, USN, Chief Engineer, USS GEMINI (PHM-6) 1987-1988; Tony Martonosi, LCDR,USNR, Combat Systems Officer, USS GEMINI 1987-1988; Stan Cook, CDR, USNR, Combat Systems Officer, USS GEMINI 1985-1987, Combat Systems Officer, COMPHMRON 2 1987. And Eric Wuebbles all flew up to a local airport in Jon Coile's plane and spent the morning going over the ship. They were very enthusiastic to say the least! A lot of great stories were told, and a lot was learned about day to day operations of a PHM. As far as an update on the restoration:

We are currently doing more planning than wrench turning but at least we are moving forward. -- Elliot James (

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

[30 Oct 97] We finally made it to Missouri. Got some great pictures of our ship under the St. Louis Arch. There was an opening on the waterfront and we just pulled in like we owned the joint. The trip took about 45 days and covered over 2100 miles the ship performed excellent. our only mechanical problems were with the 60 cyl genset and our launch. The foils do hinder us in docking so we spent most nights anchored. The reception we received was exactly the same from SC to MO, amazement! If we were paid one buck for every picture that was taken we could have bought a brand new LM2500 for cash! Everyone we met had the same questions, "What is it?" and "What are you going to do with it?" initially the questions were answered with great detail,talks about restoration and preservation, were carried out with boats putting alongside yelling to one another. Eventually that got tiresome as you can imagine!! The answers got shorter! no matter where we were we had company, it became quite comical to see boaters running along side with the resident expert explaining the operation of the foils always using his arms in the same sweeping motions. When we did dock for fuel and supplies we were always treated as royalty, dredges gave way to us and lockmasters gave us the lock to ourselves, the foils made the lockage tricky but we never had a problem. We had to change the name of the ex-Aries for the DRMO so we used Pegasus, The original is gone now for good. don't worry Barney I got the spelling right on the Coast Guard forms. I also promise never to refer to foils as wings. Both acts of temporary stupidity rather than ignorance, plus I can't spell or type for beans. This update is obviously of no technical value just to let you in on what's happening. Thanks for the info on FOIA it's a big help I will send you some current pictures if your interested of both our ship and of PHM-1 getting cut up (ghastly photos) -- Elliot James (

[6 Aug 97] In a deal made with the company that purchased the other five PHMs for scrapping we have traded the ex-HERCULES PHM-2 for the ex-ARIES PHM-5, the only PHM that still had the foils attached. We outfitted this ship with original MTU diesels for hullborne ferry back to Missouri. The engine installation is complete as is the hydraulic system, electrical system (consisting of one 60-cycle genset and one 400 cycle genset) as well as a new PLC controller for control. This computer let us retain the original helm, and electro-hydraulic actuators that operated the steering and thrust reversers as well as monitor the power train. The manuals that IHS helped us acquire have been helpful! The set has included a few of the Systems Operations and Onboard Maintenance Manuals (SOOMMs). If anyone has any other of like text we would be very interested in hearing from you. -- Elliot James (

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They Want a PHM

[27 Apr 02] . I am currently active duty Navy, AO3, about to become MA3. I am interested in the location, owner as well as any and all information you may have reguarding the remaining PHMs. If the current owner is still willing to sell one of the survivers, it is my intention, as well as some potential investors, to save one for museum use. I am currently stationed in Pa. at NAS Willow Grove, which is near the former Phila. Naval Shipyard. The yard still maintains a reserve fleet as well as surplus equipment. It is possible to aquire demilitarized equipment there (with some string-pulling) for museum and private use. Metro Machine is presently scrapping ships and selling off fittings and equipment at the yard as well. Perhaps you may be able to find some articles which are non-specific to the 'foils there. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. Oh, and if you have any other pictures of the "girls" which aren't so painful I would be very grateful to see them -- Brian S. Bell (

[1 Apr 01] I'm planning a trip on to inspect PHMs for possible purchase. Can't afford MTUs; I'm considering 12V92 on original gears. As a project junkie, I've taken on cars and busses before but this one scares the hell out of me. Would appreciate all opinions, info, on the following:

-- Arthur M. ("Bo") Hoover (; Technical Services Group; 12015 Cloverland Court; Baton Rouge, LA 70809; Phone: 225-751-9800; Fax: 225-753-1726; website:

Engines for PHM Foilborne Operation

PHM Foilborne Propulsors - Info Wanted

[13 Jan 02] Eliot James says that you might be able to tell me where to look for some info on the PHM drive pumps (the big ones, that is). I need to know : What is the thrust rating? What is the material used in the impellers and stators? -- E J Potter (


[13 Jan 02] I think the thrust rating would be equal to the battle override setting on the LM-2500 for production PHMs, which was about 117% of rated HP on the pump (1.17 x 18,000 metric HP), and I think the primary material used for the pump was Inconel 625, but I'm not positive about that. You would need to research the PHM-3 Specs to find out for sure. -- Mark Bebar (

[13 Jan 02] We suggest you purchase the AMV CD-ROM for US$ 5.00 offered by IHS. The Building Specs for the PHM 3 Class are included among the documents provided, and there are several pages devoted to the foilborne propulsors. One caution is that the text of this spec makes frequent references to the PHM drawings, which are not available on the CD-ROM. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Main Propulsion Engines For PHM Restoration

[26 Oct 00] We continue to investigate foilborne re-power options for our PHM. The current thinking is to wait for the availability of surplus LM2500s, we are looking for other options should that one be too far in the future. I would like anyone's opinion on the subject. This ship used the GE LM2500 engine de-tuned to approx. 19000 hp. We have everything from the gearbox rearward that connects to the output shaft of the LM2500. I believe this to be at 3000 rpm. Due to space considerations, there is no container around the LM2500, instead, a room was built to house the engine and is still in place. As is the exhaust ducting that was fabricated specifically for the ship. What we would need is the engine and controller. The engine used was the twin shank model LM 2500, but we would consider any suitable replacement. I have been told that the ship would fly with less hp, especially since we have much less weight due to the removal of armament. Could you suggest a less expensive alternative power plant, perhaps a LM1500? Is the LM1600 I see in your literature a LM1500 derivative? I also understand that the LM2500 is more fuel efficient due to higher compression, and burns less fuel than the LM1500. Is this true? How much fuel would each burn at? I would appreciate some costs based on supplying the engine and controls, while we would do the installation. Any other information as to maintenance cost per hour would be helpful. -- Elliot James (


[26 Oct 00] Best bang for the buck would be to use an LM-1500 unit. They are however rated at only 13,500 shaft horsepower at ISO conditions. We do have a hot section upgrade package available that bumps the potential output to 15,000 shaft horsepower, continuous. The original LM-2500 units when de-tuned to 19,000 horsepower were not very fuel efficient, on the order of 28% @ full power, and considerably less efficient at partial loads. An LM-1500 is about 26% efficient at full power, and less at partial loads. With the hot section upgrade, this is bumped up .5% The biggest difference between the -1500 and the -2500 is the power turbine assembly. (The assembly that converts the engine exhaust thrust to rotary horsepower.) The -2500s use a two or five stage power turbine which is more efficient than the single stage power turbine used on the -1500's. People think the -2500 engine is more efficient, but it's really not. Only at high outputs and temperatures does the -2500 get better fuel economy. (26,000+ Hp.) The LM-1600 is a completely different engine line [not recommended]. -- S&S Turbine Services, LTD (email:

[26 Oct 00] I don't know if you are aware of this but the horsepower limit for normal operations was actually set at approximately 16,700 HP. That was the normal output we used, and not the higher setting of 19,400 hp. There was a switch at the Engineering Operator Station (EOS) console labeled "High Torque Limiting" and when we threw that switch, the electronics allowed the parameters to go up to an output of approximately 19,400 hp. In 700 foilborne hours on the USS GEMINI I can only remember going to High Torque Limiting once, when chasing a 38' Cigarette boat with five hundred pounds of cocaine onboard (We caught back up to him and nabbed him. We seized the boat and two of our Coasties drove it home to Key West. The driver got 30 years). We may have demonstrated it to INSURV too, but that was about it. The limiting factor at the higher power settings were the foilborne propulsor inlet and outlet pressures. We had flexible rubber sections in the ducts and I don't know if this had ever happened but we always accelerated slowly so we didn't build up too much suction on the inlet side and suck in the flexible sections. Don't tell anybody, but when we went to High Torque Limiting to get the smuggler we were way over the red line on the outlet pressure, but didn't exceed the inlet suction limit. We had been chasing the guy for 54 minutes at about 200 yards and couldn't quite catch up to him. It was a dead heat, but he was leaping out of the water on waves and banging around bad. About 10 minutes before the end, he turned down seas and tried to run back to the Bahamas. We didn't want to lose at this point so the Captain and I talked and decided to go for it. We went to High Torque Limiting and caught right back up with him, when he broke down. If it would have gotten us anything we would have gone to Battle Override too, but the HT Limiting was the "Nitrous Switch" for the PHM. We were fully loaded with fuel, missiles, 300 rounds for the gun, etc. and we were going just over 56 Knots. Normal cruise back then was 95% power and the GEMINI would go about 48 knots at that setting. ARIES was equally fast at the time, and the others were all slower. AQUILA was a dog and would only get a little over 40 knots at that setting. ARIES, GEMINI, and AQUILA flew from Honduras to Jamaica in formation one night and we had to slow down to the speed of the slowest PHM, AQUILA. You got one of the fast ones in the ex-ARIES. Bottom line, In my operators opinion, as opposed to the real engineers you have also sent this e-mail to, I'm guessing you could fly your PHM with the LM1500 if you can make it fit the gearbox. Note: I got the package for the sale of the other PHMs in Charleston, but there is nothing left there worth saving. Sad. -- Jon Coile, Former Chief Engineer, USS GEMINI (PHM 6) 1987-88 (

P.S. I swear on a stack of bibles that the 56 knots was true. On my last underway on the GEMINI we were going into the shipyard at Mayport FL so we had offloaded all the ammo and Harpoons in Key West. We flew up the Florida Coast and had burned off most of the fuel. Just before we pulled in, I heard after I woke up, that the Captain wound her up to see what she would do at extremely light load. I was told 63 knots, but as I slept through this I can't verify it. I personally saw 56 Knots so that is as fast as I can verify.

Other Posted Message on PHM Engines...

[30 Oct 97] We finally got the ship to Missouri. It will be a while before we will be in the position to spend more money, but we are doing a hard search now for any and all info we can obtain. Since initial investigation tells us that a LM2500 sells for about US$2 million, we wonder where else to look besides the USA? Or at alternative power plants. While LM1500s can be had for considerably less, it is our understanding that they are not nearly as fuel efficient as the more modern LM2500. But how much less? Our ship has lost almost 100 tons of weight from the equipment removed, and since the LM2500 was detuned to a max of 19000 hp we are assuming the LM1500 would provide enough but at what price of efficiency? Would the additional pieces necessary to convert an aircraft engine to a marine unit be any easier to acquire or even a feasible alternative, and if so what is the aircraft engine designation? Where would be the best place to look for parts? -- Elliot James (

[19 Nov 97] The day may come when you can buy an LM2500 as military surplus. The US Navy is downsizing and inactivating ships such as the FFGs that use this engine. I heard recently that the Navy is buying many new storage containers so they can mothball the extra engines that come from these ships. Eventually they will decide they have too many and decide to surplus them, so you should try to be ready for that opportunity. You might want to contact the US Navy's Inventory Manager for LM2500s and see what the prospects are for LM2500s going into surplus. If the Inventory Manager is interested in your project, she might volunteer to contact you when and if some engines are going to become available. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[23 Feb 98] The LM2500 inventory manager is Ms. Shirley J. Thompson, Inventory Management Specialist. Her phone is 703-602-0401 x302. Her email address, if it follows the format of other NAVSEA address that I am familiar with will be Mailing address is as follows: Attn: Shirley L. Thompson (Code 03F3, NC3 10W16); Naval Sea Systems Command; 2531 Jefferson Davis Highway; Arlington VA 22242-5171, USA. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

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PHM Fuel Line Problems

[02 Jun 98] I spent three years as an Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class with PHMs in Key West, 2 as a trainer and 1 on the Herc. The photo of all six hydrofoils "up" was a rare time, and as I recall one needed everything it had plus prayers form the rest to stay up for the photo. What I'm getting at is, they all leaked some kind of fluid at one time or another. The lines and fittings were all subject to high vibrations during foilborne ops and needed watching all the time. On our engineering walk throughs we carried rags, a flash light, and communications (another nightmare) to wipe up LEAKS and report anything out of the ordinary. Boeing was our supplier of parts, so that may be a source for you. You might try the shipyards the ships went to for overhaul (I think they were Runyan Shipyards in Pensacola and Bellinger Shipyards in Jacksonville), they might have some parts or drawings. Another source for drawings might be the civilian engineering branch of the Navy (NAVSEA). It is a brave and noble thing you have taken on and if you need any help, e-mail me. -- James M. Hupe (

[30 Oct 97 ] Of all the work we have done, our only real trouble has been with the stainless steel tubing that makes up much of the plumbing. In particular the low pressure lines for the air and fuel systems. The air lines have numerous cracks we keep chasing and the fuel line fittings that connect the engines to the main lines are fragile. Of four check valves we tried to use, all four had cracks from over torque. These are valves that came straight from the other ships. From all indications they must have seeped fuel when they were last in service. Does anyone remember fuel leaking problems? All the stainless steel lines appear to use a modified compression fitting. While conventional compression fittings require the nut to force the sleeve to compress onto the line (not a design I have ever favored) these lines seem to use a special sleeve. Some sort of special tool must be inserted into the line and then expand the line into recesses in the sleeve. This system appears to me to be a wonderful combination of the simplicity of the compression fitting and the seal capability of a flare without the drawbacks of either. Does anyone know of such a tool? Given the cracking problem we have seen I wonder if there is a special annealing process? -- Elliot James (, Custom Composites Company; RR 2 Box 192; Salibury MO 65281-9664; 816-777-3300 voice; 816-777-3302 fax.

[25 Nov 97] The fittings on PHM were mostly Mil-Std. There is a special tool to swage the fittings on. I have talked to others that were on the PHM program but no one could remember any leak problems. It could be because of long term stowage with salt water caused erosion on the ss tubing. Over-torquing of the fittings can cause leakage at the fittings. I recall that PHM 5 had problems getting fuel to the turbine through the filter. I remember lines being opened to check for blockage, and the filter dismantled but no obvious problem was detected. I don't know if it was completely resolved. -- Sumi Arima (

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PHM Automatic Control System

[3 Jun 00] I know that Marc has located the manuals that we need and hopefully that info can be released by the Navy. It would definitely help us, especially now that we are getting into the electrical system redesign. Without more accurate information, We have to find all the equipment we intend to keep. Make a list of the power and control wire numbering, then trace it down to one of two switch stations then trace the control wires to EOS and motor protection to two more stations. We cannot remove any wire until we know that we will not need it so this is a very slow process indeed. Many of the systems we are redesigning, such as the HVAC ours will be significantly simpler but it is important to figure out how the original works in order to know what to keep. In conversations with Danny Jordan with MAPC., I understand that the single biggest engineering feat for constructing an Automatic Control System (ACS) for our PHM is the control algorithms. Would this info me among that Marc has located? We are pushing very hard to have her ready for a hull born cruise by the end of this summer/fall. If we could confirm dockage through the winter, we could shoot for Key West. That would be an ideal spot for a PHM reunion! We would like to have at least a prototype ACS to test out hullborne. There are areas if we go to Kentucky Lake that we could extend the foils and but not if this drought continues. Being in the Gulf of Mexico will allow us to record the effectiveness of the ACS in stabilizing wouldn't it? -- Elliot S. James (

[8 Aug 99] Have you heard about using pressure transducers as means of measuring flight height / foil depth? Wave spray problems would be eliminated, and the cost of even the most sensitive transducer would be a fraction of a radar setup or even the sonic system. As I understand, there is an increase in atmospheric pressure that provides lift at low altitude to an airfoil known as ground effect when the airfoil is within close proximity to the ground. Since air and water are both fluid wouldn't this also apply to a hydrofoil and if so, given the increase in density of water wouldn't the effective distance, or height, be greater if not enough to effect lift perhaps enough to effect a transducer sensitive enough to gauge the few psi difference between high flight and broaching? (is broaching the correct term for coming out of the water or just a good way to cook chicken?) -- Elliot James (


[8 Aug 99] Various methods of sensing height has been tried, mostly as research projects at Boeing. Pressure transducers have been tried, as well as leading edge sensors. In all cases, it was determined that the reliability of data was lacking. Of course, over the years, improvements have been made on sensors and may warrant another study. A sensor reading the foil depth by measuring up to the water surface was also tried. The problem is when the ship broaches. A broach in boat terms is when the hull is out of the water. In a submerged hydrofoil foil, we considered a broach when the foil was in aerated water where loss of lift occurs. -- Sumi Arima (


[8 Aug 99] This is the system used on QUEST's Motion Controller as designed by Danny Jordan at Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC). It worked very well. -- John Meyer (

[8 Oct 97] I am very interested in information on submerged hydrofoil control systems. We are looking to replace the ACS on our PHM-5 ex-ARIES (renamed PEGASUS because the DRMO requires a name change, and the original PEGASUS is no more) we have a mostly complete spare set of controls (yoke input and servo cylinder actuators) and are planning to construct a working simulator "on the bench". The ACS used in our PHM needs replacing. While we have most of the parts I believe it would be cost prohibitive to restore this system. We built a PLC system using D to A / A to D equipment for control of the steering and thrust reversers as well as the throttles, but the foilborne controls will need more processing speed. Also there is the interface of gyros and accelerometers. The yoke and foil cylinders have not only dc position pots but 400 cyl resolvers. We have sonic height sensors but the radar system is gone and advice from others tells us the former is inferior to the latter but replacement cost for the radar units is high. What method for height sensing would you consider? And interface that to the pc control how? Any info is appreciated -- Elliot James (


[10 Oct 97] In response to your inquiry, I could only go by memory since I sent all the data I had collected in my file cabinets to DTNSRDC Carderock, now called Naval Surface Warfare Center - Carderock Division. I called a retired Boeing ACS engineer who had very little memory of what was done, so I have to be very vague on the subject. I have added Jim King as copy to: where maybe he could access some of the data I will refer to here.

What To Do With a PHM

PHM Sighting in South Carolina...

[3 Sep 01] At approximately 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24th, 2001 a commercial tug (northbound on the Intracoastal Waterway) passed the Belle Isle Yacht Club (Georgetown, SC), pushing two Navy hydrofoils, stern first. Do you know which hydrofoils they were and what their destination was? I have about 30 seconds of amateurish video of the event. -- Bob Miller (


[3 Sep 01] Presumably two of the PHM Class, which are up for scrapping. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Need PHM Status Today...

[2 Sep 01] I took note of the pic in your photo gallery of the three 'foils as they appear today. My question to you is whether you have any information regarding their location either in that pic or at present, as well as scrapping progress. I've spoken to fellow Naval Reservists like myself who would like to see one saved from the heap. Any information you could supply would be of great help to get some kind of ball rolling if possible. Thank you for your time and for actually having a current picture. -- IT3 Brian S. Bell USNR (

Last Chance to Buy Decommissioned PHM Hydrofoils...

[30 Aug 00] We have been unsuccessful in obtaining a solid buyer for the remaining PHMs, and we are losing dock space in Charleston SC. Therefore we are reducing the price of the vessels to the following: 2 PHMs - US$75,000 each and 2 damaged PHMs - US$40,000 each. If you have a serious offer and are interested in the boats, you need to respond quickly, as the purpose of the reduction is to avoid the expense of relocating the vessels. PHM particulars are: Length 132' x 28 ' beam, design displacement 237 Lt fully loaded with 7'6" draft. Advanced design by Boeing features high speed and maneuverability with long cruising range. Built for all-weather, high sea state operation. Max. speed 22 kts with 800 hp diesels (not incl) and excess of 70 kts with LM 2500 GE turbine (not incl). Vessels have been demilitarized. Original hydrofoils are available. Information package available. Call Emmett Crews 352-787-0608 or send email: or


[31 Aug 00] This is sad to say the least. The production PHMs cost about $65M each in the late 1970s. -- Mark Bebar

[8 Jun 98] If sponsorship could be established, what is the feasibility of setting the all-time record for circling the globe for a marine vessel? Since we lost approx. 100 tons of weapon related equipment fuel containers could be built to replace them. Would this give the range necessary for the longest part of the journey? I understand this record is currently held by a sailing vessel known as "Sport-Elec". 71 days I believe. -- Elliot James (

[10 Oct 99] We consider to convert one of the last 4 PHMs in a mini cruise vessel. Unfortunately are no lines plans and others available by the seller, and the reason that we contact you is the question, if you know where and how we can get such information! -- Volker Gries, Naval Architect, Charlotte NC (


[10 Oct 99] The following comments are offered in response to your interesting inquiry. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

2nd Response...

[11 Oct 99] BOY, do I agree with you, Barney! PHM would not be a good cruise ship, anyway. Your suggestion of a surplus Russky boat also good. Another choice in that speed range might be the Navy's SES 200, which is very roomy and in operating shape. -- Nat Kobitz (

3rd Response...

[18 Oct 99] Please note that since the PHMs were decomm'd in 1993, all of the technical information (Shipboard Operations and Maintenance Manual) has been purged. I was able to rescue some of this just before destruction and provide it to Mr. Meinhardt. To my knowledge, there is not a duplicate of this information available. You may want to follow up with John Monk to confirm this. -- Mark Bebar, Naval Sea Systems Command (

Drydocking of PHMs

[8 Aug 99] As you may know we have the last PHM with foils. She is tied to some cottonwoods floating in the Grand river at Brunswick Missouri awaiting restoration. I am interested if there are technical drawings for drydocking? Bringing the ship out of the water is something we have been giving some thought to but we were present when the scrappers tried to lift the original PEGASUS out of the water. They had 12" wide straps built specifically for the job, but when they attempted to sling her with a large barge crane they ripped the hull open. They had to stop lifting but she took on a lot of water fast. Now the ship would sink if they let the crane loose to reattach, so the only crane capable of lifting her had to hold her afloat. They were able to dog the hatches, and pump the rest of the ship, then reattach at the 3 points where the foils attached, like they should have done in the first place. The foils had been removed and the stub that stuck out was an easy place to hook to, but when they attempted to lift she wiggled away again and dropped back to the water. Eventually the crane and determined scrappers won out, and once atop the seawall the ship disappeared quickly. PHM-1 PEGASUS put up a tremendous fight right up to the end, and we obviously would like a better way of getting our hull dry. -- Elliot James (


[8 Aug 99] PHMs were built in the airplane assembly plant at Boeing Renton. Boeing used cradles with airplane jacks and dolly wheels to move the ships and launch them into the lake using a seaplane ramp. Considerable work was done at Key West to utilize this concept for docking the PHMs. Docking plans were made for setting the blocks to drydock the PHMs in standard floating or otherwise drydocks. Boeing did design a drydock for the Jetfoil. Nickum and Spaulding reviewed the drawings and commented on the construction and stability features. I do not know if any were built, if so, it would have been overseas. I am surprised that an attempt to lift PHM with a crane was made. Even with the foils and struts removed, and in light ship condition, it would take an extremely large capacity for the lift. Lifting the HIGH POINT, we had two 100 ton cranes with a spreader and four steel mesh belly bands about 3 feet wide. The spreader was also rigged to allow lifting with one hammerhead crane a Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Page 82 of the "Twenty Foilborne Years" has a picture of this lift of the HIGH POINT. Subsequent modifications to HIGH POINT were made to install lifting pads for easier crane attachment. -- Sumi Arima (


[8 Aug 99] At the time we closed down COMPHMRON TWO in December of 93 the haul-out cradle was located in Key West at the new docking and haul-out site @ Truman Annex. Paul Sharp from Boeing, (somewhere in the Boeing Space Station Program) who was in charge of the Boeing close-out effort might remember if the haul out cradle and all it's wheels were sent to scrap. But one quick way to find out if it's still there is to have Les Jackson take a look or maybe it's enough of an excuse to make a trip to Key West to check it out! I do know that all of the holding fixtures for the ship were sent to scrap in Key West and sold. It's also possible that no one purchased them or that if they did they are still intact in some junk yard someplace. The drawings for the haul-out cradle were down at PHMRON2 when the base was closed, and if we could locate some of the personnel who were in the S 4 shop at that time, they might know what happened to them. I believe the lifting spreader bar and slings were sent to Cheatham Annex (Williamsburg, VA) along with the other ship unique material. -- John Monk (

Upper Constraints on PHM Speed...

MLSG Recollection

[31 May 03] I was attached to MLSG from 83-85 as an EN, working on the hullborne engines, hydraulics and propulsion systems. The ships crews were always talking about doing 55-58 knots at less than full power. -- Steven R. Matkovich EN3, PHMRON II MLSG (

[19 Nov 00] We are contemplating some speed record attempts and have been discussing max. speeds of the PHM. Is it possible to exceed 60 knot based on the current design? I have been told that 60 knots is approx. the equivalent in the water to the sound barrier in the air. The entire design of craft propulsion goes from "subcavitating" to "supercavitating". I am told that we have an operational limit of around 60 knots, no matter how much horsepower we shove to her before cavitation begins to eat us up. Another place where we will gain speed with less hp is in drag reduction. We no longer have a 50 foot plus mast sticking strait up in the air and there are other places we can make her more slick to help reduce drag. If 60 knots is out max. because of design, how much hp will be required to get there considering drag reduction more than weight since we will probably replace our lower weight with fuel for the distance. -- Elliot S. James (


[19 Nov 00] You are right about cavitation. That is the big problem. It has a lot to do with foil loading. So, the lighter the ship the faster it will go with the power you are able to pull and transmit to the water. Removal of a mast and reduction in air drag is OK, but it will not be much. -- John Meyer (

[19 Nov 00] What criteria are you willing to accept in measuring speed? I vaguely recall the number 57 knots on PLAINVIEW measured by the EM Log (I believe Frank Hudson was the skipper when the PLAINVIEW attained its top speed). This is not a very accurate device, especially when you are operating near the MACH 1 equivalent where the sensor is not operating in good laminar flow. To reach this number, a couple of red lines were exceeded. I believe the speed record is held by the FRESH-1, which is in the vicinity of 70 knots. Since FRESH-1 has super cavitating foils, I do not believe PHM could approach that number with its foil system. The MACH 1 equivalent in water is somewhat different than in air since water does not compress. I am not sure what the consequences are, some hydrodynamicist will have to do the explaining, but the cavitation is a detriment to lift and drag. Some loss of control could occur with the flaps working in air. This was the primary reason for the FRESH-1 's accident. -- Sumi Arima (

[21 Nov 00] Just thought I would chime in on the speed issue. I was riding ARIES during trials at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and we were doing 61 knots(according to the speed log on the bridge) on Puget Sound. It seemed like we could go faster, but the Boeing people on the bridge were worried about "cavitation" and the possibility of the ship broaching. They considered it a real possibility if we went any faster. I rode ARIES many times during my stint at MLSG and she cruised at 55 knots no problem. -- Chuck Shannon, ET MLSG '82-'86 (

[23 Nov 00] The max speed I saw while with PLAINVIEW was approximately 52 knots. Shortly thereafter, we were restricted to max of 40 knots because trial data and modeling predictions were not tracking re: lateral forces on the struts. There was concern that, under certain conditions, an instantaneous change in the direction of force could occur. -- Steve Duich (

[23 Nov 00] I believe at least one of the production PHMs made 58 knots. The ship may have been in less than full load condition and there was a Battle Override conditon specified for the production boats. The boat had to be in Battle Override to make that speed. I checked my copy of the PHM 3 ship specifications, and the LM 2500 GT power level input requirements to the foilborne reduction were as follows: Continuous (100%) Power Input: 17,000 metric horsepower; Battle Override (max intermittent): 115.8% of continuous power = 19,686 metric horsepower. You are right in saying that 60 knots could introduce cavitation problems both in the pump and with the foil system. The PHM-3 series (production boats) had very good foil contour tolerances and were cavitation-free at higher speeds than PHM-1. I am not sure if there was cavitation 58 knots was attained, but there may well have been some foil cavitation. Clearly, you would need more than 20,000 HP into the FB reduction gear for 60 knots, which would exceed the max intermittent rating and is probably not a good idea. -- Mark Bebar (

[26 Nov 00] After we put the PLAINVIEW back into operation in the spring of 1977, we routinely operated under a 65 knot speed limitation due to concern with ventilation of the aft strut during a turn. We never saw any indication of a problem, and there was abundant power to have gone much faster. -- Greg Bender (

[28 Nov 00] As far as the PLAINVIEW and HIGH POINT, the best way to make a final determination is to go through all the test tapes. It was my policy that since we were a research and development organization, that minimum data be collected during all operations so that if anything happened, we could recreate what really occurred. We did set up a flight recorder set up on PEGASUS. There was some talk about instrumenting the other PHMs but I cannot recall if it happened. -- Sumi Arima (

[28 Nov 00] Sumi, You are 100% correct when it comes to the "real speed". Where the "tapes" are is anybody's guess. Yes, I know you sent them all back to Carderock, and they may be in a Cage in the basement of Bldg 17 buried with all of the other AMV stuff. Yes, we were in the process of installing a prototype "flight recorder" on PHM-2 when the "roof fell in." It never got up and running in spite of all the good work done by Boeing. The boxes were sent back to the Center, and were recently disposed of in a clean-up exercise. -- John Meyer (

PHM Electrical Power Redesign

Wiring on PHMs

[21 Nov 01] I was an ET on USS HERCULES from 89 - 92. The wiring is navy standard but the thing I found tricky while I was assigned was that 400Hz power was normal and 60Hz was the Special Frequency bus (SF Power). Hope this is some help and am very glad to hear someone is trying to preserve an example of this fantastic ship. -- Brian Stone (

Shore Power

[03 Aug 01] I have a question about shore power. We currently are using a 3 wire, B phase grounded delta system. 480 volts. There are three lines coming down the pole into our disconnect, two of these lines pass through fuses, the other does not, the latter is connected directly to a grounding rod. Our line going to the ship is a three conductor cord with one line to each. when measured at the box, we have 480 volt between any two lines. As I understand it, the ship is 3 wire, ungrounded delta. We are bringing the three lines into the panel where all three lines are fused and there is no connection between any line and the hull. When I use a digital multi meter to measure voltage, I notice that I have a bit of potential between the leg that is grounded at the pole, and the ship. Should I ground this leg at the ship to eliminate the voltage? This is the easiest since we have only 3 wires going to the ship. We have the option of having a 4 wire service put in, a Y with center ground or neutral. this means we would have a potential difference between each leg of 480, and each leg to ground or neutral of 277. This would isolate the three legs from the power company, but we would still be able to get 277 between each leg and ground and less at the ship between each leg and the hull where it isn't really well grounded. If the 4 wire is the way to go, do we have to run another wire out to the ship and ground it? -- Elliot James (


[03 Aug 01] I am not familiar with a 3 wire B phase grounded delta system. In fact, this would be contrary in terms since a delta system would not have any grounds. What I suspect you have is a Scott connection from the power company so you could get the 3 phases. It would be grounded. I am also confused since the ship's shore power was originally provided at 400 hertz. The power company, unless they are using some type of frequency conversion would provide 60 hertz. The reason ships use a delta connection is to keep the power system from grounds. If ungrounded, a person would have to touch two leads to get shocked. With a grounded system, touching one wire standing on the deck could provide enough shock to kill you. DO NOT GROUND THE POWER ON THE SHIP!! You really should have an isolation transformer. Go to a Marine scrap yard and get three single phase transformers. I suspect for your use, you could get by with small units at a very reasonable in cost. The other reason for not using the ship as ground is electrolysis, especially in sea water. A ground wire from the ship to shore would compound this problem, and really could do damage when welding on the ship. By the way, that potential you are measuring is enough to provide a good shock to you, especially if you are wet. -- Sumi Arima (

PHM Restoration - Isolation Transformer

[13 Oct 00] We currently have shore power run to our PHM. This is 460 volt 3 wire, where one of the three legs is grounded, a common approach to three phase in rural areas. What this means is that when a meter is connected between one of the ungrounded legs and the ship hull, we read a potential of 460 volts. Would it be advisable to have an isolation transformer in line? We don't seem to experience any problems with the higher voltage, but we could use a buck/boost transformer to lower the voltage to 440, or is there something else we should be doing short of making sure the anodes are still in place to minimize corrosion? -- Elliot S. James (


[13 Oct 00] I would highly recommend an isolation transformer. The danger you face is standing on the deck and touching a piece of equipment that is using one of the other legs, which would put 460 volts through you. Ships use delta (no grounded lead) connection for this very reason. From your description, it sounds like you are being supplied by a scott connection, which is not truly 3-phase. I would be cautious of running sensitive 3-phase equipment with this connection because it could look like a short with the grounded leg. -- Sumi Arima (

[20 Oct 00] Assume that 460 volt is 60 Hz power being supplied to PHM. The PHM utilizes 400 Hz power that is converted from 60 to 400 Hz motor generator set. Believe that the motor generator set can operate with one of the input phases grounded but another ground on one of the other phases could cause damage to the MG set and ship. Recommend that isolation transformer be used to isolate the ship. The ship operates at 450 volts plus or minus 5%, so that 460 volts is in the range. Note that sometimes the shore power voltage reaches 500 volts when the are no other heavy consumers. This high voltage may cause equipment to trip off line if it is not regulated by the MG set. To minimize corrosion, the ground connection between ship's hull and the pier has a good contact. The impedance of the ground connection must be minimized. -- Dickey Yee, NAVSEA 05Z - Power Systems Group - 703-602 3474 x 282

PHM VFD Issues

[22 Sep 00] About the VFDs, one project I was on, we were upgrading a process water cooling system for a company. The idea was to vary the speed of the cooling pump to regulate header pressure instead of a control valve. The system was controlled by an Allen-Bradley PLC, but the customer wanted to be able to override everything in the event of a problem. To override the cooling pump the VFD had to be bypassed. An option with the VFD is a bypass switch and a pair of motor contactors. We asked Allen-Bradley if we could just put the contactors in our own motor control center to save space (and expense). In a word they said "no". They said not to put motor starters on the output of the VFD, to let the VFD do the starting and stopping. I guess the VFD "looks" on the three phase output for a feedback signal, and an open output confuses it in some applications. I noticed with the wiring the VFD had a signal coming from the bypass switch on the front panel to tell it (no feedback I quess) when it was in bypass mode. I asked the factory about this and they said that as long as there was some kind of load on the VFD output there would be no problem with switching the output on and off thru contactors. This was about five years ago, I know the VFD's have gone thru a lot of improvements since then. Maybe it's no longer an issue, or it might be a good Idea if there was always some kind of load (lights, heater or fan?) on the bus at all times to extend the life of the VFD. I wonder "how low can you go" with a 400 Hz motor? Some jobs I've been on the VFD's were limited to no less than 20 Hz for a 60Hz motor. One engineer told me that the copper content of motor windings was changed around 1984. I quess if an older motor is kept at low speeds for a period of time it starts to build up heat. Newer motors can be run just about all the way down. I wonder if 400 Hz motors of the same vintage have the same problem. I also remember the VFD's having two modes, on being "constant torque" or "constant load" ? I had better look these things up to let you know for sure which mode would be best. As far as the LM2500 it came from the aircraft version of the TF39 which I'm sure everyone has told you about by now. If you notice in the LM2500 Tech Manual the first bearing is #3. This is because #1 & #2 are for the turbofan which is driven thru the center of the engine by the power turbine. In marine applications the turbofan is not used and the power turbine power take off is thru the aft end. I'm sure somewhere there has got to be one of these aircraft engines in surplus which is no longer air worthy. Keep me honest here...1) I thought I remembered the hullborne engines as Mercedes-Benz?2) The SSPU's had the SAC (Start Air Compressor) for the LM2500 mounted on them correct? I remember the SAC's looking a lot more at home on them than the SSDG's (Ships Service Diesel Generators) on the Frigates. These Compressors were originally cabin pressurization units on the aircraft. which is why I thought the whole SSPU was borrowed from the aircraft. If this is the case and you replace both SSPU's wouldn't this burn the bridge of being able to start a LM2500 (or TF39) down the road?. I'll look some of these things up and make sure. Thank you for your reply and putting me on your list. Since you have VFD experience, can you see any problem with our plan on using them for power supplies for the 400 hz? I have yet to locate large used ones at a price that I can afford. We need at least 2-75 hp units. I would prefer 3 of the same units, we could use one to drive the 60 hp motor we hooked to one of the hydraulic pumps. With a VFD driving it, we would significantly reduce starting current, and be able to take the motor/hydraulic pump to near 100 hp for short duration which would be perfect for the hydraulic bow thruster, not to mention make the bow thruster variable which might be handy. -- Dan Schmidt (


[22 Sep 00] As far as running the 400 hz motors, we plan to run most of them at 400hz with the VFD, which limits us on finding used VFDs because many big ones don't go that high. We tried slowing down one of the fuel pumps with the VFD since we won't need 7 hp for hullborne operation and the emergency DC pumps are very noisy. We found that we build heat very quickly. I believe this is because the VFD was set with a base freq. of 60hz. which I think means that 100% voltage will be applied above that point. When a motor is slowed down from the base speed, the voltage needs to be reduced to keep the motor from getting hot. I am guessing that when we reset the base freq. of the VFD to 400 hz, the voltage will drop as the freq. is dropped to compensate. Am I correct in my thinking? I do know that the cooling systems of motors are designed around the base speed, the speed at which the fan spins is important to how well it cools the motor, motors designed specifically for VFD compensate with different fans, or in some cases, separate driven blowers that don't slow down with the motor. The 400hz motors on our ship are oil cooled, the oil is pumped around the housing with an internal centrifugal impeller which would slow down with the motor. this too would limit the amount we can slow the motor down. The hullborne engines are 8v331 series 80 MTUs for PHM1 , and series 81 for the rest of the ships. We found one of each. we had to make a bell housing adapter for the 80 series since it uses a size smaller bell housing, and all the gearboxes we had were for the larger 81s. When we were looking at building a custom gearbox for the diesel gensets, we were going to incorporate one of the SACs into the design, since we have been able to eliminate the need for a custom gearbox, we plan on using a air start turbine. This is a stand alone unit that is a common sight at airports to start planes. They are relatively cheap on the surplus market and not very large or heavy. Elliot S. James (

[31 Jul 99] In our design of the SSPU replacement our gearbox complexity is growing. We have found 400 HZ generators that turn at 4000 rpm and 60 HZ generators that turn 5600 rpm. We are trying to find some that turn the same rpm to keep our gearbox simple. I have noticed that many of the 400HZ generators are 220/110 output. Our ship uses 440, I understand now how 400HZ can save significant weight. It seems odd that 220 seems to be the voltage of choice over 440? This further restricts the availability of surplus generators. One that we have found is from an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), and it generates 208/416 volts. Is 416 close enough? The PHMs used static frequency converters to convert 400HZ to 60HZ. I assume these were very specialized since there should be very little use for converting in that direction while there are many going from 60HZ to 400HZ. Our loads are mostly 400HZ. Should we more strongly consider coming up with a 400 hz to 60 hz static converter? Are there other applications that use such a device? Would it be hard or cost prohibitive to build one? This would further simplify the wiring by keeping closer to the original design. -- Elliot James (


[31 Jul 99] What are you going to do with the PHM other than try to refurbish it to flying condition? I believe you need a new power analysis to determine the amount and type of power you need to get the PHM to your satisfaction. I presume you have stripped much of the weapons so you should have a weight margin to allow heavier 60 hz equipment in lieu of the specialized 400 hz equipment. A lot of the resistive load can operate on either 400 hz or 60 hz. A study was made at one time to replace the SSPU turbines with diesels. I do not know if a copy of this study is available. With commercial marine diesel generators and a standard airport type air start turbine, you could easily save equipment costs and pay for a little design effort. You will still need 400 hz, but going from 60 hz to 400 hz either by motor generator or static inverters should be much cheaper. I caution you as to the quality of power required by the equipment you have retained. A bad power supply could burn up equipment easily. By the way, most aircraft uses 220v 400 hz single phase power. The PHMs used 440 volt, 400 hz, three-phase "Y" converted to delta to avoid grounds. -- Sumi Arima (


[31 Jul 99] Sumi is right on target. There was a diesel gen study that showed for mission duration of 10 days or longer, combined weight of diesels + fuel was less than that for GT generators. Unfortunately the stated mission for PHM was 5 days. In reality, they went out for 10-12 days or even 2 weeks on occasion and so the decision was the wrong one. Just removing the 3 inch gun and its ammo reduces weight many tons, so going with 60 HZ equipment makes a lot of sense. -- Mark Bebar (

Follow-up to Responses...

[31 Jul 99] We are going to have 2 diesel units in the same location as the turbine SSPUs, The majority of equipment is still 400 hz. Since most of the wiring is still in place for the items we are retaining, we are planning to keep the resistive loads 400 hz. At full load, with all bilge pumps, fuel pumps, fresh, gray, and black water pumps, fans, blowers, heaters water and air, etc. on at one time, our load is approx. 180 to 200 KW. not included in that load is air conditioning(30 kw), 2 sea water pumps(14 kw), the latter 44 kw we figure to convert to 60 hz for the following reasons: (1) the sea water pumps were removed and it appears that there are very few high horse power 400 hz motors available; and (2) while we have the four separate air-conditioning compressor/motors, we have no spares and have yet to find any other applications that use them. The other 400 hz equipment is either very close to available aircraft components which are cheap surplus or we have acquired spares already. All the equipment is turned on and off with contactors, all have overload protection and control wiring located in EOS. Our plan is to use PC/PLC control to monitor and manage all loads from EOS with network links to the bridge and CIC (combat Information Center). Obviously there is no time when all loads will be on, we can use the control to inhibit items as necessary by prioritizing. If we need all the bilge pumps running then we sure don't need the galley range and water heaters on! This significantly reduces the load requirements. We rough figure the requirements to be 120 kw of 400 hz (which includes the 28 VDC), 60 kw of 60 hz, and about 60 kw of hydraulic power (mostly the bow thruster) Full hydraulic power would be available foil born from the pumps mounted to the foil borne gearbox. If we split this load between both diesel SSPUs each consisting of one 60kw-400hz generator, one 60kw-60hz generator, two hydraulic pumps(as was previously) all mounted to a gearbox attached to a 400 hp diesel. We should have no problem running the ship on one SSPU at a time with plenty of power for an emergency by further prioritizing loads if one SSPU is down. Does this sound plausible? One thing we could do is to increase the amount of 400 hz available in an emergency from one SSPU by increasing the size of the 400 hz generator and eliminating the 60 hz generator replacing it with a static converter. the converter would have to be larger than the original which I believe was 20 KVA. Now we would need about 60 KW. Does such a converter exist? If not how hard would it be to build one? This approach would let us use the original generators off of the turbine SSPUs. -- Elliot James (


[31 Jul 99] I'll defer to John Johnson of NAVSEA Power Systems Group. He may have information on 60 KW converters. -- Mark Bebar (

Follow-up to Responses...

[17 Aug 99] On my visit to the HIGH POINT, I noticed that there were two 60 hz to 400 hz static converters, Do you remember what these units were used for? As far as I could tell most of the ship was conventional 60 hz. If you do remember them maybe you know what KW they were and what voltage. At the time I was not interested, I was pretty sure that we would be using a 400 hz generator but in light of the recent advice I am leaning more toward either a static converter or motor generator. The former being lighter but the latter being much more affordable. -- Elliot James (


[17 Aug 99] The static inverters on HIGH POINT were made by Abacus. I cannot remember if they were 7.5 or 5 KVA units. It converted 440 volt 60 hz 3 phase delta to 440 volt 400 hz 3 phase delta. One unit was sufficient to operate the ships load, including the test instrumentation, with the other as standby and/or powering special trials equipment. Many modifications were made after installation to improve the reliability. It kept blowing fuses to keep from spiking the diodes. We installed a limiter circuit. -- Sumi Arima (

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PHM Producibility Improvements

[3 May 01] I am aware that PEGASUS (PHM-1) was built to metric units and the follow-on hydrofoils in imperial units. Also, didn't the follow-on PHMs have structural mods to make production more simple? The issue of Naval Engineers Journal (around 1985) dealing with ANVs describes some of this. I am interested to hear more about this. -- Martin Grimm (


[3 May 01] The production PHM (PHM 3 Series) Program conducted a set of Producibility Studies in the 1977-78 timeframe. These studies were aimed at improving producibility (reducing cost) for the 5 follow ships and covered a number of areas. Two of the key areas were Struts-and-Foils and Hull Structure. There was no change from metric to British units however. To my knowledge, this issue was never raised since all of the production drawings for the lead ship (PEGASUS) were in metric, and it would have been cost prohibitive to switch to British units. Strut/Foil Producibility studies were driven by the need to address the problems with stress-corrosion induced cracking in the chordwise direction on PHM 1 aft foil. The 17-4 PH steel used for PHM 1 was especially susceptible to such cracking propagated from within the hollow foils when sea water intruded into the foils and there was no way to remove it. PHM 1 operations were modified to add an oil/wax substance called 'Floatcoat' to adhere to the internal surfaces and delay corrosion. The cracking was centered in areas of high stress caused by center-of-lift fluctuations resulting from flap actuation at foilborne speeds. The solution for production PHMs was to eliminate the aft strut-to-foil welded connections in the high stressed areas close to the aft struts and 'hog' solid billets of 17-4 PH into an inverted tee solid structure, with the foil skins welded to this solid inverted T further outboard. There was a weight increase in the foil system of several metric tons. For Hull Structure producibility, the structural detail design was extensively modified to reduce the large number of different scantlings used in the lead ship (this was done on PHM 1 for minimum weight). By modifying the design to use fewer tailored scantlings, especially forward in the ship, the meters of welding in the follow ships was drastically reduced with a savings in man-hours for welding. There was a weight increase in SWBS Group 100 of about 4.5 metric tons if memory serves me. -- Mark Bebar (

PHM Hull "Print-Thru"

[4 May 01] Might I trouble you for your thoughts on PHM Hull print thru visable on structure? -- Arthur M. ("Bo") Hoover (; Technical Services Group; 12015 Cloverland Court; Baton Rouge, LA 70809; Phone: 225-751-9800; Fax: 225-753-1726; website:


[4 May 01]I was the Chief Engineer of the USS GEMINI (PHM 6) in 1987-88. I don't think the print thru you are referring to in the hull plating is a big deal. All ships oil can their plating to some extent, even the 563' steel hull Spruance Destroyer I was on. I think it's a function of the high speed stresses the hull goes through and the thickness of the plate of Navy ships. The hull will oil can some, but the superstructure of a PHM above the main deck will show this even more since the bulkheads are really thin. That is my operator's opinion, but I defer to the real engineers if their opinion is different then mine. I went to visit Elliot James and the ex-ARIES. It reminded me that the ships are miserable without a functioning air conditioning system. That is one of your biggest priorities, after hullborne propulsion, steering, and a bow thruster. I never saw a PHM in the special cradle that Boeing made for the hydrofoils, but I did see the cradle. Looked like a HUGE boat trailer. In my time on the PHMs we used a floating dry dock to get them out of the water. We were right off the ICW near Mayport for the yard availability during my tour, in a shipyard that now works on tugs. The floating dry dock is no longer there. By the way, there are some fixed fins on the bottom for directional stability that you need to keep in mind dragging them out of the water. When I was on the ex-ARIES, I thought some windows in the Combat Information Center (CIC) would make that a nice main deck salon. Much of the engineering spaces are not required now without a gas turbine engine, but with 132 feet of ship you can have a few feet of wasted yacht. -- Jon Coile (

[4 May 01] I was not directly involved with PHM program, since it was a construction program. I was the Head of the Hydrofoil Trials Unit, a part of David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, U.S. Navy. Our part was to provide consultation and even ran some development work such as evaluating the firing of Harpoon missiles off a flying hydrofoil. I am not familiar with your term "print thru". If you are talking of the visibility of the frames on the hull, it is due to the welding and construction technique. Boeing chose to use the aircraft technique of assembly of the hull upside down on jigs rather than the method most shipyards use which is to allow the hull to move as it is welded and control the shape by welding sequence. The later ships became better as the welders became more proficient. -- Sumi Arima (

[4 May 01] I have never come across the terminology "print thru" or "oil can" when referring to hull plating before, but I think it is the same as what is also referred to as the "Hungry Horse Look". In other words, the hull shell plating or superstructure plating is dished in between the stiffeners when viewed from outside giving it the look of a starved horse with its skeleton showing through! This is indeed fairly typical of lightly constructed naval ships, and would presumably be even more so for the PHMs. It would be caused by a combination of distortion of the plating due to the welding process during fabrication and later by sea loads acting on the hull. It typically reaches a steady state point where no further significant deflection occurs with further years of service and does not mean the structure has failed. Fatigue problems would be more apparent by signs of cracking of the plating or stiffeners or evidence of attempts to re-weld cracks, which is somewhat problematical for alloy ship structures as the heat affected zone around the weld repairs may just promote further cracking in the same area! -- Martin Grimm (

PHM as Gun Platform

[11 Apr 01] In the earlier stages of PHM development, the German Federal Navy was interested because they were planning to replace the conventional fast attack craft due to their inability to operate at higher sea states. The German company Luerssen Shipyard was involved in this project. A manager the shipyard told me about his experiences with the PHM. He said that the PHM tested (maybe PEGASUS?) developed low frequency vibrations when it ran through higher short seas. Because of this vibration problem it was thought not to be a stable platform for the 76 mm Oto Melara gun. Is that true? -- C. Schramm (


[11 Apr 01] I don't recall any vibration problem that affected the gun. When the gun was fired, the sonic height sensor reacted to the noise, causing the ship to change height. A circuit was installed in the height sensor electronics to eliminate this problem. When the radar height sensor was used, this problem did not exist. -- Sumi Arima (

[4 Mar 01] Doesn't ring a bell with me. The production pump re-design by Aerojet was focused on the higher HP rating for increased full load weight and reducing stress in the material through thicker structure on the pump. -- Mark Bebar (

[4 Mar 01] This is news to me. I am unaware of any limitations on the gun due to ship vibrations. Yes, the PHM which the German representative (Dr. Bakenhaus) rode was PEGASUS. I remember him being onboard in Port Hueneme for rough water trials. I do not recall him being onboard for the gun firing trials out of Puget Sound. -- Philip Yarnall (

PHM Fuel Consumption

[11 Apr 01] How much fuel does a PHM hydrofoil need, if it runs foilborne at a speed of 45 - 50 knots? What kind of fuel in which quality is needed? -- C. Schramm (


[11 Apr 01] The specific fuel consumption of the LM2500 GT engine at about 15,000 to 16,000 hp was 0.430 lb per hp hour. So at 45 knots the fuel rate was about 6450 lbs or 2.88 L tons per hour. This is equivalent to about 0.064 LTons per mile or about 143 lbs per nautical mile. This was the characteristic of the LM2500 engine operating at these power levels. It would be that way on any ship! (But at a different speed perhaps.) Note that the LM2500 has been improved over the years, so these numbers are out of date. In looking back at the requirements for fuel in the original shipbuilding specification, I note that the reference is to the manufacturer's spec for the specific requirements for cleanliness, temperature, and pressure... I do not have these. The shipbuilder spec required a Facet Model 670350-1 filter/separator with DFM Flow rate 95 liters/minute. Before that in the fuel line there were to be two 5-micrometer pre-filters for particulate matter. Two types of fuel could be used interchangeably, DFM per MIL-T-16884 and JP5 per MIL-T-5624. I am not sure if this info will be of much use to you in current times, but it is all I have right now. Probably the manufacturer General Electric (GE) would be the best source of current specifications and requirements for the engine. -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[12 Apr 01] I was on a FFG. We had a gravity feed emergency fuel tank. It held 350 gallons of fuel. Rule of thumb was that it would last 5 minutes with both LM2500's running full power or 30 minutes with one engine at Idle. The LM2500 has gone thru several updates. In the late 1980s the horsepower went from 20,500 to 26,250 with the single shank update. I read an article that the LM2500+ is being installed in its first military application @ 37,000HP. Now there is a detuned version called the LM2000. This engine shares the majority of pieces, but the Hot section lasts twice as long. The trick has always been which Main Fuel Control modification you had. Some started hot, some didn't start too well at all. Whatever you do never starve the engine of fuel! We went thru 2 fuel controls this way. The rebuild cost was $30,000 to $35,000. The fuel starvation instantly would carve a groove in the 3 dimensional cam. When you went to start up the engine it would shoot a fireball up about 50 feet in the air, on a PHM the stack is only about 20 feet tall so Im sure it would be even more impressive. If you look on the back of the Fuel Control you will see a specific gravity adjustment. We never had to play with this and we would run F76 and JP5 interchangeably, except we did not preheat the JP5. I think the thing would run on peanut oil if you cranked on it. Someone told me JP5 has been superseded does anyone know about this? -- Dan Schmidt (

Why So Few PHMs?

[20 Feb 01] I am doing a form and function report on the PHM, and have found out that America initially wanted 25 to be commissioned, with France and Italy keen on having a few made for themselves. On the internet I have only found information on the six made for America and was wondering why this is the case. The information that I have read about the PHM refers to it as being far better than other vessels that are around concerning speed, comfort *and maneuverability. Therefore I was surprised to see that so few were made and that they have now been decommissioned. I am hoping that someone can tell me why they were decommissioned, and also if there is a replacement for it, or whether a new vessel has taken its place. -- Crawford Orr (


[20 Feb 01] The programmatic history of the PHM class can be found on our website at After reading this article, please address any specific questions to the author George Jenkins at -- Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)


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Obscure hydrofoil milestone: USS PEGASUS, the US Navy hydrofoil missile ship PHM-1, set a record for fastest transit of the Panama Canal in 1979: 2 hours, 41 minutes.

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