[ALBATROSS] [Aquavit/Aquavion] [FHE-400 BRAS D’OR][R-100 MASSAWIPPI][R-103 BADDECK][HIGH POINT] [FLAGSTAFF] [FLYING CLOUD] [Hitler’s Hydrofoils] [MONITOR] [PHMs] [PLAINVIEW] [TUCUMCARI] [LITTLE SQUIRT] [Display Models] [R/C Models] [WHITE HAWK] [HS VICTORIA] [Hydrofoil Seaplanes]
Found a “Lost Member”

[19 Jan 02] It is interesting to see activity in IHS these days. I was once a member 20-25 years ago in the UK and knew/know Mark Thornton and Bob McGregor. — Neil Bose, Ph.D., P. Eng., Professor — Chair, Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, St. John’s, NF, A1B 3X5, Canada; Tel.: +709-737-4058; Fax: +709-737-2116 (nbose@engr.mun.ca); www.engr.mun.ca/Naval ; www.engr.mun.ca/~nbose


[19 Jan 02] It was good to hear from a “lost” IHS member. If you want to catch up on what has happened at IHS, an excellent history of the organization was prepared for our 25th Anniversary Conference by Bob Johnston… That will bring you up to 1995. It can be found on the web at: https://foils.org/ihs25his.pdf. As you were an early member in England, you may be able to fill in some of the gaps or add information to what is published in that paper. Much of IHS’s development subsequent to 1995 are reflected in the extensive IHS website. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)


[23 Jan 02] An interesting historical footnote: the following text and photo appeared on eBay. “Ticket for Hydrofoil Service, a failed attempt to introduce “high speed” marine transportation between Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard in 1966. The vessel was named FLYING CLOUD and operated on a trial basis, including a demonstration run to Nantucket. The combination of her unsuitability to Nantucket Sound, mechanical problems, and lack of public interest ended her short career in the Cape and Islands area. The ticket is pink, measures 4×3 inches… Front reads: ‘Hydrofoil Service. Good for one passage in either direction between Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard. Sold subject to Tariff Regulations. Form Hy-1 Issued by W.H., M.V. & Nan. SSA. No. 2068 James H. Smith Chairman.’ Back lists disclaimers of Woods Hole, Martha?s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority.” — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Polish Hydrofoil Design Point of Contact

[13 Jan 02] I am very interested to obtain your AMV CD-ROM. In the 1960-70s our Department was involved in some projects connected with hydrofoil vessels with surface piercing foils. Some of them you can find in an old Jane’s yearbook, for example: Jane’s Surface Skimmers: Hovercraft & Hydrofoils 1970-71. — Michal Krezelewski D.Sc(Eng) (krezel@pg.gda.pl) Our mailing address: Faculty of Ocean Engineering and Ship Technology; Department of Ship Hydromechanics; Technical University of Gdansk; G. Narutowicza 11/12 str.; 80-952 Gdansk, Poland


[13 Jan 02] As you recommended, I looked into Jane’s and found the 76-seat ZRYW-1, completed in May 1965, the first Polish-designed passenger hydrofoil to go into service. It averaged more than 39 knots on scheduled services between Szczecin and Swinoujscie, a distance of 67km. Also, a design for the W-2 REKIN, a ferry for the Baltic. Other hydrofoil designs were smaller, personal watercraft, including the WS-4 AMOR, a 4-seat hydrofoil designed by E. Brzolska, and the W-6 EROS, a 6-seater. I don’t know if you have any archived photographs and information available, but if you do, I would like to include a page on our website dedicated to the Polish hydrofoil history. It would be a good subject for the newsletter also. There is some technical information and some photos in Jane’s, but we do not have permission to use this copyrighted material. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[1 Jun 03] Mr. Krezelewski from Technical University in Gdansk is THE man connected with development of Polish hydrofoils in 1960s and thus he should know from first hand experience a good deal of their history.. I suggest you should try to get a lengthy article from him! — Marek Twardowski (marektwardowski@hotmail.com)


[22 Dec 01] I have been researching today’s US Navy Patrol Craft. Specifically the PC-1 CYCLONE Class. I feel that it is time to resurrect the old PGH-2 TUCUMCARI designs. When comparing the CYCLONE spec to the TUCUMCARI spec, I find that as a Special Warfare vessel, TUCUMCARI far exceeds CYCLONE in most respects. It appears that if the TUCUMCARI drawings and engineering data were available, the timing is right for some US shipyard to make an Unsolicited Proposal to the USN to build a prototype using all the modern bells and whistles. The basic TUCUMCARI was 100% successful. The vessel either met or exceeded the mission requirements of the Navy. I have always asked the question, “Why did the USCG and the USN have to go to Vosper Thornycroft, a British company for a high speed vessel design”? Do we not have capable engineers in the United States? — Ken Plyler (Kfppfk@aol.com)

[17 Dec 01] Just a tidbit that might be useful to you: The PHM actually had dual height sensors, radar and sonic. Both signals were interpolated by ACS simultaneously. I have experienced foilborne ops with sonic sensor only, and the ride was noticeably rougher, but effective. — Rob DeSendi, USS AQUILA PHM-4 (RDesendi@nsmayport.spear.navy.mil)

[26 Dec 01] I believe the radar and sonic height sensors were independent of each other. There was a switch on the bridge to select “radar” or “sonic” not both. The ride on the radar sensors was better in most sea states, but the sonic sensors were much more reliable–Chuck Shannon, ET1 MLSG (ChuckE68@aol.com)

Lürssen Hydrofoil…

[11 Nov 01, updated 16 Dec 01] I wonder if IHS is aware that Lürssen once built a fully submerged hydrofoil of their own? Here is a photo of it from a book on the FR. Lürssen Werft which I found in our library. The book is titled: Fr. Lürssen Werft . Bremen – Vegesack – Builders of Fast Boats. “Reproduction or use of the whole or any part permitted if source is quoted.” Printer: H.M. Hauschild GmbH, 2800 Bremen. There was no publication date apparent on the book (which was undoubtedly a company handout). Only the slightest details about this hydrofoil were provided in the book. — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)

[16 Dec 01] I also now have found the pages with a little more detail of this hydrofoil. They have a chronology of the development of the company and for the year 1963 under ‘projects’ they indicate: “After the purchase of patents subsequent development and construction of a hydrofoil with fully submerged foils [photo 63, reproduced at right]. Development of this type of ship is followed closely in the whole world.” Incidentally, in 1954 they also indicated under ‘projects’: Hydrofoil in aluminium BREMER PIONEER, length 19m. I seem to recall the BREMER PIONEER was one of the early Supramar-designed surface piercing hydrofoils. They did not have a photo of that hydrofoil in the book. In the same year they indicate under ‘Employees’ column that Gunther Popp was (engaged as) naval architect, he became manager in 1962 and technical director in 1973. Other employees are also listed in the book… perhaps one of them could recall more of the history of hydrofoil work at the company if they could be tracked down? — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)

Historic Canadian Hydrofoils Today

[11 Sep 01] When I was in Canada in 1996 I had a telephone conversation with Thomas G. Lynch (author of The Flying 400 – Canada’s Hydrofoil Project) through the publishers of the book, Nimbus Publishing Limited. Apart from the Bell/Baldwin HD-4 Hydrodrome replica and the BRAS d’OR museum display, the BADDECK (R-103) and MASSAWIPPI (R-100) are apparently still also preserved in Canada. I will now quote from the 1983 book by Mr. Lynch and then annotate with information from my phone conversation with him on 19 June 1996 while in Halifax:

R-100 MASSAWIPPI: From the 1983 book: “MASSAWIPPI was retired in 1959 and laid about in storage until she was presented to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, N.S. in October 1966. Since that date, she has languished in storage in a shed in Mt. Uniacke, N.S., where it is alleged she is too large to display within the new museum building. Damage was reported to her upper deck from dry rot in 1982. Efforts are being made to either have her displayed or transferred to the Bell Museum in Baddeck, Cape Breton, but with little success to date.” From the June 1996 phone discussion: Condition of the craft has been stabilised following the wood rot. (Note: I tried to locate this craft in 1996 but without success. I didn’t find the right person to ask at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic so can’t be sure of its status or current location).
Saunders-Roe Ltd R-103 BADDECK (originally named BRAS d’OR but renamed BADDECK in 1962): From the 1983 book: “BADDECK; R-103 was retired in 1970 and has spent the intervening years sitting in her cradle near the Fleet Diving Unit, Atlantic, on CFB Shearwater waterfront. Her fate remains uncertain, but efforts are currently underway to have her turned over to the Bell Museum as a natural descendant of the Bell-Baldwin genius of so long ago. However if efforts are not pressed, she might see scrapping yet.” From the June 1996 phone discussion: Preserved in the Museum of Science, understood to be in Ottawa. The craft is apparently intact and well maintained, to the point of turning over the gas turbines.

Note that the book includes arrangement drawings of the R-103 and of R-100. — Grimm, Martin (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)


[11 Sep 01] Further historical description and photographs of the Bell/Baldwin Hydrodromes HD-1 through HD-4 can be found in the book Bell and Baldwin: Their Development of Aerodromes and Hydrodromes at Baddeck, Mova Scotia, by J. H. Parkin, University of Toronto Press 1964. This book also describes the continuation of the HD series, starting with HD-7 by “Casey” Baldwin after Bell’s death and after Casey’s failure to interest the Navy in towed hydrofoil targets. According to the book, several hypothetical designs were developed over the years, HD-7 through HD- 20, but only HD-12, a 30-foot runabout, and HD-13, an outboard motor hydrofoil boat, were actually built, both in 1928. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[4 Jun 03] The Nova Scotia Museum used to store the R100 (Massawippi) hydrofoil in a shed at a Provincial Historic site called Uniack House. This is quite close to Halifax. This is memory more than fact. I will try to verify this year. I will over the next year or so be scanning some images I have inherited from Casey. I would be more than happy to share them to this site if anyone is interested. — Sean Baldwin, MCM2001, Inc. (sbaldwin@mcm2001.ca)

World War II German Fast Attack Hydrofoil Craft

[3 Sep 01] I am a 16-year-old undergraduate student in Parma – Italy who is performing assigned research on German fast-attack boats (in particular hydrofoils) of War World II. Although the historical part of your WebSite is a very comprehensive one, I was unable to find there some detailed technical information I need for my writing. Would you be so kind to address me to other more detailed WebSites dealing with the topic or key person (like the late Captain Johnston) who could help me further? Also, are there relevant books on the subject? — Flavio Scarpignato (scarpi@tin.it) or (carmelo.scarpignato@unipr.it) e-fax: +1-603-843-5621; website: http://www.unipr.it


[3 Sep 01] Following are some quick ideas:

There is a 1982 book: Strike Craft by Antony Preston; Bison Books Ltd (17 Isherwood Place; Greenwich CT 06830 USA) ISBN 0-86124-068-5. This book contains many photos and much history of German E-Boats and S- Boats… no specific WWII hydrofoil history however. There are several used copies of this book available at http://www.amazon.com. There is a photo of this book on the IHS website at https://foils.org/popbook.htm.
A search for fast attack boats and torpedo boats on amazon.com yielded several interesting titles, but I do not have a copy of or know the specific contents of any of these: German Coastal Forces of World War Two by M.J. Whitley; Coastal Forces (Brassey’s Sea Power : Naval Vessels, Weapons Systems and Technology, Vol 10) by Barry Clarke, Jurgen Fielitz, Malcolm Touchin, Geoffrey Till (Editor); From Monitor to Missile Boat : Coast Defence Ships and Coastal Defence Since 1860 by George Paloczi-Horvath; Fast Attack Craft by Anthony J. Watts; Fast Attack Craft : the Evolution of Design and Tactics by Keiren Phelan; Fast Fighting Boats, 1870-1945 : Their Design, Construction, and Use by Harald Fock; Die Flottille : aussergewoehnlicher Seekrieg deutscher Mittelmeer-Torpedoboote by Wirich von Gartzen; E-boats and coastal craft : a selection of German wartime photographs from the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz by Paul Beaver; Z-vor! : internationale Entwicklung und Kriegseinsèatze von Zerstèorern und Torpedobooten, 1914 bis 1939 by Harald Fock; Fast Fighting Boats, 1870-1945 : Their Design, Construction, and Use by Harald Fock; Flottenchronik – Die an den beiden Weltkriegen beteiligten aktiven Kriegsschiffe und ihr Verbleib, by Harald Fock, erschienen 1995 im Koehler Verlag.”Mit diesem Buch wird erstmals der Versuch unternommen, das Schicksal der an den beiden Weltkriegen beteiligten aktiven Kriegsschiffe aller Nationen darzustellen.Das Werk umfaßt die Kriegs-und Nachkriegsschicksale für den Zeitraum 1914 bis 1980 in chronologischer Reihenfolge”.
There are three hydrofoil attack craft on Michael Emmerich’s Kriegsmarine site at the following locations:
Tragfl?elboot Projekt www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/fastattack/tb5/
Submersible Tragfl?elboot Projekt www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/fastattack/tb5c/
Turbojet Tragfl?elboot Projekt www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ships/fastattack/tb5b/
There was a magazine article: von Schertel, Baron Hanns, Hitler’s Hydrofoils, The Best of Sea Classics, Summer 1975 and Sea Classics Jan 74, Challenger Publications, Inc. Canoga Park CA, USA, pp 4-9, reprinted from Aviation & Marine Magazine, France. Baron von Schertel first began experimenting with hydrofoil craft in 1927. This article gives details on German hydrofoil development during World War II. In 1939, the military first became interested in a 2.8 ton hydrofoil demonstration boat. Various hydrofoils followed that craft, including the VS 6, VS 8, VS 10, TS-1 Coastal Surveillance Hydrofoil, Single-Seat 3-ton torpedo boat, and the 4-ton Pioneer Corps workboat.

Hopefully some of this will be of assistance to you. Unfortunately IHS is not a source of the documents cited above! — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[9 Sep 01] You might add another book to the reference list: Marine-Kleinkampfmittel by Harald Fock, Nikol BVertragsvertretungen 1996, ISBN 3-930656-34-5. This is the book where I found the German hydrofoil projects described. – Michael Emmerich (emmerich@german-navy.de)

Piaggio P.7 Hydrofoil Seaplane

[6 Jul 01] I have located a hydrofoil related website which of historical interest: http://aeroweb.lucia.it/en/history/pegna2.htm. Here is the background to my locating this site: I took trip North where I called in on the Fighter World aircraft museum alongside the RAAF Williamtown air force base in New South Wales, Australia. On display at the museum were numerous entirely hand made scale models at approximately 1:72 scale or smaller by Norm Forrester. These included a series of Schneider Trophy seaplane models. One such model which particularly caught my eye was the Piaggio P.7 of 1929. It was a sleek monoplane with a hydrofoil undercarriage rather than the usual bulky pair of floats. Here is the blurb by Norm Forrester placed alongside his model: “Piaggio P.7 (1929) — An ingenious (but unsuccessful) Italian design for a Schneider Trophy racer, it was proposed to use hydrofoils instead of floats. The driveshaft of the 970 HP engine first drove a water propeller until the P.7 rose on to the hydrofoils, the drive then being transferred to the airscrew. Alas, it didn’t work!” Although I have read about various other similar attempts to use hydrofoils on seaplanes, I have never come across the Piaggio P.7 before. I was keen to find out more about the P.7 and its history which I have found on the cited webpage. Unfortunately my camera was not working so I couldn’t take a photo of Norm’s model, however I made a sketch from my video footage of it. The website also has three views and profile views of the P.7 on the link but they are not too crisp and much of the detail in those scans has been lost. — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)


[29 Sep 01] I would like to inform you that some additional pictures are available on the following website: www.aviogatti.it (click on the Schneider chapter). Pushed by curiosity, I recently visited this site which corresponds to an Italian bookshop, specialized in aeronautics, and the pictures are included in a story, written by the very known Naval Arch. Franco HARRAUER, in Italian. He describes a sort of tale, on which the test pilot Tommaso Dal Molin, flying the Piaggio PC-7, on 1931 wins the 13th Schneider Trophy. Unfortunately, the dream ends very soon and the sad reality was that this seaplane never had the possibility to fly and win. Mr. Dal Molin, tragically died flying another seaplane during the tests, and the Piaggio PC-7 “Pinocchio” , with a lot of unsolved mechanical problems, never had the chance to demonstrate the validity of the foils solution. — Lorenzo Bonasera (email address withheld)

[11 Nov 01] Although I was not able to read the Italian text in the further website you have identified, I was delighted to see the three view drawings of the PC-7 and the photo of it floating (just!) in the water. With those additional drawings, it is tempting to try to build a radio-controlled model of this lovely racing plane just to see how it may have performed! Thanks for finding and reporting on that additional website. — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)


[22 May 01] Last week, leaving Paine Field in Everett Washington, I spotted a familiar shape next to the fence. Going over, I checked and sure enough, it was LITTLE SQUIRT, up on blocks for storage. Its against the fence, on Boeing property, close to the main airport entrance drive, just beyond the Museum of Flight restoration facility. I asked a friend Bob Desroche, who works just down from where LITTLE SQUIRT is parked, to take some pictures. Here is how she looks today. — David Lednicer (dave@amiwest.com)

LITTLE SQUIRT Today – Port Side



Aquavit 10-Passenger Hydrofoil…

[1 May 01] Attached are drawings I had done of my Aquavit 10P, Front & Side elevations. I request that anyone with information on this craft, please scan it and send a copy to me. This includes technical info, sales material, photos of specific vessels, anything related to the Aquavit 10P. Thanks! — Vik Poremskis (viktor_por@yahoo.com.au)


[01 May 01] Noting your e-mail address suggests you are living in Australia, I am curious to know more about the Aquavion 10P that you have. Is this by any chance the one which has been laid up at Gonsalves Boatshed at Pittwater north of Sydney? I have attached a photo of that craft I took several years ago. If it is one of the several Aquavion hydrofoils imported into Australia, do you know any more about the history of them that you could share with the IHS? It seems to me that Aquavion must have manufactured at least three models of hydrofoils with increasing passenger capacity ranging from: 1.The Waterman, 2. The 10P which is also apparently referred to as the Aquavit, and 3. The 40P which was also referred to as the Aquastroll. — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)

[16 May 01, updated 29 Jun 02] I will be making available some of the Aquavion materials that Vik has provided to IHS. These files are in Adobe Acrobat format, and are rather large files in most cases. Following are links to the files that are currently available from this site or from www.exigent.info.– Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Introduction to Aquavion (1.8 meg)
The Aquavion System (8.5 meg)
Aquavion 10P Volvo Stern Drive Manual (1.6 meg)
Aquavion Design and Operation (1.1 meg)
Aquavit – 5 Photos (781 kb)

Swedish Registration – PILEN (2.8 meg)
Test Report – Delft (335 kb)
Test Report – Franco Khmere (1.7 meg)
Test Report – Gen Sup Co (1.4 meg)

Luerssen Hydrofoils

[4 Mar 01, updated 6 Apr 02] A shipyard manager from Luerssen Werft GmbH, Bremen told me something about the small hydrofoil Luerrsen built in the early seventies. This boat was a experimental prototype, fully developed by Luerssen. It worked well, but the idea fell out of favor at Luerssen so they donated the boat to the “Auto & Technikmuseum – Sinsheim. He said also that Luerssen built 6 experimental hydrofoils including the shown one after World War II. These were mostly built without a yard number (sounds like Luerssen tried to keep these experiments as secret.). He could not say where these boats are today, but if someone will search in small yacht habours, some sheds, warehouses, scrapyards and the depots of the German authorities and the navy, he could find astonishing things. (So I have found a small Russian type Ekranoplan in a small shipyard near Hamburg last year). I got the name and the phone number of one of the chief developers of the Luerrsen experimentals, a guy named Dr. Osterstehte. I will call him and ask him to get some closer information about the experiments. By the way: Do you know the concept of the “Wenddelsches Schnellschiff” (transl. Fastship), developed by Professor Wenddel, a former collaborator of Baron v. Schertel ? A experimental prototype exists in the collection of the German Navigation Museum in Bremerhaven, Germany. Click Here for photos of the Luerssen craft, the Wenddelsches Schnellschiff, and another 1950s era prototype craft (Adobe Acrobat format). Another idea was the hydrofoil project of the German engineer Dr. Ingo Schloer. He has worked out a concept, which looks like the crossing between a SWATH, a fixed wing hydrofoil, and a PHM. There is a picture of it in a German book about Fast Attack Craft. This project vanished into the drawer for uninteresting projects in the German Ministry of Defense. I will inform you, if can get more information about the Luerssen hydrofoils. –C. Schramm (Chr_Schramm@gmx.de)


[10 Apr 02] I was delighted to learn that the Lürssen Werft experimental hydrofoil is still in existence and in apparently quite good condition. Just as interesting is the BREMER PIONEER test model and the fully submerged hydrofoil design by Schiffbau-Ingenieur F.H. Wendel. I had recognized the shape of that craft and knew I had seen it before in a book. Some details of Ing. Wendel’s designs appear in: Fock, Harald, Fast Fighting Boats, 1870 to 1945, Their Design, Construction, and Use, first English edition, 1978 (originally in German 1973), Naval Institute Press, Maryland USA. See IHS website for more details. Part four of the book covers the war years and includes hydrofoil developments. It includes diagrams of Ing. Wendel’s concepts including a foilborne photo of the craft now preserved in Bremerhaven. I do not know what type of stabilisation system was used on that boat. The illustrations of his military designs suggest that all three foils had flaps fitted, and the 1952 test craft seems to be the same when looking at your photos. It is not clear what controlled those flaps as your photos and the one in the book do not clearly show any mechanical ‘water surface sensor’ as was typical of the Christopher Hook fully submerged hydrofoils of similar vintage. There is what may be a surface skimming sensor on the aft strut which looks like a smaller foil positioned above the main aft foil. The flaps on the bow foils also look like they may have some form of servo tab behind them. The alternative is that the hydrofoil had some early form of electronic or electro-mechanical stabilisation system. Is it still possible to look inside the hydrofoil and see what may have been fitted? Perhaps you could get permission to do that when you next visit the museum? Take a ladder with you! It would also be good to obtain more close up photos of the foil and flap units. Would the museum have more information about this hydrofoil and how it worked? The propeller positioned forward of the aft foil as originally fitted to Supramar PT-20 surface piercing hydrofoils are also reported to have resulted in problems. This seemed mainly to have been due to propeller damage from debris. It is better that a log hits a strong foil than a relatively soft and thin propeller blade that can easily be bent! Also, Supramar had to solve early problems with cavitation erosion on the PT-20 propellers. I don’t know if the swirl in the flow aft of the propellers would be too much of a problem for the flow over the foils (this is after all the standard layout on propeller driven aircraft) but I have not seen any other hydrofoil design with podded propellers that are positioned forward of the foil. — Martin Grimm (seaflite@alphalink.com.au)

HS VICTORIA / Seattle – Victoria BC

[13 Feb 01] My family owned and operated the HS VICTORIA, Northwest Hydrofoil Lines, Inc. from when she was built in 1965 to when she was scrapped sometime in the 1980s. I have a lot of information, articles, pictures and first hand accounts from my uncles and my father, who operated her from Seattle, WA. to Victoria, BC. I would like to share this information with other people who enjoy this web site. — Mike Niedermair (NiederM@nima.mil) or (Niedone@aol.com)


[17 Feb 02] There is a 12 page information booklet about H. S. VICTORIA posted on the IHS website. The file is in Adobe Acrobat format, and is rather large at 1.8 meg file size. Please be patient while it downloads. For those with slow internet connections, it is probably better to download the file entirely onto your hard drive, then open it with the free Acrobat Reader. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Victoria in Seattle
Grumman Concept Drawing

[18 Jan 01] Looks to me to be a proposal/preproposal artist rendering of what eventually became the MARAD-funded H. S. DENISON. Don’t recognize the designation of “PK-89”; all Grumman hydrofoil designs had an “M” followed by a number. Purpose of program was to demonstrate open ocean hydrofoil capabilities; which it did at a recorded speed of 60 knots. DENISON was built at the main Grumman facilities in Bethpage in the center of Long Island, and trucked at night to Oyster Bay for final assembly and launching. Charlie Pieroth (SoundTM@ix.netcom.com)


[2 Dec 00] I am the current owner of a 36′ hydrofoil that operated out of Juneau, Alaska in the late 1970s. It is a welded aluminum, stepped hull passenger ferry that was crashed. I recovered it 15 years ago in Ballard, Washington (it was stripped down, with no motor, or foils). I don’t know the builder’s name, but I have the hull identification number. It was called the JUNEAU FLYER. I am thinking about restoring it as a hydrofoil. I am interested in any information regarding hydrofoil technology and information on the JUNEAU FLYER. I know that she had a gas turbine engine in her, and I think she had fixed foils. If you’ve seen the James Bond movie Thunderball, there is a hydrofoil that detaches from the front of a larger boat, and the hydrofoil looks very similar to the JUNEAU FLYER. — Carl Van Valkenburg (carlnat@buttes.net)


[2 Dec 00] The Thunderball vessel was named DISCO VOLANTE. There is a picture on the Rodriques Cantari Navali webpage on this subject: An ad placed subsequent to filming reads: “Safe, thrilling, spectacular, FLYING FISH was used in Thunderball, one of the most popular 007 James Bond [movie] sagas. FLYING FISH was the first commercial hydrofoil [for] sightseeing use in the Western Hemisphere. The advertisement: All-aluminium, 20 tons, 65 feet long, propeller-driven. She moves at 20 m.p.h. with her hull in the water. When up on her foils, she glides smoothly above the seas at 40 m.p.h. Comfortable, all-enclosed, wide window passenger compartments. Deep cushioned aircraft-type seats. Forced-air ventilation. Capacity: 60 passengers. Completely safe, Coast Guard approved. Unsinkable hull has eight watertight compartments for buoyancy. Diesel powered, no fire hazard. Smoking permitted at all times. Type: PT 20 ; Seats: 72; Yard building number: 052 ; Delivered in: 1957; Line: Manila-Corregidor; Country: Philippines” — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[18 Feb 01] FLYING FISH was outfitted at Miami Shipbuilding Corp. for her role as the DISCO VOLANTE. In the limited edition DVD of the movie Thunderball, there is a section on the Making of Thunderball that has a scanned photo (b+w) of the FLYING FISH in the MSC yards. I’m searching for further information–Plans, etc., on the FLYING FISH for a model I plan to build. — Doug Binish (email address withheld)

Who Invented the Hydrofoil?

[2 Dec 00] Who invented the hydrofoil? — Various… this is a FAQ


[2 Dec 00] Following are two different opinions on this subject. We invite those with other facts or opinions to submit them! Another source of information on early hydrofoils is the book, Aeromarine Origins; The Beginnings of Marine Aircraft, Winged Hulls, Air-Cushion and Air-Lubricated Craft, Planing Boats and Hydrofoils by H.F. King, Putnam (London) and Sero Publishers, Inc (USA), 1966. Meanwhile, see the IHS photo gallery for more on early hydrofoils. — Barney C Black (Please reply via the BBS)

“The first hydrofoil boat was the product of an accident in 1861, when Thomas Moy, an Englishman, decided to study the aerodynamics of wings by observing the underwater swirls they created. Having attached wings to his craft, he ventured out onto the Surrey Canal. To his surprise the ship rose from the water — and unintentionally he had invented hydrofoils. But it was not until 1898 that the first efficient hydrofoil was designed by Enrico Forlanini of Milan in Italy. His craft, powered by aircraft-type propellers, reached a speed of 44 knots (81.5 km/hr or 50.6 mph).” Source: Hamilton, Ian, “The Hydrofoil as Weapon,” Pacific Defence Reporter, Aug 1981
“The first evidence of the use of hydrofoils on a boat or ship was in a British patent of 1869. It was granted to Emmanuel Denis Farcot, a Parisian, who claimed that ‘adapting to the sides and bottom of the vessel a series or inclined planes or wedge formed pieces, which as the vessel is driven forward will have the effect of lifting it in the water and reducing the draught.'” Source: Hayward, Leslie, “The History of Hydrofoils,” Hovering Craft and Hydrofoils, Vol 4. No. 8 (May 1965) through Vol. 6, No. 6 (Feb 1967).


[11 Nov 00] I have an uncle that served aboard the PGH-2 TUCUMCARI. He was aboard her when she hit the reef. I was wondering if you knew where she was today? I have been looking for a long time and just now found this site. — Caleb Hagarty (CCH1985@aol.com)


[19 Nov 00] After the TUCUMCARI was put on the reef, it was transported to David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis MD Division (across the water from the US Naval Academy). The ship was stripped of many of the major equipment, and the remaining hull was used to study fire fighting techniques for aluminum ships. Some of the lessons learned were the use of various plastic and fiberglass pipes, which ones held up, which ones melted, and which ones were toxic. This led to establishing specifications which are used in many of the current Navy ships. Also studied were the effectiveness of various fire extinguishing materials such as CO2, Halon, and foam. — Sumi Arima (arimas1@juno.com)

Hydrofoil Amphibian – Student Project

[11 Nov 00] I am an graduate student from India pursuing a project on creating a amphibian craft… a vehicle that can move both in land and water. After a wide area of thought we have considered using hydrofoils with wheels at the bottom to enable us to have not only a large wheel clearance but also lesser drag in the water. I would like to know if there is any information regarding such a project anywhere else in the world. — Janak (ragus@netkracker.com)

Response and follow-up…

[11 Nov 00] In the 1950s and 1960s, the US Army, Navy, and Marines all experimented with hydrofoil landing craft. Some of these were amphibians, specifically: the DUKW (by AVCO Lycoming and Miami Shipbuilding Corp for the US Army) , LVHX-1 (by AVCO Lycoming for the US Marines), and LVHX-2 (by Food Machinery Corp — now United Defense — for the US Marines). Photos and more information about these vessels can be found elsewhere on our site, specifically in the History of Miami Shipbuilding Corp (MSC) and in the 1950s section of the Photo Gallery. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

[18 Nov 00] I would like to know what difficulties were experienced, for such crafts seem to have completely vanished. Then too, the 1960s is a very long time ago. The DUKW and the LVHX2 both seem to have either retractable hydrofoils or fixed ones, the wheels being extendable. I was wondering if we could place the wheels directly onto the hydrofoils. That would give the rider a perfect birds eye view . Although such a craft would not be very road friendly, they would definitely be very useful near the shore and on the beach. Another idea was to use non submerging fans, like the ones used on hovercrafts for propulsion. That would enable us to have free moving wheels. If the wheels were also submerged, there would be no necessity for separate rudders, the wheels may itself act as rudders. That will help simplify mechanics. For added stability at low speeds, we are also thinking about using a trimaran type hull. Please let me know what you feel about these ideas. Knowing what went wrong with the 1960s projects may help us. We hope to first start with making a scale model. — Janak (ragus@netkracker.com)

[19 Nov 00] The DUKW and LVHX craft were successful, although they were mechanically very complex and heavy for their payload capacities. Their amphibious capability is greatly exceeded by Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs). Use of a trimaran hullform will add stability and reduce powering requirements. The design challenge is to obtain satisfactory cargo volume on a trimaran center hull that is more slender than a monohull of equal full load displacement. — Mark Bebar (bebar@foils.org)

Mexican Hydrofoils NICTE-HA and XEL-HA

[20 Sep 00] Does anyone have any idea what happened to the couple of Rodriquez hydrofoils that were sold (?) in Mexico in the early 80s, NICTE-HA and XEL-HA? Ever seen any pics of them there, operational or otherwise? Tim Timoleon, Editor, Classic Fast Ferries (classicfast-f@email.dk) website: http://go.to/classicfastferries.
Indonesia Hydrofoil LUMBA LUMBA Info Wanted

[16 Sep 00] When I was a kid growing up in the jungle oil camps of Sumatra Indonesia during the 1950s and early 1960s I vividly remember the excitement of traveling across the Strait of Malaca from Indonesia to Singapore on board a modern (for the time) passenger hydrofoil called the LUMBA LUMBA (which is the Indonesian word for the grey dolphin in the area). I am trying to obtain any information I can on this wonderful vessel. Perhaps it is even still in service somewhere. I was in a model shop in London maybe 10 years ago and saw a kit for the LUMBA LUMBA. I wish I had purchased it. Any information would be appreciated…and will help bring back fond memories. — Rob Briggs, Atlanta, GA, USA (briggsfamily@mediaone.net)


[16 Aug 00] Thanks for your most interesting inquiry, but LUMBA LUMBA on the Indonesia/Singapore route is a new one on me. I will post this on our website and also forward it to several of the “old timers” in our membership in the hopes that someone will know something about that vessel. You should browse through the photo gallery section of our website to see if you recognize the model from any of our photos. Also, Jane’s used to publish an annual or biannual directory “Jane’s Surface Skimmers” dating back to 1968; with many photos and descriptions, organized by country of manufacture. A library or old book shop may have an early edition, or they occasionally go up for auction on www.Ebay.com. I looked in the 1969/70 edition and did not see this vessel by name, but you might recognize the type from photos. For example, the Supramar PT-20 type was popular in the oil industry dating back as far as 1957. You could also contact the Classic Fast Ferries website. The Fast Ferry International Database of 1995 lists a LUMBA LUMBA being operated by the Pulau Seribu Marine Resort in Indonesia, but this is a monohull built by Yamaha in 1989. As for models, there is a secondary market for old model kits, so it may be possible to find one. Occasionally they go up for sale on Ebay, though in 2+ years of monitoring this site for hydrofoil-related items I have never seen a kit specifically of LUMBA LUMBA. — Barney C. Black (Please reply via the BBS)

Miami Shipbuilding History

[18 Aug 00] I write, edit and publish and annual historical magazine for the Friends of the South African Air Force Museum. Last year one of the articles I wrote was on the SAAF crash boats/rescue boats. From that an interest arose on researching the full history of the Motor Boat Unit. To this end I have been engaged in a number of interviews with surviving members, and archival research. One of the people instrumental in us getting these boats was the designer a Mr. Dair N. Long, a naval architect at the University of Michigan. He designed what were known as Miami boats which were built by the Miami Shipbuilding Company (MSC). I wonder if it would be possible for you to tell me anything about this gentleman, more about the company and if there are any relevant documents available. — Guy Ellis (Guy@datasoft.co.za) website: http://www.dynagen.co.za/eugene/guy.html


[9 Sep 00] My father worked at MSC around 1939-41 when the USA entered World War II. They were building and repairing ASRs then for the European arena. We attended a party when MSC went out of business as that company, the current owner, Mr. Brown was there. If you’re interested, My father has many stories about the times back then. You can contact him at the following address (or c/o my email address): Dick Besola, Sr., tel: 305-891-5942, fax: 305-891-2116, — 1570 NE 141 Street, N. Miami, FL 33161 — Dick Besola, Jr. (shark1dick@aol.com)

Sydney Harbor Hydrofoils

[8 Sep 00] A total of 7 hydrofoils operated on Sydney Harbour over 26 years, as listed below. The LONG REEF, CURL CURL, and SYDNEY were part of State Transit’s fleet of hydrofoils, which operated between Sydney and Manly from 1965 to 1991 before being replaced by Incat Jetcats. MANU WAI (now offered for sale after extensive renovations and repair of grounding damage) was shipped as deck cargo from Auckland NZ after our purchase.

MANLY Hitachi Zosen PT20 (1965)
FAIRLIGHT Rodriquez PT50 (1966)
DEE WHY Rodriquez PT50 (1970)
CURL CURL Rodriquez RHS140 (1973)
PALM BEACH [ex-PATANE] Rodriquez PT50 (1969/1976)
LONG REEF [ex-FRECCIA del MERGELLINA] Rodriquez PT50 (1968/ 1978)
MANLY Rodriquez RHS160F (1984)
SYDNEY Rodriquez RHS160F (1985)

LONG REEF, CURL CURL, MANLY, and SYDNEY survived until 1991 and were taken back to Italy by Rodriquez to be resold or leased in the Mediterranean by various operators. CURL CURL was renamed SPARGI and is now on the market for US$500 000. Both RHS160Fs are in service to the best of my knowledge, I am unsure of LONG REEF ‘s status. — Garry Fry (gfry@vtown.com.au)