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IHS Member Bob Phillips is the new owner of HIGH POINT . He is restoring the vessel; see:

(Revised 26 Jun 03)

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The PCH 1 was originally intended to be the Navy’s first operational hydrofoil craft. On January 24, 1958, the Chief of Naval Operations requested the Bureau of Ships to perform a design study of hydrofoil craft for harbor defense and coastal patrol. Results of this study were reported to OPNAV on March 7, 1958 recommending that hydrofoil patrol craft replace PCs and SCs in the FY 1960 shipbuilding program. On July 25, 1958 the Ship Characteristics Board (SCB) issued ship characteristics for a Patrol Craft Hydrofoil (PCH). Bureau of Ships Code 420 was directed to provide a preliminary design of a PCH. This was completed on March 5, 1958 and turned over to the Hull Design Branch, Code 440, for contract design.

The PCH contract plans and specifications were approved on January 18, 1960, and a $2.08M fixed -price contract for construction was awarded to the Boeing Company in June 1960. Boeing awarded a subcontract to Martinac Shipbuilding for construction, and the keel was laid on February 27, 1961 at the Martinac Shipyard in Tacoma, Washington. PCH 1 was launched on August 17, 1962 and christened HIGH POINT in honor of the city of High Point, North Carolina. On November 13, 1962, CINCPACFLT tentatively assigned her to COMASWFORPAC with the expectation that she would be assigned to Anti-Submarine (ASW) forces.

After completion of Final Acceptance Trials on January 28, 1963, HIGH POINT was delivered to the Navy at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) on August 15, 1963. On May 7, 1964, CNO approved the request of PSNS for a 9-month extension of HIGH POINT ‘s availability for special performance trials and, on October 22, a decision was made to effect extensive repair and refurbishment of the ship.

On March 28, 1965, the Bureau of Ships requested DTMB to become the Technical Agent for Navy hydrofoil R&D. This resulted in the establishment and staffing of the DTMB Hydrofoil Development Project Office (Code 050) under Wm. M. Ellsworth, reporting to the Technical Director of the Laboratory. Early deficiencies in HIGH POINT had made it clear that there was a pressing need for additional R&D before hydrofoil craft would be ready for deployment to the Fleet. To this end, DTMB established a Hydrofoil Special Trials Unit (HYSTU) as a tenant activity of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. HIGH POINT was placed under technical and administrative control of HYSTU and operational control of COM-13 for the conduct of an extensive R&D test program.

At this point, an extensive R&D effort, described in this book, was undertaken during which HIGH POINT became a prime platform for expanding the technology base for hydrofoil craft. This included an evaluation of the ship by the Coast Guard as a cutter (WMEH 1) in April 1975.

In the years that followed, the expanding knowledge base of hydrofoil systems design and application led to design, construction, test, and evaluation of a number of hydrofoil test craft. In the mid 1970s this culminated in the acquisition of a squadron of six Navy Patrol Hydrofoil Missile (PHM) ships. They were built by Boeing and deployed to Key West, FL. Working with the Coast Guard, they demonstrated the many advantages of these high performance ships, with heavy firepower, and the capability of very high speed in very rough seas. The technology developed in this program also contributed to the building of several types of commercial hydrofoils such as the Boeing Jetfoil.

HIGH POINT was deactivated on December 01, 1984, and her Navy crew was reassigned. She had spent twenty good years in making major contributions to the knowledge of how to design and operate military and commercial hydrofoil ships. Wm. M. Ellsworth, P.E.


Photo Update

[26 Jun 03] Here’s a pic by my son Michael Cline of the current state of the HIGHPOINT moored near Tongue Point, Astoria, Oregon. I worked for Boeing Hydrofoil Div. during the latter stages of the TUCUMCARI development. — Bob Cline (

Response[26 Jun 03] Thank you for the excellent (and large!) photo of HIGHPOINT today that you posted in the history section of the IHS Bulletin Board (BBS). A smaller version appears below. This is a good opportunity to point out some of the HIGHPOINT information available on the IHS website and elsewhere. Archived correspondence on this subject appears on this IHS page devoted to the ship. Additional photos are in the IHS Photo Gallery . IHS Member Bob Phillips is the current owner. He has done good work on an interesting and folksy webpage for the ship at That site has photos, drawings, and other information that will be of interest to hydrofoil history buffs and modelers. The faces in the pictures will be an interesting update for people who worked in the US military hydrofoil programs.


[15 Mar 02] I am a bit confused as to your description about roundels and hydraulic cover [not posted here – Ed.], but I will give you what we had and maybe you could figure it out. If you need more help, please provide more details such as size and approximate location. The housing for the lower mast originally contained the hydraulic cylinder for the dunk sonar, which was in the round room of the instrumentation room. On the aft side, we had a TV camera mounted on a pan and tilt unit. The mast had the masthead light, secondary masthead light, towing lights, aircraft warning, and signal lights. I don’t recall if we chiseled off the original mounts when the international navigation light requirements changed, and we relocated the lights to comply. We had antennaes for Loran, UHF radio, marine VHF radio, test circuit VHF radio (Closed circuit with Boeing tower), pair of IFF, and radar. An air horn was below the radar platform. There were three locations for signal flags. I have suspicion that you might be looking at the foundation for the IFF antennas since the others were most likely left in place. On another subject, I would like to remind you that the outdrive retraction actuator has a built in brake inside the cylinder. You need hydraulic pressure to release it. We found that the brake could not withstand the load of the propeller thrust in a steered position, and thus it started to retract. Note the patch on the stern. Thus the pin was added to hold the outdrive in the extended position. The hydraulic fluid used is Skydrol and if you are changing fluid, most likely need to put in new seals. — Sumi Arima (

Responses…[15 Mar 02] What I was referring to about the mast as roundels ( term for British and French war bird insignias, others too I think.) are the two round plaques, one pair port one pair stbd. the upper one has a dark blue border the lower one is light blue to gray with something in the middle (a drawing or number.), that’s what I can’t see clearly in the photos I’ve seen and downloaded so far. The alu. plates that apparently held the insignias are still on the mast ( about 1′ 6″ around I’d guess, one above the other.) but the insignias apparently screwed or bolted to them. I was very lucky to have gotten most of the original drawings and specs with her so I am becoming more and more aware of the layouts of the systems. I found out in last night’s reading about the locking cyl. also the servos are really servos ( most hydraulic people will call an electrically actuated valve a servo, kudos to you guys for being accurate!!!) that just makes the job easier. I had thought about using another fluid but I can probably dredge up some Skydrol as easily as change all the seals. But I think running the steering and release and rotator ram off the hullborne engine, as a completely separate system from the rest of the ss hyd. makes sense, don’t you? — Bob Phillips (

[15 Mar 02] I now know what you are talking about. The ship was assigned to what was called David Taylor Naval Ship R&D Center (now Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division) and funded by NAVSEA. The two insignias (plaques) were on the mast. The DTNSRDC one has the compass version, whereas the NAVSEA one was the standard Navy version which has the eagle. There was some decals of the DTNSRDC version stuck to the bulkheads on the ship As for the ship service hydraulic system, at the present time, you do not need the strut/foil extend/retract system. Thus only the hullborne drive functions are left. CAPT Fraser bought a replacement anchor windlass, but I don’t know any details of it. You might make sure it is not hydraulic. Depending on the pump you find, it could be cheaper to change fluid and seals. Ron Ihle found an aircraft surplus store and was looking at replacing the pumps from that source. I am happy to hear you received all the drawings. We furnished CAPT Fraser a complete set of microfiche. The technical manuals were in the file cabinet forward of the Engineering console. If you got the logs, the manuals should be there also. — Sumi Arima (

New PCH-1 HIGH POINT Website

[10 Mar 02, updated 3 Nov 02] Here’s the address of the site on PCH-1 progress, As far as foilborne operations: I’ve some ideas, other than as original (couldn’t afford the fuel or gas turbines, at least for very long.), such as shortening legs( weight advantage, lower sea state operation), water jet power ( pump in nacelle instead of gearbox and wheels more weight.), Diesel power foilborne (I believe that in your book it states that liftoff was successful as slow as 23kt. that should be able to be accomplished with about 500 hp per shaft.). But for the time being I’m just cleaning, repairing the electrical systems, installing up-to-date navigation gear, and re-doing the hullborne systems for dependable independent operation (I’ve decided there is no need to be able to unlock, raise, lower the stern drive from helm, so it will be done from engine room, with indicators only to show green board when all is well ) the mods I do should greatly simplify the hydraulic and electrical systems without endangering the redundancies or safety built into the ship. — Bob Phillips (

HIGH POINT Changes Hands

[27 Feb 02] I’ve just finished purchasing the HIGH POINT from Mrs. Fraser (I know you are aware of the other deal that fell through, but I really bought). We moved her to Tongue Point for now, and she will be staying in the area for the foreseeable future as I live in Skamokawa WA. Should be able to maneuver hullborne soon. — Bob Phillips (


[16 Dec 01] Great News [that Ron Ihle is planning to restore HIGH POINT]! When the HIGH POINT first became available, I went to check her out. In my opinion, she is a very restorable ship. Is it your plan to have her operational? If so foilborne, or strictly hullborne? I believe you are short some steering mechanism, as far as input goes anyway. But the bulk of the hullborne driving mechanism and the hullborne engine was still there when I inspected her. I really prefer the outdrive approach for hullborne propulsion used on HIGH POINT as far as our type of operations go. It enables you to keep the propulsion dry and not have to worry so much about corrosion. If you have read any of the info on the IHS site, you know our strong point is the technical side, especially where it comes to “field engineering” solutions to problems that are too expensive to solve conventionally. Our weak point is the administrative side, we are just now figuring out what we are going to do with her. Are you planning on ferrying her to San Fran Bay Area under her own power? As I recall, this wouldn’t be really difficult. I believe the HIGH POINT is “fly by wire” isn’t she? We have some extra helms from our ships that may work if you want to put together a helm control system like ours. I don’t know how far it is, but if moving a ship on the West Coast is as expensive as on the East, it could easily be more cost effective to put her under power. We have just begun to accumulate paperwork for the non-profit org, as well as the 501-c3 exempt status. We have applied for associate membership in the Historic Naval Ship Association, (HNSA). Is this the same organization you referred to as National Register of Historic Ships? Or is that something else entirely? Quite frankly, taking a ship that we or anyone else knows nothing about, have no documentation on, and have no engines for, and putting it back into ferriable shape with no budget, never seemed like much of an obstacle compared to the administrative tasks now before us. Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated and reciprocated wherever possible. — Eliot James (

Responses…[16 Dec 01] Our plan is to have HIGH POINT as a fully operational museum vessel. We indeed hope that this includes foilborne also, at this early stage it all looks good. All this paperwork and corporate business is for the birds but I think we have to do it in order to preserve these vessels for the future. We put the cart before the horse with HIGH POINT, we started our 501-C3 paperwork and our National Register work before we even had a deal on HIGH POINT. I thought it best to try and be a step ahead, if all failed we’d just go “all stop.” We still have some paperwork delays, but I know all will work out. We hope to get HIGH POINT operational hullborne for her transit some 650 miles down the coast to the San Francisco Bay. I estimated that it would cost 30K to tow her home. Instead of just handing that money off, I’d rather put it into operational improvements on the ship. Engine wise, I’m sure we can light a fire under that 12V71 and get the outdrive system operational. I own a small tugboat company on San Francisco Bay, and diesels are part of the normal op for us (if you are in need of diesel parts or help please think of us, we’d be glad to help in any way possible). As far as our association goes I’m in the process of involving several youth programs into our group. These are older teenagers and the hope is to instill an interest in hydrofoils, engineering and the maritime fields. We are an open volunteer operation and I hope we can draw both young and old into this working side by side. Big hopes, but it has been done before. Anyway, more to come later. — Ron Ihle (

[27 Dec 01] I am Ken Plyler, Master Chief Engineman USN ret, ex-High Point, ex Tucumcari, ex SeaFlite Hawaii, ex-Turismo Margarita de Venezuela. Was a plank owner on all these boats. Chief Engineer, HIGH POINT and TUCUMCARI, Director of Maintenance, JetFoils Hawaii and Venezuela. I know quite a bit about HIGH POINT during the first 3.5 years of her active/inactive life. I admire what you are trying to accomplish with HIGH POINT. If I can be of technical help in any way, please give me a shout. — Ken Plyler (

[13 Jan 02] My father, Alec McClair was a naval architect on the HIGH POINT. I have absolutely no doubt that he’d love to hear from you, and offer assistance in some way. I too would like to help if I can, you’ll find a message from me about the PLAINVIEW, proposing this very thing. As for Dad, you can reach him at: — Douglas McClair (


[16 Dec 01] My name is Ron Ihle, and I started the Hydrofoil HIGH POINT Association to first save, and than preserve, the PCH-1 HIGH POINT as a fully operational museum. We indeed hope that this includes foilborne also, at this early stage it all looks good. All this paperwork and corporate business is for the birds but I think we have to do it in order to preserve these vessels for the future. We have already applied for 501-C3 paperwork and have begun our National Register of Historic Ships work. We hope to get HIGH POINT operational hullborne for her transit some 650 miles down the coast to the San Francisco Bay. I estimated that it would cost 30K to tow her home. Instead of just handing that money off, I’d rather put it into operational improvements on the ship. Engine wise, I’m sure we can light a fire under that 12V71 and get the outdrive system operational. I own a small tugboat company on SFBay, and diesels are part of the normal op for us (if you are in need of diesel parts or help please think of us, we’d be glad to help in any way possible). As far as our association goes I’m in the process of involving several youth programs into our group. These are older teenagers and the hope is to instill an interest in hydrofoils, engineering and the maritime fields. We are an open volunteer operation and I hope we can draw both young and old into this working side by side. Big hopes, but it has been done before. Anyway, more to come later. — Ron Ihle (

Response…[27 Dec 01] I am Ken Plyler, Master Chief Engineman USN ret, ex-HIGH POINT, ex-TUCUMCARI, ex SeaFlite Hawaii, ex-Turismo Margarita de Venezuela. Was a plank owner on all these boats. Chief Eng. HIGH POINT and TUCUMCARI, Director of Maintenance. JetFoils Hawaii and Venezuela. I know quite a bit about HIGH POINT during the first 3.5 years of her active/inactive life. I admire what you are trying to accomplish with HIGH POINT. If I can be of technical help in any way, please give me a shout. — Ken Plyler (


[18 Nov 01] Negotiations have been completed between Janice Fraser, executor of the estate of CAPT Ronald Fraser, and Ron Ihle for a change in ownership of the HIGH POINT. Ron Ihle is establishing The HIGH POINT Association as an non profit group to restore the HIGH POINT to fully operational condition. Application is also being submitted to National Register of Historical Ships. Initially, some work will be done at Astoria, and eventually towed or propelled to San Francisco Bay for the restoration work. Ron estimates the tow to SF Bay at 30K, and would rather put the money into making HIGH POINT operational hullborne if at all possible. — Sumi Arima(


[16 Oct 01] I was promoted to Boatswain Mate 1st Class in the High Point at Bremerten, Wa. going on to a Career of 22 years. I retired in 1995 as a BMC and think back from time to time of the days in HIGH POINT. LCDR Daniel Mulhall was my Skipper, the XO QMC P. Henderson, CHANG, ENC James Mustoe. BM1 Barney and BM1 Huffman were there as were ET2 Ragzetts? SM3Christain MS1 Ray Shoquist, ET1 Turner, OS1 Tucker and others. I have a great picture of HIGH POINT that is showing its age any chance of finding another? — Stephen L. Heald, BMC(SW) USN (Ret) ( 107 Heron Ct. Newport, NC 28570

HIGH POINT Offered For Sale, Last Chance…

[5 Dec 00] IHS received a call from Janice Fraser about her frustration with HIGH POINT. She says she’s just got to get rid of her by the end of this month (Dec 00). The cost of keeping the boat at the dock is too high, and apparently the lease runs out and needs to be renewed Jan 1, 2001. If interested, contact: Ms. Janice Fraser; 200 Harbor Drive, Apt #2703; San Diego, CA 92101; Tel: 619-233-3549

HIGH POINT Offered For Sale…

[12 Feb 00] After long discussions with a naval architect, I can’t find a way to put the HIGH POINT to any use. So I am going to put it on the market for one year at $100,000. If there is no interest by next January, off she goes to the scrapper. I don’t know what else I can do. — William Knuth (

Removal of Foils…

[17 Nov 99] Question; Can I jack the aft foil down all the way out of the boat? It seems to me that the HIGH POINT will cost to much to ever fly again and the operational costs are not cheap either. So if I were to remove the after foil and foil guards the boat could be docked easier and maybe even re-powered for twin screw hull borne operation. I’m trying to think of something other than scraping the boat. Suggestions? — William Knuth (

Response…[17 Nov 99] If you are thinking of removing the aft foil/strut while afloat, forget it. This operation could be done while docked in a high cradle with sufficient jacks and dollys. When Boeing removed the foil/strut for refurbishment, they had a house mover raise the ship to get the assembly to clear. You will have to recalculate the ship’s weight and balance. Removing the aft foils and struts would shift the LCG forward, probably not change the TCG, and would raise the VCG where with the other equipment removed, could make the ship very tender in anything but flat calm water. If you are going to pursue this thought further, I would suggest you contact a Naval Architect. A complete set of drawings on microfiche was given to Ronald Fraser. — Sumi Arima (


[24 Nov 99] It looks like removal of the aft foils will be difficult. If it were accomplished, is it feasible to add an equal weight of ballast in the form of water in tanks or lead at that location to relieve its tenderness? — John Meyer (


[11 Sep 99] I’m just curious if you know the current locations of the ex-PLAINVIEW and ex-HIGH POINT. I’m driving (from Eugene, OR) to Bremerton this weekend, and I’d like to head out to Astoria to photograph them if they’re still in the area. –Joe Lewis (

Response…The location of the HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW are discussed in various e-mails on the International Hydrofoil Society web pages. The HIGH POINT is moored at a private dock in Astoria. The PLAINVIEW is anchored on the North side of the Columbia about a mile upriver. Take the road on the Washington side of the Columbia from Astoria bridge. — Sumi Arima (

HIGH POINT Questions…

[21 Aug 99] How is the HP steered when hullborne? I realize that the screw needs hydraulics to be let down into the water. Does the steering come as a function of the foils? Do the foils need to be let down for this? — William Knuth (

Response…[17 Aug 99] There is an emergency method of lowering the outdrive but at the present time, I cannot tell you exactly how. There is a book that I believe was given to Ronald on configuring various emergency conditions. This book use to occupy the bookshelf on the port rear of CIC. The hydraulic actuator that lowers the outdrive has a brake built into it, and cannot be seen. The brake needs pressure to release. A manual pin was installed after the brake failed and put a hole into the hull. The outdrive rotates 360 degrees when the unit is down. It needs to go 180 degrees to reverse. The propeller is a puller and the outdrive does not have bearings suitable for thrust in the opposite direction. The emergency steering is on the port side of the outdrive housing in the engine room transom. It is configured for a 3/4 drive socket. I don’t remember the ratio but it takes many turns to move it a few degrees. We have used an air drive instead of the provided crank. At this same location, a gear train with a hydraulic motor that sits vertical when extended is the normal method of steering. It is syncho controlled with the helm in the pilothouse. The indicator in the pilothouse, right side of helmsman, shows the outdrive position. The power is fed from the 400 hz power supply. The hydraulic pumps were on the two ship service diesels. Both of the original diesels were removed. The hydraulic system used Skydrol as its hydraulic fluid. This is an aircraft, non inflammable, and highly toxic fluid and should be handled with care. I originally suggested to Ronald that he consider replacing the helm with a lever control system like on the tugs and adapting a commercial marine hydraulic system motor to the outdrive. The hullborne drive can propel the ship with either the struts up or down. For least resistance, the flaps should be in zero position (straight back). The hydraulics for the foils and strut steering came from a separate system, and is not tied in with the outdrive and strut retraction hydraulics. –Sumi Arima (

Where to Buy a Hydrofoil Legend…

[29 Jun 99] The HIGH POINT is now moored at a pier in Astoria Oregon. I was curious if there was an active restoration project underway. I would appreciate any current information. — Don Davis (

Response…[29 Jun 99] Captain Ronald Fraser, owner of the HIGH POINT died a while back. The ship is available for purchase from the executor of his estate. The HIGH POINT was sold by the Navy with the two diesel generators, crane, anchor windlass, most of the electronics including radar and gyro compass, water maker, toilets, and miscellaneous other items stripped from the ship. The first buyer removed the two gas turbines, and then sold the ship to Ron Fraser. Ron Fraser’s goal was to get the HIGH POINT operational hullborne. With the diesel generators and gas turbines missing, the hydraulic pumps went with the prime movers, and thus was the major hurdle. Meanwhile, Ron bought an anchor windlass, diesel generators, and Incinolet toilets. He kept me appraised of the progress on HIGH POINT, which was minimal except for the purchasing of various replacement items. I have not seen the ship since he had it towed to Portland from Tacoma so I can not personally describe the present condition. The caretaker of the ship at the present time is Ron’s nephew. If you are interested in inspecting the ship, I will make arrangements for you with the executor. — Sumi Arima (


[13 May 99] I was on the west coast last month where I met up with Will Knuth who is at this time tending HIGH POINT until a buyer can be found. I was able to get aboard and take an extensive tour. She is in very restorable condition. The layout is very usable as a live-aboard and with very little work the main deck could accommodate large windows and seating for sightseeing. The hullborne propulsion including engine and outdrive is intact and with one Detroit turning a prop I would guess very affordable to operate. the only thing that appears missing for foilborne operation are the turbines and I understand that these can be found reasonably priced compared to the LM2500. I know that this ship can be bought very cheap! I believe it would take less work to make her seaworthy enough to ferry than what it took us on PEGASUS (PHM 5 renamed). It would be a shame to see this fine ship scrapped! — Eliot James

Hydrofoils For Military and Ferry Use, Lessons Learned…

[28 Jan 99] I don’t know if there has been any discussion lately on the simplicity of using hydrofoils on the same routes that the smaller commuter catamarans are running on. These routes are mainly lakes, bays and sounds. There are very few open-ocean routes. Hydrofoils are more expensive to build due to the complexity of the things, something that the naval architects and engineers have built into the systems. [By contrast], the basic offshore aluminum crew boat is a reliable, lightweight, fast, and durable machine. No one has ever set a usable life on the things. There are 30+ years old boats out there running every day. It is a vessel that has evolved to carry out its mission. As far as I know, there are no hydrofoils operating in US waters. I believe in submerged hydrofoils with automatic control systems. Retractable foils have always been a joke. Mainly because the vessels with retractable foils were built to go anyplace. If a ferry vessel’s route normally has a maximum of 2′-3′ chop, there is no need for a 6′ gap between the keel and the water surface. If the water depth is sufficient over the entire ferry route there is no reason for retractable foils. The price of the boat can be reduced significantly. Short distance ferry routes don’t call for a Boeing 737 interior in the cabin. Commercial quality would do just fine. Get rid of the carpeting and plush seating. Concentrate on maintainability, speed and maneuverability. Too much high class, expensive, unproved machinery has been installed in the past that has given the American built hydrofoils a “bad rap.” PLAINVIEW and HIGH POINT are classic examples. I have often wondered if anybody ever sat down and figured out how much it cost per foilborne hour for the life of these vessels. Only a government could afford it. The PEGASUS class PHM was another boondoggle that cost the taxpayer a fortune to build, operate, and maintain. They were truly vessels without a mission. If some of that money could have been channeled into the private sector with an objective of building a hydrofoil passenger boat that would make money instead of spending money, we would have covered the world with US-built hydrofoils today. I hope you understand where I am coming from. Hydrofoils were my life for over ten years. I hate to see them die because of the bad reputation and the high cost of building one. Somebody will one day sit back and take a long look at where we have been and the knowledge that has been gained and come up with a viable, economical design. I hope so. I would hate to see everything that we have done in the past go down the tube. — Ken Plyler (

Response…[29 Jan 99] I read your comments and must reply in defense of HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW. When HIGH POINT was designed, there was limited knowledge of hydrofoils. It was originally built as an active patrol craft, but the Navy soon realized that it should be in a prototype category. With the original intent, many systems were designed light weight yet meeting the military specifications. In addition, since the concept was new, ABS and Coast Guard had inputs on safety considerations, etc. I recall considerable communications with the different groups which even included the sanitary features of the galley. As for the foils, struts, and foilborne propulsion, tests in the tow tank provided data which was not correlated to any actual data. The engineers used conservatism and thus had designs which later proved more than adequate. Meanwhile, with limited operations, (You should recall all the time sitting at the pier during your duty on the ship.) many operational problems were detected, and redesigned and rebuilt to provide in many cases a safe operation. Other things learned were when the foils and pods were strain gauged to determine load paths, revised fairings to try to reduce erosions, Although the foilborne transmission system was bathed in sea water frequently, it turned out that the gears were very reliable. Mod I changed the seal system which helped. Toward the end, no gearbox problems were noted for a period of about 3 years. As for the PLAINVIEW, the increased size required another set of design solutions that pushed into unknown territory. The hydraulic system required a couple thousand horsepower for the operation of the foils. Industrial hydraulic pumps did not have the continuous rating which proved to be a nemeses and subsequent redesign. Again, many areas of research and development in improving HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW and now used in other naval ships. In defense of the Jetfoil, I know that Boeing spent considerable time getting ABS and Coast Guard to accept alternatives in meeting their requirements. Some of the items that looks like frills in actually is based on ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) or Coast Guard requirements. For example, the seats need to be strong enough to withstand the g forces in crash landing. The cheapest was to use aircraft qualified seats. Coast Guard originally wanted a three man Pilot House crew. which Boeing successfully got Coast Guard to agree to two. For operations in other countries, Boeing had to certify that their requirements were also met. In summary, I hope I have changed your views on the earlier hydrofoils. The data collected has provided both engineering and operational information which are considered in new designs of all crafts, not just the hydrofoil ships. Meanwhile, with the experience, the regulatory agencies have changed their requirements. I’m sure the aluminum crew boats you talk of have benefited from the HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW trials. — Sumi Arima (

More About Lessons Learned…

[30 Jan 99] I spent 3 1/2 years on HIGH POINT. Most of my time was watching from the sidelines while various engineers, the Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP), Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNSY), Boeing, and many more people than I care to think about turned the boat into a lifetime project. I was the Chief Engineer when we sprang the first gearbox salt water leak off Neah Bay and motored home hullborne. I was also the guy that turned the propellers by hand until the bearings finally froze while waiting for someone to make a decision to tear it down or not. I also watched as the powers that be installed the new spade rudder below the forward foil using 1/4-20 bolts that failed the first time we tried it foilborne. The new spade rudder was installed because the trailing edge rudder did not work due to severe ventilation of the forward strut. I watched as the stellite cladding for the after foil and struts was hand formed by a blacksmith using an anvil, a rosebud torch and a hammer. The cladding was installed using 1/4-20 nylon screws. This was an engineered fix to eliminate the severe erosion of the HY-80 caused by the propeller tip vortices. I was onboard during the testing of this installation. I was also under the boat, in drydock, during the inspection to determine why the cladding fell off. I was onboard when we tested the new stainless steel, five bladed propellers with paper thin blades. I was also under the boat, in drydock, to find out why they folded up like rose buds after only a few minutes of foilborne time. Sumi, I could go on and on but will not. I was assigned to HIGH POINT during construction, outfitting and trials. Our Type Commander was to be Commander, Amphibious Force Pacific. Our home port was to be San Diego. We never made it. I left the boat sitting on the barge under the Hammerhead Crane with gearboxes locked up. It had not run in months. Phase One was “in the mill,” and HYSTU was on the verge of being formed. I went away probably in disgust and returned as the Chief Engineer on TUCUMCARI 18 months later. TUCUMCARI was the ship that I had dreamed HIGH POINT was going to be. It was the vessel that proved that there was life after HIGH POINT. TUCUMCARI never belonged to HYSTU. TUCUMCARI unfortunately died doing what it was designed to do. It “died with it’s boots on,” so to speak. It never ended up intact at a DOD Surplus Sale. I wish I could be more positive when talking about HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW. Sorry. One good thing about the development of the HIGH POINT was the extruded aluminum panels that made up the hull plating. Unfortunately, no one is using the panel that I know of. — Ken Plyler (

Response…[30 Jan 99] If you read my original comments, I recognized your participation in the growing pains of HIGH POINT. You have precisely backed up my original comments. If it was not for all the engineering solutions of the various problems on HIGH POINT, the operational aspects of hydrofoils would still be floundering. In some cases, the solutions were cost constrained and were not approached in the manner that an engineer would really like to do. The trials on HIGH POINT provided proven design concepts which were incorporated in the design of an operational hydrofoil such as the TUCUMCARI and PHM series. This shows that the things learned from HIGH POINT did benefit the design of hydrofoil ships. How well I remember HIGH POINT being assigned to Amphibious Force Pacific. When Adm. James came to see the construction of HIGH POINT, Lt. Billerbeck questioned the Admiral of various aspects of Navy requirements. The reply from the Admiral was “Son, if I were you, I would throw away the book and do what you think needs to be done.” As I originally stated, HIGH POINT was reassigned since it became apparent to the Navy that this new concept required work to make it reliable. I know that a new class of destroyers has been put in the same category to resolve engineering and operational problems. The Navy has been building destroyers for years, yet finds that a new class requires engineering evaluations to make it operationally feasible. For a new concept such as a hydrofoil ship, I feel that we did very well. I do not feel that you should compare the Ford Model T with the Ford Thunderbird other than they are both automobiles. — Sumi Arima (


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(More PLAINVIEW Photos are in the Gallery)
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Chat, Information Sharing, Lessons Learned, and Networking
(Revised 11 Nov 03
Go to the Posted Messages Bulletin Board (BBS) for more recent messages



[28 Feb 03] I too was one of the last members of the PLAINVIEW crew. It is so sad to see her resting place. — Gary M. Mickelsen, Mt. Vernon, WA (


[3 Apr 02] I just wanted to let you know that I passed by her hull, yesterday, and found her condition just the same as on the photos you already have linked on your website. I was very surprised to find a historic ship in that condition, so I took a few photos, noted her name and looked her up on the web. The tide was in when I was there, so I couldn’t observe her bottom. I did not board her, just observed the condition. There is one orange foil on the beach beside her. Sadly, I concur with the opinion already published that recommissioning her would likely be nearly as expensive than a new build. She could probably be floated and made into a museum display, or similar… Very nice website; shows pride and honor. — Robert Jaeger (


[15 Mar 02] I was on the decomissioning crew and when we left on the last day they gave us all a large copy of the print that covered the ward room wall. However it has incurred some damage over the years and I am having trouble getting repaired or copied because of it’s size. I am still checking. (


[3 Feb 02] I was a crewmember of PLAINVIEW AGEH-1 from Sep 1970 to Jan 1974. I am extremely saddened to see the end that this unique and versatile ship has come to. I was aboard her on her 100th foilborne flight hour on the 6 of Jun 1970 and was part the crew that loaded and fired the Sea Sparrow Missiles. My Capt. at that time was Lt. William J. Erickson. A lot the crew were support personnel. I was the supply Petty Officer, but stood watches in Navigation, Hullborne helmsman, Foilborne Lookout and Engineering room watches. I remember that one of the problems that caused the most down time, was that the hydraulic pumps were not designed to operate continuously. I would enjoy hearing from any member of the crew that served aboard this World’s Largest Hydrofoil and to compare experiences. — Gilbert Gibson SKC, USB, (Ret) (

PLAINVIEW Veteran Sought

[3 Feb 02] Does anyone know what ever happened to Chief Hayes? To my knowledge he was the last of the PLAINVIEW‘s Chief EN/GS types. I had heard that he had remained in the Bremerton WA area, but haven’t been able to track him down. — Greg Bender (

Response…[20 Mar 02] I am pretty sure Chief Hayes died in the late eighties/early nineties. He was working at SIMA San Diego in the diesel shop at the time. — Frank Hudson (

PLAINVIEW as Yacht Platform?

[5 Sep 01] I would like to find out all the information on the PLAINVIEW regarding plans, blueprints, photos, “action shots”, etc. This information will be important in evaluating the market for a luxury hydrofoil. — Vladimir M. Algin (

Response…[5 Sep 01] In direct response to your quest for information on the USS PLAINVIEW, I can provide the following information:

  • Following the decision to exit the hydofoil business, Grumman (now Northrop Grumman) shipped all hydrofoil files for “safekeeping” at the US Navy’s request to the Hydrofoil Data Bank at David Taylor Ship R&D Center. I personally supervised this transfer. Your best bet probably would be locate the information there. (Grumman never was reimbursed for the transfer effort.)
  • If you are unable to locate the information you seek from official sources, I may have some or all of the information you seek in my personal files; but it would take some time and effort to locate. I know I do have a reduced size mylar (11″ high) of the hull lines and offsets. If you go this route, I suggest you forward a list of your requirements.
  • As a professional Naval Architect, I would strongly advise against configuring the PLAINVIEW as a luxury hydrofoil yacht. I joined Grumman as a Naval Architect in 1963. The PLAINVIEW was originally designed at Grumman about two years prior, and the integration and balance of foilborne and hullborne functions in a ship design was not fully understood at the time. The design was almost totally biased to foilborne performance, particularly longitudinal weight distribution. In addition the hull density was low (i.e. the enclosed volume was too large.) As a result, the aft compartments of the PLAINVIEW could not carry any major weight without upsetting longitudinal distribution. These compartments were largely empty; their primary function was to connect the tail strut and foil to the rest of the ship.
  • Part of the beauty of the PLAINVIEW is the long slender aft main deck, cutdown from the forward portions of the ship. What is not well known, is that the aft portions of the hull design were cut down to the final configuration during design development as a weight saving measure and to improve the weight distribution. So the intrinsic beauty of the PLAINVIEW resulted from the necessity to correct original design flaws!
  • I wrote a paper about twenty years ago addressing the integration of the hullborne and foilborne functions in a hydrofoil ship, entitled “Hydrofoil Hullform Selection”. I think it is included in the new IHS CD-ROM, but I believe it is mistitled as “Hydrofoil Hullform Section”. If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend purchase of this CD, as it appears to contain a lot of potentially useful information in an easy to store form. It is a bargain at $5.00! I refer you to this paper to better understand the integration of hullborne and foilborne aspects of a hydrofoil. If you can’t get a copy, I may still have a copy in my personal files.In your interest in hydrofoil luxury yachts, are you thinking of a ship the size of the PLAINVIEW or a smaller scaled version? A hydrofoil the size and speed of the Plainview will certainly to expensive to design, build, and operate. If this is your objective, I would consider it to be an order of magnitude beyond “luxury”. — Charles G. Pieroth” (

PLAINVIEW Print Wanted…

[2 Sep 01] I was one of the first members of the crew of the PLAINVIEW. During the time that I spent on the Plainview the crew members were given a print made from a picture of the PLAINVIEW while it was foilborne. Seattle was in the background and even Mt. Rainier could be seen in the background as well. If anyone knows where I could get a copy of that print or a similar print please let me know. The picture I have in mind would have been made in 1969, 1970 or 1971. Your help would be appreciated. — Terry Haynes (

Responses…[2 Oct 01] I think I have a copy of that picture, but the print I have does not have any of the background that you referenced. It was the print that was passed out to all crew members when it was put In-Service in March of 1970. It is a shot of the port side, full length while flying. I am curious as to when you were aboard PLAINVIEW ? I am a plank owner and spend three years aboard her. — Ken Umbarger (

[22 Oct 01] I have the photo to which you refer and can have it copied in digital color for you. I will also provide an excellent photo of the PLAINVIEW foilborne with the USS PEGASUS foilborne in the background. — Karl Duff (


[4 Jul 01] I was stationed aboard the USS PLAINVIEW for 2 years from 1971-1972. I saw a picture of her on the net, and it was a sad picture. I think about her often. Do you know what her final days were like? I still have the picture of her during her glory, prior to my coming aboard. Thank you for any info you may be able to supply. — John Bass (

Response…[4 Jul 01] PLAINVIEW was fully operational and conducted some tests for the HYPAM (Hydrofoil pressure acoustic magnetic) trials up to the day that she was “decommissioned” and towed over to Inactive Ships. We had all the struts removed, the forward ones because of the gearboxes and the aft one because of the HY-130 steel construction. The aft strut was to be tested in the structures lab at DTNSRDC, and the gearboxes were saved for possible use in another project. Other than the diesels, I don’t know what other equipment were stripped before putting the ship on the auction block. My understanding was the ship was bought to convert her to a fish cannery tender. We turned over all the drawings to a naval architect firm in Portland. — Sumi Arima (

[4 Jul 01] See the IHS webpage dedicated to AGEH-1. — Barney C. Black (Please use the BBS to reply)

PLAINVIEW Status Update…

[26 Dec 00] I stumbled across your forum last week, and if I can be any help let me know. I am the son of the current owner of the PLAINVIEW, which is located in Chinook, Washington. The boat is partially scrapped, but only the rear half of the house was removed, along with the exhaust cowlings and some of the deck gear. In my opinion it will never run under its own power again; getting it to that point would be an extreme labor of love. I think this would have been the case when my father purchased it, but even more so now. My father’s original intent for the vessel was salmon processing in the Bristol Bay Alaska fishery, but due to falling salmon prices that never happened. It was indeed in the movie “Short Circuit” as I saw mentioned in the forum. It was moored in Astoria, Oregon for many years until my father sold his boatbuilding shop there. It was then moved to its current location 2.4 miles East of the Astoria Bridge on the Washington side of the river. The scrapping project was begun in 1996 and lasted about two months. It was halted due to a drop in aluminum prices and has never been resumed. I am not sure of my father’s plans on this matter, he is busy with a new business venture for a new rudder design, so I believe it is on semi-permanent hold. Feel free to check out the website regarding his business “Deflector Marine Rudder” at He does not wish to be contacted regarding the PLAINVIEW however, so please address comments to me. Now it sits, serving mainly as a tourist attraction. We can’t seem to keep the “No Trespassing” signs up, and I personally had to chase many people off of it when I lived at home. In my opinion, if someone was really interested in making it useful again as a hydrofoil, it could be used as an educational exhibit vessel. It would not be too difficult to make it appear to be in running condition… much easier than actually making it ever run again. It definitely has drawing power, but I don’t know if even that is enough. I hope this answers questions you might have had. Please do not contact my father. — Gusty Stambaugh (; Applied Solutions, Inc. phone: 415.276.3100 [Gusty Stambaugh’s email no longer functions… IHS is attempting to find out a current email for him. – Webmaster 9 Sep 03]


[12 Aug 00] Photos by Sumi Arima: Click Here (Photo 1) and Here (Photo 2)

PLAINVIEW‘s Owner Identified…

[5 Mar 00, updated 26 Dec 00] On a short trip to the Oregon coast, I stopped to take pictures of PLAINVIEW, which is located about 2 miles east of the Astoria bridge on the Washington side of the Columbia River. When traveling east, you cannot see the ship since it will be behind you. Traveling west, it is in plain view across the slight inlet. As I was taking pictures, a fellow stopped and started talking about the owner and the abandoned plans. I subsequently made an e-mail inquiry, and have been given permission to let IHS know that the current owner’s son may be contacted about the vessel. His name is Gusty Stambaugh. His email address is [bad email address – Webmaster 9 Sep 03] and his telephone number is 415.276.3100. I would like to be copied to: if anyone makes e-mail contact with Gusty. Working for the Navy Department, I was the principle engineer following the design and construction of the PLAINVIEW. Upon construction, I was hired by David Taylor Naval Ship R&D Center to conduct the Navy’s Hydrofoil R&D program using the PLAINVIEW and HIGH POINT. Trials of various types were conducted which included ship system improvements; analysis of torpedo, missile, and gun firing; and confirming modeling/computer techniques based on full scale measurements. The PLAINVIEW was especially useful in learning structural calculation concerns, large hydraulic system design, and foil system loads. The PLAINVIEW also provided the research bed for plastic piping, fiberglass piping, stainless tubing with automated butt welder, and many other features now found on many new Navy ships. — Sumi Arima (


[11 Sep 99] I’m just curious if you know the current locations of the ex-PLAINVIEW and ex-HIGH POINT. I’m driving (from Eugene, OR) to Bremerton this weekend, and I’d like to head out to Astoria to photograph them if they’re still in the area. –Joe Lewis (

Response…The location of the HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW are discussed in various e-mails on the International Hydrofoil Society web pages. The HIGH POINT is moored at a private dock in Astoria. The PLAINVIEW is anchored on the North side of the Columbia about a mile upriver. Take the road on the Washington side of the Columbia from Astoria bridge. — Sumi Arima (

USS PLAINVIEW Final Resting Place

[8 Aug 99] I went on vacation near the mouth of the Columbia River (Washington side), and I ran into the remains of the USS PLAINVIEW. It appears that someone is cutting it up for salvage and I was wondering if someone has more info on this hydrofoil. — Ed Bynon (

Response…[8 Aug 99] Can you give me more details on the PLAINVIEW‘s present condition? Your inspection might have given you the indication that a salvage operation is taking place, whereas it might judt be the way it is stored. The foils and struts are removed, with only the foils sitting on the rear deck. Some openings were made to remove major machinery. The hull has what looks like cutouts where the struts pivoted. If you have any particular questions, feel free to ask. — Sumi Arima (

Hydrofoils For Military and Ferry Use, Lessons Learned…

[28 Jan 99] I don’t know if there has been any discussion lately on the simplicity of using hydrofoils on the same routes that the smaller commuter catamarans are running on. These routes are mainly lakes, bays and sounds. There are very few open-ocean routes. Hydrofoils are more expensive to build due to the complexity of the things, something that the naval architects and engineers have built into the systems. [By contrast], the basic offshore aluminum crew boat is a reliable, lightweight, fast, and durable machine. No one has ever set a usable life on the things. There are 30+ years old boats out there running every day. It is a vessel that has evolved to carry out its mission. As far as I know, there are no hydrofoils operating in US waters. I believe in submerged hydrofoils with automatic control systems. Retractable foils have always been a joke. Mainly because the vessels with retractable foils were built to go anyplace. If a ferry vessel’s route normally has a maximum of 2′-3′ chop, there is no need for a 6′ gap between the keel and the water surface. If the water depth is sufficient over the entire ferry route there is no reason for retractable foils. The price of the boat can be reduced significantly. Short distance ferry routes don’t call for a Boeing 737 interior in the cabin. Commercial quality would do just fine. Get rid of the carpeting and plush seating. Concentrate on maintainability, speed and maneuverability. Too much high class, expensive, unproved machinery has been installed in the past that has given the American built hydrofoils a “bad rap.” PLAINVIEW and HIGH POINT are classic examples. I have often wondered if anybody ever sat down and figured out how much it cost per foilborne hour for the life of these vessels. Only a government could afford it. The PEGASUS class PHM was another boondoggle that cost the taxpayer a fortune to build, operate, and maintain. They were truly vessels without a mission. If some of that money could have been channeled into the private sector with an objective of building a hydrofoil passenger boat that would make money instead of spending money, we would have covered the world with US-built hydrofoils today. I hope you understand where I am coming from. Hydrofoils were my life for over ten years. I hate to see them die because of the bad reputation and the high cost of building one. Somebody will one day sit back and take a long look at where we have been and the knowledge that has been gained and come up with a viable, economical design. I hope so. I would hate to see everything that we have done in the past go down the tube. — Ken Plyler (

Response…[29 Jan 99] I read your comments and must reply in defense of HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW. When HIGH POINT was designed, there was limited knowledge of hydrofoils. It was originally built as an active patrol craft, but the Navy soon realized that it should be in a prototype category. With the original intent, many systems were designed light weight yet meeting the military specifications. In addition, since the concept was new, ABS and Coast Guard had inputs on safety considerations, etc. I recall considerable communications with the different groups which even included the sanitary features of the galley. As for the foils, struts, and foilborne propulsion, tests in the tow tank provided data which was not correlated to any actual data. The engineers used conservatism and thus had designs which later proved more than adequate. Meanwhile, with limited operations, (You should recall all the time sitting at the pier during your duty on the ship.) many operational problems were detected, and redesigned and rebuilt to provide in many cases a safe operation. Other things learned were when the foils and pods were strain gauged to determine load paths, revised fairings to try to reduce erosions, Although the foilborne transmission system was bathed in sea water frequently, it turned out that the gears were very reliable. Mod I changed the seal system which helped. Toward the end, no gearbox problems were noted for a period of about 3 years. As for the PLAINVIEW, the increased size required another set of design solutions that pushed into unknown territory. The hydraulic system required a couple thousand horsepower for the operation of the foils. Industrial hydraulic pumps did not have the continuous rating which proved to be a nemeses and subsequent redesign. Again, many areas of research and development in improving HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW and now used in other naval ships. In defense of the Jetfoil, I know that Boeing spent considerable time getting ABS and Coast Guard to accept alternatives in meeting their requirements. Some of the items that looks like frills in actually is based on ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) or Coast Guard requirements. For example, the seats need to be strong enough to withstand the g forces in crash landing. The cheapest was to use aircraft qualified seats. Coast Guard originally wanted a three man Pilot House crew. which Boeing successfully got Coast Guard to agree to two. For operations in other countries, Boeing had to certify that their requirements were also met. In summary, I hope I have changed your views on the earlier hydrofoils. The data collected has provided both engineering and operational information which are considered in new designs of all crafts, not just the hydrofoil ships. Meanwhile, with the experience, the regulatory agencies have changed their requirements. I’m sure the aluminum crew boats you talk of have benefited from the HIGH POINT and PLAINVIEW trials. — Sumi Arima (

Proposed PLAINVIEW Historical Project

[1 Sep 97] I enter this post in the attempt to generate interest and open a discussion on the feasibility of something near and dear to me. My life has been greatly molded by the events that many of you gather to discuss and review — the creation and improvement of the hydrofoil. I personally have never been directly involved in your field, but my father has. Many of you know him, Alexander M. McClair. In a recent series of discussions, we were reflecting on the hydrofoil program, the pioneering spirit of the men involved, and the tight bonds that were formed among the teams that were involved in the creation of the AGEH, PCH and PHM. I often take great pride when I see commercial hydrofoils in use (not that Alec was the father of the hydrofoil), our family lived a lot of years revolving around the boats and the shipyards that made them. We were all present at the launches of these ships mentioned. It was a long time ago. Since then the use and application of these ships has grown. As it continues to grow, there is an element that is missing from the early days of progress: a living example of early hydrofoil design and manufacture. This has been the topic of many conversations between me and my father (as well as a large number of you). Which has prompted me to begin a journey. A journey to look into the feasibility and logistics of resurrecting a ship, The AGEH PLAINVIEW. I have an interest in this to retrieve the AGEH, and restore it to operational status. The purpose is to preserve an early version of today’s accomplishments. Those of you who were involved in the early days of hydrofoil development are keenly aware of the pioneering spirit of your peers. I feel that it is worth saving in the form of a demonstrable vessel, one that stood apart in its day. The AGEH was the fastest ship in its class, and the world’s largest aluminum hull vessel in its day. Now it sits on a beach (I think in Goose Bay, Oregon). A number of people and associations have gotten together to restore other vessels in different categories; I would like to do this for a vessel that helped to develop an industry. Its use would be as a floating/traveling museum. There are pages of details and opinions that don’t need to be displayed here, but I am interested in your responses. For those interested in a project like this, I would ask you to respond to me directly, at my email address below. For those of you that think this is futile, please feel free to respond as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to hearing from you. — Douglas M. McClair (

Response…[3 Sep 97, updated 26 Dec 00] You have an interesting proposition but I believe the PLAINVIEW is beyond restoration as an operational hydrofoil for the following reasons:

  1. The PLAINVIEW was scrapped by the Navy with all the major equipment removed, including the struts, diesels, gas turbines, outdrives, and Automatic Control System (ACS) electronics. After storing the main struts on the HYSTU barge for a period of time, when HYSTU was preparing to close, the gear boxes were removed from the struts and the struts were scrapped. The gear boxes were below decks of the barge when the barge was turned over to the Acoustic Range on Fox Island. I do not know where the gear boxes are today. I also don’t know what happened to the struts. The tail strut was to go for fatigue testing at Carderock, but I don’t know if any funds were made available to do so. The tail strut was of interest because of the HY130 steel construction. [Some additional scrapping was accomplished by the current owner: the rear half of the house was removed, along with the exhaust cowlings and some of the deck gear]
  2. The HUDAP (Hydrofoil Universal Digital Autopilot) sat on the barge in storage without preservation. I believe that when the barge was cleaned of HYSTU parts, the HUDAP was sent to scrap. We have used a IBM PC with D to A (Digital to Analog) and A to D converters to provide flight control on the HIGH POINT as a feasibility demonstration. With considerable amount of programming, PLAINVIEW could possibly have a couple of PCs configured to provide the ACS function.
  3. The retraction actuators were left on the ship. I do not know if they are still there. I also do not know the final results of the incidence control actuators. To replace these actuators alone would be cost prohibitive.
  4. The PLAINVIEW hull is now located on the Columbia River east of Astoria. I suspect the hull could be had for a price, but the cost of moving it and mooring it at some location will also add to the restoration expenses.

My regards to your dad. We had quite a time together when he worked for Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company and I worked for Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Construction, and Repair, USN, Seattle on the PLAINVIEW project. — Sumi Arima (

2nd Response…

[18 Feb 98] I had the distinct pleasure of being the PLAINVIEW’s Chief Engineer during the period Feb 1976 through Feb 1980 when the vessel emerged from its epic overhaul and conversion and during which it finally lived up to its designers’ expectations. I briefly envisioned the PLAINVIEW again majestically rising above the waters of the Pacific Northwest and banking into a turn. Then reality set in quickly. I remembered the monumental effort it took to get the ship through that overhaul, to train the crew and to solve the new laundry list of technical, budget and schedule problems that seemed to confront us weekly. I remembered my last glimpses of the PLAINVIEW on the mud flats in Astoria, Oregon in a photo sent to me by Dwain Sorenson of Boeing and in the background of the movie “Short Circuit” filmed in Astoria in about 1985. I quickly concluded, “Not likely to ever see that again!” I am afraid I must agree with Sumi, even if the hardware and hardware could be found, I doubt the technical data still exists or could be recreated. Better to try something a bit more achievable. If I can answer any questions, please feel free to contact me. — Greg Bender, LCDR, USN (ret) ( or (


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Hydrofoils: Military

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Archived Messages


“1”,”949402″,”6″,”Re; Re; pch 1||949402″,”PCH-1 Iss the USS High Point built in 1963 first used by the Coast Gaurd”,”2005-12-18″,”Marty”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”942906″

“2”,”944319″,”6″,”Re; pch 1||944319″,”HIGH POINT (PCH-1) is presently tied up in Astoria Oregon, where it has been for the last few years.

“,”2005-12-07″,”S. Arima”,”theboard”,” “,””,”942296″

“3”,”942907″,”6″,”Re; pch 1||942907″,”Which one is PCH-1? Peter Squicciarini”,”2005-12-05″,”Peter Squicciarini”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”942296″

“4”,”942906″,”6″,”Re; pch 1||942906″,”Which one is PCH-1? Peter Squicciarini”,”2005-12-05″,”Peter Squicciarini”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”942296″

“5”,”942296″,”6″,” pch 1||942296″,” Wheres PCH-1 Now?”,”2005-12-04″,”Marty”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”6″

“6”,”888235″,”6″,”Re; lycoming avco LVHX1||888235″,”Tom, you would likely find a ready market for it on eBay; however before listing it there, you should be prepared for the possibility that it is US Government property that was never properly surplused and disposed of. You may get a protest to eBay if someone thinks that is the case and wants to recover it for a government agency or museum. I can’t guess what the possibility of that happening is. It depends on who sees the listing. It wouldn’t hurt to go back to the house where you bought it during the garage sale and ask where it came from. This projects dates back quite a few years, so it is possible that the person who had it has died.”,”2005-09-04″,”Barney C Black”,”nopswd”,” “,” “,”886399”

“7”,”886399″,”6″,”lycoming avco LVHX1||886399″,”I found at a garage sale a model with many moving parts of the LVHX1-1 mounted on a plat form board. Painted on the side is USMC 1 and 7321175 Plate on board says United States Marine Corps LVH X1 Bureau of Ships Lycoming Division,Avco Corporation Can take pics,and would like to sell it.”,”2005-08-31″,”Tom”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”6″

“8”,”886398″,”6″,”lycoming avco LVHX1||886398″,”I found at a garage sale a model with many moving parts of the LVHX1-1 mounted on a plat form board. Painted on the side is USMC 1 and 7321175 Plate on board says United States Marine Corps LVH X1 Bureau of Ships Lycoming Division,Avco Corporation Can take pics,and would like to sell it.”,”2005-08-31″,”Tom”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”6″

“9”,”882078″,”6″,”Re; Expanding Our Battle Space||882078″,”Peter. This is my second request for your telephone number. I do not want to chat with you on the website.

My name is Gerry Levine. I’m located near Boca Raton Florida. My phone number is 561 734-0192.

Please call me.”,”2005-08-23″,”Gerry Levine”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”881219″

“10”,”881219″,”6″,”Expanding Our Battle Space||881219″,”I saw a terrific 15 minutes of hydrofoil development segment on History
Channel program “Mail Call”. That’s the show where the Gunny Sergeant
takes letters for interesting questions and then broadcasts the spots. Now
I know that most of you probably have seen this footage. But it was well
done in a positive and interesting spotlight. Great footage of PEGASUS (my
PHM experience) which still brought memories of excitement (tears too)!
Other PHMs footage also. Developmental hydrofoils included. My point of
sharing this with you is NOT hydrofoil technology (you guys invented and
proved it!) but the point is to pass along that the hydrofoil is not
forgotten and is now being shown to this new generation. The final
interview/quote was that as things go around and around, hydrofoils will be
back as the latest “new” idea (I said that before). Due and thanks to many
of you. Legacy. Those who said you couldn’t do it were shown you could
(and did!) accomplish it. Keep watching! How about THIS “creative” idea?
The high-speed catamaran is being embraced lately. My “warfare view” would be
to equip that CAT with a number of fast-fast-fast hydrofoil “vehicles”,
either manned (like ASW LAMPS HELO) or unmanned with artificial
intelligence, to act like multiple “stinger-bees” deployed from the CAT.
Force “multiplier”. More battle space covered, more situational awareness,
more intell, huge stay time, all weather, sensor platform (no weapons needed
as long range weapons delivered by CAT/other forces), and more benefits.
Think about it. A “hydrofoil Predator” both inshore (LCS?) and offshore.
Maybe riverine too?. Crazy? OK–would any of you like to send me their
(creative) thoughts, both technical and tactical?? If those inputs were
well thought out and articulated, I might (repeat “might”) draft up a short
article for NAVAL INSTITUTE /other submissions and perhaps their
publication. NO MATH FORMULAS! NO CURVES! “Realm of the possible
thinking ONLY”! Don’t want to hear about lift, laminar flow, how big it
can be made–but rather how “small” it can be made! If any takers and
interest, then Over To You Guys. Exchange of practical ideas and
applications is the only way-ahead, as I see it. Despite USN fixation on
mega-Defense Contractors “dinosaur solutions”, I think the time could be
good to get a think-piece in front of the folks who have been ordered to
think (wow, what a concept!). I know ADM Mike Mullen whom I’m somewhat
close to, would be interested to see this. Applications with USCG/HLS could
be foreseable despite their embalming circa 1939, pre-nuclear age. Q.E.D.
Cheers to ALL,

Peter Squicciarini”,”2005-08-22″,”Peter D. Squicciarini”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”6″

“11”,”856778″,”6″,”Re; Congratulations on IHS Progress||856778″,”We need to talk. I’m a IHS member, my patents are starting to issue, and I’m almost ready to start cutting metal. My name is Gerry Levine, living in west Palm Beach Florida. Can you call me late Thursday afternoon. Your name is familiar, but I have not been reading BB messages in a long time. Do you know William O’Neill? He is somehat familiar with my work, however he is covered by an NDA.

561 628 5940 or give me your number and I’ll contact you.”,”2005-07-06″,”Gerry Levine”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“12”,”856036″,”6″,”Congratulations on IHS Progress||856036″,”All IHS Board Members and Hydrofoil friends,

I want to personally congratulate each and every one of you. Your interest and willingness, not often found in a volunteer group, keeps hydrofoils alive. And hydrofoils should be kept alive. All of us has seen (and I’m a relative newcomer from the ’80s”the hydrofoil go around and around in the advanced technologies for the sea. Well, what with the rise of more and more high performance technologies now being built to go to sea for lots of purposes, I believe hydrofoils are about due–and very soon, at that. Navies want a down and dirty “Street Fighter”. Well, the Cats are bumble bees compared to the “killer bees” of hydrofoils. Give it a bit more time, and especially IHS keepers of the faith, and we’ll all see hydrofoils back again as a “great idea” by the “Establishment”—“invented here” paradigm. Stand by folks! Cheers to all, Peter Squicciarini. (JOHN–PLEASE pass this on to the website for all to see–THX, Peter)”,”2005-07-05″,”Peter Squicciarini”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“13”,”844511″,”6″,”Re; Lines/Plans for PHM Pegasus?||844511″,”You should visit // and read the historical correspondence on PHM models that is archived there. Also see // . Here are some excerpts:

“The Mariners’ Museum’s Scale Ship Model Competition and Exhibition 2000,” Scale Ship Modeler (ISSN 1066-0275), Nov/Dec 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 5), pp. 36-37, 62. Features a 1:48 scale model of PHM-1 USS PEGASUS. Modeler Dean Leary of Statesville NC was awarded the Gold Medal under the Division I (Scratchbuilt) Class B (Powered Ships) category. “The Scale Ship Model Competition and Exhibition 2000 ran from June 17 until October 28, 2000. During these dates, visitors were able to see the top ship models in the world and participate in various activities associated with the exhibition on the opening weekend. For more information about the competition and exhibition, call The Mariners’ Museum at (757) 596-222 or (800) 596-2222, or write to: The Mariners’ Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport, VA 23606, or visit their Web site:”

Marine Modeling Monthly, March 1991, contains photos and drawings of the PHM Class; purpose of the article is to provide details to modellers of the PHM Class.

We have a pretty good set of plans from “Floating Drydock” now. Floating Drydock is a Plan service company. They now have a couple different scale plan drawings and sets of PHMs: Hull, faired lines and stations USS PEGASUS Builders plans outboard profile and plan view, and deckhouse details, model builders set showing main deck, outboard profile bridge superstructure deck, platforms, some hull sections, general arrangements, and longitudinal cross section

White Ensign Models (WEM) offers a new 1:350 scale model kit for PHM 1 USS PEGASUS, and it’s a beauty. Click Here for details/photo. The company ships orders worldwide. Felix Bustelo has created a webpage devoted to this model with photos, hints, and reviewer comments. That page is at [regrettably, Felix Bustelo’s site seems to have disappeared from the web. – Editor] Thanks to Steve Novell ( for bringing this item to our attention. He notes that “The model thing is close enough that you can make just minor adjustments (adding H bits to the main deck, relocating the radar to the mast etc.)””,”2005-06-11″,”Barney C Black”,”poopdeck”,” “,” “,”0”

“14”,”843267″,”6″,”Re; Lines/Plans for PHM Pegasus?||843267″,”Boeing Aircraft of Seattle, Washington designed the PEGASUS Class PHMs.
Jerry Grasmick
MK 75 Gun System Engineer”,”2005-06-09″,”Jerry R. Grasmick, E.E.”,”nopswd”,” “,” “,”0”

“15”,”842578″,”6″,”Lines/Plans for PHM Pegasus?||842578″,”Dear Sirs,

I have recently built the Italian Hydrofoil Sparviero as none working
modell in 1/72nd. (see picture following).

(See attached file: Sparviero_frontsideview2.jpg)

I´d like to build next the PHM Pegasus also as none working display modell
scale 1/72nd.

Do you know where to get accurate plans / drawings including line drawings
of the hull?

Best regards

Markus Schott
Germany”,”2005-06-08″,”Markus Schott”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″


For the past 26 years I have served as a project supervisor creating museum exhibits in honor of U.S. vets and those of our allies. Some of the venues I have done work for include the USS Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum and the Museum of Polish Military Heritage in America, both in New York City. Load my name Mike Dobrzelecki into a Google Search Engine and you’ll see examples of some of my work on two continents over the years.

I saw your name & email on the IHS website and hope you can provide some help on a research project concerning the Tucumcari PGH-2.

I built the old Aurora kit when it first came out in the late 1960’s early 1970’s (?) and not too long ago picked up a derelict unpainted damaged built-up, as well as a pristine complete kit still in the original box. I even still have some parts from my original build model.

My intent is to build one ‘flying’ and one in the water with its struts and foils folded up and possibly write a good article on the Tucumcari.

I have everything available on the internet for this fascinating hydrofoil, as well as, the old Sea Clasics issue with the Tucumcari on the cover. Recently, I obtained a copy of the History Channel Mail Call episode with the world’s most famous D.I. narrating exquisite video of the this fast-fighting boat in action – great footage, BTW. I have even manage to track down some of its crew for personal interviews. Most frustratingly, the crew I talked to so far all stated that their photos went missing during moves over the years.

I am looking for more photos including details of the interior, the exterior fit on the cockpit/bridge and upper surface of the hull and an answer to what’s in the large opening aft of the .50 cals and masts/antennae. I would also like to track down some more crew and any other books or naval history magazine articles on the the Tucumcari. Any leads would be appreciated.

Mike Dobrzelecki
3040 Clayton Street
Easton PA 18045
“,”2005-03-07”,”Mike Dobrzelecki “,”members”,” “,””,”0″

“17”,”779659″,”6″,”Re: Aries project?||779659″,”I suggest you contact Eliot James directly via the website at for an answer. I don’t think he monitors this BBS, and so would not see your question. If you find out anything, please come back and post it so the rest of us can have the update!”,”2005-02-10″,”Barney C Black”,”poopdeck”,” “,””,”0″

“18”,”776047″,”6″,”Aries project?||776047″,”Is the Aries project going forward? The last update I can find was Aug 03. If not is there anything we can do to help?”,”2005-02-04″,”Chuck Shannon”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“19”,”770610″,”6″,”Refueling PEGASUS Pictures- 20 March 78||770610″,”Pete

Attached as a Adobe pdf file are the PHM Pegasus refueling at sea pictures I mentioned from my first post.

Jill Baron”,”2005-01-25″,” Jim Baron”,”foilsadm”,” “,” “,”0”

“20”,”770511″,”6″,”vs8 pictures||770511″,”I am looking for any pictures of the vs8 particularly on the prop rudder area – I can not contact challenge publications to see if they had an old copy of the scale modeler magazine from july 82 which showed photos of the 32nd parallel kit”,”2005-01-25″,”David Short”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“21”,”770150″,”6″,”Re: PHM Pegasus Refueling Pics 20 Mar 78||770150″,”Any possible way to send me Pegasus pix refueling as simple attachment? Cheers, Peter Squicciarini (p.s.>>>the is superb!)”,”2005-01-25″,””,”nopswd”,” “,”Pete Squicciarini”,”0″

“22”,”769886″,”6″,”PHM Pegasus Refueling Pics 20 Mar 78||769886″,” 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!

Attached is the page from the 1978 cruisebook showing the refuleing operations.

Thanks – Jim. Happy to scan and send – Jim Baron (JOCS(SW), USN Ret.)

“,”2005-01-24″,” Jim Baron”,”members”,” “,” “,”0”

“23”,”746897″,”6″,”HMCS Brasd’or||746897″,”Thanks for the interesting webpage. Our Powers to be are making me laugh right now but cutting our forces down again even further and complaining of costs to outfit our fight forces with descent equipment. I suggested to them that they reconsider this design and get rid of the destroyers that require a staff of 250+. This little baby with today’s technology would be awesome for coastal patrols, even on the great lakes and for rescue.

Say what you want, I agree with your article, just like the Avro Arrow, that ship will still out do anything around today…. Thanks again.”,”2004-12-03″,”Walter Argent Jr.”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“24”,”706035″,”6″,”Re: EX PLAINVIEW CREWMEMBER||706035″,”Did not know if you saw this…”,”2004-09-09″,”Dan Schmidt”,”nopswd”,” “,””,”0″

“25”,”703662″,”6″,”EX PLAINVIEW CREWMEMBER||703662″,”Just happened to stumble across this site trying to explain a hydrofoil to a co-worker. Most of the messages are extremely old but I do recognize several names.—-o to Skipper Hudson, Mr Bender and Mick and Sumi. I was the last Ship’s Yeoman of the mighty Plainview and one of the last to walk ashore. Seeing how she ended up was sad and I’m sure by now that is has been scrapped. One thing I will always remember that I was able to numerous things outside my rating, i.e. radar, plotting, and taking those darn soundings at 2 in the morning. YNCM(SW) Dennis Clark, USN, RET”,”2004-09-02″,”Dennis Clark”,”guest”,” “,””,”0″



Archive; USN PHM Hydrofoil Missile Ships

Click below to Open.

[Date/Time=03-24-2002 – 1:51 AM] [Msgid=237503]
Archive; Sources of US Navy Photos
Click below to Open
[Date/Time=03-24-2002 – 4:23 PM] [Msgid=237702]
PHM Interior Paint Color


      • I have read the web site with great interest and have seen the responses that ET1 Desendi (USS Aquilla) was saying about the interior color of the Aries. Being stationed aboard her and being the lowest ranking member of the Combat Systems department (FC2) I did my fair share of painting. The interior color of the Aries, at decommissioning, was a color that Cmdr. Nichols had the Boats especially mix up. Boats called it Ticonderoga grey. It was white with just a tinge of Haze Grey mixed in. It wasn’t a bad color actually. The mess deck had the Rams Head. I don’t recall what happened to it after we decommissioned. I have some pictures of the Aries that might be of some help if you have specific questions. I also have some pictures of the running aground in Corpus Christie.

[Date/Time=05-04-2002 – 8:16 AM]

Name:Victor (Flo) Nightingale, [Msgid=255273]
PHM Interior Paint Color

      • Victor
      • Thanks for your input to the PHM history.
      • We would love to acquire any photos or other information you have that we can add to our PHM files, newsletter and our Photo Albums.
      • Bill White

[Date/Time=05-04-2002 – 9:11 PM]

Name:Bill White Asst Webmaster, [Msgid=255475]
Veteran of PHM-3 and HIGH POINT


      • I am a Plank Owner on the


      • (PHM-3). I worked in the engineering department a GSM2. I also worked on the


      • (PCH-1) — Henry Jakobson GSCS(SW)Ret

[Date/Time=06-02-2002 – 2:14 PM]

Name:Henry Jakobson, [Msgid=266590]
Veteran of PHM-3 and HIGH POINT

      • Have you visited the part of the site? PHM-5 lives on PHM-3,4,6 hang in the balance…

[Date/Time=06-03-2002 – 10:36 PM]

Name:Dan Schmidt, [Msgid=267169]
Former Hydrofoiler

      • I just found this website so I haven’t had the opportunity to brouse through all of it. I’m pleased to see there are other “hydrofoil” sailors out there that were as proud to serve as I was. I had the pleasure of being one of the last crewmembers of the Boeing built Tucumcari PGH-2 which was assigned to the Little Creek Naval Amphibias base in Norfolk, VA. (We found out how hard a coral reef can be at 40 knots when operating down near Puerto Rico.) I was then assigned to be a member of the first crew of Pegasus PHM-1 and had the pleasure of being there to see it launched at the Boeing Plant in Renton, WA. What great duty! Thanks for the memories!!

[Date/Time=06-14-2002 – 3:37 PM]

Name:Fred Wieber, [Msgid=271733]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft


      • Need investors to back a project to design, build and present to the USN Special Warfare Group as an Unsolicited Proposal for a hydrofoil vessel that could deliver a Seal Team to the battle without breaking their bones or getting them deathly ill. Just attended the MACC, (Multi Agency Craft Conference at Little Creek. The timing is right. There were fast boats presented. None could perform their mission in anything other than a flat, calm sea. I am available to contribute my 10 years of hydrofoil experience through my company, American Marine Consultants, LLC
      • Ken Plyler, ENCM USN Ret.

[Date/Time=06-20-2002 – 7:32 PM]

Name:Kenneth F. Plyler, [Msgid=273911]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft


[Date/Time=07-15-2002 – 12:31 PM]

Name:ROB DESENDI, [Msgid=282611]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • Master Chief,
      • I agree with Rob. I was onboard USS Gemini PHM-6. We were fast on the foils and did some test with SEAL Teams. The problems were encountered because we had to go “hullborne” vice “foilborne” to insert the teams. When hullborne, the seas rocked us around pretty good. Not much different than the current PC’s.

[Date/Time=07-15-2002 – 1:03 PM]

Name:ITC(SW) Rich Powell rpowe, [Msgid=282632]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • Master Chief,
      • I agree with Rob. I was onboard USS Gemini PHM-6. We were fast on the foils and did some test with SEAL Teams. The problems were encountered because we had to go “hullborne” vice “foilborne” to insert the teams. When hullborne, the seas rocked us around pretty good. Not much different than the current PC’s.

[Date/Time=07-15-2002 – 1:04 PM]

Name:ITC(SW) Rich Powell rpowe, [Msgid=282634]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • My two cents. I was a Naval Architect at the David Taylor Model Basin supporting the PHMS back in those days and my memory matches yours exactly.
      • A few years later in the mid 80s, I had the good fortune along with Cdr Dave Patch to work with the French Navy in Toulon Fr.
      • They showed us a Catamaran Hydrofoil design that they had experimented with that would be perfect for todays missions. The catamaran hull shape gave twice the volume inside as the PHMs on an equivalent length hull. This Catamaran Hydrofoil had a nice wide stern for carrying and launching RIBS etc. In addition, the craft was much more stable hullborne do to the wide beam and also could do 20+ kts hullborne with the foils up. The Foils were mounted in the four catamaran corners at the bow and stern. They could be raised and lowered vertically to dramatically reduce hullborne draft. I don’t remember if the height could be changed while they were foilborne for shallow water ops. With todays sophisticated control systems such a four foil system could be used while hullborne to reduce pitch and roll motions as well as when foilborne.
      • Other than possibly a Surface Effect Craft, nothing comes close in terms of performance (Speed, Maneuverability and Sea state) flexibility, Deck area and internal volume based on all my knowledge.
      • Most all the competion such as long slender hulls, Trimarans, Catamarans and other more exotic variants fail in one or the other military attributes. The problem is that none of the promotors ever let a one on one comparative analysis occur.
      • Even the US Navy’s own comparisons over the years have been no better. Though often the reason is a lack of knowledge rather than any particular bias of the participants. For an example, I can remember for years trying to convince people that just because the PHM was designed for under 10 kt hullborne on Diesels that there was no physical reason that said it had to be a true limitaion for all future Hydrofoils. And yet to this today a lot of people think that 20 kts is a very inefficient Hydrofoil speed. And this automatically eliminates them from consideration, since the Navy often cruises at that speed.
      • Anyway, Rob Best of luck. Wish I had the $ to help.
      • Bill White

[Date/Time=07-15-2002 – 2:24 PM]

Name:Bill White, [Msgid=282664]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • I think the issue would be the transition and noise factor, we were quiet till we got near someone with the FB engine but need an easy trans from H/b to F/b and a way to easily retract to give low draft!

[Date/Time=07-16-2002 – 6:14 PM]

Name:Mike Boyle EN1 USS Aquila, [Msgid=283203]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • Mike
      • You make two good points.
      • We tried underwater exhausts, for awhile. They worked, but reduced engine life due to increased back pressure.
      • Bill White

[Date/Time=07-16-2002 – 7:01 PM]

Name:Bill White, [Msgid=283226]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • I had no experience with the PHM. I do rememer the original PHM-2. It was never built. When the FRG, (Federal Republic of Germany). pulled out of the program, PHM-2 was cancelled and the whole program was put on the back burner. Our PHM fleet consisted of Pegasus PHM-1. The pile of aluminum that was to be PHM-2 was sold for scrap, as I remember.

[Date/Time=07-17-2002 – 7:19 AM]

Name:Ken Plyler, [Msgid=283386]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • Actually, Ken, PHM-2 was eventually completed, delivering in about 1983, as I recall. We also built PHM-3,-4,-5 and -6 and operated the six ships out of Key West until their decommissioning in 1993.
      • PHM-2 was actually the last PHM to deliver. For details on that strange arrangement and a summary of the whole six-ship program check out my article on the history of the PHM program on the main IHS website, at

      • .
      • You are right in saying that PHM-2’s construction was back-burnered for a while. But the “pile of aluminum that was to be PHM-2” was not sold for scrap. It was actually used (quietly) as a spare parts locker for PHM-1 until construction started up on PHM-2 again.
      • All the best,
      • George

[Date/Time=07-17-2002 – 10:55 AM]

Name:George Jenkins, [Msgid=283458]
High Speed Hydrofoil Assault Craft

      • George, it appears that you have done your homework. Anyone interested in the real PHM story should, by all means, read your PHM History. WOW! I was glued to the article. Thanks.
      • Ken Plyler

[Date/Time=07-17-2002 – 12:26 PM]

Name:Ken Plyler, [Msgid=283501]

      • Thank you, Ken — glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck on your High Speed Assault Craft —
      • George

[Date/Time=07-17-2002 – 12:55 PM]

Name:George Jenkins, [Msgid=283517]


      • I just found out the web site is down or gone I’ll figure that out. I’ve been working on the electrical systems, what a mess, as I have
      • no intention of replacing the military electronics or the monitoring systems for test purposes that were originally on board. Just figuring out what is needed and what is not is a pretty good size job. Most of my time hasn’t been spent working on the boat; due to other projects so my time is very thin right now. I’ll see what I
      • can do to get the web site located or back up or whatever is wrong there and let you know.

[Date/Time=08-25-2002 – 7:35 PM]

Name:Bob Phillips, [Msgid=300986]

      • Let me know if I can assist you with your website. I have worked with Mr. Barney Black.
      • Regards.
      • Vladimir Algin

[Date/Time=08-26-2002 – 3:27 AM]

Name:Vladimir Algin, [Msgid=301121]
Vietnam LPH-5 Info Needed

      • Do you know anything about the USS Princeton LPH-5 in the area of VietNam 1961-62-63-64? Please contact me…

[Date/Time=09-07-2002 – 6:31 AM]

Name:Mike, [Msgid=306491]

      • I was on the crew that tested


      • at Little Creek in the 1950s. It was pretty basic at that time and had to be adjusted by hand-cranking a series of small wheels that were mounted across the cockpit. It was fast but not too stable. I can’t remember who was on the crew with me, but the ride was exciting. I remember we took a trip to Patuxent Naval Air sta. on the 63 ft. Avr’s and shortly thereafter


      • arrived at our base at Little Creek. We took her out in the bay just outside the jetty and opened her up. I don’t think I ever envisioned going that fast over water? “wow” she was fast! We hit a paper bag, and the foil on the starboard side got out of trim. The boat dug in and popped back like a cork. We got thrown around but no injuries, so we continued the run. It was a blast. I believe we had it on operations at Moorhead City also, although I don’t remember just how it was used there. This picture was included in an article I wrote for the Blast Magazine, October 2001 edition.

[Date/Time=09-14-2002 – 8:22 PM]

Name:Jake McAndrew, [Msgid=309794]
Pictures if you need them


      • Hello, this is GSCS Brian Markey, I was stationed on USS GEMINI (PHM-6) from 89-92. I have pictures of the foils with the Coast Guard and the LCAC’s. I remember those crafts well. They did a hell of a job and it was a shame that they were retired. If you need any information on the SSPU’s or the LM 2500, let me know.

[Date/Time=11-07-2002 – 7:34 PM]

Name:Brian Markey, [Msgid=335073]
Pictures if you need them

      • Senior,
      • I am in the process of putting together a short presentation on PHMs for the American Society of Naval Engineers. I would very much like to include some of your pictures of PHMs with the USCG, if they can be sent to me electronically. My email address is

      • .
      • Thanks!
      • George Jenkins

[Date/Time=11-08-2002 – 9:37 AM]

Name:George Jenkins, [Msgid=335242]
Pictures if you need them

      • Senior,
      • I am in the process of putting together a short presentation on PHMs for the American Society of Naval Engineers. I would very much like to include some of your pictures of PHMs with the USCG, if they can be sent to me electronically. My email address is

      • .
      • Thanks!
      • George Jenkins

[Date/Time=11-08-2002 – 9:37 AM]

Name:George Jenkins, [Msgid=335243]
Pictures if you need them

      • Found an GE YTF-39(experimental TF-39) on E-Bay

      • Might be possibility for engine on PHM5 restoration. Take a look at the pictures. Especially the oil system and fuel manifold. Tell me what you think.

[Date/Time=11-23-2002 – 10:48 AM]

Name:Dan Schmidt, [Msgid=342359]
Attached File  “” – size 72081   Click Here To Download
Replacement GTE for PHM-5

      • Thanks, Dan, I will pass this on to Eliot James to make sure they see it immediately for PHM-5

[Date/Time=11-24-2002 – 8:43 AM]

Name:Barney C Black, [Msgid=342701]
USS Plainview (AGEH-1)


      • re: USS Plainview (AGEH-1) in the mid to late 1970’s
      • Wondering if anyone knows what ever happened to:
      • (1) Sib Lebeau, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard Pipefitter Foreman assigned to assist HYSTU and the Plainview during the overhaul / conversion that finally fixed the hydraulic system problems?
      • (2) MS1 John DeRosa the Plainview’s cook?

[Date/Time=11-26-2002 – 7:35 AM]

Name:Greg Bender, [Msgid=343547]
USS Plainview (AGEH-1)

      • Hi Greg,
      • Sib lost his eye sight and retired from PSNS. He died a few years after retirement.
      • Sumi

[Date/Time=11-27-2002 – 3:38 PM]

Name:S. Arima, [Msgid=344267]
Pictures if you need them

      • Dan,
      • —-o this is GSCS Brian Markey, I was on the USS GEMIN PHM 6 for 3 years. I am presently on the USS Carney DDG 64. The engine that you found looks fine. The egg oil system looks about right but it was mounted on the opposite side on the module wall. They might need more piping to accomodate this as an install. The fuel manifold looks fine from what I can tell in the picture.
      • Respectfully,
      • GSCS Brian Markey

[Date/Time=12-02-2002 – 3:25 PM]

Name:Brian Markey, [Msgid=345791]


      • Is the correct name of PCH-1


      • (two words) or


      • (one word)? The IHS newsletter is not consistent on this.

[Date/Time=12-30-2002 – 8:20 AM]

Name:Martin Grimm, [Msgid=356665]

      • High Point (PCH-1) is named for the city of High Point North Carolina and is two words. I retired from High Point in 1965 and recently donaterd to the city my plaque pictures etc. Dale K. Beresford, QMc, USN (ret)

[Date/Time=12-31-2002 – 2:57 PM]

Name:Dale Beresford, [Msgid=357211]
PEGASUS Crew During Development


      • I was wondering if you have or know someone who could provide me a crew list for the PHM-1 PEGASUS. My father Robert Sobota was a crew member during testing and development. Any information would help.

[Date/Time=01-29-2003 – 9:40 PM]

Name:Jamie E. Sobota, [Msgid=369328]
Re; PEGASUS Crew During Development

      • You should take a look at the correspondence on our page at


      • and see if there are any individuals there that you could contact directly for information based on what they said in their posting. Also, you might be interested in the following unfortunate notice from our announcements page:
      • [22 Dec 02] It is with regret that IHS reports the death of CDR Erich H. Ashburn, USN [Ret]. CDR Ashburn was OINC of PEGASUS throughout the Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) process.

[Date/Time=01-29-2003 – 9:42 PM]

Name:Barney C Black, [Msgid=369330]
Want a ride on Hydrofoil

      • I have been studying HYDROFOIL designs, and think I have “nailed” it. Now need to ride on someone’s craft. I live in South Florida but am willing to go anywhere in NA for an extended ride. Any one have an operating Hydrofoil Boat who can accomodate my request?

[Date/Time=06-03-2003 – 7:31 AM]

Name:Gerry Levine, [Msgid=446221]
Model of the VS-8( schell-1 )

      • New compamy with RC model of the Schell-1 hydrofoil!!
      • Als know as the VS-8!!
      • Look at:

      • Good luck modelers!!

[Date/Time=06-04-2003 – 6:16 AM]

Name:Capt M van Rijzen, [Msgid=446821]
Attached File  “” – size 50254   Click Here To Download
USS Pegasus

      • Goto

      • , you will find anumber of the old gang from various years listed under USS Pegasus

[Date/Time=06-16-2003 – 4:35 AM]

Name:steve novell (Jolly-OS1, PHM1), [Msgid=453349]
PHMRON 2 Veterans

      • 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.

[Date/Time=06-16-2003 – 4:59 AM]

Name:steve novell (Jolly-OS1, PHM1), [Msgid=453351]
Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment


      • According to a July 11, 2003 article in

Financial Times Limited

      • , which was sent in by IHS member Nat Kobitz, Titan Corp is the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) prime contractor in a USD 59.9m project to produce an all aluminum, 73 m catamaran X-Craft as a test platform. The vessel will be constructed by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Washington state. According to the article, the X-Craft will be “capable of making 50 knots at its full 1,100-ton displacement” and “will be capable of carrying its own weight in payload.” The article goes on to state that “The design philosophy is based on the requirement to carry heavy modular payloads,” and fuel for “a range of 4,000 nautical miles.”

[Date/Time=07-25-2003 – 7:28 PM]

Name:Barney C Black, [Msgid=476274]
Re; Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment

      • I hope there is no expectation within ONR that the 50 knots speed AND
      • 4000 nautical mile range will be achieved at the same time, not unless
      • the payload is Helium!?

[Date/Time=07-25-2003 – 7:30 PM]

Name:Martin Grimm, [Msgid=476278]
Re; Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment

      • I’m fairly certain that the 4,000 n miles is at 20 knots or less. The only way you can make the 4,000 miles at about 30 knots in a small ship with a 10 to 20% payload, is with HYSWAS (esecially in any kind of a sea state). I believe MAPC’s 2200 ton HYSWAS design shows this.

[Date/Time=07-25-2003 – 7:35 PM]

Name:John Meyer, [Msgid=476280]
Re; Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment


      • The HIGH L/B SES we developed after the 3Kses program in the mid 1980s (such as the Medium Dispacement Combatant MDC) came very close to this. I have studies and Model tests getting 4000 nm at 1100lt FLD at an average speed of 50 kts with two LM2500 GT or four Allison 571 GTs. This design was equipped for full ASW with LAMPS helos with hangar and Sonar system as well as Harpoon missiles. We were getting 5-6000 nm at 20 knots.
      • It is doable at 1500lt as reports show. High L/B SES with proper attention to structure limits, respond very favorably to overloading with extra fuel that usually fits easily in the sidehulls.
      • The SES 200 was modified and tested a couple of times to verify the MDC design numbers very successfully.

[Date/Time=07-25-2003 – 7:40 PM]

Name:Bill White, [Msgid=476282]
re; Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment

      • I’m sure that the selection of an SES (Raytheon-Umoe team) as one of the three LCS concepts chosen for further developement had something to do with the speed/range and draft requirements/objectives. The next phase should be interesting since it is highly likely that the other two concepts will incorporate dynamically assisted lifting technology – foils and/or lifting bodies – to try and meet the same overall performance objectives.

[Date/Time=07-28-2003 – 2:47 PM]

Name:Bill McFann, [Msgid=477526]
Re; Titan Aluminum X-Craft Experiment

      • Hi, Where can I pick up this article? Thanks Vincent

[Date/Time=07-30-2003 – 3:49 AM]

Name:vincent browne, [Msgid=478643]


      • Dear readers, I am doing my project on hydrofoil ship and really got stuck up in sizing of hydrofoil ship. Basically the hull. Please can somebody help me with it. If I can get a flow chart it would be wonderful, is it same as displacement ships, its really urgent so reply as soon as possible, you can also contact me at

      • thank you.

[Date/Time=08-04-2003 – 11:59 PM]

Name:Shankar, [Msgid=481857]

      • Shankar,
      • It would be hard to describe the sizing / design process for a hydrofoil boat via correspondence on a bulletin board as a lot of parameters would be involved. Al the same, it would be helpful to anyone who may be able to reply if you provided more specific details about your project and identify particular areas of the design you need assistance with. For example, what speed, payload, range etc do you require for the project? Is it a passenger ferry or a military patrol craft? etc.
      • The process of sizing a hydrofoil is similar to a displacement ship. When a hydrofoil is hullborne, the hull displacement has to equal the weight of the ship and its load. When foilborne, the hydrofoils instead have to carry the weight of the ship. The performance of hydrofoil vessels is fairly sensitive to weight, so an accurate weight estimate is essential, and means of keeping weight to a minimum are very desirable.
      • Usually, the best starting point for a ship design process is to work from a design that already exists and is known to work well. This is often referred to as the “basis ship”. You can do the same for a hydrofoil. For example, if you wanted to develop a design for a 40 knot 250 passenger hydrofoil with a range of 200 nautical miles, you could get a copy of “Jane’s High-Speed Marine Transportation” and look through that until you found a hydrofoil with similar performance. For this example, the Rodriquez Foilmaster at 38 knots and seating 240 passengers would be a close match. To get the two knots extra speed, you now have to bump up the installed engine power from the 2x 2000 kW Diesels that are fitted to the “basis ship”. You also have to increase the passenger deck area a little to accommodate 10 extra passengers and so on. At least you have a starting point in terms of the overall dimensions and arrangement from which you can make changes as you find are necessary. Starting with a clean sheet of paper is far more difficult and means you will need to go around the “design spiral” far more times until you converge on a design that meets the requirements you set for it.
      • The nearest I can think of to a flow chart for a hydrofoil design process would be the code that is embedded in the “HANDE” program for development of hydrofoil concept designs which had been prepared by the US Defense Department. There is newer code than “HANDE” available now, but it wouldn’t be readily available. Some papers have been written about “HANDE” and how it works, but I guess you are not in the business of trying to re-write such a program in time to support your project?!
      • Good luck with the project.

[Date/Time=08-05-2003 – 8:49 AM]

Name:Martin Grimm, [Msgid=481992]
Sizing of Hydrofoil


      • Actually I am doing my project in Hydrofoil Missile craft, I am at present stuck on the initial sizing of the hydrofoil craft. I would be really greatful if you can provide information on the weights of different weight groups of already built or designed hydrofoil crafts. The details of my project are
      • displacement : 250 t
      • max speed : 55 knots
      • endurance : 600 knotical miles in foil borne mode

[Date/Time=08-08-2003 – 5:05 PM]

Name:Shankar Swaminathan, [Msgid=484412]
Re; Sizing of Hydrofoil

      • The particulars of your hydrofoil are not very different to the Patrol Hydrofoil Missile (PHM) once operated by the US Navy. >From the 1978 issue of Jane’s Surface Skimmers, the following information is given regarding the PHM:
      • Full Load Displacement = 235 tonnes
      • Foilborne Range = in excess of 500 Nautical Miles
      • Speed = in excess of 40 knots in 8-12 ft seas.
      • More information about the PHM can be found in early copies of Jane’s Surface Skimmers which should be available in your library. Some details of the PHM are also contained on the IHS website.
      • As I have never designed a hydrofoil myself, I don’t have any weight breakdown for such a craft or anything similar. It is possible that there is some information about weight breakdowns for hydrofoils in the February 1985 issue of Naval Engineers Journal (see details below) which covered the features of hydrofoils in quite good detail, including design and production of the PHM. Perhaps you can obtain a copy of that Journal at your library? I don’t have it myself. To re-scale any weight data you find from one size of hydrofoil to another, I could suggest you use “Fundamentals of Naval Surface Ship Weight Estimating”, a technical paper which was also once published in a copy of Naval Engineers Journal. Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the authors of that paper or which issue of the Journal that it appeared in.
      • Naval Engineers Journal, Volume 97, Number 2, February 1985. ISSN 0028-1425. Published by the American Society of Naval Engineers, Inc. (ASNE). This special edition features comprehensive reviews of a range of ‘advanced naval vehicles’, including hydrofoils, Surface Effect Ships (SES), Wing-in-Ground Effect (WIG) craft, Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV), Small Waterplane Area Twin Hulls (SWATH), planing hulls, and modern monohulls. This is an ideal source of background information in considering the merits of different craft types for particular roles.
      • Regarding design flow charts in your follow up message, I am sorry I do not have any such charts myself.

[Date/Time=08-08-2003 – 5:07 PM]

Name:Martin Grimm, [Msgid=484414]
historical justification

      • Try connecting with boeing and their work on the Highpoint and the continued evolution the Tarus class represent. Also research the very active role the PHM’s had during the Hatian/Cuban boat people crisis. The exploits of the PHMs during the war on drugs until they were decommisioned. Don’t forget the role of coastal patrol around Grenada. Request deck logs from the Naval Arcives under the freedom of information act and you should be able to get enough information from these areas. Uther items of interest are the innovative use of electronic charts introduced with HYCATS. This is probably the precursor to the current use of digital charts on most commercial and military vessals in the US.

[Date/Time=08-12-2003 – 2:34 AM]

Name:Brian Stone, [Msgid=486298]


      • The PHM’s were a proud and unusually tight-knit community of sailors. They were excellent ships, killed before their time by a short-sighted Navy bureaucracy. I was privileged to serve as XO of PHM-3, and think back on those days with great pride. USS TAURUS was a great ship, with a fantastic crew, and an enviable operational record. She was the best of the lot, more reliable than most and often called upon to pick up commitments missed by broken siblings. No brag, just fact. From 1988-1990, she busted a lot of dope, and quickly saved the five survivors of a USCS helicopter crash in bad weather at night during a high-speed pursuit (which she was engaged in at the time.) She subsequently acted as SAR On-scene Commander of an eight-ship and multi-aircraft search group for the next 16 hours, winning the USCG MUC for that excellent performance. She also rescued several Cuban refugees from the Florida Straits. In 1988, her forward foil nose cone broke off in heavy seas due to repeated overstressing of the mounting tangs, caused by an immature and rash CO frequently hard turning and rapid landing her in fits of boyish abandon. A new nose cone was fabricated at Runyan Shipyard, Pensacola, FL out of 4″ thick aluminum plate stock, and machined/welded/bent into shape. Other units of the class showed early symptoms of these stresses when inspected after the casualty, but it failed first on TAURUS for the reasons stated above. Ask any crew member from 1989 about being beaten severely by the anchor while foilborne at midnight off Panama in 15+ foot seas! She won the PHMRON-2 Battle “E” during that extended competitive cycle, and rightly so. Am I proud of her crew and her record? You bet.
      • David Lloyd
      • LCDR, USNR (ret.)

[Date/Time=01-03-2004 – 6:02 AM]

Name:David Lloyd, [Msgid=566066]

      • Oops, nose fairing casualty was 1989, not 1988.

[Date/Time=01-03-2004 – 2:01 PM]

Name:David Lloyd, [Msgid=566210]

      • FYI The Uss Aries still lives.

      • Pictures of PHM(3,4or6)conversion to Yacht
[Date/Time=01-04-2004 – 7:01 AM]

Name:Dan Schmidt, [Msgid=566442]
 Image Attached:  “Phm-5.jpg”   Click Here To View

      • “Give me a fast ship for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
      • John Paul Jones would have loved to have any one of the PHMs under his command! All the ships were a bit unique and tempermental, and each crew loved theirs the most. Being from the Gemini crew I am pretty partial to her, but IMHO serving on any of the PHMs was better than being on any other surface combatant.
      • Besides a PHM, only the sight of one of the Battleships passing close aboard would pull the crew out of their racks to line the rails on whatever warship they were on, just to get a glimpse of a PHM flying past.
      • It was a funny thing to encounter another PHM at sea. At first, all you could see would be a white smudge on the horizon. As she got closer slowly this gray form would take shape, perched atop this mountain of white froth. As she passed, the wake kicked up by the aft struts, combined with the main propulsor output, left a clear indication with the dramatic rooster tail of foam that something special had just flown by. Nothing else like them. Very sad that they are gone. If you served on a PHM you will really enjoy a visit to the last one left in Brunswick, MO.
      • Very respectfully,
      • Jon Coile
      • former LT, USN
      • Chief Engineer
      • USS GEMINI (PHM 6)

[Date/Time=01-05-2004 – 10:56 AM]

Name:Jon Coile, [Msgid=566857]
RC PHM-1 Pegasus

      • I am in the process of undertaking the construction of a 6′ Radio Controlled PHM-1 Pegasus. My father was a Chief (ETC Nosek was his rate I believe) on the first crew, and I stood on the pier as a 9 year old kid on her first arrival to Key West. (Man, how the Coast Guard scratched their heads when she broke the horizon!) I would like to know if anyone has a copy of schematics, or technical drawings for her or the others. Due to the fact that she’s gone and I’ll never see her fly again, I want to build one that will. Also, since some of the correspondance on your pages are dated, what ever came of the others that were due to be scrapped. Are there anymore out there. Feel free to contact me at

      • . Thanks, TDM

[Date/Time=03-04-2004 – 3:54 PM]

Name:T.D. Mehl, [Msgid=607826]
PHM-1 Pegasus


      • Gentlemen,
      • Progress has come along nicely on the 6’6″ PHM-1 Pegasus. I know have a 24″ wide 6’9″ block of foam in order to to start shaping the Pegasus. I have secured the required HydroJet engines to push the boat once she is 14.4″ out of the water. I will build her out of carbon fiber. If the real Pegasus would do 60-70mph, I won’t rest until mine will do at least that! I have the radar guns ready. I will supply pictures once ready of the boat as she progresses. If I get a RC hydrofoil to do 70mph she make the cover of magazines, everybody get ready for the stir! Anyone here remember my Dad? ETCS Lawrence Nosek, he was a Class in Bremerton, then picked up Cheif, and Snr Chf before we left Key West in approx.’83. Thanks, and all of your suggestions, and pointers have beem most helpful. Thanks, Troy Mehl

[Date/Time=03-17-2004 – 12:30 AM]

Name:T.D. Mehl, [Msgid=615561]
Ships That Fly

      • To All Fellow Hydrofoilers;
      • About 10 years ago I collected a lot of material about hydrofoils and put it all together in a book called Ships That Fly. It became a story of the modern hydrofoil covering the early days of hydrofoil inventors and experimenters and taking the reader through over 150 pictures and illustrations of hydrofoils leading to those of recent years. I recently had the pages of the book scanned and put in a pdf file and placed on a CD that is being offered for sale.
      • You will note that Chapter 6, The US Navy Fleet Hydrofoil-PHM, ends with a very optimistic view of PHMs in the current US Navy, and larger hydrofoils in its future. However, this was not to be. Several years following the completion of my book, Ships That Fly, there were events surrounding the US Navy PHM program that are described in an Addendum to Chapter 6. All six PHM ships were decommissioned on July 30, 1993. This was the only time the US Navy has decommissioned an entire class of ships on the same day. This addendum describes some of the events leading to this sad day for the US Navy and the hydrofoil community. Also, documented are the many attempts to save the Ship, the day of the ceremony, attempts to save the ships even after the decommissioning, and finally the subsequent disposal of the ships and their status today.
      • I also collected a series of over 140 hydrofoil pictures and illustrations, and created a Hydrofoil Slide Show, entitled: A Century of Hydrofoil Development.
      • All three of these files are on the CD. To find out more, log onto:

      • Best regards,
      • John Meyer
[Date/Time=03-17-2004 – 4:57 PM]

Name:John R. Meyer, [Msgid=616016]
Re; PHM-1 Pegasus

      • I knew your father. He was assigned to Training when I got to Key West in ’82. He taught classes on the PHM unique Electronics such as the SPS-63 radar. He was also the resident ACS expert(knew the ACS roadmap like the back of his hand).

[Date/Time=04-19-2004 – 3:24 PM]

Name:Chuck Shannon, [Msgid=633466]
Plainview Vet

      • I found this forum on a Google search after I came across the Plainview’s hulk on a recent vacation. As a member of the last active crew (Operations Specialist) I was shocked when I sighted the instantly recognizable hulk while driving west along the Columbia enroute to the Oregon coast. I pulled the car over and managed to get down a mud slick bank on a windy and rainy day to confirm that it was the Plainview. I was able to climb up the tail strut mount and board the ship, it is in sad shape. There are holes and tears in the aluminum hull and superstructure. The tail foil is laying on the mudflats aft of the ship. What a sad end to a once marvel of engineering. Although the Plainview suffered many problems as documented on this forum (mainly transmission and hydraulic systems) when it was fully operational it was an amazing ride. I personally can attest to experiencing 65 knots as a member of the navigation watch during one trail. It literally flew. Thanks for maintaining this website and answering my questions as to how this happened.

[Date/Time=04-22-2004 – 1:56 AM]

Name:Michael Temple, [Msgid=634838]
GEH1 Plainview being scrapped


      • From the Chinook Observer, Wed. May 19 with permission:
      • Derelict Ship Being Scrapped
      • A landmark along WA SR 401 will soon be a thing of the past. The Giant Experimental Hydrofoil 1 (PlainView), at 200 feet, the world?s largest aluminum ship when it was launched in 1969, is being dismantled for scrap by its owners, the Stambaugh family.

[Date/Time=05-24-2004 – 1:48 PM]

Name:Bob Cline, [Msgid=653124]
 Image Attached:  “hydrofoil_Plainview_scrapped.jpg”   Click Here To View
Re; GEH1 Plainview being scrapped

      • Don’t know which is more painful…seeing the old battle-ready Plainview sitting in the mudflats or having it disappear entirely. With its passing, the memories of the Navy’s hydrofoil program will get a little dimmer. When will they go out entirely?
      • Greg Bender
      • Plainview Chief Engineer ’75-’77

[Date/Time=05-25-2004 – 6:50 AM]

Name:Greg Bender, [Msgid=653536]
Re; GEH1 Plainview being scrapped

      • Thanks for providing this notice. For those who do not know, the IHS site has archived posted messages, photos, history, etc. about this ship at


      • .

[Date/Time=05-31-2004 – 7:52 AM]

Name:Barney C Black, [Msgid=656319]
AGEH-1 Plainview Plans

      • Hello, I am looking for ship builder plans, or scale views/profiles of the U.S.S Plainview hydrofoil ship. I have looked around alot, and have yet to even come across some simple line drawings of the hull. Can anyone help me please? I am considering doing a radio controlled model, but would like to look over a few of the ones that had been done. I was going to do a PHM-1, but it wasn’t very practical on such limited resources. The Plainview looks more practical, but I would like to see it in views/scale profiles to the scale(s) I would need before considering it completely. Any help please? Thank you much! -James H.

[Date/Time=07-17-2004 – 10:49 PM]

Name:James H., [Msgid=681311]


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International Hydrofoil Society Correspondence Archives…

(More FLAGSTAFF Photos are in the Gallery)
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(Revised 8 Feb 03)

Beginning in 1952, the US Navy sponsored a research & development program to construct & evaluate a number of hydrofoil test-craft. As a result of this program, in April 1966, the Navy’s Bureau of Ships awarded contracts for two competing hydrofoil gunboats, the PGH-1 to the Grumman Corporation, and the PGH-2 to the Boeing Company. The PGH-1 was completed in March 1968 and christened FLAGSTAFF in honor of Flagstaff, Arizona. She completed acceptance trials and was delivered to the Navy Amphibious Force Pacific on November 7, 1968. In November 1969, FLAGSTAFF was transported to South Vietnam and deployed as a patrol craft for river operations out of Danang in Operation Market Time. In 1970, after completing her Vietnam tour, she was returned to San Diego for operations with Boat Support Unit One, Amphibious Forces Pacific.

On November 4, 1974, she was loaned to the U. S. Coast Guard on the West Coast for a period of testing to evaluate the utility of a hydrofoil craft as a Coast Guard cutter. This testing continued until February 1975 when FLAGSTAFF was returned to the Navy.

On September 29, 1976, the Coast Guard again took possession of FLAGSTAFF to enable the Service to do a long-term evaluation in an actual operational environment. The ship was dispatched to Boston, MA where she underwent repairs and cold weather modifications. On March 2, 1977, at the Coast Guard Support Center in Boston, wearing Coast Guard colors, FLAGSTAFF was formally commissioned as the Coast Guard cutter (WPGH-1). Lt. Terrance Hart assumed command of the cutter and her crew of 12 enlisted personnel. On July 17, 1977 she was placed in active status and home-ported in Woods Hole, MA. She operated out of her homeport for a period of 16 months. As part of the Coast Guard Fleet, FLAGSTAFF performed duties of law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and enforcement in the new 200-mile fisheries economic zone.

FLAGSTAFF was decommissioned on September 30, 1978. This decision was based, in part, on the cost of needed repairs and the fact that the Coast Guard felt that sufficient information on the use of hydrofoil craft had been derived from the evaluation program.

FLAGSTAFF and the other Navy R&D hydrofoil ships and craft served to lay a solid technology foundation for the design and deployment of a squadron of six Navy Patrol Hydrofoil Missile (PHM) ships that were later built by Boeing.

FLAGSTAFF Characteristics

  • Length………….………………73 feet
  • Beam…………………..…….…21.5 feet
  • Draft, Foils Retracted…….……4 feet, 4 inches
  • Draft, Foils Extended…………18 feet
  • Displacement………………..…69.5 long tons
  • Design Speed, foilborne…….…45 knots
  • Design Speed, hullborne………..8 knots
  • Propulsion Systems:
    • Hullborne: Two General Motors Diesels with waterjet pumps.
    • Foilborne: Rolls Royce Tyne gas turbine with super-cavitating propeller.

Wm. M. Ellsworth, P.E.

The US Coast Guard first evaluated FLAGSTAFF from Nov 74 thru Feb 75

USCG Official Photos  

In Sep 76, USCG again took possession of FLAGSTAFF


Condition of FLAGSTAFF

[18 Jul 00] I have viewed FLAGSTAFF and shot 4 rolls of film. The ship is in very good condition. Does not have 2 diesels for generators, 2 main diesels for propulsion or the jet drive units for HB operation. The turbine is present and seems untouched since it was surplused. The flagstaff only has one turbine. At the time it didn’t occur to me to get the numbers off its data plate. The hull/deck is sandblasted 85%. The plumbing has been completed about 80%. The wiring needs a good electrician but the majority is intact. Foils are in good shape, although the rear foil might need a bearing housing. Front foils have minor rust. John Altoonian (father) accomplished quite a bit. Sand blasting, cleaning and painting would be very light except for the propulsion room, generator/jet drive room and manual hydraulic room. For the money asked, US$30,000.00, the ship is worth at least that. Unfortunately, Mr. Altoonian (son) has set a firm 1 Aug 00 scrapping date. — Duane A. Leiker, Pres/CEO; International Submarine Museum, 4230 Trumbo Ct.; Fairfax VA 22033; phone: (703) 359-7266 (

Classic Thunder…

[18 Aug 98, updated 22 Nov 00] Just noticed that FLAGSTAFF is being sold as a partnership and will be used as a promotional gimmick for boat shows and races on the East Coast of the USA. — Ken Plyler ( [project discontinued due to death of the owner – Editor]


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Letters and photos are the property of their authors and photographers. No reproduction in any form is permitted without permission, which may be requested by contacting IHS at the above address.

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 CorrespondenceClick Here to read a history of the PHM Program by George Jenkins
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(Last Update: February 12, 2015)


Click on Your Choice Below, or… Scroll Down to Browse

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) (

Response…[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) (

Response…[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 8×10 photos please let me know. — Steve Stratton(

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Response…[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

Response…[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

Responses…[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:

  • ET1 Ferdinand Rezecka: Left the 3 boat and made me gap his billet. I hated it at first but it changed my life!! Thanks Ferd. Loved your Fiero!
  • LT CDR Vincent P. Mocini (CO PHM-3): Probably one of the most influential character in my life.
  • LT CDR Kelly Plate (XO PHM-3): Heard he had his Own Command on a DDG. (No Finger Prints!). Thanks for everything!
  • LT Steve (Combat Systems Officer on Taurus) Said he was going to a seminary. Excellent man!!! (My biggest advocated Ever!) THANKS!!!!!!!!!
  • ETC Doug Couch: Loved your boat!
  • ETC/S Wilbur Hawkins, Should be a high paid Psychologist by now
  • ET2 Keith Chothier Called me “PoDunk,” which I think was derived from somewhere between Poor Old & Petty Officer Dunk!
  • ET2 Chuck Shannon: Knew everything! Hope he made it though (9/11/01)
  • ET3/2 Lester Andresen: Hey Buddy!
  • Gunners Mate Chief Robert Adams: Who made Warrant Officer. Bob was a Plank Owner onboard Taurus as a 2nd Class. Bob made Warrant before he left. Bob was a Viet Nam Vet and had a PT boat shot out from under him. I remember grabbing his toe; shacking it; and running as I woke him for watch.
  • EMC George Driver: (Flammo) Taught me the engineering plant on the Taurus. I still remember Monsarate and $40 worth of Banana flavored Rum Milk Shakes. Or was that Bob Adams?
  • ET3 Earl Vermilion? (Vern) Beer
  • ET3 Bob Olef? (New Jersey) We went to “A” School together, Our Wives gave birth 2 days apart in Great Lakes, IL. 5/5/83(Bob Jr.) and 5/7/83 (Zachary N.)
  • ET3 Jeff Johnson: Do you still race cars, and what ever happen to your wife?
  • ET3 Carter?: Hope you found what you we’re looking for.
  • ET1 Randy

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 (

Response…[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:

Response…[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 (

Response…[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:

  • Plank Owner and Chief Engineer of High Point. 1962 – 1966
  • Plank Owner and Chief Engineer of TUCUMCARI. 1968 -1969
  • Employed by Sea Flite, Hawaii. (3) Boeing 929 Jetfoils. 1974 – 1978
  • Employed by Turismo Margarita, Venezuela. (2) Boeing 929 Jetfoils. 1978 – 1979

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

Response…[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 (

Responses…[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 area….red 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:

  • The “Es” are annual awards for efficiency made to ships for outstanding performance during the year. They are competitive award and is based at least in part on performance in certain standardized exercises and inspections.
  • The white E is the overall battle efficiency award and pertains to the whole ship. It is painted on the superstructure and stays there for a year until the next year’s award is made. Subsequent awards are indicated by a “hash mark” (small diagonal stripe) under the E. Personnel attached to the ship — and the ship itself — are awarded a ribbon signifying the achievement.
  • The other Es are departmental awards signifying competitive achievements by one or more of the ship’s “departments.” (Engineering, Operations, Combat Systems, Supply, etc.) These Es are different colors – red for engineering, blue for supply (I think! Memory fails me). There is no corresponding ribbon award.
  • The “campaign ribbons” you are mention are actually awards given to the ship for unusual and praiseworthy service. ARIES holds the following awards (Name of award/Dates of service encompassed by the award):
    • Joint Meritorious Unit Award: 6 Apr 92–30 Apr 92
    • Navy “E” Award: 1 Apr 86 — 31 Sep 86; 1 Jan 92 — 31 Dec 92 (2 Awards)
    • Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation: 1 Nov 85 — 28 Feb 86; 1 Oct 86 — 30 Jun 87 (2 awards)
    • Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation: 12 Jun 87– 1 Aug 87
    • Coast Guard SOS Ribbon: 1 Oct 87 — 31 Dec 87; 1 Jan 90 — 31 Mar 90 (2 awards)
  • Second and subsequent awards are represented by a small gold star on the basic ribbon
  • These awards are shown in the order of their “precedence.” The most senior ribbon (JMU) goes on the upper left as you look at it, the most junior (USCG SOS) on the lower right.

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 (

Responses…[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 ( (

Responses…[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:

  • PHM – PM Magazine Clip
  • PHM Drug Operations
  • PHM – “Ship Whose Time Has Come”
  • PHM – Key West
  • PHM-1 “Rough Water Trials”
  • PHM Granada Deployment
  • PHM Last Flight (All six in formation)

— 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.

  • Most notable has been the replacing of the two temporary deck mounted diesel gen-sets, (one 60 cycle, one 400 cycle) with a single 60 cycle, 150 KW John Deere powered Kohler set in the location once occupied by the very fuel hungry turbine powered generator in the aft most compartment of the platform deck, Aux. Machinery room No.3. Future plans are to install a much smaller genset in Aux. Machinery No.1 for low load times. The 400-cycle power is being supplied from 3 variable frequency drives. One of which drives the panel powering all ventilation fans forward of the diesel/pump machinery room so that they can be slowed down independent of the rest of the 400-cycle system. We have found that these fans move a lot of air at high speed, subsequently they are very power hungry and noisy. By reducing the speed with a VFD to 200 Hz, it substantially reduces both. The reduced settings are more than adequate for nearly 80% of operations.
  • We have mounted, and are in the process of installing a 10hp 60cycle seawater pump. By running this motor on its own VFD, and tying in the seawater pressure sensor, we can have closed loop control. Originally, seawater which is restricted with orifices at each piece of machinery to control flow, was left pumping overboard. With the closed loop control maintaining the pressure, when we shut the overboarding valves at the engines, or other coolers that are not being used, the pump will run at a lower speed, reducing power requirements. Another advantage of VFDs is that the current to start each motor can be reduced to no more than it’s full load amps instead of the usual 5 times that much. We will be able to start any load with the exception of the 60-hp hyd. Pump, with a 30kw genset. I expect that we will be able to reduce fuel consumption when moored to about 2.5 gal. per hour, underway, at 12 knots consumption will be approx. 52 gph.
  • We also mounted a hydraulic crane where the starboard set of Harpoons was mounted. We have used this crane to remove the old gensets, and install the new one. It will be very useful in off loading the launch. One main pain in the butt on the trip home!
  • The galley is operational, as is the head. We don’t have much fresh water capacity, but will be adding some tanks until we put the desalinator back on line. We have bought a new computer and 4 screens, one a LCD touch screen for the pilot interface, a second LCD for the co-pilot spot as well as two down in CIC for the navigation station. This is basically our IBS (Integrated Bridge System). Now we have a lot of programming to do.
  • The original hydraulic system was powered when foilborne by four pumps mounted on the foilborne gearbox, and hullborne by four pumps mounted on the SSPUs. Since we removed the SSPUs we mounted one pump on a 25hp electric motor which runs system 4a, (aft system, including steering and trust reversers, rear foil, as well as the crane). We are currently mounting a 60hp electric motor to a pump to run system 1a, (forward system, including bow thruster, capstan, and forward foil). This will complete the hydraulic system to sufficient degree that we can raise and lower the foils as well as operate all other systems hullborne as well as all systems when we are able to go foilborne.

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 (

Responses…[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:

  • Naval Transformation push from Congress and OSD and now N76 in OPNAV starting an initiative on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) under the re-structuring of DD 21
  • Recent business relationships put into place by Bollinger and Bender to build Incat and Austal designs in the US
  • Army plans for near-term procurement of Theatre Logistics Vessel (40 knot catamarans) (Press Release: Click Here)
  • Joint lease of Incat and III MEF lease of Austal (Photos: Marines Loading and Inside WestPac Express; Press Release: Click Here )

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 (

Response…[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:

  • This is the first real winter we have had here in Missouri for a few years and it has been a real pain as far as tending the ARIES. We were ice bound in a low river for several weeks, actually about 8 inches of ice let us walk completely around the ship, at one point, the pressure on the hullborne jet nozzles caused a small leak that sealed back up when we freed and kept free the nozzles from the ice. I have attached a picture of our tender we use to work on the ship. It is the amphibious portion of a MAB, (mobil assault bridge). When the ice thawed and it begins to rain the river floods, which brings down drift that pulls the anchors we use to keep the ship away from the bank of the river, this lets the ship drift in, then when the water recedes the ship can hang up on the bank. So we use the MAB to pull it out and keep the drift clear of the bow among other things. The picture of the ship shows the drift that was stuck between the ship and bank which we had to remove before the water started to go down.
  • We were approached by a company that wanted to use the ship in a movie, they seemed very interested and had a really interesting script but this project seems to have stalled as we were supposed to hear something by January and didn’t. So we are back to establishing a non profit organization. We are applying for, and been told we are welcome to, the Historic Naval Ships Association ( as an Associate member. It is quite an organization that it seems will be very helpful in helping us establish an organization for the preservation and rehabilitation of the ARIES. Next is the establishment of a non-profit organization and applying for tax exempt status, this will let donations be tax deductible. From there, plans are to apply for accreditation with the American Association of Museums (AAM) as well as being listed in the National Register as a National Historic Landmark. I have obtained the definitions and standards from the US Department of the Interior, National Maritime Initiative and I believe we meet enough of the National Register criteria. This would open up a lot of opportunities including qualifying for grants for the preservation and rehabilitation process. We continue to be frustrated at the ineffectiveness of our FOIA requesting copies of the SOOMs that we know to exist. We have been trying since September ’97 and what we have so far is that the documents while they do exist, and are of no use to anyone other than us, in fact should have been thrown away long ago since the only applicable ships are long gone, are still stuck behind a wall of red tape. If anyone has any idea how we can get our hands on the SOOMs, or know of anyone to talk to about same, please let me know. We are working on being ready for hullborne cruising this summer and and hitting some of the larger waterfront events to sell tours of the ship to help put fuel in the tanks so that next fall we can venture south. We hope to obtain dockage someplace a lot warmer than Missouri for next winter! — Elliot S. James (

Update on PHM Ex-ARIES

[15 Mar 00] Here is an update:

  • We have been working on an Integrated Bridge System (IBS). We are creating our own due to the lack of knowledge of commercially available systems. This will enable one person to monitor all ship functions, conning, and navigation from the bridge, the navigation station, or EOS. Our experience is based on industrial automation and “Man Machine Interfacing” (MMI). The commercially available marine control units that I have seen, electronic steering systems or engine control for instance, have all been based on this technology but often use proprietary hardware packaged in a nice enclosure and carried an astronomical price tag with less functionality.
  • We have solved a big hurdle in power generation. there are about 40 different 400 hz motors on the ship from fuel pumps to vent fans as well as nearly that many florescent 400 hz lights. These units save significant space and weight above commercially available 60 hz units , are far superior in construction (and should be for the price of new ones), are cheap on the surplus market because few others use them, and most importantly, are all in place, and in good working order. The challenge has been in constructing a power plant to power both the 400 hz as well as the new 60 hz loads. We had quotes on having inverters built but the cost was nearly $150,000.00. All the surplus motor generators we have found are for lower voltage and are extremely heavy. We were just about settled on building a custom gearbox to drive 2 generator ends from one diesel engine. Again, we found our answer in our own industry. Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) have been in use to change speed of 3 phase motors for many years. They are made to ramp up and down but if we compensate with a large enough unit, we can drop motors on and off line with no problem, we consulted the factory on this and while they never heard of using a VFD for a power supply and they were a little tentative in saying it was OK, their engineer could not give any reason that it wouldn’t work fine. We purchased a small one (off of no less) that would go up to 400 hz. It is rated for 20 kva and only weighs about 40 lb. We took the 400 lb. 12 kva motor generator and the 200 lb. of transformers (needed to boost output to 440 volts), that run basic ship systems, (lights, fresh water pumps etc.) off line and wired in the VFD. In testing it works great. These units are made for integrating into MMIs and will be far easier to incorporate to the IBS that any other unit. New, a unit to run the entire ship 400 hz equipment would cost $50,300.00, but because these are so prolific in industry, I have found 2, three year old units for $5,000.00 each and think I can do better. I can enclose them in a NEMA 12,stainless steel, enclosure and be far more “marinized” than what was originally aboard.
  • The lights still hum at that high freq. but being a VFD we can “tune” the resonance out and quiet them a bit so they are now quieter than when we used the generator. We have not been able to tune out the hum from the lighting isolation transformers that change 440 v 400 hz to 110 v 400 hz. Since the VFD is not quite as “clean” as a generator, the resonance moves in and out between the three transformers like three flutes almost in tune with each other. There is no extra heat building up, just noisy. Is there another way to quiet the hum in the transformers?
  • We are mounting the hydraulic pumps on electric motors. By running them through their own VFDs. we can reduce idle horsepower requirements as well as add the ability to have a fully variable bow thruster instead of just on or off as it was originally (again through the MMI). One of the major advantages to this approach is that instead of building a custom diesel power unit, we can use a common commercially available 60 hz. gen. set. — Elliot James (

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 calling the job: “The PEGASUS Project.” The decision has been made that we will not attempt to completely restore the ship to flying condition before sailing again. While we will constantly work toward that goal, and no work will be done that would need undone in order to fly, we want to restore the ship in all other aspects first. Then we will schedule some sailing time to help us “keep the faith” as well as generate some outside interest in sponsors. No doubt there is nothing like the sight of this ship moving through the water to generate questions; where there are people asking questions there is interest.
  • Currently we are designing shipboard power generation. Nearly all the power used on this ship is 400 cycle. There are far too many of these specialized motors all ready installed not to use 400 hz power. We have spares and while the aerospace quality parts are super expensive if we had to buy new, they are a relative bargain surplus since most people haven’t a clue what 400 hz means. We are leaning toward replacing the 250 kw turbine units that gulp about 50 gph whether they are loaded or not with 855T Cummins power connected to a custom gearbox that will drive a high speed 400 cycle generator as well as high speed 60 cycle generator along with a hydraulic pump. The high speed generators (4000 to 6000 rpm) will allow us to keep the package as small as possible to help compensate for the larger engine. The Cummins is large but very reliable and economical to buy, rebuild and maintain. After conceiving this plan we happened upon a genset that utilizes this very idea, a ground power unit that supplies 400 hz, 60 hz, and 28 VDC to idle aircraft. This unit uses a 6 cyl horizontally opposed Lycoming aircraft gas engine but we may be able to use parts. The HVAC system will be converted to 60 hz. and will be the only large addition to the minimal 60 hz equipment currently on board. Can someone tell me the effects that 400 hz has on resistive loads? Nearly all of the resistive loads aboard our PHM (i.e. heaters) are 400 hz but appear and test out with an ohm meter common to 60 hz figures for similar power requirements. While inductive loads like transformers and motors obviously rely on frequency is there any reason 60 hz resistive loads and 400 hz resistive loads can not be interchanged? As for circuit breakers, we examined both the 400 and 60 hz and can find no real difference. I am having trouble finding information on the when, where, why, and how to use 400 cycle power and would be grateful for any info.
  • As it turns out there is not enough of the original Automatic Control System (ACS) left to restore. Given current advancements in PC based controls coupled with PLCs in not only industrial automation but marine technology as covered in recent IHS articles, this is becoming less of an obstacle. While we have the hydraulic actuators, I understand that electric actuation is becoming more popular? Any thoughts?

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:

  • Is the idea of using base hull for a pleasure craft conversion nuts?
  • Can hull withstand (Cajun shrimper budget bottom Job method) of dragging onto shore via greased Hhriz. pylons for rails like we do shrimpboat bottom jobs for restore. Sure to make the locals in Grand Isle talk.
  • Doubt it will ever fly but very interested in your limp home PLC nav and control package.
  • What would you do different in getting it home, details, planning, and logistics to expect if I prove foolish enough to attempt this project.

— 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 (

Responses…[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 (

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Response…[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.

  • A trial plan was established and funded to use an IBM PC, original 8086 type with about a 10mb hard disk and D to A and A to D converters to tie into the HIGH POINT ACS. The HIGH POINT ACS maintained the ability to take over control by default relay switching when the control output voltage comparison varied over a set limit. The algorithms were programmed to be exactly like the analog ACS. I believe it was written in Basic and compiled. All sensors and hydraulic servos work with voltage. The synchros use the three R leads with voltage application or output on the other two points. This can be converted to providing positioning digitally by sampling the voltage levels. At one time, some companies provided cards to convert synchro signals for digital use. Very few sensors used by the ACS require high sampling rates, therefore processing speed does not appear to be a problem. HIGH POINT actuators do not have the dual system as I believe the PHM has. The complexity of the ACS algorithms increases with the PHM system. The retired ACS engineer thought with the modules containing the major circuits of the ACS, you would probably be far ahead to refurbish the analog system, than to try to program and interface the computer with the existing hydraulic servos and feedback sensors. He felt regardless of neglect, the modules would most likely be useable with just a solvent bath. The wire wrap and connectors probably will need more maintenance. Manuals were written that provided test points and readings in the checkout of the ACS.
  • As for the height sensor, the radar unit was a standard TRT aircraft altimeter with a modification to provide an output of 100 mv / ft instead of the standard 4 mv / ft. A schematic of this modification was provided in the technical manuals for the radar unit. These altimeters are used in many military and commercial aircraft. The radar unit with its coded pulse proved to be impervious to outside signals, thus provided a better reliability. The sonic units provided satisfactory indication to the ACS for height control under normal flight. The sonic units were susceptible to outside noise, such as gun fire and susceptible to jamming. Originally, Boeing designed cut out circuits to maintain height stability when known noise was encountered. Thus, the sonic units should provide you satisfactory flight under most conditions. I suppose you heard of the ship broaching when the toilet was flushed. Again, the output of the height sensor is a voltage level. Sampling of the voltage level is the only input necessary as part of the programming for the PC.
  • All of the ACS factory test equipment was turned over to Kawasaki when the Jetfoil design was licensed to them. I do not know if Kawasaki is still using the Boeing analog equipment or have replaced the ACS with their own design of current state of the art. They might be able to provide some support in getting the ACS in operational condition.As Head of the Hydrofoil Special Trials Unit, most of my involvement in these projects was from an administrative position. With my engineering background, I tried to keep the engineers honest by asking questions and following the progress, but did not get involved in the day-to-day details of design. Again, my inputs to you are from memory which occurred over 10 years ago. — Sumi Arima (


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 (

Response…[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

Response…[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 (

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

  • Before buying one of the remaining PHMs, please be sure that you can get the foils. My understanding is that these were removed from all but one of the PHMs, and that vessel has been bought by one of our members B.J. Meinhardt. Although the ship’s are aluminum hulled, the foils are a 17-4ph precipitation hardened steel… impossible to recreate if they do not exist… also tricky to weld-repair if they still do exist (you would need to get a copy of the weld repair procedure). The ships were also stripped of their LM2500 gas turbine main propulsion engines. However, the Navy must have many of these stockpiled now due to mass decommissioning of ships, so it should be possible to get one surplus for a reasonable price. IHS could possibly give you some leads to follow up on there, if you are seriously interested.
  • You should read about the efforts of BJ Meinhardt and Elliot James to restore the PHM they bought. This includes technical discussions of various types and discussions of where to get documentation. Look at both the new/uncategorized section as well as the PHM section of these posted messages. You may want to collaborate with these two individuals, or at least “pick their brains” for lessons learned from their efforts to date.
  • Technical data and drawings are hard to come buy… Both Boeing and the NAVSEA Project Office turned their data over to the government for storage, and probably some or all of it has been routinely purged by now. However, it is not hopeless, and there are IHS members who can help you track down data. Also there is the method of submitting Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • It is quite possible to buy a used commercial hydrofoil vessel. Just a few of the many for sale from Russia and elsewhere are listed on our website in the announcements section, and you should also look at the posted messages in this section concerning how to buy a hydrofoil tour boat or ferry. Most or all of the used vessels for sale will be of the surface-piercing hydrofoil variety… less sophisticated and capable than a restored PHM would be, but this could have advantages (lower cost of conversion and less risk) to offset the disadvantages.

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 (

Response…[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 (

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Response…[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:

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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 (

Responses…[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 (

Response…[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)


This Page Prepared and Maintained By…International Hydrofoil Society

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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