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Friday, February 23, 2007

Colonel Cuniberti had done tank-testing with a model for his design

I was re-reading Colonel Cuniberti's article about "An Ideal Battleship for the British Fleet" in the 1903 Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships. He mentions that he had done model-testing, in a tank, presumably, to check the propulsion figures. I am certain that he intended to use reciprocating engines for his ship, as that was really the only option in 1903. The boilers would have been coal-fired, of course. The main issue with the design is that the displacement seems to be inadequate to carry the weights. Colonel Cuniberti specified a 17,000 ton displacement, along with dimensions. We would expect that this was a normal displacement and the 27.5ft draught would be at that displacement. Even if we use extremely light machinery, that seems to be a problem. Also, he specified an archaic armour design, with a complete 12in belt, which is extremely costly in weight. Springsharp complains about stability, gun recoil, seakeeping, and structural strength, all major issues. We would be extremely interested to know if Colonel Cuniberti's papers have survived, including his design for this ship, so we could know something about his weight and stability calculations.

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