Which propellors are exposed?

Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Karl Texler on Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:51 pm

Hi All,

In a recent article (cited by Andrew Clarkson of the Titanic-Titanic.com forum), it states that Henry Nargeolet explored all 3 propellors on Titanic (actually it says 13, but I'm prepared to accept that is a typo!!).

Here's the link to the discussion:

http://www.titanic-titanic.com/forum/vi ... =48&t=5200

I have seen photographs of the starboard wing propellor, with the mud line at the propellor boss level, and I have seen photographs of the rudder at the mudline.

As far as I am aware, the centre propellor is buried below the mudline.

However, I have no information on the port wing propellor. Is it exposed in the same way as the starboard wing propellor? Are there any explorer's statements or, better still, photographs of the port wing propellor?

Cheers!

Karl Texler
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Michael H Standart on Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:25 am

Karl, the only photo I've ever seen is of the starboard propellor. As I understand it, the impact with the bottom was enough to bend/deflect the bossings and wing up high enough so that both the port and starboard are exposed.

What I have never seen are wreck photos of the centre propellor. I'll grant I may have missed something but there you are.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Ken Marschall on Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:44 am

Karl,

If only all Titanic questions were this easy! The center propeller is far under the mud level and has not been seen. Both wing props have been imaged (I don't have the time to research and direct you to specific pages of published sources or to particular documentaries, but you can trust me). The two large props and their "wings" are almost identical in their appearance and attitude, thrust waaaaay upward from their original fitted locations when the stern slammed deep into the mud. I've often wondered how the center prop fared in that sudden collision with the bottom.

Ken
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Michael H Standart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:55 pm

>>I've often wondered how the center prop fared in that sudden collision with the bottom.<<

I'll bet somebody with sidescan imaging sonar could get a good idea. This part of the ship was pretty rugged and probably fared a little better then the wings for the outboard screws did, but I doubt it was undistorted.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Karl Texler on Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:34 pm

Hi Ken,

Many thanks for that feedback.

I'm not surprised that the port wing propellor is also exposed - it would make sense. If you say that there is primary material "out there" that supports this, that's good enough for me (it means there's a point to my looking for it if I'm ever that way's inclined :) ).

As regards the centre propellor, for me a telling indication is the state of the rudder. It is still sitting on its pintles, and doesn't appear distorted (at least above the mudline). If the stern post had been bent, then I would have thought that you would either see a bent or a displaced rudder.

If the sternpost is still in place, then, in all likelihood, the centre propellor bracket would also be in place. Either that or there may be an upward distortion from the sternpost foot to the forward end of the centre propellor bracket. However, unless the sternpost foot has separated from the sternpost, one would then expect some forward displacement of the lower end of the sternpost (with an associated displacement/movement of the rudder/sternpost arrangement). I can't see any signs of this.

I appreciate the forces involved on impact with the sea floor. The wing propellor brackets were pretty massive forgings (made at Darlington Forge, I believe), and it would have taken quite a lot to bend them. The sternpost and sternpost foot were also forged, but they don't look as massive as the wing propellor brackets. However, they would have cut through the mud a bit better, whereas the wing propellor brackets would have taken the impact more side-on.

I think the centre propellor probably had its blades bent by the sea floor impact. It may or may not still be attached to the centre boss. Nevertheless, it's completely buried. I guess Michael's suggestion of exploration with side scan sonar may tell us more.

Cheers!

Karl
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Michael H Standart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:40 pm

>>The sternpost and sternpost foot were also forged, but they don't look as massive as the wing propellor brackets. However, they would have cut through the mud a bit better,<<

I would submit that they would also have been backed up or braced by the structure of the entire ship. The "wings" for the port and starboard props were not, at least against whatever pushed them up the way they are now.

I'd love to see some work done with a sidescan sonar around this area. The problem is that there are few submersibles capable of doing the job and the people who best know the wrecksite...the Russians...don't appear to be interested in taking on any more jobs for the forseeable future.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Karl Texler on Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:14 am

Hi Michael,

Michael H Standart wrote:
Karl Texler wrote:The sternpost and sternpost foot were also forged, but they don't look as massive as the wing propellor brackets. However, they would have cut through the mud a bit better,


I would submit that they would also have been backed up or braced by the structure of the entire ship. The "wings" for the port and starboard props were not, at least against whatever pushed them up the way they are now.



For the upper part of the sternpost (above the cut-out for the centre propellor), I agree with you.

However, the sternpost foot (by that I mean the curved bar that connects the bottom of the sternpost to the rest of the ship - and forms the bottom edge of the centre propellor cut-out), plus the lower part of the sternpost (which forms the aft edge of the centre propellor cut-out) are pretty much just unsupported forgings, and these forgings are not as heavy as the wing propellor bracket forgings.

There is an excellent concept drawing of the arrangement of the forgings for the propellor brackets, sternpost and rudder for the Olympic class liners that first appeared in the Olympic/Titanic Shipbuilder compilation. There is also a good shot of work on Titanic's starboard propellor shaft, just prior to launch, showing the exposed lower sternpost and sternpost foot which has appeared in numerous books. However, I don't want to reproduce them here because I don't want to infringe copyright.

The rudder would have provided some support to the lower sternpost via the pintles. There would have been additional support from where the sternpost foot was joined to the sternpost - however, that join would have had to withstand the impact to protect the lower sternpost.

If the stern had impacted without any sideways lean, these structures would have speared straight into the mud, and possible not got very bent. However, the wing brackets would have copped the mud side-on (an upward force for which they were not designed) - and got severely bent as a result.

We know how the wing propellor brackets fared and the rudder indicates a possibility that the sternpost remained pretty much intact, however I concede that we can only speculate about the state of the structures in the region of the centre propellor cut-out (including the centre propellor).

That is until someone makes the Russians an offer they can't refuse.

Cheers!

Karl
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Mark Chirnside on Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:29 am

Ken Marschall wrote:The center propeller is far under the mud level and has not been seen...I've often wondered how the center prop fared in that sudden collision with the bottom.


Me too. ;)

Karl Texler wrote:I think the centre propellor probably had its blades bent by the sea floor impact. It may or may not still be attached to the centre boss. Nevertheless, it's completely buried. I guess Michael's suggestion of exploration with side scan sonar may tell us more.


I don't know enough about sonar imaging, but if it was possible to image this area then I'd be very interested in seeing it. (I have a vested interest, of course, as I want to count the number of propeller blades! :oops: )

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Karl Texler on Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:48 pm

Hi Mark,

Mark Chirnside wrote:I don't know enough about sonar imaging, but if it was possible to image this area then I'd be very interested in seeing it. (I have a vested interest, of course, as I want to count the number of propeller blades! :oops: )


In the RMS Titanic book (a modeller's manual by Peter Davies Garner), there is a photograph of Titanic's propellors just prior to fitting. The hull number is visible. Unfortunately, whether or not the centre propellor is three or four bladed is tantalisingly unclear.

Cheers!

Karl
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Robert Gibbons on Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:45 am

With all the photographs taken of the wreck of the Titanic by the various expeditions, I did a Google image search for "Titanic propellers" and here's what I found:

http://photography.nationalgeographic.c ... 213-xl.jpg

This one is from the National Geographic Society and is captioned "Titanic's starboard propeller". Note the pitch of the blades and the depth of the hub in the silt.

http://www.titanic-titanic.com/pic/propellors_wreck.gif

This one is from titanic-titanic.com and unfortunately is also captioned "Titanic's starboard propeller". Note the pitch of the blades and the depth of the hub in the silt. I think this prop is different from the first one, meaning with these two photos, we see both wing propellers. What do you think? Robert H. Gibbons
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Tom McCluskie on Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:48 am

Forgive me if I'm missing something here but the information I have regarding the center propeller, taken from the H&W building specifications is as follows:

The central propeller which was driven by the turbine engine, was of solid manganese bronze with four blades and had a diameter of 16 feet 6 inches. It was designed to run at 165 revoloutions per minute when the power developed would have been 16,000 shaft horse power. I can provide a photograph of this propeller in the H&W foundry if required. Unfortunately I do not have permission to upload this image directly but if enough interest is shown I would propose sending the image to Karen or Tim for further uploading.

I am not aware of any changes to this arrangement prior to Titanic leaving Belfast, certainly I do not recall seeing any notes to the contrary in the H&W records. Is there some doubt whether this propeller was the one fitted? :?:
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Karl Texler on Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:04 am

Hi Tom,

Given Olympic was fitted with a three bladed centre propeller very soon after Titanic's demise, there is speculation that a similar propeller was used for Titanic. Mark Chirnside is really into this one.

If the photo that you describe is what I think it is, it shows a four bladed propeller hanging from chains at the foundry. However, I don't recall a hull number, or any other marking, on the blades.

The photo that I am describing shows the centre propeller and the wing propeller bosses lying on their sides. The centre propeller is partially obscured (damn!!) but the letters "TC" (Turbine Centre???) can be made out. This photo was taken on 31/05/1911.

Cheers!

Karl
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Mark Chirnside on Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:15 pm

Good to hear from you, Tom. Hope you're doing well.

Tom McCluskie wrote:Forgive me if I'm missing something here but the information I have regarding the center propeller, taken from the H&W building specifications is as follows:

The central propeller which was driven by the turbine engine, was of solid manganese bronze with four blades and had a diameter of 16 feet 6 inches...


I always believed that to be the case, as well, and that certainly matches Olympic's original configuration. However, more than a year ago I ran across a H&W reference relating to Titanic's propeller configuration, and that gave the centre propeller's specifications as a diameter of 17 feet with three blades only. The other specs (a pitch of 14 feet and a blade area of 120 square feet) were the same as Olympic's original centre propeller with its four blades. See: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/mystery-titanic-central-propeller.html

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Tom McCluskie on Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:42 pm

Thanks for that Mark, I learn something new every day :D The link was of great interest however I do not recognise the notebook extract. I must therefore assume it came from the engine works side of the business. Strangely enough the shipyard side (my area) and the engine works side never really worked closely together and behaved very much like two separate companies. Each had its own distinct management structure etc which truth be told did create many problems in the day to day operations.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Mark Chirnside on Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:18 pm

Tom McCluskie wrote: Strangely enough the shipyard side (my area) and the engine works side never really worked closely together and behaved very much like two separate companies. Each had its own distinct management structure etc which truth be told did create many problems in the day to day operations.


I can well believe that, Tom. It doesn't sound like an efficient set up for corporate management!

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby danielvulrich on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:31 pm

i'm just reading these threads and wondering how many mysteries there connected with Titanic...
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Re: Which propellors are exposed?

Postby Faraz Syed on Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:57 am

Hi All
Is there any type of sonar Photo on which we can see the condition of centre propellor...
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