Another look back at one of your favorite articles for 2016, Napoleon’s Best Friend (Bessieries part Four).
Monthly Archives: June 2016
You have probably heard of nuclear powered submarines. They are called that not because they carry nuclear missiles (some do and some do not). They are called that because their propulsion is supplied by a nuclear reactor. But to be perfectly honest they are actually steam submarines. The nuclear reactor provides the heat to create steam to drive a turbine which powers the submarine (though there are several types of drive trains which can be used with a nuclear reactor).
The first nuclear powered ship in the world was the American submarine Nautilus SSN-571, commissioned 30 September 1954. But the Nautilus was not the first steam powered submarine. You need to go back 54 years to find the first steam powered naval submarine. The French submarine Narval Q4 was commissioned 26 June 1900.
The Narval did not use a steam turbine though, it used one triple expansion reciprocating steam engine. You will remember the Titanic had two triple expansion steam engines the size of a three story house. The Narval’s engine was no where near as large. The steam power was not the only innovation of the Narval. It was one of the first submarines to have a duel propulsion plant (steam on the surface and electric motors submerged. It was also one of the first submarine to have a double hull. An inner hull which was pressurized and an outer hull that was not pressurized but housed air banks, fuel tanks, ballast tanks and an area open to the sea. This outer hull was streamlined and made the Narval handle much better on the surface.
The Narval was a prototype, there was only one. The Narval was taken out of service 9 March 1909. However the French built many more steam powered submarines using the lessons they learned from the Narval.
Today we will travel back in time to the beginning of the twentieth century – follow us as we search for the ghost ship
Now for one of your favorite articles – Father’s Day 2012. A Father’s Day I will never forget. My daughter Elizabeth was 7 years old.