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Bushnell's TURTLE - Bushnell's TURTLE

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Postby chips » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:29 pm

NAVY TIMES, April 28, 2003 edition has a story on Bushnell's TURTLE. Some Naval Academy midshipmen designed a replica of the Revolutionary War TURTLE. It was tested in the tank in the basement of Rickover Hall. Modern hydrodynamics, in the form of pink testing ribbons attached to the smooth wood hull, showed the craft's rudder wouldn't steer it. The replica was built by a non profit group called Handshouse Studios in Boston. To pay for construction costs, Handshouse contracted with Windfall Films of London. The TURTLE construction project will be one segment of a 4-part historical technology series scheduled to air on the Discovery Channel. It should be an interesting show. The testing at Annapolis showed the Turtle to be a functioning submersible.
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Postby TMSmalley » Tue May 20, 2003 2:48 pm

I have a copy of the article with the photo. It appears to me as though the students built the hull's cross section almost "round" (like a balloon) which would make steering almost impossible.

The papers I have - written by Bushnell himself in a Scientific Journal of the day - describe Turtle as being hollowed out of several large pieces of an old growth tree not as barrel staves as most contemporary drawings show. If you looked from the end of two turtle shells strapped together, it would look fairly streamlined.

The Bushnell papers also talk about the snorkels. I don't think they were the "ping-pong ball" stoppered arrangements either.

Maybe someday I can find the time to build an RC replica and try to prove or disprove my theory!
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Postby Dolphin » Tue May 20, 2003 9:50 pm

I got some good plausable drawings of 'Turtle'. They depict the vessels as in the shape of a pumpkin seed. An R/C version would not be difficult . Email me for the attachment since it cannot be attached here.

Steve Reichmuth

Postby Bigdave » Thu May 22, 2003 8:49 am

Hi Tim, I got a copy from Steve a few years ago and have had them scaled up to the size I would like to build. I have also worked out (on paper) how everything will work. Now all I need is the time. If I get my Akula done soon I will try to at least make a hull before the regatta. If not I will bring my plans and ideas to show you. Dave. :)
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