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OTW 1/72 Valiant class SSN kit to be released!

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Postby Dolphin » Mon May 30, 2005 2:27 pm

Wishes & prayers do come true sometimes! At the kind behest of Mr. Dimmick here is this announcement. OTW (Rob Dimmick) will be releasing just before Christmas 2005 a new Valiant Class SSN HMS Conqueror in 1/72 scale (48 inch length) !!!!! Myself along with other individuals across the pond have been assisting Rob secretly in assuring it will be the very most accurate in scale. I have seen the hull master, and it takes my breath away! Simply the most elegant looking SSN design ever! It will include all parts and appendages. A scale bronze 7 blade semitar prop with a long dunce tip capping this beautiful hull form. It will use an OTW or Merriman WTC 3.5. Also included will be a CD of reference images and a scale plan sheet (of HMS Churchill). Send inquires to Mr. Rob Dimmick - OTW models

Thank you Rob!!!!

Steve Reichmuth




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Postby Sub culture » Tue May 31, 2005 3:59 am

Well with Bob and Steve on the case, you know it's going to be a nice model, and it will arrive on, or before time.

Nice one- you got your wish Steve!

Andy
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Postby AntoineL » Tue May 31, 2005 4:07 am

That was the suprise I promised to the Brit SSN fans from the SC.... :D
Thanks Steve for giving this news !
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Postby Gerwalk » Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:16 pm

At last!
Excellent news!! I wonder were they found the Churchill class plans... I was looking for them for a long time!

One thing: from info I received from the Courageous Soc. I think that the 7 blades scimitar prop was not brought in till the final years that class was in Commission. I wonder what kind of prop they ussed during the war patrol in 1982...
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Postby Gerwalk » Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:32 pm

Some corrections to the info posted by Dolphin:
I've contacted Bob Dimmick and he told me that the kit will NOT "include a scale plan sheet (of HMS Churchill)" since he has not such plan sheet. The only plans included will be a non scale diagram of the sub that indicates the position of planes, etc.
All the detailed information on these boats is still classified and there are not official plans available.

As for the prop it will include the one mentioned by Dolphin but Bob believes, as I do, that the 7 blades scimitar prop was used during last years the class was in service. During the 1982 war HMS Conqueror and Courageous could have used a five blade prop (similar to the prop OTW includes with the Upholder model.
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Postby Dolphin » Thu Jun 02, 2005 10:30 pm

I was surprised too by any such mention of a drawing, I only passed on what I understood what Rob told me. Rob & I had no less than 4 very long, most enjoyable conversation..... long distance phone calls (his dime) this past Memorial day weekend.

The Upholders uses a 7 blade prop too as built in the mid-late 1980's. The Dutch Walrus submarines do in fact use a 5 bladed scimitar though.

The scimitar 7 blade prop with only a moderate skew back would have been incorporated in the late 1960's on these Valiants. American 7 blade scimitar props appeared very secretly in the beginning of the 1960's. Thresher SSN 593 used one from the get go in 1962. She was using one at the time of her loss. The Thresher/Permits used these as standard when built. The Skipjack SSN's and Dreadnought used the same power and engineering spaces aft. The Skipjacks for speed would use their noisy 5 bladed 'power props'. But in the mid-1960's, the noisy Skipjacks retrofitted to the quieter 7 blade scimitars too. Dreadnought would have likely used & followed a similar arrangement. The Valiants came on in the late 1960's early 1970's. They where comparable in quieting to the Permits, also using raft technology in the engineering spaces to isolate the engineering from the hull. The Skates even in later times (1970's) incorporated a L & R hand small 7 blade scimitar props. Having a special relationship, the Royal Navy and the US Navy technologically are very close historically. EB & Vickers in origin (in submarines only) are practically sister companies. It is possible any British scimitar prop could have been developed independently too. The mission requirements, the need for silent props, and the mathematics are basicly the same. The concept theoretically was not new, only a secret technological threshold needed to be surpassed to make these special props by industry possible. Both the United Kingdom and the United States would have had such milling analog computers then.

In the later months of 1982, after the Falklands conflict was over, HMS Turbulent (second in the Trafalgar class) became the first operational SSN to employ a pump jet in the world. In that historical context, The Brits regressing back.......using a potentially noisier 5 blade prop in 1982? No way! Not likely. Going to the Falklands and WAR....would you and your valuable SSN's, crews...everything...opt for second best? Ridiculous!

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Postby Gerwalk » Fri Jun 03, 2005 12:46 pm

Steve,
what you are saying is pure logic and I have to agree with you!!
I want to correct what I said: I should have said that it could be a conventional 7 blade prop (not scimitar like) and not a five blade prop!! Sorry for the confusion. My mistake.

We have not a single shot of a british SSN prop except for the one from the HMS Courageous. I asked about that prop to Mr. Michael William Pitkeathly (narrative keeper and guide at the Courageous Exhibit) and he said to me:

"The prop on display was not brought in till the final years that she was in Commission"

And that is a 7 blade scimitar prop!...so: if that 7 blade prop was used during the final years: what they used before that kind of prop? Maybe a not so "advanced" 7 blade prop but not a scimitar like one?
Bob has this prop for the Trafalgar (supossedly used before the Pump jet upgrade):
Image

As for going to war in 1982 with "noiser" props: if you consider the ASW capabilities of the argentine forces in 1982 they had no way to hunt a SSN. Only just by chance they could have had located and attacked one. But...considering the intelligence gathering missions assigened to british SSNs I would tend to agree that silent props were provided to them as early as the late 60s.




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Postby Peter W » Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:10 pm

Hello,

In 1 of the many books I have it says somewhere that HMS Churchill was used in 1976 as a testbed for a pumpjet, whether she kept it is probably still classified. Good news that there is finally a kit though as it is in my opinion probably the best looking Western SSN produced.

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Postby Dolphin » Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:15 pm

You are correct, HMS Churchill did test the first pump jet propulsor in 1976. This was an experiment. HMS Turbulent was the first sub operationally to use one. HMS Trafalgar was never retrofitted to a pump jet. Trafalgar is the only nuclear submarine in the Royal Navy without a pump jet. The 'S' class SSN's were retrofitted with pump jets though. At the time of the Falklands campaign, only Turbulent had one, and this new boat was undergoing extensive sea trials at that time. Also Trafalgar (without a PJ) was tested along side Turbulent (with the new PJ) for comparison propulsion wise and acoustically, Trafalgar providing the perfect side by side baseline comparison.

What ever the case is on the Valiant props, when I get my kit, I will be happy with either one....both are beautiful.

Has anyone ever photographed the Courageous prop displayed there in Devonport dockyard? Would you post it here please?

Steve Reichmuth




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Postby Gerwalk » Sat Jun 04, 2005 9:22 am

This Topic is getting more interesting every day!!

Dolphin: I'm surprised with your comments on Trafalgar!! She has no PJ?!

As for the Churchill PJ: it is even mentioned in We Come Unseen. Though dates are not mentioned in the same page that Jim Ring comments about the PJ he also says:
"...with propeller effectively cowled, and with lots of small blades rather than FOUR or FIVE large ones..." :(

Four blades? Confusing, isn't it?

The only pic I have of the Courageous prop is the one from the Courageous site. Though the phot was taken from an angle you can clearly see the blades shape and number of them:

Courageous soc album
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Postby AntoineL » Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:45 pm

Yep ! The Traf has no PJ !
Where did you see the picture of the prop ? what page of the album ??? I cant see any prop :)
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Postby Dolphin » Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:42 am

Image

Here it is Antione,

Notice the exotic dunce cap to create a low pressure area behind the prop to minimize wake vortex. I love surprises like this. We candidly refer sometimes to pump jet shrouds as lamp shades, well...with such a 'dunce cap', I suppose this is the 'living room lamp' itself! It should be exhibited properly, easy access like it is, but with a suitable platform for the beautiful striking 'sculpture' it is too in it's own right. A moderate concrete base or something. These are technical marvels of propulsion, that create 'lift' and deal efficiently with torsion and flex, all the while doing it's business as silently as possible. It has to function well both at great depth free of cavitation, and near the surface, a whole other operating environment engineering wise too. Even casting such propellers is a marvel in itself. Like a giant telescope reflecting mirror (in a technical sense) hung on the back of a nuclear submarine. Could someone wander over and take a full complete image of this propeller & post it here please?

Steve Reichmuth




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Postby Sub culture » Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:36 am

Steve,

Did you mean Devonport dockyard?

Andy
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Postby Gerwalk » Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:03 am

I would love to see a better pic of that prop!! Who dares to go there and take those pictures??

There is a groove between the so called dunce cap and the propeller itself. I wonder if something else used to be there (additional smaller blades??)
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