RMS Titanic´s anniversary

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Karl Heidenreich
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RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:47 pm

Today´s the anniversary of Titanic ill famous strike at an iceberg. It sinks on April 15th but the colision took place on April 14th. A saga was born from the deaths of those poor pasangers and crew of the liner.
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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Ramius » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:10 pm

RMS Titanic:

Image

Image

The last one is in high definition, notice the small rudder for a ship that size...

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:35 pm

Recently I read a book, I believe it was a retrospective about Ocean Liners, that claims that nothing was wrong with the rudder´s size. As a matter of fact during the sea trials Titanic did it´s turns better than expected and the ratio was OK.
But I imagine that the "small rudder theory" has it´s own weight. Can someone has info about it? Specially someone with nautical experience as Ulrich Rudofsky or Marcelo Malara...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Ramius » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:04 pm

Says on Wikipedia and one of Ballard's books that Titanic had an exeptionally small rudder for a ship of it's size.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by tommy303 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:45 am

The only problem with the rudder was not so much its size, but the fact that the center screw was driven by a low pressure turbine which ran off the exhaust steam from the two wing expansion engines. When First Officer Murdoch ordered full astern, the engineers reversed the two wing engines, but the turbine could not be reversed, so it was stopped. It was, I believe, deprived of steam at any event by reversing the expansion engines. Without the prop from the center screw creating wash over the rudder, the ability of the rudder was degraded, resulting in a slower response to helm changes. It is likely the real difficulty was Murdoch's orders and it might have been better to keep all three props going forward to tighten up the turn.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:07 am

tommy,

I always wondered what if Murdoch, instead of ordering the full astern, would have continued full ahead but with the hard starboard order. This procedure would have ensured the fastest reaction of the vessel, isn´t it?

Or what if striking the iceberg head on while reversing engines so to minimize the impact?

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by RF » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:32 pm

Full ahead turning hard a starboard I think would be the worst possible order as the dent or gash from iceberg collision would have been longer along the length of the hull, rupturing more than the five compartments actually breached and sinking the ship more quickly. This is because the arc of turn prior to impact would be less as the time span to impact is reduced, but the ship is still turning.
If this sort of collision resulted in a substantial list and capsize it would be almost impossible to launch any life boats, and if also the radio was silenced by quick loss of power it is possible there would be no survivors and indeed the ship may have simply vanished without trace - leaving a mystery as to its fate.

Better to go for a head on collision - the bows get smashed in but the compartments behind the bows are spared contact - the ship should stay afloat if up to four compartments breached. However press photographs of Titanic arriving in New York with its bows smashed in won't be the sort of publicity Bruce Ismay would want.

Where Murdoch really went wrong with his orders was in his failure to order a reduction in speed as the nightime temperature dropped. Just a few knots slower would have saved the ship.
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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by RF » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:40 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Recently I read a book, I believe it was a retrospective about Ocean Liners, that claims that nothing was wrong with the rudder´s size. As a matter of fact during the sea trials Titanic did it´s turns better than expected and the ratio was OK.
But I imagine that the "small rudder theory" has it´s own weight. Can someone has info about it? Specially someone with nautical experience as Ulrich Rudofsky or Marcelo Malara...
Surely it is not so much the size of rudder as common sense - the Titanic was a large ocean liner and not a dogem car to be driven by a boy racer. Unfortunately it was before the days of the speeding ticket.

I also wonder what would have happened if we substitute Bismarck for Titanic - I think the iceberg would have come off second best.....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:21 pm

Last night HISTORY CHANNEL showed a new documentary about a tour that took place at August-December 2005. They researched and concluded about if Titanic broke or not and why and how this happened.
Conclusion 1: It broke.
Conclusion 2: It broke in a different way than showed in the movie. Poor Cameron, he would have to re film the scene and sell a DVD with "Titanic redux".

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by tommy303 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:16 am

Hi Karl,

Titanic was going at very neary full speed as it was, and even with Murdoch's orders to go full astern and put the helm hard over, she almost cleared the berg. Had Murdoch had the helm put hard over and not ordered full astern, she might well have slipped by without hitting as the flow of water over the rudder would not have been decreased by stopping the centre screw. However, RF has some good points. Going slower would have been advantageous--or even stopping for the night like the Californian had done (although I cannot image the corporate powers that be allowing that). Also, as RF suggests, if a collision is unavoidable, then full astern to try and get as much way off as possible, and keeping the helm amidships would be preferable to a glancing blow down the ship's side.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:10 pm

Hi guys:

I want to add some comentaries as found in Garzke´s Titanic ships titanic disasters:

-It is nonsense trying to hit the iceberg head-on. They had no way of knowing if the ship would avoid the iceberg or would strike it, so that if every time a ship is in a similar danger the crew would aim for the obstacle, there would be far more collisions at sea!!! Besides the crew quarters were on the bow, and most of them were at rest, so a head-on impact would have killed a lot.

-The iceberg was seen at a calculated distance of 450m. A ship runnning at 20 kt has about 40 s left to impact. The time taken for the watchout to ring the "object ahead" bell, for Murdoch to try to see the iceberg, order the "hard a-startboard" plus the "full astern", the complicated operation of reversing a steam alternative engine (steam has to be cut, the extant expelled, the reversing gear engaged, steam admited again) and the inertia of a hull of such a size, all added to the fact that the speed was practically undiminished. According to the authors the ship has barely started to turn when the entrance of the ship hit the iceberg, the hull rebounding laterally to port, but as the entrance continues widening as the ship advances she strikes again, rebounding again and so on.
In that distance and time, neither a reverse nor a course change could have averted the collision. The only thing to be done, was reduce speed in the previous hours.

-The rudder may look small, but that´s the way ships were built then. Wooden constrution had barely been replaced by iron and steel just 50 years before, so ships look very much like theirs wooden older sisters. Rudders had not changed very much because they WORKED, there was nothing wrong with them.

-The ship eventually broke like en the movie. But the movie exagerates the angle of the hull, it is calculated that the angle was about 15° when the moment came that the structure couldnt´s support the weight of the stern any more.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:32 pm

There is something to add to Marcello´s points:

In the movie we see the stern being "pulled" by the bow so the rupture of the hull began at it´s upper (weather decks) part and continue to the bottom (keel) part (there was tension on decks and compression on the keel). But the keel parts discovered in 2005 are witnesses that the low angle of elevation the stern had make the hull broke in two phases:
1. First from upper to bottom but when the stern hit the water again this action stopped.
2. Then the stern began to "push" the bow so the keel suffered from tension (while there was compresion on the decks) and the ship broke.

Best regards and... good to hear from Marcello... :ok:
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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:48 pm

Hi Karl, good to see you too.

As I remember, nobody actually saw the stern rupturing, the ship´s lights were already gone, and a few (crew mainly) said the ship went down in one piece. That was the prevailing idea prior to Ballard´s finding. Then after finding the ship broken and reassesing the evidence, it was concluded that many survivors heard the noise of the ship rupturing.
The movie greatly exagerates the angle: it is obviuos that with the bow totally flooded, and the stern so high in the air, the ship is not displacing enough water to float, she would dive like a sub.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by tommy303 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:53 pm

Interestingly enough there were several survivors that said the ship broke up, including Jack Thayer who produced four sketches of the break up sequence shortly after arriving in New York on the Carpathia. His sketches showed the ship bowing in the middle as though her back were broken, then the fore section and stern parting and drifting free of eachother; in the final sketch the bow section has sunk and the stern section is almost perpendicular and about to take its final plunge. However none of the survivors who claimed to have seen the ship break up were called to the witness stand at the courts of inquiry.

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They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: RMS Titanic´s anniversary

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:30 pm

Not a fan of "conspiracy theories" myself I wonder about this. It was said that WSL kept the fracture of Titanic a secret because they had two more ships of that class in service and the knowing of the Titanic breaking in two would be bad publicity.
It makes sense.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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