Catamaran Torpedo Boat 1942


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11 January 2008
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Some years ago i found this:

This is a review of December 1942 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. It describes some interesting weapon concepts including an advanced concept for a torpedo boat:

"The best article was on the proposed seven-man torpedo boat being designed by F. M. Bellanca of Bell P-39 fame. It is unorthodox even by today's standards. A fuselage, reminiscent of a B-25, sat above two hugs pontoons and steam turbine drove two contra-rotating pusher props. The multi-compartmented pontoons housed the fuel, boiler's water condensers and two torpedoes each that were catapult-launched by a hydraulic arm. The pontoon design kept it afloat even if compartments took in water due to damage. In that case self-bailers went into operation. The size of them made it un-swamp-able in rough seas.

What A Great Concept!

Further armament included two-twin .50 caliber power turrets up top and side blisters each with a fifty. The nose gunner had a 37mm cannon.

Drawing only nineteen inches of water, enemy torpedoes would pass under the craft. The robust power plant was secretly developed by Woodruff Warren and was thirty percent more efficient than comparable designs. The boilers were a variation of naval inventor Walter LaMont that built up high power to weight ratios and ran on a non-volatile equivalent of home heating oil. The system was closed circuit and the craft's boiler water recycled to the condensers for infinite use. No steam escaped from the machinery and the engine ran silently, save for the whir of the props.

This baby could hit 100 mph with an 8,000-mile range meaning it could leave a Pacific coast port and be off Japan in forty-eight hours. It could hit European targets in even less time.

Pictured was an actual 65 mph landing boat of conventional hull design being tested so the potential was real. Superlatives such as innovative, lethal, or efficient just can't describe it. It was just too damned cool!"

Was this a real project or was it just attempt to scare the enemy?


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Hi everybody
That is an very amazing Project! Have you some bigger Pictures ?
I think it could be real !
Many greetings
Unfortunately, no. I remember that there was some discussion and MAYBE photos too somewhere in the web years ago but that site is now long gone.

It could be real thing, but there isn't much anything available.
off topic for this thread i know, but is this a Burnelli B-200 variant?, From here,


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"...but is this a Burnelli B-200 variant?"

That is exactly what i thought first, but there is one another candidate called Kaiser Tailless Airplane, which however should be posted in Early Secret Projects.
Catamaran-Torpedo-Boat 1943
Many greetings
Basically it seems to be a floatplane without wings. A good idea ...
for calm seas. But up to what sea state a floatplane can operate ?
And remember, floatplanes and flying boats very rarely landed or took off
from the open sea, but mostly from relativelye calm littoral waters.
At 100mph, the sea surely would have to be as flat as glass, or this boat
would become an aircraft again, but probably just once !
So 48 hours for the pacific coast to Japan is as just theoretical as reaching
the speed of light !
From UNKNOWN! Nº3 and
Japanese Aircraft Industry in WWII, USAF 1946 Report,ISO PUBLICATIONS


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Via the Paleofuture blog (revised link), an illustration of of the 1943 design originally linked to by moin1900:


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I can remember reading of something vaguely similar from World War 1. Supposedly the Australian Flying Corps units serving in the Middle East during the 1915-18 Palestine Campaign took the wings off an aircraft, mounted it on floats and used it to disrupt Turkish traffic on the Dead Sea.

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