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USS Tucumcari - History

USS Tucumcari  - History


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Tucumcari

(PGH-2: dp. 57; 1. 80'; b. 22'; dr. 14'; s. 50 k.; cpl. 13; a. 1 40mm., 4 .50-car. mg., 1 81mm. M.; cl.Tucumcari)

Tucumcari (PGH-2) was laid down on 1 September 1966 at Seattle, Wash., by the Marine Branch of the Boeing Company's Aerospace Group; launched on 15 July 1967; and delivered to the Navy on 7 March 1968. Placed "in service" on that day, the ship's first officerin-charge was Lt. Marvin H. Mandles, USNR.

Tucumcari-an extremely fast, highly maneuverable, experimental hydrofoil gunboat designed to perform well even in heavy weather-represented the culmination of 10 years of hydrofoil development. The new gunboat arrived in San Diego, her home port, in July 1968. She conducted operational evaluation tests with Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, and participated in exercises. In addition, the craft conducted day and night operations with the Fleet with ships ranging from cruisers to patrol craft. During her tour of duty in San Diego, she performed a mission of mercy, rendezvousing with a Navy tug beyond helicopter range and receiving on board one of the tug's crewmen for transportation to San Diego for emergency leave

After a year of operations out of San Diego, Tucumcari was deployed to Vietnamese waters. She spent most of her six months in the combat zone assigned to Operation "Market Time," the inshore patrol established to stop the flow from the north of communist arms and infiltrators. While performing this duty, she logged 200 hours of foilborne operations including day and night, all-weather, and high sea-state missions. She also conducted underway replenishments with larger fleet units and vertical replenishment from helicopters. The latter even included medical evacuation operations and the transfer of cargo loads.

Tucumcari returned to San Diego in March 1970 and operated off the west coast until transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in August. After operating off the east coast into 1971, Tucumcari was slated to deploy to northern Europe and to the Mediterranean to demonstrate the capability of hydrofoil propulsion for other NATO nations. It was hoped that the demonstration would stimulate the development and production of a NATO guided missile hydrofoil

Tucumcari was loaded on board Wood County (LST1178) on 22 March 1971 and secured in a specially constructed cradle on the main deck. Three days later, Wood Count1y got underway for Copenhagen, Denmark and the first of demonstration "flights" for the hydrofoil gunboat. Arriving in Copenhagen on 8 April, Tucumcari was offloaded on the 13th and readied for her first tests. While in Danish waters, the patrol craft participated in Exercise "Evil Edge," a joint West German Danish, and American patrol boat exercise. During "Evil Edge," the gunboat made simulated attacks against West German destroyers. Tucumcari was subsequently put through her paces at Olpenitz, Germany; Rosyth, Scotland; Portsmouth, England; and Brest, France, before the northern and western European phase of the tests were concluded and Wood County with the hydrofoil gunboat stowed on deck, sailed for Toulon, France, on 6 July to commence the Mediterranean phase of the deployment.

After demonstrating at Toulon, Tuoumeari conducted further operations at Athens, Greece; Golchuk, Turkey; Brindisi and Augusta, Italy, and in the Tyrrhenian Sea, concluding the last of these tests on 25 September. Then, on 1 October, with Tucumcari safely nestled on board, Wood County sailed for Little Creek, Va.

Homeported at Little Creek, Va., Tuoumoari operated with the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force into the autumn of 1972. On 16 November of that year, she ran aground seven miles west of Puerto Rico during night operations with amphibious forces. Fortunately, she suffered no personnel casualties. While she was being pulled off the coral reef, the craft incurred more damage, so severe that she could not be economically repaired. Accordingly, she was struck from the Navy list on 7 November 1973 and transferred to the Naval Ship and Research Development Center at Annapolis, Md. She was subsequently used as a test hulk for structural evaluation and fire containment tests into the mid-1970's.


USS Tucumcari - History

By Brad Reynolds

Hydrofoil boat technology was first tested during Operation Market Time in the Vietnam War. This technology, invented in the early 1900s, had never been applied to combat vessels until the U.S. Navy (USN) deployed two preliminary hydrofoil models during Vietnam. The success of the newly developed hydrofoils USS Tucumcari and USS Flagstaff elongated USN investments in hydrofoil technology.
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Having heavily researched hydrofoil technology since the late 1950s, the Navy produced two propulsion platforms by the beginning of the Vietnam War. Either propellers or water jets were attached to hydrofoil struts, which lifted the ship’s hull out of the water to decrease drag, therefore increasing speed and maneuverability in all weather conditions. This technology would prove invaluable in future missions.


Legends of America

Route 66 Mural in Tucumcari, New Mexico painted by artist Doug and Sharon Quaries.

Once nicknamed as “Six-Shooter Siding,” Tucumcari, New Mexico got its start as a rowdy railroad camp filled with saloons and outlaws. The camp began in 1901 when the Rock Island Railroad pushed west through the area. The small settlement of Liberty, some three miles north, wasted no time dismantling and moving closer to the railroad. Soon, the camp was filled with merchants, gamblers, saloon keepers and dance hall girls.

Six Shooter Siding Tavern, Tucumcari, New Mexico

The fathers of Tucumcari were five businessmen from Liberty who filed on the land, then donated 120 acres of land for the townsite. They were: M. B. Goldenberg, A. D. Goldenberg, Jacob Wertheim, J. A. Street, and Lee K. Smith. J.A. Street is credited for erecting the first tent in the new railroad camp.

The camp was officially called Douglas in the very beginning but just one year later the town took the name of Tucumcari to reflect with the scenic Tucumcari Mountains acting as a background for the city. The meaning of the word “Tucumcari” is a loose derivation of a Comanche word for lookout.

The first passenger train arrived in Tucumcari on March 12, 1902, and before long there were four passenger trains arriving daily, two from the east and two from the west.

Tucumcari, New Mexico, P. Clinton Bortell, 1913

One of the first issues these hardy pioneers had to face was the lack of water. Initially, wells were dug into the hard ground, but failure to locate water discouraged further drilling. Therefore, water had to be hauled into the new settlement daily, costing the residents 50¢ a barrel.

Some of the first businesses to open in 1902 were the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with rooms for $2 a day, the Monarch Saloon, as well as many other bawdy taverns, a furniture store, a livery barn, a boarding house located at First and Turner Streets, several mercantile stores, and the Exchange Bank. Max Goldenberg’s home was the first permanent home built in Tucumcari, which contained the post office.

The Elk Drug Store was established in 1906. It was owned by Drug Store Cowboy Herman Moncus, who collected a mammoth assortment of items more or less relating to the history of the area. He hung his collection from the ceiling of his drug store.

Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico

Within six years, the mesa lands around Tucumcari had been inundated by homesteaders who had arrived in Oklahoma Indian Territory too late to get land. By 1907, there were 20 small towns scattered about Tucumcari. Just three years later, in 1910, there were over 70 businesses in Tucumcari, plus a school system and several churches.

Primarily thriving from the railroad and area ranching opportunities, the town continued to prosper until the depression era. At that time, most of the 20 some small towns that surrounded the city were abandoned and quickly reverted to cow pastures.

However, Tucumcari hung on with new businesses created with the advent of Route 66. And in 1940, when the South Canadian River was dammed, this created some 60,000 acres of irrigated farmland. What were once cow pastures soon became rich farmland, pulling Tucumcari out of its slump.

Today, with a population of over 6,000, Tucumcari provides a number of area attractions including The Mesalands Dinosaur Museum, The Tucumcari Historical Museum which includes a historic Route 66 exhibit, and Ute Lake State Park.

Buckaroo Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico

Not too far off the beaten path are sandstone rocks balancing in pinnacle formations, mesas and mountains, the cool winding water of the Canadian River, area lakes and a variety of wildlife including herds of pronghorn antelope and mule deer, flocks of Canadian geese, and sandhill cranes.

Tucumcari’s five-mile claim to Route 66 fame is along Tucumcari Boulevard, where travelers can get a real glimpse of what Route 66 was all about. The 1940s and 1950s flavor of the Mother Road can clearly be seen here in Tucumcari’s treasure trove of motels, restaurants and curio shops.

Numerous neon signs beckon the traveler to stop at the legendary Blue Swallow Motel, established in 1939, or Tee-Pee Curios trading post, a Route 66 icon, the Paradise Motel, and dozens of others.

Tee Pee Curios in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Along your way, be sure to check out the Cactus Motor Lodge, the Westerner Drive-In, the Last Motel, the Pine Lodge, the Palomino Motel, Del’s Restaurant, the Town House and Safari Motels, the Sahara Sands Motel & Restaurant, Dick’s Auto Service, the Pow Wow Restaurant, the Buckaroo Motel, the Redwood Lodge and the Paradise Motel.

The Tucumcari-Quay County Chamber of Commerce has a wonderful, four-color brochure on Route 66, so be sure to ask for a copy at either the museum or at the Chamber’s office. The brochure outlines a special Route 66 history tour of Tucumcari.

Tucumcari is truly a Route 66’rs delight. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time as you stop to snap dozens of pictures before heading on down the road to Montoya and Santa Rosa.


Return to San Diego and transfer to the Atlantic Fleet

Tucumcari returned to San Diego in March, 1970 and operated off the west coast until transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in August. After operating off the east coast into 1971, Tucumcari was slated to deploy to northern Europe and to the Mediterranean to demonstrate the capability of hydrofoil propulsion for other NATO nations. It was hoped that the demonstration would stimulate the development and production of a NATO guided missile hydrofoil.

On 22 March 1971, Tucumcari was deck-loaded "piggyback" on board the USS Wood County (LST-1178), secured in a specially-constructed cradle on the main deck, at Little Creek, Virginia in preparation for a tour to promote the Navy's newest developments in hydrofoil technology. Three days later, the tank landing ship sailed from Little Creek, bound for the first stop on the special demonstration deployment. Arriving in Copenhagen on 5 April, Tucumcari was off-loaded on the 13th and readied for her first tests. While in Danish waters, the patrol craft participated in Exercise "Evil Edge," a joint West German, Danish, and American patrol boat exercise. During "Evil Edge," the gunboat made simulated attacks against West German destroyers.

Over the ensuing months, Wood County and Tucumcari visited seven other NATO nations and 16 ports (including Copenhagen and Frederikshavn, Denmark): Kiel and Olpenitz, Germany Isle of Portland and Portsmouth, England Then, after a transit through the English Channel, she stopped at Rosyth, Scotland returning to the European mainland at Brest and Toulon, France Naples, Brindisi, La Spezia, and Augusta, Sicily Athens, Greece and Gölcük, Turkey. Tucumcari was demonstrated in hopes that NATO would develop a guided-missile hydrofoil weapons system. In addition to providing a base of operations and facilities for briefings and discussions between United States liaison officers and foreign representatives, Wood County provided logistics support, messing and berthing facilities, and engaged in numerous public relations efforts to promote international goodwill. Concluding the last of these tests on 25 September, Wood County (with Tucumcari safely nestled on board) sailed for Little Creek on 1 October. The performance of Wood County and Tucumcari both elicited praise from the Chief of Naval Operations Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet the United States NATO Mission Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe, and others.


In 1901, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad built a construction camp in the western portion of modern-day Quay County. Originally called Ragtown, the camp became known as "Six Shooter Siding", due to numerous gunfights. Its first formal name, Douglas, was used only for a short time. [5] After it grew into a permanent settlement, it was renamed Tucumcari in 1908. The name was taken from Tucumcari Mountain, which is situated near the community. [6] The origin of the mountain's name is uncertain it may have been derived from the Comanche word tʉkamʉkarʉ, which means 'ambush'. [7] A 1777 burial record mentions a Comanche woman and her child captured in a battle at Cuchuncari, which is believed to be an early version of the name Tucumcari. [5] [8]

In December 1951, a water storage tank collapsed in the city. Four were killed and numerous buildings were destroyed. [9]

Former railroad transit point Edit

Tucumcari until the mid-twentieth century was a junction for transcontinental train service. The Rock Island Railroad ran pool train operations with the Southern Pacific, with transfers at the station (for the Tucumcari-Los Angeles leg of the trip). The Choctaw Rocket (Memphis-Little Rock-Tucumcari-El Paso-Los Angeles) made the switch there (for the coach cars). The Golden State (Chicago-Kansas City-Topeka-Tucumcari-El Paso-Los Angeles) ran continuous through the town. [ citation needed ]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 sq mi (19.6 km 2 ), of which 7.5 sq mi (19.5 km 2 ) is land and 0.13% is water.

Climate Edit

Tucumcari has a cool semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), characterized by cool winters and hot summers. Rainfall is relatively low except during the summer months, when thunderstorms associated with the North American monsoon can bring locally heavy downpours. Snowfall is generally light, with a mean of 19.4 inches or 0.49 metres and a median of 9.7 inches or 0.25 metres. Due to the frequency of low humidity, wide daily temperature variations are normal.

The record high temperature at Tucumcari was 110 °F (43 °C) on July 13, 2020, and the record low temperature −22 °F (−30 °C) on January 13, 1963. The hottest monthly mean maximum has been 100.5 °F or 38.1 °C in July 2011 and the coldest mean minimum 12.4 °F or −10.9 °C in January 1963, although the coldest month by mean maximum was January 1949, with a mean high of 38.6 °F or 3.7 °C. [10]

The wettest calendar year has been 1941, with 34.94 inches (887.5 mm) and the driest, 1934, with 6.13 inches (155.7 mm). [10] The most rainfall in one month was 11.19 inches (284.2 mm) in July 1950. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 4.41 inches (112.0 mm) on June 21, 1971. The most snowfall in one year was 46.7 inches (1.19 m), from July 1918 to June 1919. The most snowfall in one month was 30.0 inches (0.76 m), in February 1912. [10]

Climate data for Tucumcari 4 NE (1971-2000 extremes 1904-2001)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
83
(28)
92
(33)
97
(36)
103
(39)
109
(43)
110
(43)
107
(42)
104
(40)
97
(36)
87
(31)
82
(28)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 52.7
(11.5)
57.6
(14.2)
65
(18)
72.4
(22.4)
80.9
(27.2)
89.9
(32.2)
93
(34)
90.7
(32.6)
83.9
(28.8)
74.3
(23.5)
61.5
(16.4)
53
(12)
72.9
(22.7)
Average low °F (°C) 22.9
(−5.1)
27.1
(−2.7)
33.9
(1.1)
41.5
(5.3)
51.2
(10.7)
60.2
(15.7)
64.3
(17.9)
62.7
(17.1)
55.2
(12.9)
44
(7)
32.4
(0.2)
24.2
(−4.3)
43.3
(6.3)
Record low °F (°C) −22
(−30)
−16
(−27)
−3
(−19)
14
(−10)
25
(−4)
37
(3)
52
(11)
49
(9)
30
(−1)
12
(−11)
−2
(−19)
−12
(−24)
−22
(−30)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.41
(10)
0.43
(11)
0.81
(21)
1.12
(28)
1.84
(47)
2.19
(56)
2.64
(67)
2.73
(69)
1.68
(43)
1.44
(37)
0.75
(19)
0.53
(13)
16.57
(421)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.2
(13)
3.5
(8.9)
1.9
(4.8)
1.6
(4.1)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.4
(1.0)
1.7
(4.3)
5.1
(13)
19.4
(49.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 3.5 3.2 3.7 3.9 6.2 6.7 7.3 8.8 6.2 4.3 3.2 3.3 60.3
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch) 2.4 1.6 1.1 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1 2.3 9
Source: [11]
Historical population
Census Pop.
19102,526
19203,117 23.4%
19304,143 32.9%
19406,194 49.5%
19508,419 35.9%
19608,143 −3.3%
19707,189 −11.7%
19806,765 −5.9%
19906,831 1.0%
20005,989 −12.3%
20105,363 −10.5%
2019 (est.)4,867 [2] −9.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [12]

As of the census [13] of 2000, there were 5,989 people, 2,489 households, and 1,607 families residing in the city. The population density was 793.8 people per square mile (306.7/km 2 ). There were 3,065 housing units at an average density of 406.2 per square mile (156.9/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 75.87% White, 1.29% African American, 1.39% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 17.10% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 51.41% of the population.

There were 2,489 households, out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,560, and the median income for a family was $27,468. Males had a median income of $25,342 versus $18,568 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,786. About 19.1% of families and 24.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.

The buildings formerly at Metropolitan Park (locally known as "Five Mile Park" because it is located about five miles (8 km) outside of town) were designed by Trent Thomas, adapted from his design of La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. The park once featured New Mexico's largest outdoor swimming pool. Owing to deterioration, Metropolitan Park was named to the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance's list of Most Endangered for 2003. [14] In 2010, the park's main building caught fire and burnt to the ground. The city of Tucumcari razed the site weeks after the fire. [15]

In 2014, a series of suspicious fires destroyed abandoned buildings, including the Tucumcari Motel, Payless Motel, and a house in the 500 block of North Fourth Street. A former Tucumcari Police Department officer and several others have been charged with arson. [16] [17] [18]

The town formerly hosted an air show each year. The show held on October 4, 2006, was canceled after one hour when a single-engine plane crashed, resulting in the pilot's death. [19]


USS Tucumcari - History

Health and Safety Guidelines for safe and responsible travel in New Mexico

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"A Journey Through Time in Quay County" Experience the legendary past. Through collections located on three floors of the 1903 school house, containing a wide variety of artifacts and memorabilia from the surrounding area. Various rooms are based on themes with thousands of items on display. There are five outdoor and indoor exhibits, located on our 1/2 block of native landscape grounds. The Big Red Barn, Wagon Shed, Firehouse, Caboose and Annex are all easily accessible.

Planning an unforgettable experience in New Mexico is easy with a free New Mexico True Adventure Guide. View the guide online, or request to have one sent to you.


Return to San Diego and transfer to the Atlantic Fleet [ edit | edit source ]

Tucumcari returned to San Diego in March, 1970 and operated off the west coast until transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in August. After operating off the east coast into 1971, Tucumcari was slated to deploy to northern Europe and to the Mediterranean to demonstrate the capability of hydrofoil propulsion for other NATO nations. It was hoped that the demonstration would stimulate the development and production of a NATO guided missile hydrofoil. On 22 March 1971, Tucumcari was deck-loaded "piggyback" on board the USS Wood County (LST-1178), secured in a specially-constructed cradle on the main deck, at Little Creek, Virginia in preparation for a tour to promote the Navy's newest developments in hydrofoil technology. Three days later, the tank landing ship sailed from Little Creek, bound for the first stop on the special demonstration deployment. Arriving in Copenhagen on 5 April, Tucumcari was off-loaded on the 13th and readied for her first tests. While in Danish waters, the patrol craft participated in Exercise "Evil Edge," a joint West German, Danish, and American patrol boat exercise. During "Evil Edge," the gunboat made simulated attacks against West German destroyers.

USS Wood County (LST-1178) moored pier side at Copenhagen, Denmark, date unknown. Note the USS Tucumcari (PGH-2) secured to her deck.

Over the ensuing months, Wood County and Tucumcari visited seven other NATO nations and 16 ports (including Copenhagen and Frederikshavn, Denmark): Kiel and Olpenitz, Germany Isle of Portland and Portsmouth, England Then, after a transit through the English Channel, she stopped at Rosyth, Scotland returning to the European mainland at Brest and Toulon, France Naples, Brindisi, La Spezia, and Augusta, Sicily Athens, Greece and Gölcük, Turkey. Tucumcari was demonstrated in hopes that NATO would develop a guided-missile hydrofoil weapons system. In addition to providing a base of operations and facilities for briefings and discussions between United States liaison officers and foreign representatives, Wood County provided logistics support, messing and berthing facilities, and engaged in numerous public relations efforts to promote international goodwill. Concluding the last of these tests on 25 September, Wood County (with Tucumcari safely nestled on board) sailed for Little Creek on 1 October. The performance of Wood County and Tucumcari both elicited praise from the Chief of Naval Operations Commander Amphibious Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet the United States NATO Mission Commander in Chief, United States Naval Forces Europe, and others.


HISTORY

Diverse cultures have lived and flourished in the Tucumcari area for ages. Traces of the oldest civilizations in North America, dating back 10,000 years, have been found throughout the Tucumcari region. Along the shores of what was once an inland sea, prehistoric hunters stalked mastodons and mammoths. Dinosaurs flourished and left their tracks behind.

In the 13th century, Anasazi Indians grew squash, beans and corn along the region’s many waterways. Pottery and other artifacts show that the area was a thriving center of ancient trade.

By 1700, Apaches, Comanches and other nomadic tribes roamed the land. Tucumcari Mountain provided an excellent vantage for hunting buffalo and antelope. The name Tucumcari is derived from the Comanche word, “ tukanukaru ,” meaning “to lie in wait for something to approach.” By the mid-19th century, the flat-topped peak served as a lookout for Comanche raiders preying on cowboys driving cattle along the Chisolm and Comanchero Trails.

The town of Tucumcari itself got its start in 1901 as a tent city known first as “Ragtown” and later as “Six Shooter Siding” along the Chicago, Rock Island and Union Pacific Railroad. When the railroad turned the camp into a division point in 1908, the settlement was renamed Tucumcari after the nearby mountain. By 1910, Tucumcari was a major railroad center – complete with roundhouse, depot, and water tower. Not to mention more than 60 thriving businesses.

Some of the first businesses to open in 1902 were the Barnes and Rankin furniture store, the A. B. Simpson hardware, A. A. Blankenship’s livery barn, a hotel, and of course the Monarch Saloon. A boarding house operated by Mr. and Mrs. Turner was located at First and Turner. Other businesses were the Pioneer Bakery, Arcade Restaurant, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with rooms for $2 a day, the Owl Saloon, Weldon and Young Real Estate and Investments, Jackson and Foxworth Lumber Company, and the Exchange Bank. Then there was the Gross Kelly Company of Las Vegas, offering general merchandise, andM . B. Goldenberg’s Mercantile Company. Max Goldenberg’s home was the first permanent home built in Tucumcari, and contained the post office.

The birth of Route 66 in 1926 brought new travelers to Tucumcari by the carload. Wagon yards, livery stables, and blacksmith shops were soon replaced with gas stations, motor courts, gift shops and cafes. Today, Tucumcari’s proximity to I-40 continues to attract travelers from all over the country.

As the town of Tucumcari continues to evolve, its people remain committed to preserving its rich history while expanding viable economic growth that will sustain future generations.


Contents

In the late 1960s, NATO developed a requirement for a small, fast warship to counter large numbers of Warsaw Pact missile boats, such as the Komar and Osa class missile boats, deciding that a hydrofoil would be the best way to meet this requirement. In 1970 Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the new Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), keen to increase the Navy's number of surface vessels in a cost-effective manner, committed the United States to the NATO program for a hydrofoil. The US Navy proposed the PHM design as a NATO standard, with the program being led by the US Navy, and an order placed for two prototypes in 1972. Ώ] The Italian Marina Militare and the German Bundesmarine signed letters of intent to participate in the programme, with other NATO navies, including the Royal Navy and Canadian Forces studying the project. ΐ] The US Navy planned to buy up to 30 PHMs, with 10 to be purchased by Germany and four by Italy. ΐ] Α] Β]

After Zumwalt's retirement, the Navy chose to funnel most of the money for the PHMs into larger vessels. This delayed the ongoing construction of Pegasus, and the other vessels were not started. Congress eventually forced the Navy to complete the vessels. The difficulties in project progression forced the other involved navies to abort their participation.

The Pegasus class ships were powered by two 800 horsepower (600 kW) twin turbo-charged Mercedes-Benz diesels when waterborne using water jets giving them a speed of 12 knots. When foilborne, the ships were powered by a General Electric LM2500 gas turbine and a very large water jet giving them a speed of 48+ knots.

Pegasus ships were well armed for their size, carrying two four-rack RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and an Oto Melara 76 mm gun. The Harpoons, specifically, were capable of sinking far larger ships at distances in excess of 60 nautical miles (110 km). The German version would have carried the MM38 Exocet.

As Pegasus was constructed several years before the rest of the series, there are some slight differences, such as the fire-control system.

All six vessels were constructed by Boeing, in Seattle at the Renton plant at the south end of Lake Washington. They were stationed at NAS Key West.

The technology was first pioneered by the USS Tucumcari (PGH-2), where it successfully operated in Vietnam, but ultimately ran aground off Puerto Rico. It was judged to be more advanced than the Grumman Flagstaff which was built at the same time to the same requirements. The primary technology, also used in the Boeing Jetfoil ferries, used submerged flying foils with waterjet propulsion.

The ships were retired because they were not judged cost effective for their mission in a Navy with primarily offensive missions rather than coastal patrol. USS Aries PHM-5 Hydrofoil Memorial, Inc. obtained Aries for rehabilitation as a memorial located on the Grand River in Brunswick, Missouri at 39°25′15″N 93°7′47″W  /  39.42083°N 93.12972°W  / 39.42083 -93.12972 . All other PHMs in the class have been scrapped except for Gemini which was converted into a yacht.


Ship evaluation method

During the Hysucraft development a tool was required to enable comparison of the ship’s efficiency with those of other craft. We already used a method to compare the quality of a foil wing with a planing craft by use of the aeronautical term lift/drag ratio.

In ship building the inverse is used to compare hull qualities, called the Resistance/Displacement ratio ε with R and D in Newtons it gives a dimensionless ratio.

The ship weight is usually given in t = 1000 kg but as a force has to be in newtons: D [N] = D [t] * g [m/s²] with g being acceleration of earth, 9.81 [m/s²]. In Fig. 19 the Resistance over Displacement Ratio ε is shown and tendency curves of various types of ships indicated, including hydrofoils and Hysucraft which give best efficiency for fast craft.

However, to compare the whole ship’s or boat’s quality their propulsion power Pb [kW] has to be compared.

Pb is in the horizontal direction, whereas D is in a vertical direction and the basic Power:

Pbasic is D [N] * Vs [m/s] = Pbasic [kw]

A dimensionless ratio is achieved by the ratio of:

Pb / Pbasic = Pb / (D [N] * Vs [m/s]) = EPS which is the equivalent to R/D ratio but by comparison of Powers.

The EPS turned out to be the inversed of the well known Transport Efficiency.

The Froude Displacement number is FnD = Vs [m/s] / with ∇ [m³]

We determined the EPS ratios of many different ship and boat types and collected them and plotted them over the dimensionless ship speed, (the Froude Displacement number) in the second chart below, which also shows tendency curves of typical ship types. This gives a good idea how ships compare and for which speeds they are best suited.

We developed the hydrodynamic performance ratio (HPR) by dividing the Froude number by the EPS value, which is called HPR. The HPR indicates a ship’s quality by a single number. The largest number indicates a most efficient craft. The most efficient ships hardly reach a HPR of 30, which would be the most efficient craft seen.

The best hydrofoils reach about 22, USS Tucumcari about 18.3, some hovercraft about 26.3, SES Corsair about 22.54, the demonstrator craft Thunder Child II with 26.176 at top speed and 24.117 at 45 knots cruising speed, and the Alpha Yacht with 28.765 to name a few examples.

The above evaluation method gives every boat owner a tool to find out how well their ship compares to others.

Hydrofoils’ HPR data are somewhat disappointing as these might have been adversely influenced by the low OPC data of the propulsion system and by the often-used V-foils. It might have even impeded worldwide hydrofoil craft development. We thus see hydrofoils still used in certain countries but hardly any new developments in recent years.

Resistance displacement ratios of seacraft High-speed surface craft power-ratio EPS

More recently a Hysucraft hydrofoil system was designed for the 23-metre trimaran Thunder Child II of Safehaven Marine in Cork, Ireland in collaboration with Frank Kowalski.The foils improved Thunder Child II‘s performance by nearly 35 per cent.

Thunder Child II at speed

The World Speed Record Run for boats of 15 metres length or more was then established on August 9, 2020 on the Cork-Fastnet Rock-Cork route with average speed of 45 knots and 53 knots top speed. We are proud of this considerable result together with Frank Kowalski.

I hope that my contributions to the IHS project are well understood and that it dispells the notion of hydrofoils becoming obsolete. Hydrofoils will continue to be developed, maybe just in minor deviations from the traditional hydrofoil designs as the enormous lift-drag ratio of hulls with foils cannot be ignored in marine technology overall.

Already sailing boats are revolutionised by foil assistance and many smaller boats, especially those with electric propulsion systems, are showing improved performance.

I hope that the IHS will continue their valuable efforts and present the technological development of hydrofoil wings to improve popular understanding.


Watch the video: Foilborne 1972 Documentary on US Navy Hydrofoil USS Tucumcari (January 2023).

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