TBD Turbine Prototypes (1900) TBD

There were three torpedo boat destroyers used to gain experience with turbine engines. These new engines were trialled because it had become apparent that reciprocating engines had reached the end of their development and also the speed shown by the private yacht Turbania which gate crashed the Royal Fleet review

The first ship was HMS Viper, contracted to Parsons Marine Turbine Co. While showing her speed, she made 36.8kts during one trial, she also showed that turbines were extremely inefficient with fuel consumption at cruising speeds. Unfortunately she ran aground during trials to test service conditions.

It was considered that turbines could be worthwhile if their low speed fuel consumption were cured. So the need for another trials ship was important.

Meanwhile Armstrong of Elswick had built a spec TBD which had failed to find a buyer. She had been bought as HMS Cobra and while considered weak in structure strength work to rectify this had been done. She broke up on her delivery voyage near Cromer so the need for another trials ship was unfulfilled.

Persons had under construction another spec ship which incorporated cruising reciprocating engines. She was bought as HMS Velox, and successfully made 33.1kts during trials.

The reciprocating cruising engines were replaced with cruising turbines in 1907. 


- Cobra
- Velox
- Viper
- Specifications
- Ships
- Plans/Schematics
- Pictures

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This page last edited - 10 December, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.