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British Industrial History

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MGB 2009

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1947 G.1 marine gas turbine and gearbox from MGB 2009, on display in the Science Museum in 2010

WWII Karl Baumann at Metropolitan-Vickers, as well as working on gas turbines for aircraft, also devoted attention to their Naval uses.

1943 Metropolitan-Vickers received an order to produce a gas turbine propulsion plant to replace one of the three Packard petrol engines in Motor Gun Boat MGB 2009. The petrol engines would provide (relatively) economical propulsion for cruising, while the gas turbine would provide a considerable boost in power on the limited occasions when high speed was needed.

1947 MGB 2009, the world's first gas-turbine propelled ship, went to sea. The vessel was modified by Camper and Nicholsons. The engine was designated the Metrovick G.1, or Gatric, using a 'third batch' F.2/3 engine as the gas generator, driving a new four-stage power turbine. Its output was transmitted through a gearbox and free-wheeling device to drive the propeller. The engine and gearbox unit is (or was) on display at the Science Museum.

The experiment was successful, showing that the engine did not collect unusual levels of deposit even operating at sea level, that it was easier to maintain than the internal combustion engines alongside, and that it handled satisfactorily in the craft[1]. Orders were subsequently received for further Naval designs.

Vosper subsequently rebuilt the former Steam Gun Boat (SGB) HMS Grey Goose with the Rolls-Royce: RM60 engine, and the two Bold class experimental patrol boats, fitted with Metropolitan-Vickers: G2 engines - HMS Bold Pathfinder and HMS Bold Pioneer

MGB 2009 was later renumbered H.M. Gunboat 5559[2]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, June 15, 1953
  2. The Times June 15, 1953