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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:46 pm 
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I am very interested in USS Narwhal (SSN 671) because of her unique propulsion arrangement: a natural circulation reactor with a direct drive turbine and reactor coolant scoops like a Russian submarine making her the quietest SSN in the world until Seawolf. I was wondering if anyone had any plans, diagrams or drydock photos of Narwhal, as I've have been unable to find any such documentation. I checked the USS Narwhal veteran's website: nothing there. I tried to look through the photos on the Narwhal vet's facebook page (this technique has gotten me some fantastic drydock photos), but it's a closed group. There was nothing particularly interesting on Navsource either.

Also, Friedman's Submarines Since 1945 says that Narwhal had a 37.5 foot beam and I am inclined to believe this because the S5G reactor had to be a lot taller than the S5W for natural circulation to work. However, nearly all other sources claim she had the same beam as the 637s. Maybe the cause is that many people think Narwhal is a 637 because she has the same sail and general layout forward of the reactor.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:02 pm 
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Narwhal had the same beam as a Sturgeon (33 feet), and was basically an enlarged Sturgeon, longer than the 302 ft. "long hull" version at 314 feet. I believe a few of the hull openings and fittings were in different locations. Internally, it had a low speed direct drive turbine set, and the S5G natural circulation reactor.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Tom,

After reviewing a lot of different references, the beam of Narwhal does indeed seem to be 33 feet, so Friedman was wrong. However, this is not the same beam as the 637s, which had a beam of 31'8'' (the same as the Permits and Skipjacks). So she was beamier by 1'4'' (which means that she did not share the same pressure-hull forward of the reactor with the 637s). Her pressure hull also didn't have the wasp-waist of the other 2nd Generation boats, so she was half-way between the 637s and 688s in this respect. She was the quietest American SSN until Seawolf, which is a pretty astonishing fact given that she was commissioned in 1969. I sure wish I had some drydock photos of her (I really want to see those scoops).

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:13 pm 
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I would love to see both Narwhal, Lipscomb and Triton in 1/350. It seems that all other U.S. Nukes have been modeled with the exception of previously mentioned and a few class variations.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:18 pm 
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I think Lipscomb would be fairly easy as you could just take one of the Mikro mir kits, cut it in half and insert a 2.5 inch plug. What I really want is a 1/350 Parche both before and after her late 80s modifications. I suppose I could use the Mikro Mir kit, but making the turtle-back and sail would be a little difficult. Fun fact, Parche used the sail fairwater planes as the Los Angeles class, and I have an extra pair of these laying around from my Riich 688I.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:30 am 
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There was another Sturgeon that had a small superstructure behind the sail but i cant remember off the top of my head. Nice fact about the fairwater planes. I suppose it would make sense since they would need to be bigger with the hull not tapering in below them like a standard sturgeon.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:20 pm 
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USS Richard B. Russell (SSN 687) was the fourth American special projects boat and she had a fairing aft of the sail for a towed communications buoy (it was called a bustle, as in "Russell's bustle"). Parche had a very similar fairing from the mid 1970s to the late 80s.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Does anyone have a photo of the Narwhal's aft planes?

I read that the Narwhal's seawater scoops might have been part of her aft planes, as on the British Swiftsure, Trafalgar, and Astute-class submarines. This would make sense given that the British also told the US Navy about rafting.

Jacob

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:34 am 
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Found this little write up online:
Quote:
USS Narwhal SSN 671 was a very unique submarine. Although built as part of the Sturgeon Class in the late 1960s, very little of the NARWHAL’s design was based on the design of other boats in that class of nuclear-powered attack submarine. Her propulsion plant was one of her unique features. It was based on the ability to scoop seawater in through inlets on the rear stabilizer fins, and use this as coolant for the natural circulation (rather than pressurized) reactor plant. This, along with the small reactor coolant pumps, and a directly coupled turbine, made her the quietest submarine of the era.


How authoritative is that description of the scoops? I have no idea. I know the direct turbine drive is correct. Scoops on the stabilizer fins would make for a long piping run internally, with the pipes under sea pressure. No wonder SubSafe ruled out any followup builds with that design.

Here's the site URL: https://www.pinterest.com/offsite/?token=246-75&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.usmilitaryart.com%2Fsubmarines.htm&pin=6755468165952242&client_tracking_params=CwABAAAADDY4MDE3ODY1NjQ1NwA~0

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Researcher for: "Azorian: The Raising of the K-129" DVD
http://www.projectjennifer.at/
"Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129" Book
http://www.usni.org/store/catalog-fall-2012/project-azorian


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:51 am 
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Pintrest links don't always play well (I get a 404 error with the one you posted), so I believe this is the page it was referencing: http://www.usmilitaryart.com/submarines.htm

There, it cites the following right after the text you posted:
Quote:
Much of the information used to accurately portray NARWHAL is this profile drawing by George Bieda came from a member of her commissioning crew (a Plank Owner).

Whether that refers to just the drawing or also the text description, though...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Thanks, Tim for the link correction. Looking closely at the drawing, I can see the inlet on the horizontal stern plane.

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Researcher for: "Azorian: The Raising of the K-129" DVD
http://www.projectjennifer.at/
"Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129" Book
http://www.usni.org/store/catalog-fall-2012/project-azorian


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:54 pm 
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I might be going crazy, but if I squint my eyes, it looks like the Lipscomb has a dark oval on the leading edge of her stabilizer:

https://i.imgur.com/A1po5Ow.jpg

Could this be a seawater inlet? I have never heard any references to the Lipscomb or any other American submarine besides the Narwhal having seawater intakes, and I believe that the Lipscomb was identical to the other Sturgeons besides the power plant. It might be that the Lipscomb's design was begun after the SUBSAFE regulations and she wasn't able to have them, but it's possible her design originates from before big seawater intakes were outlawed. Unfortunately, I have no other photographs or plans of the Lipscomb to investigate further.

Jacob

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1/350 Alfa
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