Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Ictineo II

The Ictineo II was invented by Narcis Monturiol (1864 Barcelona, Spain) to help coral divers with their dangerous work. It was the first real submarine, which actually was far ahead of its time. It displayed a lot of features, which we are used to see in modern submarines today, such as for example a double pressure hull, engines operating under water, and regeneration of the air to allow its crew to survive once the ship was submerged. It used 2 steam engines. The one cylinder engine in the rear of the submarine was used for under water navigation. In that case the water in the boiler was heated by a chemical reaction, which besides heat also generated oxygen. This actually allowed the Ictineo II to stay submerged for hours. The 2 cylinder engine in the front of the ship served for surface navigation. Under these conditions the water in the boilers was heated by burning coal. The coal was stored in the container in front of the conning tower. When running on the surface the two air intakes (two vertical pipes) were opened to ensure the air supply. The Ictineo II was designed for peaceful under water missions. The model shows the ship equipped with a coral catcher (spear-like apparatus plus basket mounted on the very front) designed to collect corals under water.

Building the model took me approximately 9 years. This was not so much due to the degree of difficulty of the model but rather due to my ongoing lack of time for modeling. Please feel free to use the images (and/ or the above model information) in your web blog section. I agree, the model really looks good in your display case!

Best regards,


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