Bell-Halter Delivers Surface Effect Ship To Corps Of Engineers

The Rodolf, a 48-foot surfaceeffect ship built by Bell-Halter, New Orleans, La., for the Portland (Oregon) District of the U.S.

Army Corps of Engineers, has begun a Gulf and Atlantic Coast tour to demonstrate its operational and hydrographic surveying capabilities.

As a result of the surfaceeffect ship's (SES) unique design, the Rodolf is expected to significantly improve hydrographic and surveying technology through its higher speed capabilities and minimal wake. The boat rides on a cushion of air contained by catamaran- style sidehulls and flexible bow and stern seals. When cruising, the center portion of the hull is clear of the water and supported by the air cushion, thereby reducing resistance, enabling higher speed and improving ride and stability qualities.

The hull, f a b r i c a t e d of allwelded marine alloy 5086 aluminum, was designed with special attention given to the hydrodynamic/ acoustic effects on the scientific survey equipment. Liberal use was made of sound-dampening materials and vibration absorbing mounts. The basic craft design is quite flexible, making it suitable for other applications such as a pilot boat, a search and rescue craft, or a harbor patrol boat.

Two 350-hp Detroit Diesel 8V- 92N marine engines power twin four-bladed propellers, and a Detroit 105-hp 4-53N marine diesel drives the 30-inch-diameter Bell centrifugal lift fan. The widely spaced propellers make the craft highly maneuverable at all speeds, both cushionborne and hullborne.

The 35-mph all-weather survey boat was named for Frederick W.

Rodolf, f o r m e r C h i e f , Hydrographic Survey, Portland District.

Bell-Halter is a joint venture formed by Bell Aerospace Textron, division of Textron, Inc., and Halter Marine, Inc. to design, build, and market air-cushion assisted craft f o r commercial service.

Other stories from April 15, 1980 issue

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