Large Scale Test Hydrofoils

Large Scale Test Hydrofoils

 International Hydrofoil Society Photo Gallery

Last Updated April 18, 2011

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From 1961-1966, the Boeing owned and operated Aqua-Jet provided a continuous “water tunnel” between its sponsons in which to measure the hydrodynamic parameters of many small, scale model hydrofoil “wings” of different designs at various angles of attack, depths and speeds. The instrumentation was such that a complete “polar” plot (of lift and drag versus angle of attack at any one foil depth and speed) could be obtained in a run time of only 30 seconds!

Except for the unique sponson configuration and pure turbojet propulsion, HTS resembled the American Power Boat Association’s “Unlimited Class” racing hydroplanes of that era. HTS was 38 feet long, with a beam of 17 feet. Initially powered by an Allison J-33 turbojet with 4,600 lbs. of thrust, the brown-and-white HTS then displaced about six tons and was capable of speeds of up to 100 knots (115 mph). In 1963, after major modifications to the hull and the installation of a Pratt & Whitney J-48 turbojet with 6,350 lbs. of thrust, the blue-and-white HTS displaced closer to eight tons with a top speed of 130 knots (150 mph).

Operating on Lake Washington in Seattle only on calm water and during daylight hours, HTS proved to be indispensable in adding to the knowledge of hydrofoil design and performance at that time and in the years that followed.

(Rev. 110418 MM)

FRESH-1 – The purpose of the 53-foot, 16.7 ton Foil Research Experimental Supercavitating Hydrofoil, designed and built by Boeing for the US Navy in the 1962-63 time frame was to evaluate a variety of foil designs and foil system arrangements at high speed. The twin-hull catamaran arrangement provided a large clear space between the hulls, within which different foil systems could be mounted. There was complete freedom for the arrangement and location of foils relative to each other. FRESH-1 capsized at 70 knots during a high speed Acceptance Trial on 18 July 1963. The incident strongly influenced the US Navy’s decision to abandon its goal of a 100-knot hydrofoil and concentrate instead on achieving reliable 50 knot operations.
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Canadian R-X Craft

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