October 2020 Picture of the Month

My interests are nothing if not eclectic, and this is reflected in the projects I get involved in. This is the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, photographed in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard for an editorial project exploring the work of john Scott Russell and William Froude in the development and application of the science of hydrodynamics to the shape of ships' hulls. The efficient hull shapes which are to be seen on modern vessels owe much to the pioneering work of these two men – Russell in the 1840s and 50s, Froude in the 1860s and 70s – and those who followed in their footsteps. The first large ship to be built with a hydrodynamically-efficient hull was Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Great Eastern, built by Scott Russell in the late 1850s, and the shape of the sleek and elegant hulls of fast clipper sailing ships were based on his and Froude's calculations.

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All images and text © John Hannavy