Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Post-war development of Coastal Forces craft covering the Proud, Bold, Gay, Dark or Brave Class boats, as well as experimental craft
Dave Mills
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Postby Dave Mills » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:23 pm

More Photos and Information on my website http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/saro-hyd ... as-dor.php

CLICK the photos to ENLARGE

The hydrofoil development work by Saunders Roe in support of the Canadian naval hydrofoil program led to the construction in 1956/57 of the 59 foot long hydrofoil R-103 BRAS D'OR. She was equipped with ladder foils and powered by twin Rolls Royce Griffon engines driving twin contra-rotating propellers at the base of the central 'skeg' via bevel gearboxes. She was launched in May 1957, underwent sea trials on the Menai Strait in May and arrived in Canada in July where she went into the Royal Canadian Navy although never commissioned as a warship. R-103 BRAS D'OR was subsequently re-named BADDECK in 1962 in anticipation of the construction of the proposed larger HMCS Bras d'Or FHE-400 which was to be given the name in the late 1960's.

As R-103 BADDECK she retired from the Canadian Forces in 1973 and was later acquired by the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa where she remains in storage without her three foils, central twin propeller skeg or the two Griffon engines. No restoration has yet taken place.
Attachments
M 462-17.jpg
Launched on the Menai Strait - May 1957
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N 462-24.jpg
A fine view of the steering gear.
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O 462-20.jpg
An inspector was aboard to check for leaks and was kept busy pumping her out for the next few hours before she came out again!
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P 462-21.jpg
Preparing to fire up her twin mighty petrol engines
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Q 482-12.jpg
Her twin Rolls Royce Griffon petrol engines were set in line within the very narrow and cramped hull.
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R 482-13.jpg
Each engine drove separate propellers via bevel gear boxes mounted between the two engines. The gearbox output shafts then turned vertically downwards though the 'skeg' to another pair of 90 degree gearboxes that took one drive forwards and the other one aft. Both engines were needed to lift her onto the foils, then one could be backed off or shut down and the propeller feathered to reduce drag. The main running propeller was of conventioanal fixed pitch.
R 482-13.jpg (69.56 KiB) Viewed 5746 times

Dave Mills
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Postby Dave Mills » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:11 pm

This additional batch of newly discovered photos are of Bras D'Or inside Saunders-Roe works as she was being moved from Shop 5 to the original flying boat slipway in 1957. I have many more photos of her, but the forum only allows six photos to be added each time.
More can be seen on my website http://www.mprints.co.uk Check the Navigation page SARO Hydrofoil Bras D'Or

CLICK the photos to ENLARGE
Attachments
B 469-1.jpg
Finishing work on the front Vee ladder foils
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D 460-10.jpg
Rear view clearly shows the extremely narrow transom that was heavily reinforced to carry the steelable rear foil.
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E 460-11.jpg
Being reversed ready for rolling through the factory to the slipway
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F 460-12.jpg
It was during the manual rolling down the works road that they found the brakes were incorrectly adjusted and it began to run away. Quick reactions with a large timber plank halted it.
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G 460-14.jpg
Past Fryars House (offices) as she approached the old flying boat slipway
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H 460-21.jpg
Around the corner of Shop 1 with the Mould Loft and Drawing Officed on the right and Menai Strait beyond.
H 460-21.jpg (67.37 KiB) Viewed 5745 times

Dave Mills
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Postby Dave Mills » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:08 am

While scanning the old Saunders-Roe negatives I copied over thirty of the old company magazines (now availble on CD from my website) and also come across a couple of illustrations of Bras D'Or. One is a drawing and the other a fine artist's impression. I've also included an interior photo of the very narrow transom to show the massive reinforcement needed to carry the steerable rear foil structure. Part of the steering gear can be seen at the top of the photo.
Renamed 'Baddeck' she survives at the Ottawa Science Museum together with her foils and drive pod, but sadly without her two Rolls Royce Griffon engine.
See the notes about the twin propellers in the fifth photograph.

Click picture to ENLARGE
Attachments
1.jpg
Artist's Impression of Bras D'Or R-103
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2.jpg
Outline drawing of Bras D'Or R-103
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3 Baddeck.jpg
Renamed 'Baddeck'. She is now in the Ottowa Science Museum. They have confirmed that the foils and drive pod are in storage, but the two Rolls Royce Griffon engines are missing.
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3 K 462-55.jpg
Close up of Port Foil.
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3.jpg
Drive Pod showing one fixed and one variable pitch propeller. The variable pitch one would have been used for slow speed manouvering and reversing and during initial 'take off' after which it would be shut down and 'feathered' when the fixed pitch propeller took over running at speed.
4.jpg
View of transom reinforcement
4.jpg (58.24 KiB) Viewed 5729 times

Dave Mills
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Postby Dave Mills » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:27 am

Now for some photos of Bras D'Or in action.
There were some initial stability problems as can be seen when she would take a dive into a wave or just take on a list.
Steering was aslo found to be be poor and unresponsive. I can't say if all the problems were finally resolved before she was shipped to Canada in 1957.
Attachments
A 460-3.jpg
Bras D'Or being made ready to take to the Menai Strait
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5.jpg
Making waves as she crashes down on one foil
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6.jpg
Running west with a considerable starboard list
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7.jpg
Off the Gazelle Hotel Glyn Garth showing a slight list to Port
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8.jpg
Heading west on the Manai Strait
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9.jpg
Running level off Glyn Garth along the Manai Strait.
9.jpg (93.5 KiB) Viewed 5729 times

Dave Mills
Chief Petty Officer
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:35 pm

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Postby Dave Mills » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:08 pm

There is an excellent book 'Fastest in the World' by John Boileau on the Saga of Canada's Revolutionary Hydrofoils. I have just borrowerd a copy from my library and find it totally absorbing. It covers the experimental work of Alexander Graham Bell and 'Casey' Baldwin who developed 'hydrodromes' and Bell called them from the early 1900's. It was in the early 1950's that the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Navy began to consider the possible usefulness of high speed sub chasers with Saunders-Roe Isle of Wight carried out design work on R-102 and later R-103 based on Baldwin's designs and testing on R-100, aka 'Mazzawipi', aka KC-B (Casey Balwin). R-103 was built at Saunders-Roe's Anglesey factory and took around three years to design and build. Unfortunately the results of foil design development from R-100 didn't feed through in time be to incorporate in R-103's foils with the result that she inherited the earlier stability problems encountered over many years by Bell and Baldwin. R-102 was never developed as it didn't meet the Canadian or British Navy requirements. R-103 Bras d'Or was problematic during trials on the Menai Strait. She was shipped under cover as deck cargo in a modified aircraft carrier to Canada for further trials and development in Canada using the results of another test bed hydrofoil 'Rx' used for studying improved foil design. They eventually improved R-103 into becoming a reasonably successful craft and used her as a high speed tug for towed sonar research. In 1962 she was renamed Baddeck to free the name Bras d'Or for the mighty new 151 ft 200 ton gas turbine monster hydrofoil R-200 that was designated FHE 400 (Fast Hydrofoil Escort 400).
R-103 Baddeck (old Bras d'Or) is at the Canadian Science & Technology Museum, Ottawa, but is not on public display as there are no plans to conserve her.

FHE 400 Bras d'Or is on public display Bernier Maritime Museum, Quebec.

Some further information on the history of naval hyrofoils in the USA is also mentioned in the book.


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