What is the Largest Hydroplane Ship? [2023]

Have you ever wondered what the largest hydroplane ship in the world is? Hydroplanes are fascinating vessels that use hydrofoils to lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and allowing for incredible speeds. In this article, we will explore the largest hydroplane ship ever built, its history, and some interesting facts about it.

Table of Contents

Quick Answer

The largest hydroplane ship ever built is the USS Plainview. It was a hydrofoil ship commissioned by the United States Navy in 1969. The USS Plainview was used for experimental programs to evaluate hydrofoil design principles and develop tactics and doctrine for hydrofoils, particularly in anti-submarine warfare. It had a length of 220 feet 6 inches and a displacement of 310 long tons.

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Quick Tips and Facts

  • The USS Plainview was the largest hydrofoil ship ever built.
  • It was commissioned by the United States Navy in 1969.
  • The USS Plainview had a length of 220 feet 6 inches and a displacement of 310 long tons.
  • It was used for experimental programs to evaluate hydrofoil design principles and develop tactics and doctrine for hydrofoils.
  • The ship was decommissioned in 1978 and partially scrapped in 2004.

Background

Hydrofoils are vessels that use underwater wings, called hydrofoils, to lift the hull out of the water at high speeds. This reduces drag and allows the vessel to achieve higher speeds than traditional boats. Hydrofoils have been used for various purposes, including military applications, passenger transportation, and recreational activities such as hydrofoil boarding.

History

The USS Plainview, also known as AGEH-1, was a hydrofoil ship commissioned by the United States Navy in 1969. It was built by the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. The ship was named after Plainview, New York, and Plainview, Texas.

The USS Plainview was primarily used for experimental programs to evaluate hydrofoil design principles and develop tactics and doctrine for hydrofoils, particularly in anti-submarine warfare. It played a crucial role in advancing hydrofoil technology and understanding its potential applications in naval operations.

The ship had a length of 220 feet 6 inches, a beam of 40 feet 5 inches, and a draft of 24 feet 4 inches. It had a displacement of 310 long tons and was powered by two diesel engines and two 14,000 horsepower General Electric LM1500 free-turbine turboshaft engines. This propulsion system allowed the USS Plainview to reach speeds of up to 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph).

Despite its impressive size and capabilities, the USS Plainview did not carry any armament. Its main purpose was to serve as a platform for hydrofoil research and development.

Unlimited Hydroplanes

While the USS Plainview holds the title for the largest hydrofoil ship, it is worth mentioning another type of hydroplane called the unlimited hydroplane. Unlimited hydroplanes are high-speed racing boats that compete in hydroplane races, such as the H1 Unlimited series.

Unlimited hydroplanes are not military vessels like the USS Plainview but are designed for speed and performance. These racing boats can reach incredible speeds, often exceeding 200 miles per hour (322 km/h). They are powered by turbine engines and use hydrofoils to lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and increasing speed.

FAQ

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How big is the unlimited hydroplane?

Unlimited hydroplanes vary in size, but they are typically around 30 to 40 feet in length and have a beam of around 12 to 15 feet. They are much smaller than the USS Plainview, which was a military hydrofoil ship.

What is the largest hydrofoil ever built?

The USS Plainview holds the title for the largest hydrofoil ever built. It had a length of 220 feet 6 inches and a displacement of 310 long tons.

Read more about “How Big Can a Hydrofoil Be? …”

Why was the USS Plainview scrapped?

The USS Plainview was decommissioned on September 22, 1978, and partially scrapped in 2004. The decision to scrap the ship was likely due to its age and the Navy’s evolving needs and priorities. Decommissioning and scrapping older ships is a common practice in the military to make way for newer and more advanced vessels.

How much do unlimited hydroplanes cost?

The cost of unlimited hydroplanes can vary depending on various factors such as the design, construction materials, and engine specifications. These racing boats can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the USS Plainview holds the title for the largest hydrofoil ship ever built. It was a hydrofoil ship commissioned by the United States Navy in 1969 and played a crucial role in advancing hydrofoil technology. With a length of 220 feet 6 inches and a displacement of 310 long tons, the USS Plainview was an impressive vessel used for experimental programs and research. While unlimited hydroplanes are smaller in size, they are also fascinating vessels that use hydrofoils for high-speed racing.

If you’re interested in hydrofoil boarding or learning more about hydrofoils, check out our other articles on Hydrofoil Basics and Advanced Hydrofoiling Techniques.

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