What is the Top Speed of a Navy Hydrofoil? [2024]

Have you ever wondered how fast a Navy hydrofoil can go? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Navy hydrofoils and explore their top speeds. Get ready to be amazed by the incredible capabilities of these high-speed vessels.

Quick Answer

The top speed of a Navy hydrofoil can vary depending on the specific model and design. However, the Pegasus-class hydrofoils, which were employed by the United States Navy from 1977 until 1993, were capable of reaching speeds over 48 knots (55 mph) when foilborne. This impressive speed was achieved thanks to the powerful General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engine that propelled the hydrofoils when they were flying above the water on their foils.

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Quick Tips and Facts

  • Navy hydrofoils are high-speed vessels that use underwater wings, called foils, to lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and increasing speed.
  • The Pegasus-class hydrofoils were armed with eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and a Mk 75 76 mm OTO Melara gun.
  • These hydrofoils were constructed by Boeing and stationed at NAS Key West.
  • The top speed of a Navy hydrofoil is achieved when it is foilborne, meaning flying above the water on its foils.
  • The General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engine is responsible for propelling the hydrofoil at high speeds.

Background: The Pegasus-class Hydrofoils

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The Pegasus-class hydrofoils were a series of fast attack patrol boats employed by the United States Navy from 1977 until 1993. These hydrofoils were designed to operate in coastal waters and were highly successful in conducting operations such as narcotics interdiction and coastal patrol in the Caribbean basin.

The hydrofoils were constructed by Boeing at the Renton plant in Seattle, Washington. They were powered by two 800 horsepower twin turbo-charged Mercedes-Benz diesel engines when hullborne, giving them a speed of 12 knots (14 mph). However, when foilborne, the hydrofoils switched to a General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engine and a large water jet, allowing them to reach speeds over 48 knots (55 mph).

History of the Pegasus-class Hydrofoils

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The Pegasus-class hydrofoils were originally intended for NATO operations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. However, they were later deployed by the United States Navy for coastal operations. These hydrofoils were armed with two four-rack RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and an Oto Melara 76 mm gun, making them well-equipped for their missions.

Despite their success in conducting coastal operations, the Pegasus-class hydrofoils were retired in 1993. The decision to retire these vessels was based on the judgment that they were not cost-effective for the Navy’s primarily offensive missions. However, one of the hydrofoils, the USS Aries PHM-5, was obtained by the USS Aries PHM-5 Hydrofoil Memorial, Inc. for rehabilitation as a memorial located on the Gasconade River in Gasconade, Missouri.

List of Ships

The Pegasus-class hydrofoils consisted of six vessels, all constructed by Boeing at the Renton plant in Seattle, Washington. Here is a list of the hydrofoils:

  1. USS Pegasus (PHM-1)
  2. USS Hercules (PHM-2)
  3. USS Taurus (PHM-3)
  4. USS Aquila (PHM-4)
  5. USS Aries (PHM-5)
  6. USS Gemini (PHM-6)

FAQ

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How fast is the Navy hydrofoil?

The top speed of a Navy hydrofoil can vary depending on the specific model and design. However, the Pegasus-class hydrofoils, which were employed by the United States Navy from 1977 until 1993, were capable of reaching speeds over 48 knots (55 mph) when foilborne.

Read more about “What are the Benefits of Hydrofoil Boats? …”

What is the Navy’s fastest ship?

The Navy’s fastest ship is the hydrofoil. The Pegasus-class hydrofoils, with their top speed of over 48 knots (55 mph), were the fastest ships in the Navy during their service.

How fast can a US Navy destroyer go?

A US Navy destroyer can reach speeds of up to 30 knots (35 mph). While this is impressive, it is still significantly slower than the top speed of a Navy hydrofoil.

What is the fastest ship today?

The fastest ship today is the Francisco, a high-speed trimaran built by Austal. It can reach speeds of up to 58 knots (67 mph), surpassing the top speed of the Pegasus-class hydrofoils.

Conclusion

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In conclusion, the top speed of a Navy hydrofoil can be incredibly fast. The Pegasus-class hydrofoils, with their impressive speed of over 48 knots (55 mph) when foilborne, were a testament to the incredible engineering and design of these high-speed vessels. Although they have been retired from service, their legacy lives on as a symbol of the Navy’s pursuit of speed and efficiency.

If you’re interested in learning more about hydrofoiling and other related topics, be sure to check out our other articles on Hydrofoil Basics, Hydrofoil Equipment Reviews, and Advanced Hydrofoiling Techniques. And if you’re curious about the largest hydroplane ship, don’t miss our article on What is the Largest Hydroplane Ship? 2023.

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