Howell Torpedo

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Picture: The Howell torpedo on display at the Museum

The Howell Torpedo

In Service/Development 1870-1889
 

 

Usage:

Anti-surface ship

 

 

Propulsion:

132-lb flywheel spun to 10,000 rpm

 

 

Speed:

25 knots

 

 

Range:

400 yards

 

 

Length:

11 feet

 

 

Diameter:

14.2 inches

 

 

Weight:

580 pounds

 

 

Explosive Charge:

100 pounds wet guncotton

 

Primarily the work of LCDR J. A. Howell, the Howell torpedo was developed between 1870 and 1889. It required preparation prior to firing by spinning the flywheel for mobile power. If the torpedo was prepared ahead of time, very little recharging was necessary at the time of firing. The torpedo had variable pitch propellers and a shell of brass. It was used on U.S. battleships and torpedo boats until 1898, when it was replaced by the Whitehead torpedo. The Naval Undersea Museum houses the only known Howell torpedo in existence today.

 

Howell torpedo on Exhibit

 

 

Close-up of the propellers

 

 

Close-up of the torpedo nose

 

 

Firing of the Howell torpedo, about 1900

 

 

History of the Howell Torpedo

 

Back to Torpedoes

Last Modified: Friday, June 27, 2008.

 

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