The "Aluminaut", the world's deepest diving submarine and the only aluminium submarine, was developed over five years at a cost of $3 million by Reynolds International Incorporated, associate company of Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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Background: The "Aluminaut", the world's deepest diving submarine and the only aluminium submarine, was developed over five years at a cost of $3 million by Reynolds International Incorporated, associate company of Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond, Virginia, USA. It was launched on 2 September 1964.
Unlike other underwater research vessels, the "Aluminaut" is a true submarine, independent of cables or hoists from surface ships. It is designed to operate down to 15,000 feet, far deeper than any existing submarine.
It can cruise along the ocean floor, providing scientists with great mobility for detailed studies. A vertical propeller permits it to hover and stay in place for special observations, as well as helping control rate of ascent or descent.
A pair of robot hands is fitted to the bow to perform tasks such as collecting ocean bed specimens, assisting in core drilling, or even adjusting bits of fixing cables on underwater equipment.
Range - about 80 miles
Cruising speed - 3.8 knots
Maximum time submerged - 72 hours
Crew - pilot and two scientists
Power source - four 77-cell silver wins storage batteries, each delivering 32,500 amp-hours
Vertical propulsion - single propeller, 5 hp direct current motor
Horizontal propulsion - twin screws, each driven by a 5 hp direct current meter
Ports - four ports in bow (three downward, one forward)
Displacement - 75 tons
Size - length, 50 feet 11 inches; outside diameter, 6 feet 1 inch, inside diameter, 7 feet
Construction - 11 forged aluminium cylinders, each 40 inches long by 6 1/2 inches thick, weighing 7800 lb each. Field strength - 60,000 lb per square inch