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Submarines

A Collins class submarine of the Australian navy. It is propelled by diesel-electric engines: three internal combustion engines,...Read More >>A Collins class submarine of the Australian navy. It is propelled by diesel-electric engines: three internal combustion engines, running on diesel oil, drive an electric motor which turns the propeller. A submarine is a vessel that can travel submerged under the water as well as on the surface. A submarine has extremely strong hull to resist the pressure deep under water. Most large submarines consist of a cylindrical body with a tower, called a fin, sail or conning tower, where communications, sensing devices and periscopes are located, on top. There is a propeller at the rear end, along with rudders, fins and planes which can be adjusted to control and steer the submarine through the water. Ballast tanks between inner and outer hull are used for diving and surfacing.


A model of the first working submarine, the Turtle. It used screws for propulsion.

The Turtle

The Turtle was built in Connecticut, USA in 1775, during the American War of Independence. Its inventor, David Bushnell, intended it to attach explosive devices to British ships at harbour, although it never achieved its objective. It was the first submarine capable of travelling underwater and the first to use a screw propeller. It dived by letting in water into a tank at the bottom, and surfaced by pushing water out through a hand pump. Hand-cranked propellers drove it through the water. The Turtle contained enough air for one person for about 30 minutes.

History of submarines

The first submersible was built in 1620 by Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel. It was propelled underwater by means of oars.

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