FLIP! A curious research vessel by US Navy

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by daiquiri, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I came upon this story almost by accident, while exploring the link given by Angelique in this post, in another thread: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/al...-sinks-near-southampton-43864.html#post567287

    There was a link in that magazine to another story, which talked about this US Navy research platform called FLIP. It was designed to be towed in horizontal position like any other ship, but once arrived to the area of operation it would fill it's tanks with water and flip over to a vertical position, extending for 300 ft (around 91 m) under the water surface and 55 ft (around 17 m) above it. Definitely something you could classify as "out of the box" design. :)

    Here is the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...arch-vessels-50th-year-acrobatic-display.html It also contains a video which shows the impressive sequence of FLIP's flipping over.

    But there is an even more curious, funny and informative video about FLIP on Youtube, it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM6jFokRoZk&feature=player_embedded#! .
    In that video you will hear an extremely interesting and detailed story about FLIP's characteristics, physical principles, design goals, missions, plus some basics of underwater acoustics. All brilliantly and humorously narrated by Mr. Fred Fisher, one of co-designers of FLIP.

    Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. :)

    Cheers
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    This ship was on all the covers of the consumer science magazines at the time: Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, etc. I remember marveling at the design as a little kid, my dad would show me the magazines with pictures and cross sectional views of it. It was a great time to get interested in science, the space program was just getting under way as well.
     
  4. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    I remember it, simple idea. I believe it was meant for mid-ocean research. I also remember someone had idea to launch Missles and space rockets that way. I wonder how the flip would handle a hurricane?
     
  5. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    Indeed.
    Conceived on viewing a mop handle floating upright in the water.
    They used to drum into us the value of a 'prepared mind' in our intro science course work...
     
  6. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Perhaps you didn't check the video of the lecture by Mr. Fisher. Yeah, it is pretty long but it is worth watching. ;)

    At some point near the end he told the story of hurricane-induced ocean swells which occured somewhere in the Pacific, which have forced the crew to abbandon the platform. Check it out, the video of the waves and of the escape from the platform is indeed impressive.

    The problem was in the main design feature of the vessel - it was made to remain vertically still like a pillar, in spite of wave-induced vertical water motion, to provide the best working conditions for sonar arrays. Works well under design conditions but becomes a problem when waves become too big.

    However, I understand it's just a matter of size. A scaled-up version of the platform, with superstructure designed for submersion, should be pretty immune to any wave influence.
     
  7. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Not size per se.

    So long as the natural period of heave is sufficiently far away from the period of waves it experiences, the relative vertical heave displacement should be very low.
     
  8. BPL
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    BPL Senior Member

    Either Discovery or the History channel did an hour show on FLIP not too long ago.
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Yeah Flip is old stuff.

    Its even got flipping toilets and everything in the flipping galley.

    Flipping engines and gens quite a feat.

    Walls become floors. Not difficult and very clever when you see it done.

    A toilet for instance is close to the wall and water feed and return is out the rear so it can be turned 90 degrees so the base is now facing the wall,--the wall becomes the floor.

    Its flipping easy to do.
     
  10. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    No engines, it's a towed platform.
     
  11. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Errr no--the flip im talking is a long narrow ship that 90% sinks with its bridge and engine room aft so stays above water.
     
  12. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Then it is not the same flip vessel shown in my OP. This one has no engines and has to be towed to the area of operation.
     
  13. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    It may be my next boat....
     
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member


  15. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    That is the only flip I know,
     
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