THE NEW GERMAN DISPATCH BOAT METEORby@scientificamerican

THE NEW GERMAN DISPATCH BOAT METEOR

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In time of war the dispatch boats are the eyes of the fleet. It is their duty to reconnoiter and ascertain the strength of the enemy and to carry the orders of the commander. For this service great speed is of the utmost importance. As all nations have increased the speed of their war ships during the last few years, it has become necessary to build faster dispatch boats. Although our new vessels of this class, Blitz, Pfeil, Greif, Jagd, and Wacht, fulfill the requirements, still greater speed was deemed requisite, and steps were taken for the construction of the Meteor, which was launched at Kiel in 1890. This vessel is 262 ft. long, 31 ft. wide, and has a draught of 13 ft., and a displacement of 950 tons. There are two independent engines, each of which develops 2,500 h.p., making a total of 5,000 h.p.; and each engine drives a screw. When both engines are running with their full power, the Meteor has a speed of 24 knots (over 27½ miles) an hour, which is equal to the speed of a freight train.[1] As the resistance of the water increases greatly with an increase in the speed of the vessel, the engines of the Meteor are very large in comparison with the size of the vessel. The largest armored vessel in the navy, the Konig Wilhelm, for example, has a displacement of 9,557 tons, and its engines develop 8,000 h.p., driving the vessel at a rate of 14 knots an hour; that is, 0.84 h.p. to each ton of displacement, while in the Meteor there is 5.26 h.p. to each ton of displacement. The Meteor has a crew of 90 men, and an armament of eight light guns, and has no rigging; only one mast for signaling. Steam power is used for raising the anchor, removing the ashes from the engine room, and for distilling water. The vessel is lighted with electricity, and is also provided with electrical apparatus for search lights.—Illustrirte Zeitung.
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