Military Review

Submarine I. F. Alexandrovsky

Alexandrovsky submarine in history domestic shipbuilding entered as the first submarine, having a mechanical engine. All submarines that were built before her were set in motion by the muscular strength of the crew.

Ivan Fedorovich Alexandrovsky was born in Mitava in 1817 in the family of a petty official. Since childhood, Ivan Fedorovich showed the ability to painting, having achieved great success in this area. Arriving in St. Petersburg, Aleksandrovsky became a drawing teacher, continuing to improve in painting. In the early 1850s. Aleksandrovsky participated in several academic exhibitions, where his work was highly praised; he was considered a prominent artist. In order to have a livelihood, Aleksandrovsky opened a photograph that was considered the best in St. Petersburg. However, not photography or painting determined his life. I.F. Aleksandrovsky persistently studied physics, mechanics, chemistry, mathematics and was a famous inventor in the field of phototechnics. Encouraged by a patriotic desire to help the Russian the fleet, Alexandrovsky began to design a submarine. The idea of ​​building a submarine arose with Ivan Fedorovich in 1853, when he was in England for a photo shop, he saw a formidable fleet, standing on a roadstead and preparing for an attack.

Aleksandrovsky, returning to his homeland, began developing his project. Soon after learning that Bauer was already building the submarine, Ivan Fyodorovich stopped work “fearing to undergo a reprimand in imitation and lack of independence”. But in the 1856, Aleksandrovsky managed to see the Bauer submarine in Kronstadt, and it seemed to him very imperfect. Having finished his own project, Aleksandrovsky offered it to the tsarist government. The project was considered by the Marine Scientific Committee and for practical application was considered imperfect. Taking into account the comments of the committee, the inventor made several improvements to the project and resubmitted it for consideration. Only 6, thanks to the insistence of Burachk SO, a well-known shipbuilding engineer, the Scientific Committee again got acquainted with the project in May 1862. It is worth noting that considering the project of Aleksandrovsky, Burachek S.O. put forward a number of original ideas, the totality of which could form the basis for a new project. For example, Burachek suggested:
- replace the rudder and propellers with “through water channels”, i.e. hydro-jet propellers;
- to give the body in cross section a lower and wider shape (to make it close to an ellipse);
- replace the pneumatic machine with a steam turbine with an airtight water-tube boiler of its own design;
- apply horizontal retractable steering wheels installed in the area of ​​the mid-section.

Aleksandrovsky I.F. He refused to use in his draft proposals Burachka. The 14 Marine Scientist Committee approved the Alexandrovsky project on June, but it was stated that the Marine Ministry did not have the funds to build a submarine.

After long troubles, Aleksandrovsky was able to get 140 thousand rubles for the project. The Baltic plant 18 June 1863, the order was issued for the construction of the vessel, and in May 1866, the boat was finished. The dimensions of the boat were: length about 33 m, maximum width 4 m, height about 3,6 m, displacement 355 tons. The cross-sections of the submarine had the form of an upward-facing triangle with convex sides. This form of the case the inventor has proposed to slow the dive.

For the movement of the submarines installed air machines (twin-shaft installation), for which the compressed air was stored in 200 cylinders (steel thick-walled pipes with a diameter of 60 millimeters). The cylinders contained approximately 6 m3 air at a pressure of 60-100 atmospheres. According to the calculations, the inventor of the air reserve should be enough for 30 miles of navigation. Part of the exhaust air from the air vehicles entered the boat for breathing; excess pressure was blown overboard through a special pipe, equipped with a non-return valve, which prevented water from entering the vehicles when they were stopped under water. To replenish the air in the submarine there were specials. high-pressure compressor, which was designed by S. Baranovsky. (for the first time in Russia).

In the lower part of the diving boat, the 11 М3 ballast tank was arranged, into which the outboard water was taken in the quantity necessary to almost completely redeem the buoyancy of the boat. Ascent to the surface was carried out by blowing water ballast using compressed air; the tank was able to withstand a pressure of 10 kg / cm. On the boat, in addition to the ballast tank, there was a durable cylinder having a float gauge of water level; in this cylinder, water was taken after filling the ballast tank, extinguishing the residual buoyancy (the prototype of the leveling tank of modern submarines).

To keep the boat underwater at a predetermined depth, Aleksandrovsky provided for two stern horizontal rudders. The vertical steering wheel designed to control in the horizontal plane had the form common to the ships of that time. The vertical and horizontal rudders were located inside the submarine.

Aleksandrovsky was the first in Russia to use a magnetic compass on his submarine. To eliminate the influence of the surrounding iron, the compass was placed in the bow of a vessel made of red copper; The device worked satisfactorily. Also, a special chamber was arranged in the bow for the diver to exit under the submerged position; at this time the boat was held underwater anchors.

The armament of the boat - two interconnected floating mines; emerging mines were to cover the keel of the enemy ship (provided that the submarine will be under the ship). After the recoil of the mines, the submarine must withdraw to a safe distance and blow up the mines through the conductor by electroplating current; the explosive was ignited by the heat of the wire.

In the event of an accident, for the possibility of lifting the boat with his own means, Aleksandrovsky provided light pontoons, made in the form of leather bags, placed in the upper part of the submarine. Compressed air from cylinders was supplied to these bags. When air entered the bags, their volume increased, creating buoyancy sufficient to lift the vessel.

The owners of the Baltiysky Zavod were to complete the construction of the vessel by 1 September 1864, however they did not fulfill the contractual conditions; the boat was launched only in the 1865 year, and she had many different deficiencies. So, for example, propellers were made without a protective fence; the hatch of the diving chamber did not close hermetically, giving a leak; a lever designed to give away the mines was not produced at all - the inventor was forced to make it himself. For testing the boat was transferred to Kronstadt. Aleksandrovsky checked the operation of the mechanisms and 19.06.1866 began diving tests in Middle Harbor. However, Aleksandrovsky was waiting for new difficulties. Here is what the inventor wrote about it:

“To my extreme regret news things, no one dared to go down with me into the water in the boat. After a vain exhortation, I decided to go down alone, although I understood that it was extremely dangerous and difficult to cope with all the devices in the submarine; but to my happiness, someone Watson, the master of the MacPherson plant, expressed a desire to descend with me. ”

Submarine I. F. Alexandrovsky

The first submersion of the submarine Aleksandrovsky did not go very well.

“After descending 6 feet, I stopped the boat, keeping it in that position for about 20 minutes. During this time the boat was completely still.

Fully pleased with this first step, I prepared to lift the vessel, when suddenly there was a crash, all the candles and lamps went out instantly, and we found ourselves in total darkness. Watson shouted that an air pipe had broken. Having ordered him to go and open the bow hatch, I continued to touch the preparations for the ascent, but I could not see the manometer in the dark and therefore did not know what air pressure was let in the water tank. When I managed to open the water tap, the boat instantly resurfaced, it became light, but the terrible crash continued. I, expecting every second that we were crushed, did not move away from the crane until the moment when Watson opened the hatch. And only then I noticed what caused the terrible cod that Watson had mistaken for breaking the air pipe. ”

It was subsequently clarified. Ivan Fyodorovich instructed Watson to open the tank-blowing valve with compressed air, and warned him to keep an eye on the manometer of this tank, not allowing the pressure to rise above the 1 atmosphere. Aleksandrovsky himself was at the drive of opening the "water tap". Since the ballast tank was not completely filled, it was first necessary to create an air pressure equal to the outboard pressure in it, and then only open the “water tap”. Due to inexperience, Watson opened the purge valve more than necessary, and excessive pressure was created in the tank; the safety valve began to crack heavily, and then there was a rupture of the tank. Aleksandrovsky, fortunately, was able to open the “water tap” in time and the first dive, thus, there was no serious accident.

This case clearly demonstrated that the submarine can not allow people who are not trained to control mechanisms, devices and systems. After repairing the damage to the submarine, a commander was appointed — Captain Erdman — and a crew of sailors and 15 officers. The crew made several dives and short-term scuba diving, after which the Marine Scientific Committee tested the boat. The tests took place over three years. Then a new commander, Captain Rogul, was assigned to the submarine.

The Marine Scientific Committee, attended by Rear Admiral A.A. Popov. and Vice-Admiral Nevelskoy G.I. appreciated the invention: “The main question about the possibility of swimming underwater has been resolved: the boat made by Aleksandrovsky easily and comfortably descends into the water and floats up”. The realized idea of ​​Aleksandrovsky was recognized as “patriotic” and “brave”. The Marine Scientific Committee was asked to give all-out support to the cause, which, “while carrying out the Russian invention, with the expected expected success, is called for a great future to accomplish a revolution in sea wars and to give such strength at sea that other nations do not yet possess.”

Aleksandrovsky's submarine in the 1869 campaign of the year was sent to the fleet to see Tranzund. On the eve of the show on the Transund raid, she made a rehearsal for a dive, an underwater run at 4-meter depth and ascent. During the review, the next day, the submarine was placed near the frigate Petropavlovsk. The boat commander was ordered to go to the 4-meter depth under water from Petropavlovsk to the Tsar's Standard yacht (about 600 meters). Captain Rogulya made this voyage with success: during the underwater course the boat kept a constant deepening, which was observed on the mast-foot-rod, which was specially fixed on the submarine.

After examining the Tranzundsky raid, a new commission was appointed, from which Aleksandrovsky needed to walk a distance of about 5 miles at a depth of 1,5 meters (from the London lighthouse to the Corvette Gridieni, which was put to the raid). This distance was traveled, but the boat in the vertical plane proved to be very unstable: it then sank, then floated to the surface. Aleksandrovsky instability of the boat was explained by a shallow depth under the keel. The inventor pointed out that with a length of 33 meter the distance between the keel and the bottom should be at least 6 meters, and under the keel in this area was only from 2,5 to 3 meters; at this depth, the boat hit the ground twice.

Before diving to great depths, it was necessary to check the strength of the hull by immersing to a depth that exceeds that which the inventor considered necessary for the continuation of experiments. In Bjerkezund in 1871, the first such hull test was performed. The boat was submerged to the depth of the 24 meter without people. She passed this test: after lifting no defects were found. The next day, the submarine was lowered to 30 meters (without people), but it didn’t lift it: the hull was crushed and the ship was filled with water.

Only two years later, in the 1873 year, Aleksandrovsky managed to lift the vessel. The restoration of the boat was considered inexpedient, since it was considered unsuitable for military purposes. The main reasons were identified lack of strength of the hull, and other reasons, the most important of which was the inability to maintain a constant depth during the underwater stroke and the limited supply of driving energy.

The Marine Scientific Committee gave the following evaluation of the test results, which were carried out before testing the hull strength:

"The vessel traveled under water the distance in 1,5 miles in an 1 hour, consequently, at the speed of the 1,5 node, maintaining good heading, but could not keep at a constant depth, because during the hour-long transition the boat constantly submerged in water, then it showed the end his tower over the water ...

From 50 minutes of travel, the submarine path of the boat accounts for 30 1 / 4 minutes, the rest of the time is for the duration of frequent ship appearances over water ...

Regulation of the depth of navigation during the described hour transition was made by admitting water into the tank and releasing it from the tank. Then the boat still 30 minutes passed under water. At the same time, the depth was regulated by horizontal rudders. The ship also could not keep at a constant depth, so that the advantages of one method over the other ... were not noticed. "

After that, bearing in mind that according to the statement of the captain of the first rank Andreev, the commander of the boat, the vessel “did not have enough compressed air for further experiments, the boat was released into the harbor in tow by the steamer Petersburg. After approaching the Middle Gate, the tugboat was given away, the boat entered the harbor independently, passing from the 1 / 4 hours by its own means. ”

According to V. Kupreyanov, “the entire course of the course for which the vessel had enough driving force turned out to be equal to 1 3 / 4 hours, which at a speed in the 1,5 node will allow you to go 2,625 miles”.

Later Aleksandrovsky was asked to install a steam engine on a submarine, for which it was necessary to increase the vessel's displacement. In addition, he made some other improvements to the project. The Marine Technical Committee reviewed Aleksandrovsky’s new proposals and, in 1876, gave an opinion:

"The new project of Aleksandrovsky removes the continuation of the development of the issue of scuba diving, and yet this issue remains unresolved due to the requirements that the inventor set out in the initial draft and which he hoped to achieve ... and therefore the Shipbuilding Division decided to reject Aleksandrovsky's proposal to restructure under the new project of the existing boat ".

In connection with the decision of the Shipbuilding Division on the theoretical study of the issues of scuba diving, Kupreyanov V. carried out a large amount of work. This work dealt with the problems of the vertical stability of the vessel during an underwater course.

Kupreyanov, in his research, considered which forces affect the submarine when moving. He concluded that the vessel has constantly changing forces, which, together with the displacement of the vessel, take part in determining the movement of the ship in the horizontal and vertical directions. Considering the main acting forces - hydrodynamic and wave resistance - Kupreyanov was looking for the most advantageous form of the submarine, in which it is possible to minimize the vertical movement of the vessel during an underwater course.

Kupreyanov, in search of the conditions of dynamic equilibrium, came to the conclusion that the forces that influence vertical stability depend to a large extent on the location of the propulsion unit, the load of the boat and the formations of the hull. Comparing these conditions with the reasons that violate vertical stability, Kupreyanov concluded that it was possible to combine them in one vessel. He pointed out that one of the main conditions for vertical stability is the elimination of a pair of forces (water resistance and driving) in a submarine so that the directions of these forces are combined into a single straight line. Kupreyanov for this purpose proposed to place the axis of the propeller shaft in a straight line representing the direction of the resultant force of water resistance. This condition can be satisfied only when the submarine hull will have a form in which the resultant of all resistances acting on different parts of the hull surface will be directed along the axis of symmetry (this, in turn, can be achieved if the submarine is given body of rotation).

Kupreyanov, through his research, told designers the way to eliminate the torque that results from the mismatch of forces that act on a submarine during its movement. In conclusion, Kupreyanov noted that the satisfactory results of adjusting the movement of a torpedo are explained both by the good performance of the control devices and by the fact that the torpedo is in form a body of rotation.

In addition to the in-depth studies of Kupreyanov, the inventors directing the thought to search for perfect forms of the submarine hull, numerous articles were published by opponents of the development of scuba diving. Some of these authors considered the development of submarine construction for military purposes inexpedient, others - argued that the "harassment" of scuba diving is fruitless.

For example, in his review of the submarine’s project N. Spiridonov, General Konstantinov wrote:

“At the beginning of the present century, the possession of a submarine or the conduct of experiments on this subject could have produced fear in the enemy; for the general course of military operations, it was not useless, as the fear created in England by Fulton’s investigations produced in France revealed; however, now the enterprise of experiments on submarines cannot even rely on this indirect benefit militarily ... "

Another author, the captain of the first rank of Zelenaya, outlining his own considerations in connection with the unsuccessful trials of the Alexandrovsky submarine, came to the following conclusions:

“The submarine cannot stand motionless at a certain depth, because to achieve depth, the vessel must alternately add or lower its own weight and will constantly move up and down without having any support for itself in the surrounding water. It has the same oscillatory movement in the vertical plane when moving ..., therefore, one cannot expect any practical results from the implementation of the construction of submarines ... "

The merits of Aleksandrovsky I.F. in the history of the development of Russian scuba diving indisputable. He was able to solve the problem of creating a large metal submarine with a mechanical engine, and for the first time carried out a two-shaft machine installation. Aleksandrovsky also used for the first time in his boat the flushing of ballast water by means of compressed air, as is done on modern submarines. For the first time on a Russian submarine a magnetic compass was used.

Creative penetration into the hydrodynamic phenomena that accompany the movement of the boat under water allowed Aleksandrovsky to understand the need to install horizontal stern rudders, despite the difficulty of arranging them in the stern of the vessel, where the lines of the propeller shafts and the engine room were located. It should be noted that the American “David” boats, which were built during the same period in the USA, had only nasal horizontal rudders.

Stern horizontal rudders main and on modern submarines. At first glance, it seems that with equal areas of bow and stern horizontal rudders, the efficiency is the same. However, it is not. The fact is that the hydrodynamic moment of the horizontal stern rudders is always of the same sign, that is, the torque is equal to the sum of the moments of the rudders and the hull. Under the action of the nasal horizontal rudders, the hydrodynamic moment of the hull is directed back to the moment of the rudders, that is, the torque will be equal in this case to the differences in the moments of the rudders and the hull.

Unfortunately, the speed of the submarine Aleksandrovsky was so insignificant that he could not in practice verify the effectiveness of the applied aft horizontal rudders. On modern submarines, both bow and stern horizontal rudders are commonly used. Ascent and diving maneuvers are usually carried out under the action of horizontal aft rudders, and to keep the vessel at a predetermined depth they use bow horizontal rudders that create an angle of attack that is opposite to the angle of attack of the submarine hull.

Aleksandrovsky developed and, in 1875, a project was presented for converting a submarine into a semi-submersible mine-carrying vessel with a displacement of 630 tons with an “enormous speed”. It was proposed to replace the pneumatic machine with a steam engine with a capacity of about 700 hp. This project, like its other proposals, did not accept. The inventor of his next project (the sinking submersible ship with a displacement of 460 tons and a length of 41 meters), proposed by France, offered to France, but the French government could not pay any decent remuneration to the inventor.

At the end of the 1880-ies, Alexander returned to the idea of ​​reconstructing his submarine. He developed a new project, in which a boat armed with 12 torpedoes was supposed to have a surface speed of about 10-12 knots and an energy reserve (air motor 150 hp) for diving for 7 hours.

Over 35 years Aleksandrovskiy I.F. worked on his own invention. A wonderful patriot of his homeland, Aleksandrovsky did everything he could to strengthen the combat power of the Russian fleet. But his activity was not supported by the tsarist government. Aleksandrovsky went bankrupt and in 1894, he died in the hospital for the poor, forgotten by all.

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  1. alex86
    alex86 27 October 2012 09: 32
    In Russia, as always, there is no prophet in our own country. These were people. The construction for those years is wonderful. We still do not have a non-volatile EU. The theory was developed, new possibilities opened up ...
    1. Kir
      Kir 27 October 2012 14: 17
      I completely agree with you, as they say, not for the first time on the same rake, either we slow down or don't notice it at all! , but we notice someone else's, although often someone else's is "our former" with little or no alterations at all. Sadly though!
      And the author wishes to continue the series started !!!
      1. ulyakinmariupol
        27 October 2012 17: 35
        Thanks for the flattering words. The series will surely be continued, in the near future new articles on this topic will be posted.
        1. Kir
          Kir 27 October 2012 23: 44
          Yes, you know how you wish, if possible, illuminate the topic of underwater inhabited vehicles, but for some reason, undeservedly little coverage
  2. Alex
    Alex 19 December 2013 14: 46
    But his work with the tsarist government did not find support
    For which he deservedly paid in 1917. as the saying goes, "you reap what you sow."