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Thread: Asiafreighter
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Old 9th September 2005, 09:27
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Gulpers Gulpers is offline   SN Supporter
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Active: 1972 - 1981
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The four ships were powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Gas Turbines. As mentioned in my previous post, we generally didn't need the speed when crossing the 'pond'. The ships came into their own on the coast when, if there had been a delayed departure from one port, we had to 'boot it' to reach the next port on schedule.
I served as Cadet, 3/O and 2/O on the Asiafreighter and Asialiner and used to get a real buzz when driving the maritime equivalent of a Porsche up the English Channel.
All four ships were originally powered by Dash 4 Pratt & Whitneys - the engines fitted to a Boeing 707. The Asiafreighter was used as a testbed for the US Navy and could also use the Dash 12 Pratt & Whitneys - these were the engines fitted to early Boeing 747s. With the 'big' engines fitted the AF could easily maintain 36 knots without going to 120% power. The best speed I ever witnessed on the AF was 43 knots 'over the ground' with a following tide in the Pentland Firth - chocks away, or what?
cboots is correct, all that power came at a price. The AF could consume 240 tons of MGT4 a day on each engine. There were a couple interesting spin offs from burning Av Gas. Tank inspections could be carried out without getting filthy and secondly, there was a residue from the burnt fuel which was pumped into bunker barges in Rotterdam each trip. This waste was able to be burned in conventional diesel engines without any further refining.
Oh happy days - I have so many memories of these ships and the people I sailed with.

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