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Head on Collision

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Timothy McCulloch, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    I should have stuck it under the what if's thread sorry,and anyways Titanic forums are for discussing Titanic. What do you think forums are for? wink.gif
     
  2. >>What if the Titanic slowed down and rammed the iceberg head on? One would think Titanic would not even punch any rivets in and just sail on to New York.<<

    Alyson, there just wasn't time to slow down. The iceberg was seen too late for any sort of attempt to be made.

    However, the question of what might have happened was brought up at the British inquiry with Edward Wilding. He was of the opinion that the ship would have survived, albit with a couple hundred feet of her bow punched in.
     
  3. Alyson, to get a feel of what a head on collision might have felt like to anyone not in the crumple zone, just take a drive in a car and bring it up to 26 miles per hour. Then apply the brake so you bring you car to a full stop in no more than 100 ft.
     
  4. OK, since we are dealing with a few "what if's", check out the possible headline for the NY Times on April 19, 1912:
    Titanic's Arrival in NY Marred By Maiden Voyage Mishap
    135301.jpg
     
  5. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    I think it was Major Peutin who described the sensation when Titanic hit ice as something like the ship being struck by a big wave. This is actually a very good description. Anyone whose been on a docking ship which contacts the quay even gently - knows what the gallant major was describing.
    Hitting it head- on even at a few knots is most definitely a 'sensation'- even to the guys in the engine room.
    Everyone on board Titanic was moving at 22.5 knots just before the vessel hit.
    I suggest that if there had been a head-on collision the same 'everyone' would continue to travel forward at 22.5 knots even though the 'container'(Titanic) they were in was trying to stop suddenly or in cases earlier described herein - go back the way it came. Glancing contact is different. The 'container' is forced -off line of travel but the 'contents' still want to go in the original direction and toward the point of collision. This can be seen in the slow-motion re-runs of tests simulating head and side-on collisions.
    Make sure you've got your seat belt on Alyson and the head rests are in place!

    Jim.
     
  6. WOW SAM! That's a neat image. Did you superimpose a picture of the HAWKE (Collision with Olympic) forepeak damage over Titanic?
    No doubt that she lived up to her *unsinkable* stature here...;-)

    Michael Cundiff
    NV, USA
     
  7. Just having a bit of fun Michael with photo editing. What you see is the bow of the Arizona, which was crushed in after hitting an iceberg head on, superimposed on a picture of Titanic docked at a quay. I had to flip Titanic into a mirror image and adjust the sizes of the photos so the two would fit. And then a little smoothing in places so it looks like one photograph.
     
  8. Jason D. Tiller

    Jason D. Tiller Moderator Member

    Hi Jim,

    You're right, Major Peuchen did describe it that way. From the Senate Inquiry:

     
  9. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    >>What you see is the bow of the Arizona, which was crushed in after hitting an iceberg head on.<<

    Yes. That's what i was trying to say. A head on collision would have diffrently saved Titanic! no doubt.
     
  10. >>A head on collision would have diffrently saved Titanic! no doubt.<<

    "No doubt" is a mighty chancy leap. Edward Wilding would have agreed with you, but a lot would have depended on how far the ship's bow was crumpled and whether or not any part of the structure was compromised aft of that.

    The Arizona survived but we shouldn't forget that this ship was only capable of doing about half of Titanic's speed and didn't have as much of her own mass working against her.
     
  11. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    >>The Arizona survived but we shouldn't forget that this ship was only capable of doing about half of Titanic's speed and didn't have as much of her own mass working against her.<<

    Michael sir.I don't really understand! You mention that Arizona is much slower than Titanic,so i'm guessing Arizona is a much smaller ship than Titanic. If a Smaller ship can survive a head on collision,than no doubt Titanic could survive a head on collision,keeping in mind Titanic can stay afloat with her 4 first compartments flooded. Head on collision would damage a least 2 or three compartments?
     
  12. >>If a Smaller ship can survive a head on collision,than no doubt Titanic could survive a head on collision<<

    Actually, it doesn't. Whether or not a ship survives depends on a lot of factors not the least of which is the nature and extent of the damage suffered and how well the crew can control the situation. Size helps, but it's not a gaurantee. If a crucial bulkhead gives up the ghost because of impact and racking damage, all bets are off!
     
  13. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    >>If a crucial bulkhead gives up the ghost because of impact and racking damage, all bets are off!<<

    Olympic was smashed by a war ship in one spot, and the ship handle the mishap and survive the mishap greatly. Would not Titanic handle the ice berg head on in the exact way, how the olympic handle the collision with the war ship?
     
  14. Shea Sweeney

    Shea Sweeney Member

    True, Alyson, but I believe the HMS Hawke struck the Olympic above the waterline. If anyone else has something to add to this go right ahead; it's been a while since I've read up on the Olympic - Hawke collision.

    However, how about the Stockholm after it collided with the Andrea Doria in July 1956? The damage done to the bow of the Stockholm is incredible but the vessel managed to limp into New York Harbor.

    I should have to agree with those who believe the Titanic probably would have stayed afloat had she taken the iceberg dead on.
    135323.jpg
     
  15. At the time of the collision, Stockholm was moving at more than 18 knots and Andria Doria at almost 22 knots. What you see in the photo is the first 75 feet missing from Stockholm's bow after penetrating about 30 ft into Doria's side. Stockholm's collision bulkhead was destroyed, but her second watertight bulkhead held. The collision was so violent that Stockhold was actually pushed backwards and turned around by the Doria which was about 2 1/2 times more massive than the Stockholm and packed about 3 1/3 more energy when the two collided. As a result, Stockholm was actually pushed backwards by about 5 knots while the Doria lost only about 6 knots of forward speed.

    At least if Titanic had ran into the iceberg head on, it would loose only its own kinetic energy and come to a dead stop. Although the iceberg was much more massive, it pack zero kinetic energy relative to the water it was floating in. If Wilding was about right in his estimate, the first 2 or 3 compartments would have been compromised, and many of her crew and possibly some 3rd class passengers who were located there would have been lost.
     
  16. Jeff Brebner

    Jeff Brebner Guest

    As the Stockholm hit the Dorea, there would (I assume) be a certain amount of energy absorbed by crumpling steel, like the crumple zones in a car.

    In a head on collision with an iceberg, Titanic would have done pretty much all the crumpling. Nor would an iceberg be as likely to move in the water because of an impact. Titanic would have come to a VERY abrupt halt. She might have survived, but the impact would be terrific, and I doubt anyone could have kept their feet.
     
  17. Alyson:
    While the Titanic's Mass and Velocity were greater than Arizona's her hull strength wasn't proportionately greater. Thus the damage inflicted would probably been greater.
    Regards,
    Charlie Weeks
     
  18. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    Charles Sir. If that's the case, then Olympic would have sunk after colliding with Hawke and a German submarine but she survived and limp back to port,but it seems you are not giving Titanic enough credit.It sounds like Titanic would have been strong enough to bear a head on collision.(maybe not the 3rd class passenger's in the bow).
     
  19. >>how the olympic handle the collision with the war ship?<<

    She was t-boned in the side and only two compartments were breeched. She was designed to survive that kind of damage. In fact, it was just that sort of accident which was planned for and for which the ship had the watertight compartmenting and reserve bouyancy for.

    The damage to Titanic was actually fairly minor in and of itself. A few sprung and split seams here, a few buckled plates and sheer rivits there, in fact, the actual size of the openings totaled not less then 9 square feet and no more then 12 square feet. That's about the size of a refigerator door.

    The killer is that the damage was such as to leave five and even possibly six sections in open communication with the sea. For all her strength, Titanic couldn't survive that.

    With a head on collision at full speed, the dynamics change dramatically. As Captain Weeks pointed out, the strength of the ship does not increase in preportion to her size. When the bow is crushed, you're dealing with some truly signifigent structural damage. Plates are shattered and/or crushed, frames are distorted and mangled, rivits or welded seams (If any) are cracked open, watertight doors can be sprung from distorted frames, and as often as not, survival can depend on a single bulkhead holding up. (It was that single bulkhead on the Stockholm holding up which saved the day for her. Had it failed, she probably would have beat the Andrea Doria to the bottom!)

    When you get down to the nitty gritty, it all depends on how much reserve bouyancy you have left, and just how much more punishment the structure of the ship can take.

    [edited to correct historical error]
     
  20. Alyson Jones

    Alyson Jones Guest

    >>The damage to Titanic was actually fairly minor in and of itself. A few sprung and split seams here, a few buckled plates and sheer rivits there, in fact, the actual size of the openings totaled not less then 9 square feet and no more then 12 square feet. That's about the size of a refigerator door. <<

    Michael sir.Titanic did not hit one certain part of her hull like Olympic did,Titanic scrape the Iceberg long cross her hull, right up to 4-5 compartments switch Titanic was not design to handle. Olympic had two collisions one on her side in one spot and a front on collision,both she survived. Titanic's hull was scrape along side filling more compartments.Titanic had a head on collision she would have handle the mishap like Olympic did and how other ships handle the mishap.
     
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