RMS Aquitania - Cunard's Superliner


Hey guys,

Got a couple questions regarding Cunard's RMS Aquitania.
1. How far along was Aquitania's construction the day that Titanic sank? By looking at the timeline of her contruction, I think that the builders were probably in the process of plating the hull. Can someone shine a light on this?
2. Can someone explain the main differences in the watertight subdivision of the Aquitania vs. the Olympic class? Which ship was safer?
3. What are the advantages of Aquitania's turbine propulsion over the combination machinery (2 reciprocators and turbine) in the Olympic class? I personally prefer the combination machinery from an efficiency standpoint, in that the design was readily proven in service. Turbines, on the other hand, would take many decades to perfect the designs.
4. Why did Aquitania end up being smaller than the Olympic class in terms of GRT (gross registered tonnage)? I would think that since she was longer and wider than the Olympic class (901 ft x 97 ft vs. 882 ft x 92 ft) that her GRT would be somewhat higher, say 48,000 to 50,000 gross tons. Can someone explain this oddity?


That's all for now...comments would be appreciated.


Brent Holt

1. Aquitania's keel was laid the same month as Olympic's maiden voyage-June 1911. She was a year away from launching when Titanic sank. (And 2 years from her maiden voyage)
2. That would be a long story. (Aquitania was a VERY safe ship and comparable, and perhaps better, than Olympic in terms of watertight subdivision.)
3. Aquitania and Olympic were similar in running costs, so Aquitania's powerplant was acceptable. It did not take decades longer to develop the steam turbine. The geared turbine was available towards the end of WW1 and they outclassed reciprocating engines in efficiency.
4. Olympic had about 11 more feet of depth to her and this boosted her gross tonnage, a measurement of enclosed internal space and not weight, to slightly above Aquitania's. Olympic was the larger of the two.