It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible

The future we used to have – special 3


I’ve done air and land, so now it’s time for sea. Here’s ten sea- and river-going vessels from the last century whose lines possess that all-important futurism. Well, I think they look cool anyway. Trump-ish facts and figures added for extra nerdishness.


NS Savannah
Nuclear-powered cargo passenger ship (US)
length 181.66 m
displacement 9,900 tons
max speed 24 knots
crew 124
in service 1959 – 1972

Kirov-class battlecruiser
Nuclear-powered battlecruiser (USSR)
length 252 m
displacement 24,300 tons
max speed 32 knots
crew 710
in service 1980 – present

Bathyscaphe (Switzerland/Italy/US)
length 18.14 m
displacement 50 tons
crush depth 10,916 m*
crew 2
in service 1953 – 1966

British Hovercraft Corporation SR.N4
Passenger hovercraft (GB)
length 56.83 m
displacement 265 tons
max speed 83 knots
crew 3
in service 1968 – 2000

Ben Franklin (Grummman/Piccard Px-15)
Mesoscaphe (Switzerland/US)
length 14.86 m
displacement 130 tons
crush depth 1,200 m
crew 6
in service 1968 – 1971

USS Long Beach
Nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser (US)
length 219.84 m
displacement 15,540 tons
max speed 30 knots
crew 1160
in service 1959 – 1995

Kosmonaut Yuri Gagarin
Space-control monitoring ship (USSR)
length 230 m
displacement 53,500 tons
max speed 17.7 knots
crew 340
in service 1971 – 1991

Raketa Hydrofoil Burevestnik (Stormbringer)
River hydrofoil boat (USSR)
length 26.9 m
displacement 25.23 tons
max speed 38 knots
crew 4
in service 1957 – 1970s

Akula class submarine (‘Typhoon’)
Ballistic missile submarine (USSR)
length 175 m
displacement 24,500 tons
max speed 27 knots
crew 160
in service 1981 – present

SS Oriana
Ocean liner (GB)
length 245.1 m
displacement 41,923 tons
max speed 30.64 knots
crew 899
in service 1960 – 2005

Displacement is approximate, as some figures are long tons, some are metric tons, and some are actually gross weight (although for a submarine that should be the same as displacement…).

* The Trieste could not go any deeper than this, of course, as that’s the bottom of Challenger Deep.

3 thoughts on “The future we used to have – special 3

  1. It’s a shame, isn’t it, that the most iconic machines of an age tend to be… uh, ships.


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