1.2.1843 Roma/I - 28.6.1928 Bembridge - Isle of Wight/UK
John I. Thornycroft studied at Glasgow University under Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) and William John Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872). While being an assistant to a shipyard, Thornycroft submitted his first paper to the Institution of Naval Architects INA contributing to the resistance of ships. In 1866 Thornycroft began building small launches at Chiswick in the yard which was later destined to become famous for the production of high-speed launches and torpedo craft. The fast steam ship Miranda was constructed in 1871, the yacht Gitana in 1876 and HMS Lightning, the first torpedo built for the British Navy, followed almost immediately. Sir John built an experimental tank at his home on the Isle of Wight where his famous tests were conducted.
Thornycroft took a special interest in screw propellers. He made probably the first experiments in which the power transmitted to the screw was measured simultaneously with the thrust. Eventually, he produced his screw propeller for shallow-draught tunnel steamships. He also made notable advance in the hull design of torpedo boats by the adoption of the flat, wide form of stern on the water line, in place of the usual fine water line aft. One of the most noteworthy vessels constructed to the design was the Ariete for the Spanish government in 1887, which attained a speed of 26 knots. Thornycroft later was occupied with torpedo boat destroyers: HMS Daring made in 1893 a record speed of 28 knots. In the 1890s, Thornycroft gave a great deal of attention to the problems connected with the stability of ships at sea and carried out extensive experiments which are described in papers published in the Transactions of INA. Thornycroft presented the Miranda III in 1911 which attended the world speed record of 35 knots. The honor of knighthood was conferred on him in 1902. His shipyard was taken over by his elder son.
Anonymous (1928). Sir John Isaac Thornycroft, FRS, LL.D. The Shipbuilder 28(8): 524-525. P
Anonymous (1928). Thornycroft, Sir John I. The Engineer 146: 6-8. P Anonymous (1928). The late Sir John I. Thornycroft. Engineering 126: 19-21. P Dorey, A.L. (1967). A compact ship model tank. The Engineer 224: 244-245. P
Pike, W.T., ed. (1908). Sir John Isaac Thornycroft. British engineers and allied professions in the 20th century: 129. Pike: Brighton. P
Thornycroft, J.I. (1881). On torpedo boats and light yachts for high speed steam navigation.
The Institution: London.
Thornycroft, J.I. (1901). Engineers and shipbuilders: Thornycroft&Co: London.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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