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FlyingFortress

Beware Learner Driver or The Trial Run big style

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Hi All,

Going on a Trial run to learn how to drive this beastie on Friday.

http://youtu.be/zMct-d68CM0

Wish me luck.

We are doing proving trials on our Simulator to figure out how to get these things into our new Container Port at London Gateway and I am one of the Pilots who will be driving the ship.

Should be interesting :naughty::naughty:

Rod

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You won't even break a sweat Rod, but good luck anyway. ice slice

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Thanks All,

So here is the story.

Gateway was designed for the largest Container ship in existence. This ship was much smaller than the Maersk "e" class (Emma etc).

Looking ahead we looked at the "e" class and decided that we could accomodate this size ship at the draft that they were operating at. At the time. :oops: around 13 to 14 m.

Now we are looking at a vessel with an operating draft of 16m :o

Not only that we are looking at a vessel that does not display the charecteristics of the container vessels that we are used to. Although no way near what anyone who drives a boat can envisage the ships we do now in London do have very large engines compared to what we are used to. So when we order "Slow Astern" on the engine its like pulling the handbrake up and the ship actually stops. 70,000shp does act like this on a ship displacing "only" :o 100,000t.

We are now moving into the getting on for 200,000t with next to nothing underkeel clearence and only a 30,000 shp increase in power (ships misbehave with minimal underkeel clearence).

Our biggest problem is that ports like Felixtowe and Southampton have grown up gradulally with the increase in size of Containerships. We at London have come to a dead stop at 300m and are now Looking at ships of 400m+

I have some fairly outlasndish ideas as how to handle these ships including backing them up for the best part of 3 miles. Friday will see if my ideas will work or not. And even if I can do it I have to sell the ideas to a fairly conservative bunch of pilots.

Thats what I need the good luck wishes for :oops::oops::oops:

These things will behave more like a tanker than a containership.

Happy days

Rod

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I know you'll be just a tard busy but some pics would be good :o

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Busy Col? he will be stood out on a bridge wing rolling a fag! :wave

Andy

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OMG that leaves a Nimitz class aircraft carrier in the shade!

Hope all goes well

Ian :Sailing

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I have some fairly outlandish ideas as how to handle these ships including backing them up for the best part of 3 miles.

Rod, Like most modern container ships the visibility from the bridge looks to be severly resticted when she is loaded to capacity. Do they fit reversing cameras as standard?

Are you thinking of backing her out of the berth until you get to an area where it is easier to turn her, or turning her and backing her into it?

Is there an offical exclusion zone in the Thames estuary, i.e. like they operate in the Solent from Cowes Roads up to Southampton, with small craft prohibited from getting too close to the heavies and enforced by an escorting Harbour master's patrol craft?

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Hi Martin,

Yeah I wish they did supply reversing cameras as on the RC45.

Yup my suggestion was to swing them in a larger area so we do not have to be so accurate with our speed and positioning and then we can swing them faster so not to be blocking the navigation channel for too long. The estimates we had for the time taken to swing these ships was around 20 mins so if we could swing them faster and then back them to the berth or back them out and swing them downriver then we could reduce the time we are blocking the channel.

We scheduled this scenario for this afternoon but as it turned out we aere able to swing the vessels off the berth in around 10 mins so we did not find the need to go down that route. Instead we concentrated on swinging the vessels first at high water slack then at 2 and 3 hours before high water with no wind. Then we did a series of departures with and without a swing in winds up to 25kts using around 70t bollard pull tugs. Some were sucessful and some were not but at least now we have a good idea of where to start laying down operating windows for these ships.

I even had a complete blackout and lost engines,steering and thrusters on the approach to the berth and although with great deliberation the ship contined towards the berth with us all going "its gonna hit" she actually stopped ( with tugs) 3m from the quay wall.

As to the exclusion zone well that is already enforced for the large tankers so I guess it will be extended to these vessels as well

Pics to follow

Rod

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Hi All,

Now forgive me but today was quite intense with myself and 2 others doing docking after docking so I did not get many pics but here are a few.

post-176-136713826056_thumb.jpg

post-176-13671382607_thumb.jpg

Now this one did not go well and the ship crunched the quay on departure.

post-176-136713826075_thumb.jpg

I dont know if you can see it well enough but this was a stbd swing attempted on the ebb tide (coming from the bow) with 25kts of wind straight on to the ship. We do of course learn from these mistakes and I was able to then succesfully do this job after learning from another.

The fist pic shows the limited view fwd on these vessels as there is only 130m sticking out the front. There is 270m sticking out the back that maybe can be seen on the second pic that shows the overhead view.

In the third pic you can see the telegraphs (throttles) both full back and the thruster controls at full also.

More in a bit

Rod

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Just an interesting one to show the versatility of our simulator.

post-176-13671382632_thumb.jpg

This unit can be lifted up and placed to fit over the steering wheel so we can train on ships with azimuthing pod drives.

I did not show it very well but in the previous post there are 2 throttles ergo twin engines ships.

In the next series the throttles are joined together and we have a single screw ship.

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Just to validate the data I did a departure with a ship that I handle on a fairly regular basis for comparison.

This ship is the same size as the dark coloured ship ahead of the ship in the first pic(edit to add and. ahead of this one). 289m long 32m wide and 12.5m draft.

The big un is 400m long 59m wide and 14.5m draft

post-176-136713826331_thumb.jpg

Now I thought this would be interesting comparing the graphics on the simulator with a real pic

post-176-136713826344_thumb.jpg

post-176-136713826349_thumb.jpg

Now these are not the same place as the real one is at Nothfleet Hope (Tilbury) and the new terminal (Gateway) is still a big heap of sand and cement at the moment.

And of course the first triple E class has not been built yet.

Rod

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I must say I am a bit cream crackered after all that today with the first run at 0845 and the last finishing at 1630.

The 2 others involved were pilot managers (qualified pilots ) but I did the majority of the work as they had other things to attend to from time to time.

I did manage to survive without a single bump including the blackout with 3m to spare but then I did learn from others mistakes in some cases.

Quite strange at times having the harbourmaster driving the ship for me ( I mean him operating the controls and me conning) for some of the day.

The other guy who worked hard all day was the sim operator (annother pilot) when normally there are 2 taking turns about at operating the sim and driving the tugs. He had a bit of help early on setting things up but then the other guy was conducting an azipod course and then actually going out with some other pilots and driving a twin azimuthing stern drive tug (The Millgarth).

I did find it very interesting putting these runs on record so we can set some limits etc and hope I am involved when we do it again.

I do think that when the time comes to do this for real a couple or three days on the simulator will give confidence to the pilots of how to handle these ships as they are nothing like the regular ships that we do. You really have to use a lot of engine power to make them do what you want them to. For example I rarely go over Slow Ahead or astern when handeling container ships for real but today I was using half ahaed or astern as the norm and sometimes both engines together at this setting. Full was used quite a bit on one engine as well. As suspected the things did not like to stop once they got going and did not want to go when stopped.

I think I deserve a pint now

I will probably run Sally right into Broad Ambition when taking her out of the shed on Monday :oops::oops::oops:

Rod

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Blimey Rod thats some beast

think I deserve a pint now

I will probably run Sally right into Broad Ambition when taking her out of the shed on Monday :oops: :oops: :oops:

Rod

I would be more than happy to take her out if you wish :grin:

Jonny

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