December 22, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 294 days
With exactly 42 weeks to go until Queen Elizabeth enters service, I have some stunning new pictures to show you. There are so many key moments in the new build process, but for Cunard, the addition of the iconic red funnel has to be a very special one. We’ll come to that in a moment, but Simona Capraro, who has done such an amazing job over the months taking photos of our new Queen’s progress, took some other fascinating pictures as well:
Here you can see the two ABB pods which will literally hang from the stern of the ship, moving Queen Elizabeth through the water with two of these propellers.
6 x Mak M43C diesel engines will create the electricity to power the ship and the pods, which can rotate 360 degrees. This means, just like her two sisters, there is no need for a rudder or stern thrusters. I’m afraid I don’t get much more technical than that, apart from telling you that Queen Elizabeth will have a top speed of 23.7 knots which is the same as Queen Victoria.
The bow section has also recently been added and this brings a wonderfully elegant line to our stunning new Queen.
Don’t worry, the letters spelling out “Queen Elizabeth” are still there, but along with the rest of the new bow section, have just been painted with the special protective paint. The letters will be prominent again when the bow is painted in the traditional Federal Grey paint with the lettering in white just like her sisters.
It was a busy week as the funnel was delivered to the dry dock from one of the other areas of the yard. When you see it like this you realize how colossal it is.
The funnel was then lifted gently in to place:
It’s quite a tight squeeze under the massive crane with only a few feet to spare. The total height from her keel to the top of the funnel is 64.6 metres which is nearly 212 feet (of which 56.6 metres or 185 feet will be above the waterline). What a splendid sight that is and to me becomes the crowning glory of the construction process, often referred to as topping out.
There is now very little left to add to the main superstructure, but this will happen over the coming weeks. As you can see from this picture she is already looking fantastic:
The next important event will be early January, when Queen Elizabeth’s hull will touch water for the very first time. The final details of the Float Out are still being made, but rest assured we’ll all be there to capture the excitement of the day with photos and video footage to be posted on this Blog shortly afterwards.
I’ll be back on Thursday with a festive Blog and pictures of our decorated Queens, but in the meantime I hope you are enjoying this special time of year wherever you are. Cheers Alastair.