High resolution picture
Only after the Second World War was when United States built a large and fast enough passenger liner to take part on the
competition for the Blue Riband. The keel of the SS United States was laid down in February 1950 and in June 1951 the huge
ship was launched. During her maiden voyage across the Atlantic in the summer of 1952, the SS United States, whose construction
costed 72 millions of dollars, achieved the Blue Riband by reaching the average speed of 34.48 knots.
The SS United States, which had accommodation for 2008 passengers and a complement of 1093 crewmen, could be easily
transformed into a troop transport that could carry an entire division. Air conditioning was installed across the whole ship
and a novelty was the superstructure built in aluminum, which allowed to greatly reduce the displacement of the ship and hence
achieve higher speeds. With 240000 horsepower the SS United Stated could reach speeds around 36 knots, but her service speed
was 30 knots. She had the most powerful steam turbines of any commercial vessel and the greatest power-to-weight ratio ever
achieved in a passenger liner.
By the late 1960s the market for Trans-Atlantic marine travel had dwindled and the SS United States was no longer profitable.
While the ship was at Newport News (Virginia) in 1969 for her annual overhaul, the shipping line decided to withdraw her from
service, leaving the ship docked at the port. After a few years, she was relocated to Norfolk (Virginia). Subsequently, ownership
passed between several companies but none of them made an effective use of the ship.
As 2017 goes by, the SS United States still exists but her future remains uncertain. Since 2011 the preservation of the ship
has been entrusted to a private group that had been on a tight budget. The last plan to redevelop the vessel was offered by
Crystal Cruises in 2016, but after a nine-month study it was concluded that returning the ship to service as a cruise ship would
not be economically feasible, so the plan was dropped and Crystal Cruises made instead a donation of 350000 dollars to help with
the preservation of the ship until the end of the year.
Class: 1 unit
Type: Oceanic passenger liner
Length: 301.75 meters
Beam: 30.91 meters
Height: 53.34 meters from keel to funnels' top
Draught: 9.53 meters
Displacement: 45400 tonnes
Tonnage (gross register): 53329 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Westinghouse, 8 x boiler Babcock and Wilcox, 240000 horsepower
Speed (service): 30 knots (55.5 kilometers/hour)
Range: 10000 nautical miles (18520 kilometers) at 35 knots