:: SS UNITED STATES (1951) ::

SS United States Trans-Atlantic passenger liner (1951) 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

Complement: 1093

Passengers: 2008

Cargo: N/A

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