« 이전계속 »
cations for the machinery of submarines of the "N" class and for the fleet submarine Schley. Plans were also provided for the machinery of tugs Nos. 17 and 18, the Wando and the Pocahontas, building at the navy yards Charleston and Norfolk, respectively, and also for small craft under construction.
Attention is specially invited to the fact that work on the design of machinery, especially where a number of different types of vessels is included in the building program, is seriously hampered by the limitation placed by Congress on the employment of technical employees in the bureau. The marked increase in types of vessels, as well as the number of vessels in the fleet, has greatly increased the work required to be done in the division of design of the bureau, but much that it is desirable to do is left undone because of the inadequate force of employees. A similar condition exists in the machinery division of navy yards. The increase in the amount of new construction work that is now done entails a vast amount of drafting which the force heretofore employed is unable to cope with, and the only remedy is to increase the number of draftsmen, provision for which has been included in the estimates. While the cost of this additional drafting work should logically be lodged against the appropriation for building the vessels concerned, the law provides only for charging it against the current appropriation of the bureau.
The work of the electrical division of the bureau has been largely of a routine character, comprising chiefly the laying out of electrical systems for ships under construction and the examination of plans submitted by contractors.
Marked extension has been made in the installation of emergency lighting systems on board ship; and further experimenting with submarine signal apparatus has furnished valuable information for improvement in this means of signaling:
The improved type of searchlight referred to in last year's report is being developed by manufacture in this country, and further contracts have been made for the new lights. Conversion of old searchlights, which was in contemplation, has been deferred on account of lack of funds for carrying on the work.
The work of doubling the electric capacity of 26 destroyers has been completed, and they are now being equipped with larger searchlights, thus increasing their value for scouting purposes.
The Darien radio station, the first of the chain of high power radio stations appropriated for in 1912, was completed in May, 1915, and is now in use for direct communication between Arlington and the Canal 7.one. The success of this station in transmitting to Washington exceeds all expectations that had been formed in regard to it, and assures the success of the entire undertaking. Work on the other stations is proceeding as follows: The masts for the stations at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and Cavite are under construction, and contract has been let for the buildings at San Diego. Plans are being prepared for the remaining stations, at Tutuila and Guam, but the actual work
of building the stations is being deferred until it is possible to determine how much will be available after completion of the main chain of stations, which it is probable will not include these two, though it may be necessary to equip them with apparatus of considerable power.
Next in importance to the high-power stations is the work of improvement that is being carried on in what is to be known as the intermediate stations (medium power stations). These stations are at Boston, New Orleans, Point Loma, Great Lakes, and Guantanamo, and their function is to communicate with vessels beyond the range of the low-power stations and to relay messages between those stations and Washington. Further advancement in this direction will be inaugurated this year in converting Charleston, Key West, Puget Sound, Cordova, Mare Island, and San Juan into intermediate stations in addition to their present use. Work on the new station at Point Isabel, Tex., for communication with vessels in Mexican waters, will be undertaken as soon as funds are available. In fact, it is due entirely to lack of funds that all the intermediate stations have not already been transformed.
The station at Unalga, Alaska, was partially destroyed by fire in the early spring and has now been abandoned as unnecessary, owing to the increased range of the station at St. Paul, Pribilof Islands.
This serves to again draw attention to the need of fire-proof buildings at all stations, and especially at those small ones which depend upon oil or gasoline engines for the generation of power and which are remote from fire protection.
The ships of the fleet are being provided with up-to-date equipment as rapidly as can be done, and sets removed from capital ships are utilized in improving the equipment of vessels of less military value and of auxiliaries. Steps have also been taken to equip Naval Militia organizations with field sets for training purposes and for use in the field.
With a view to standardizing equipment, much of it is now manufactured in navy yards from our own design at much less cost and of higher efficiency than commercial sets.
Tests were completed on board the Maryland and at the experiment station of coal from the Matanuska fields, and in both cases with satisfactory results, the coal having been found suitable for use on board naval vessels.
FUEL OIL. Oil purchased under the recent specifications which fix the minimum flash point at 150° F. (Abel or Pennsky-Marten's closed cup) has proved satisfactory in service, and the reduction in flash point was probably responsible for a reduction of 9 cents per barrel in the price for 1916 below that for the last year.
TESTS OF SUBAQUEOUS COAL.
The coal stored at New London under the three different conditions—in the open, under cover, and under water—was given the fourth annual evaporative test. No marked difference in evaporative
efficiency was shown between the coal stored under different conditions, and no conclusive evidence developed as to the best method of storing coal.
INSPECTION OF MATERIAL.
A comparison of the inspection work performed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915, with the work performed during the two previous fiscal years is indicated in the tables below:
NOTE.—In addition to the material inspected by inspectors of engineering material, there was inspected by the inspectors of machinery in 1914, 5,686,218 pounds, and in 1915, 3,908,235 pounds.
Weight of material rejected by inspectors of engineering material.
The progress given in the preceding tables shows that there has been an increase of nearly 70 per cent in material inspected during the period under consideration though there has been an increase in the inspection force of only three assistant inspectors and two warrant officers. Under the circumstances, it is inevitable that complaint is sometimes heard from contractors of delay in inspection, and not infrequently shipment is authorized without inspection. A reasonable increase in the inspection force would not only improve conditions in this respect, but would also undoubtedy result in lower prices for material.
Much improvement has been made in standardizing specifications and, in cooperation with the Bureau of Standards, in making annual contracts for important material which previously had been purchased in small quantities as required. The work of the experiment station has been invaluable in this direction and has contributed largely to the economy that has been effected. The extension of the practice of making annual contracts not only secures supplies at lower cost, but relieves navy yards and ships of considerable work in the preparation of requisitions and the purchase of material, and greatly. reduces the loss attending the purchase of nonstandard material.
The results of investigations and tests made during the year have been of great value to the service, but the very limited personnel gives small opportunity for much work beyond that involved in conducting tests of material and of apparatus of various
kinds to determine their suitability for use in the Navy. The staff of the station is exceedingly competent. Their work has received commendation from those who have been interested in the work carried on, while the recommendations made as a result of their investigations have often paved the way to marked improvement in design.
The student officers of the post-graduate department of the Naval Academy continue to receive instruction at the station and take part in tests conducted there. The midshipmen also make regular visits during the winter months to observe the work of the laboratories and the method of conducting investigations.
MACHINERY OF VESSELS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
The work is progressing in a regular manner under the supervision of the inspectors of machinery, but, as the charactər of the work is
1 The cost of inspection of all material inspected, both accepted and rejected, was $1.98 per ton.
becoming more varied and extensive, the necessity for a larger inspection force is generally apparent. While the present force is able to carry on the work with a fair degree of success, much better results would follow if a more adequate force were provided, both at the offices of inspectors of machinery and at the bureau.
The amount of new submarine construction has increased very considerably during the year and efforts are being made to secure å properly trained and experienced inspection force to handle this special work.
Separate inspection offices have been established at the BuschSulzer Bros. Works, St. Louis, and at the Lake Torpedo Boat Co., Bridgeport, Conn.
The accompanying tables give the results of.trials of new vessels delivered during the year and the condition of work on those under construction.
R. S. GRIFFIN,
Engineer in Chief, United States Navy. The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.