THERE are many points of interest to be noted in connection with the completion of the British battleship “Orion,” which, having completed her trials, is now being preparei for commission. In the first place, the “Orion” is the first completed vessel to mount the new 13.5-inch 76-ton gun. Secondly, she is the first British ship of the all-big-gun type to carry her five turrets on the middle line. Thirdly, she is the first British armored ship to exceed a tonnage of 20,000. The figure has been reached and closely approached before. Thus, the “Neptune” displaces 19,906, and the “Hercules” and “Colossus” 20,000 tons. The tonnage of the “Orion” is, however, 22,500, which is still slightly below the displacement of the German battleships “Helgoland,” “Thuringen,” and “Ost- friesland,” now in service with the High Sea Fleet. The “Orion” left for her preliminary trials on September 11th, twenty-one and a half months from the laying of the first keel-plate. No single detail of the vessel has been officially published, but the following are her principal dimensions: Length (between perpendiculars), 545 feet; length over all, 584 feet; beam, 88 feet 6 inches; mean draft, 27 feet 6 inches. The machinery is of the Parsons turbine type, the designed horse-power being 27,000 for 21 'mots. On the full speed trial the contract speed was exceeded by a knot. It is interesting in this connection to note that of the eleven completed British dreadnoughts only two have failed to make 22 knots, namely, the “St.Vin.
This article was originally published with the title "The Battleship “Orion'" in Scientific American 105, 20, 431 (November 1911)