Monday, October 5, 2015

Full Power Trials

We have an annual requirement to conduct full power trials at least annually. What, you may ask, are full power trials? Full power trials are where the engineers bring the main diesel engines (MDEs) that provide propulsion to the ship to their maximum speed for at least an hour. 

We get to go fast -- really, really fa...well, 210s can't go really, really fast, but it's as fast as their big ol' lumbering MDEs can go. 

It's a pretty big deal. Not every ship can successfully complete full power trials. Many times the engines overheat or there's too much vibration or something else goes wrong that prevents a ship from achieving a full hour of top speed. Like the weather isn't perfect. We really have to have a nearly flat calm day to do full power trials, or else the waves and swells interact too much with the ship. We also can't make any turns for pretty much the same reason. 

Today, however, we had perfect conditions. It was FAC out (day, like, four of great weather -- we're getting spoiled!), our trackline stretched out endlessly in front of us, and we didn't have much else going on. 

It took a little while for the Engineers to take all the readings they needed in order to work up to the full power trials, but then, little by little, we increased speed. Until we hit Ludicrous Speed. 300 shaft rotations per minute (shaft rpms) causes the whole ship to shake and shimmy with excitement. I called the bridge at one point to ask if we were getting 300 shaft rpms; the OOD told me proudly we were at 300 rpms on both mains, and even up to 304 or 306 every now and again.

So congratulations to DILI's Main Propulsion division for their superb maintenance and care of the MDEs that allow us to coax the engines into peak performance!

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer

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