USS Albacore, Port of Portsmout


Built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and launched in 1953, the Albacore was the first U.S.-designed vessel with a true teardrop-shaped hull design. Faster, more maneuverable, and quieter than earlier hull shapes, engineers use the teardrop hull in nearly all modern submarine design. The Albacore was rebuilt several times to test design concepts. The fourth variation enabled the Albacore in 1966 to set the world's underwater speed record of more than 30 knots. Until 1972, when the vessel was decommissioned, the Albacore also was used to test engineering innovations in sonar devices, hydrophones, diving brakes, and emergency escape systems.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Electrical, Mechanical
Topic(s):Space/Transportation
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The USS Albacore served for 20 years as an experimental vessel, carrying out tests of speed, depth changes, and underwater maneuverability. In May 2000, the world's fastest submarine was designated a historic mechanical engineering landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
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