Where the Fleet Begins: A History of the David Taylor Research Center, 1898-1998

Where the Fleet Begins: A History of the David Taylor Research Center, 1898-1998
Where the Fleet Begins: A History of the David Taylor Research Center, 1898-1998
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Traces the modern research and development center from its dual origin when David Taylor and George Melville brought science and technology to the emerging steam-driven steel fleet, through a full century of modernization and several reorganizations. Details the constant work to transform vision into reality, and to keep innovation flowing from cutting-edge science and technology into the Navy's ships and submarines.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations ix
Foreword xii
Acknowledgments xv
Institutional Names xvii
Chapter l. Introduction 3
Chapter 2. Two New Facilities for the New Navy 11
Technology and the New Navy 11
Ships of the New Navy 13
Navalism and the New Navy 14
Professional and Institutional Reform 17
The Model Basin and the New Navy 23
Construction of the Model Basin 28
Creation of the Engineering Experiment Station 33
Endnotes 43
Chapter 3. Finding Roles 47
David W. Taylor, 1899-1914 48
Taylor's Range of Contributions 53
The Speed and Power of Ships 58
Engineering Experiment Station—Emergence of an Agenda 61
The Kinkaid Years 67
Aeronautic Work at the Model Basin 74
Alfred F. Zahm 79
Personality, Institution, and Style 83
Endnotes 85
Chapter 4. Between the Wars 89
Expansion at the Engineering Experiment Station 95
EES Growth in the 1930s 103
The Model Basin —The Navy Redesigned 1 08
Old Methods and Equipment 110
A Crisis in Ship-Powering Predictions 114
Management of Design Work 120
The Engineering Decades 125
Endnotes 127
Chapters. New Quarters, New Command 131
New Quarters—The Fight for a New Basin 131
Land Takes Charge 1 35
Construction Planning 139
New Command —The Creation of the Bureau of Ships . . . 151
Modernized Equipment, Merged Bureaus 156
Endnotes 158
Chapter 6. R&D in War and Peace 161
EES and the War 166
Goddard and Rocket Work at EES 174
The Postwar Mission of EES 1 78
War Work at DTMB 179
Science Delayed 184
New Facilities at DTMB 186
Postwar Research at DTMB 192
The Laboratories and the New World of Research 201
Endnotes 203
Chapter 7. Research Directions 209
Growing Pains and the Research Emphasis 213
EES—Transition to Development, 1950-1965 217
Maturation of Research at Carderock, 1950-1965 223
Tools and Research 234
Endnotes 236
Chapter 8. From Submersible to Submarine 239
The Subsea Arms Race 245
Beyond Guppy to Albacore 248
Propulsion Plant Experiments at EES 250
Nuclear Classes 254
Silencing Work—Annapolis and Carderock 258
Structural Mechanics and Submarines 260
Endnotes 271
Chapter 9. Ship Silencing and Ship Protection 275
Underwater Acoustics—A New Science 276
Ship Protection 284
Jets and Super Carriers 292
Eyes on the Future 298
Endnotes 301
Chapter 10. A Center of Excellence 305
The McNamara "Revolution" 309
Management Innovation —Early Attempts Within the Navy 311
The McNamara Revolution —First Phase 312
The McNamara Revolution —Second Phase 314
The Laboratory Merger 318
The Panama City Laboratory 319
The Materials Laboratory 323
The Center of Excellence 323
Endnotes 326
Chapter 11. The Systems Approach 329
Surface Effect Ships 334
The Systems Development Department 338
HYSTU and Its Trials 342
Amphibious Assault Landing Craft 345
SWATH Ships 349
Advanced Ships and Institutional Memory 355
Cross-Disciplinary Innovations in Signature Reduction 356
Systems and Operational Research 360
Endnotes 362
Chapter 12. Paths Taken and Not Taken 365
Pursuing Excellence 366
Vietnam Laboratory Assistance Program 369
The X-wing— A Path Partially Pursued 373
The Promise of Superconducting Machines 379
Technology Development —A Range of Accomplishments 384
Computer Uses—A New Generation of Tools 390
Pollution and Energy Efficiency 396
Diversity and Excellence 397
Endnotes 399
Chapter 13. Cold War Cross Currents 403
Organizational Innovation to Deal With Ship Integration 405
Independent Research During the Late 1980s 411
Change of Command, Change of Name 415
Continuing Innovation, Continuing Change 418
Endnotes 419
Chapter 14. Peace Dividends 421
DOD and Naval Mission Reassessments and Restructuring 422
Research Priorities After the Cold War 426
Continuing Priorities —The Large Cavitation Channel 428
Continuing Priorities —Acoustic Stealth 432
Continuing Priorities— SSN 21 and DDG 51 438
Changing Priorities —Littoral Warfare 441
Emphasis on Conversion and Commercial Applications 444
The Navy of the Next Century 449
The BRAC Years 451
New Detachments and Personnel Transfers 452
Strategic Planning Effort 453
Warfare Centers and Systems Commands 456
Enduring Excellence 458
Endnotes 462
A—Chronology of Significant Events 465
B—Historical Documents 515
C—Command Structure 527
D—Commanding Officers and Technical Directors 531
E—Sites and Major Facilities 539
F—Awards 573
G—Significant Accomplishments 577
H—Interviews 601
Bibliographical Notes 603
Bibliography 606
Index 627
4-1. Laboratory Personnel 105
4-2. Design Projects, Model Basin, 1928-1939 109
4-3. Time Lost During Repairs of Model Basin Ill
4-4. EMB Facilities & Activities 112
10—1. Reorganization Chronology 317


This text would appeal to members of the Navy engaged with surface ship and submarine systems, engineering, procurement of systems, solving fleet problems, and improving older fleet asset performance, warfare innovation technology, and acquisitions.  In addition, naval historians; Veterans; policymakers; members of the general public interested in naval history; and members of the government, the Department of Defense, and committees dedicated to military acquisitions and technology may be interested in this text.

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Defense Dept., Navy, Naval Historical Center
  • Carlisle, Rodney P.
Key Phrases:
  • Naval History
  • David Taylor Research Center
  • Military History
  • Sea Power
  • Naval Research
  • Naval Science
  • Shipbuilding
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D 221.2:F 62
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Subject Bibliography:
059QN 131LP 236XC
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