Word of welcome - Bernard Franković

Torpedo - New technologies based upon the structure and innovations of this warfare device

In Rijeka next year is the celebration of the 150th year since the first successful launching of the torpedo, to be commemorated with the organizing of an international scientific and professional conference. At the time of the launching of the first torpedo it was a sophisticated battle system – an underwater missile and one of the greatest technical achievements of the second half of the nineteenth century.

The torpedo, which was invented by Giovanni Biagio Lupis and Robert Whitehead, was produced in the Rijeka (Fiume) and was successfully launched back in 1866. It is a weapon that has changed the techniques of modern maritime warfare. Although it is a weapon having catastrophic outcomes in attacks of naval tactics and strategy, which is also confirmed by the victims of the naval battles of the two world wars of last century, the torpedo should be viewed from the aspect of a missile of great technical achievement. Similarly, the production and development of this weapon, or military product, during this period prompted the development of new materials, new technologies and a number of other inventions that have found original application in civil use. The fact is, at the time of the first launching, the torpedo was a wonder of technology and thus this aspect of the technical sophistication of the weapon of war known as the torpedo cannot be ignored. The international conference to mark the first successful launching of torpedo will be devoted primarily to the construction of this weapon/device, as well as the inventions that were a part of this device and that have evolved as technical achievements and which have found application in peacetime devices and other devices based upon technologies applied in the production of torpedoes.

The first torpedo produced was the result of the application of a series of scientific technical disciplines in one device: mechanics, hydromechanics, and thermodynamics – and even during this time of modern industrial management.

For example, the gyroscope, a device of controlled underwater linear movement of the torpedo, was first successfully installed and used in this missile. Compressors and the compressed air technology that was the fuel for driving the pneumatic machine drive for the propulsion of the torpedo was later used and is still used in a number of technical achievements. The pneumatic machine drive of the torpedo was first run on diesel engines with internal combustion. The compressed air technique applied in the production of the torpedo was used by Carl von Linde in the first left turning process which managed to cool the surroundings, or to liquefy the gases (cryogenic technology).

For this event in the history of technology, it can be said that this is a pioneering work of cooling equipment, particularly in terms of low temperature techniques. Following the said conference there will be a number of thematic areas of which we emphasize here the key New technologies based on the design and innovation torpedoes. Of course, issues related to conventional thinking about the torpedo as a warfare device will not be lacking.

In accordance with the above, the thematic content of the conference may be summarized as:
The impact of the torpedo on the conducting of naval wars, and therefore on world history.
The torpedo before World War I, during World War II and the torpedo in modern warfare of the future.
New technology based on torpedo inventions.

Archive material – responses to a series of questions and war secrets.
We expect scientific and professional contributions to the international conference dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the first successful launching of the torpedo, especially those contributions that deal with the result of the first construction and the subsequent development of torpedoes.

For the Scientific Committee
Bernard Franković

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