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|84k||c. October 1945
PT-487, PT-486, PT-545 in the Welland Canal Between Lakes Erie and Ontario along with three unidentified PT boats and an Ore Carrier
Elco's contribution was the Elcoplane, a series of six steps fastened to the bottom and sides of a standard Elco boat, PT-487. In trials run on 16 December 1943, in Newark Bay for a Board of Inspection and Survey, the 487 made the amazing speeds of 55.95 knots (nearly 65 land-miles per hour) with light loading, and 53.62 knots at full warload. Even more impressive was the maneuverability at high speed. "Running at top speed," the Board reported, "threw helm hard over and reversed course. Turning both right and left, the boat turned 180 degrees in about 6 seconds, and completed the turn with sternway on, At all times during the turn, the boat banked inboard. The performance in this maneuver was spectacular."
The Board's report was so enthusiastic that the Bureau of Ships directed the Supervisor of Shipbuilding at Bayonne [NJ] to expediate procurement of Elcoplane kits to send squadrons in the operating areas for conversion of their boats. This project died aborning, however, on receipt of a report from Commander Motor Torpedo Squadron 29, four of whose boats, PT's 560 to 563, ran from New York to Miami with Elcoplanes.
These boats demonstrated that the Elcoplanes, ideal for high-speed operation, caused an increase of 25 percent in fuel consumption and 75 percent in lubricating oil consumption at cruising speeds. Also, at cruising speeds, the boats tended to root into heavy seas, steering was more difficult, and acceleration dropped off. The planes on the boats' sides warped and the supporting brackets cracked and loosened. The boats became sensitive to added weights and correct trim was an absolute neccessity.
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