Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company
|Successor||C. A. Parsons and Company|
|Headquarters||Newcastle upon Tyne, UK|
|Charles Algernon Parsons|
Charles Algernon Parsons founded the company in 1897 with £500,000 of capital. It specialised in building the steam turbine engines that he had invented for marine use. The first vessel powered by a Parsons turbine was Turbinia, launched in 1894. The successful demonstration of this vessel led to the creation of the company and the building of engines for the first two turbine-powered destroyers for the Royal Navy, HMS Viper and HMS Cobra, launched in 1899. Although both these vessels came to grief, the new engines were not to blame, and the Admiralty was convinced. Parsons' son became a director in the company and was replaced during the First World War by his daughter Rachel Parsons.
Parsons turbines powered the Royal Navy's first turbine powered battleship, HMS Dreadnought, and the World's first turbine ocean liners, RMS Victorian and Virginian. 73,000 horsepower (54,000 kW) Parsons turbines powered the 31,000 GRT Cunard express ocean liners RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania.
All early marine turbines drove their propellers directly. Parsons developed helical reduction gearing for marine turbines, and in 1908 converted the cargo ship Vespasian to turbine propulsion with reduction gearing.
Four direct-drive Parsons turbines powered battleship USS Arizona. They were designed to produce a total of 34,000 horsepower (25,000 kW), but achieved only 33,376 horsepower (24,888 kW) in Arizona's sea trials, when she met her designed speed of 21 knots (39 km/h).
In 1944, Parsons was one of 19 companies which formed the 'Parsons and Marine Engineering Turbine Research and Development Association', usually known as Pametrada.
The Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2, launched in 1969, had Pametrada turbines.
- Chronology of Charles Parsons Life Archived 25 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- HMS Glamorgan: the first two years (PDF). p. 4 – via Axford's Abode.
- Parsons, Charles A (1911). The Steam Turbine. The Rede Lecture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 48–53 – via Wikisource.
- Breyer, Siegfried (1973). Battleships and Battle Cruisers, 1905–1970. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. p. 214. OCLC 702840.