The Turbinia was the world's first turbine-driven ship. It attracted worldwide attention at the 1897 Spithead Naval Review by traveling more than 34 knots. This remarkable performance accelerated the acceptance of the steam turbine as an alternative to the steam reciprocating engine on ships as well as for central electric light and power stations. Sir Charles A. Parsons (1854-1931) invented (1884), developed, and promoted the steam turbine, as well as the design of the Turbinia. For this, he is considered among the outstanding technological innovators of all time.
The innovative SS Great Britain, launched in 1843, was the first iron-hulled, screw-propelled ship to cross any ocean and led mercantile history into British domination in the late nineteenth century. Standard practice of naval and merchant ship construction derived from this ship. The compartmented hull, unprecedented 1,500-horsepower engine with chain drive, and many other seminal features were the designs of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. New design features included a balanced rudder, an electric log, a double bottom, and water-tight bulkheads.
Conceived in the early years of World War II as a plan to bury four fuel containers horizontally in a hillside at the U.S. Navy facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility ultimately encompassed the design and construction of 20 vertical storage tanks - each large enough to contain a 20-story building - buried in the volcanic hillside and connected by tunnels to a harbor-side pumping station more than two-and-a-half miles away.
Wind dynamics were a major consideration in building such a huge structure. When winds blow against the building, they are deflected up over the roof, creating a partial vacuum that can draw the roof up with a force several times greater than the direct force of the wind. Wind tunnel testing on a model helped designers decide that a semi-parabolic shape would best resolve air current concerns.
The Wildcat's innovative "Sto-Wing" mechanism developed on the XF4F-4 prototype by Leroy (Roy) Grumman (1895-1982), a founder of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, was crucial to the U. S. Navy's success during World War II.
The idea of a folding wing was not new: as early as 1920, F.M. Osborne patented a high-wing monoplane with folding wings, but never produced this design. A 1928 plane with folding wings designed by W. Leonard Bonney crashed on its first flight.