In aeronautics, a propeller called an airscrew, converts rotary motion from an engine or other power source into a swirling slipstream which pushes the propeller forwards or backwards. It comprises a rotating power-driven hub, to which are attached several radial airfoil-section blades such that the whole assembly rotates about a longitudinal axis; the blade pitch may be fixed, manually variable to a few set positions, or of the automatically-variable "constant-speed" type. The propeller attaches to the power source's driveshaft either directly or through reduction gearing. Propellers can be made from metal or composite materials. Propellers are only suitable for use at subsonic airspeeds below about 480 mph, as above this speed the blade tip speed approaches the speed of sound and local supersonic flow causes high drag and propeller structural problems; the earliest references for vertical flight came from China. Since around 400 BC, Chinese children have played with bamboo flying toys; this bamboo-copter is spun by rolling a stick attached to a rotor between ones hands.
The spinning creates lift, the toy flies when released. The 4th-century AD Daoist book Baopuzi by Ge Hong describes some of the ideas inherent to rotary wing aircraft. Designs similar to the Chinese helicopter toy appeared in other works, it was not until the early 1480s, when Leonardo da Vinci created a design for a machine that could be described as an "aerial screw", that any recorded advancement was made towards vertical flight. His notes suggested that he built small flying models, but there were no indications for any provision to stop the rotor from making the craft rotate; as scientific knowledge increased and became more accepted, man continued to pursue the idea of vertical flight. Many of these models and machines would more resemble the ancient bamboo flying top with spinning wings, rather than Leonardo's screw. In July 1754, Russian Mikhail Lomonosov had developed a small coaxial modeled after the Chinese top but powered by a wound-up spring device and demonstrated it to the Russian Academy of Sciences.
It was powered by a spring, was suggested as a method to lift meteorological instruments. In 1783, Christian de Launoy, his mechanic, used a coaxial version of the Chinese top in a model consisting of contrarotating turkey flight feathers as rotor blades, in 1784, demonstrated it to the French Academy of Sciences. A dirigible airship was described by Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier presented in 1783; the drawings depict a 260-foot-long streamlined envelope with internal ballonets that could be used for regulating lift. The airship was designed to be driven by three propellers. In 1784 Jean-Pierre Blanchard fitted a hand-powered propeller to a balloon, the first recorded means of propulsion carried aloft. Sir George Cayley, influenced by a childhood fascination with the Chinese flying top, developed a model of feathers, similar to that of Launoy and Bienvenu, but powered by rubber bands. By the end of the century, he had progressed to using sheets of tin for rotor blades and springs for power, his writings on his experiments and models would become influential on future aviation pioneers.
William Bland sent designs for his "Atmotic Airship" to the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851, where a model was displayed. This was an elongated balloon with a steam engine driving twin propellers suspended underneath. Alphonse Pénaud developed coaxial rotor model helicopter toys in 1870 powered by rubber bands. In 1872 Dupuy de Lome launched a large navigable balloon, driven by a large propeller turned by eight men. Hiram Maxim built a craft that weighed 3.5 tons, with a 110-foot wingspan, powered by two 360-horsepower steam engines driving two propellers. In 1894, his machine was tested with overhead rails to prevent it from rising; the test showed. One of Pénaud's toys, given as a gift by their father, inspired the Wright brothers to pursue the dream of flight; the twisted airfoil shape of an aircraft propeller was pioneered by the Wright Brothers. While some earlier engineers had attempted to model air propellers on marine propellers, the Wright Brothers realized that a propeller is the same as a wing, were able to use data from their earlier wind tunnel experiments on wings, introducing a twist along the length of the blades.
This was necessary to maintain a more uniform angle of attack of the blade along its length. Their original propeller blades had an efficiency of about 82%, compared to 90% for a modern small general aviation propeller, the 3-blade McCauley used on a Bonanza aircraft. Roper quotes 90% for a propeller for a human-powered aircraft. Mahogany was the wood preferred for propellers through World War I, but wartime shortages encouraged use of walnut, oak and ash. Alberto Santos Dumont was another early pioneer, having designed propellers before the Wright Brothers for his airships, he applied the knowledge he gained from experiences with airships to make a propeller with a steel shaft and aluminium blades for his 14 bis biplane in 1906. Some of his designs used a bent aluminium sheet for blades, they were undercambered, this plus the absence of lengthwise twist made them less efficient than the Wright propellers. So, this was the first use of aluminium in the construction of an airscrew. A rotating airfoil behind the aircraft, which pushes it, was called a propeller, while one which pulled from the front was a tractor.
The term'pusher' became adopted for the rear-mounted device in contrast to the tractor configurat
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo. Container ship capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units. Typical loads are a mix of 40-foot ISO-standard containers, with the latter predominant. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container ships, the largest modern container ships can carry over 21,000 TEU. Container ships now rival crude oil tankers and bulk carriers as the largest commercial seaborne vessels. There are two main types of dry cargo: bulk break bulk cargo. Bulk cargoes, like grain or coal, are transported unpackaged in the hull of the ship in large volume. Break-bulk cargoes, on the other hand, are transported in packages, are manufactured goods. Before the advent of containerization in the 1950s, break-bulk items were loaded, lashed and unloaded from the ship one piece at a time.
However, by grouping cargo into containers, 1,000 to 3,000 cubic feet of cargo, or up to about 64,000 pounds, is moved at once and each container is secured to the ship once in a standardized way. Containerization has increased the efficiency of moving traditional break-bulk cargoes reducing shipping time by 84% and costs by 35%. In 2001, more than 90% of world trade in non-bulk goods was transported in ISO containers. In 2009 one quarter of the world's dry cargo was shipped by container, an estimated 125 million TEU or 1.19 billion metric tons worth of cargo. The first ships designed to carrying standardized load units were used in the late 18th century in England. In 1766 James Brindley designed the box boat "Starvationer" with 10 wooden containers, to transport coal from Worsley Delph to Manchester by Bridgewater Canal. Before the Second World War first container ships were used to carrying baggages of the luxury passenger train from London to Paris, Golden Arrow / Flèche d'Or, in 1926 by Southern Railway.
These containers were loaded in London or Paris and carried to ports, Dover or Calais, on flat cars in the UK and "CIWL Pullman Golden Arrow Fourgon of CIWL" in France. The earliest container ships after the Second World War were converted oil tankers, built up from surplus T2 tankers after World War II. In 1951, the first purpose-built container vessels began operating in Denmark, between Seattle and Alaska; the first commercially successful container ship was Ideal X, a T2 tanker, owned by Malcom McLean, which carried 58 metal containers between Newark, New Jersey and Houston, Texas, on its first voyage. In 1955, McLean built his company, McLean Trucking into one of United States' biggest freighter fleets. In 1955, he purchased the small Pan Atlantic Steamship Company from Waterman Steamship and adapted its ships to carry cargo in large uniform metal containers. On April 26, 1956, the first of these rebuilt container vessels, Ideal X, left the Port Newark in New Jersey and a new revolution in modern shipping resulted.
MV Kooringa was the world's first cellular purpose-built container ship and was built by Australian company, Associated Steamships Pty. Ltd. in partnership with McIlwraith, McEacharn & Co and commissioned in May 1964. Container vessels eliminate the individual hatches and dividers of the traditional general cargo vessels; the hull of a typical container ship is a huge warehouse divided into cells by vertical guide rails. These cells are designed to hold cargo in pre-packed units – containers. Shipping containers are made of steel, but other materials like aluminum, fiberglass or plywood are used, they are designed to be transferred to and from smaller coastal carriers, trucks or semi-trailers. There are several types of containers and they are categorized according to their size and functions. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container, modern container ships can carry over 21,000 TEU; as a class, container ships now rival crude oil tankers and bulk carriers as the largest commercial vessels on the ocean.
Although containerization caused a revolution in the world of shipping, its introduction did not have an easy passage. Ports, railway companies, shippers were concerned about the huge costs of developing the ports and railway infrastructure needed to handle container ships, for the movement of containers on land by rail and road. Trade unions were concerned about massive job loss among port and dock workers at ports, as containers were sure to eliminate several manual jobs of cargo handling at ports, it took ten years of legal battles before container ships would be pressed into international service. In 1966, a container liner service from the US to the Dutch city of Rotterdam commenced. Containerization changed not only the face of shipping, but it revolutionized world trade as well. A container ship can be loaded and unloaded in a few hours compared to days in a traditional cargo vessel. This, besides cutting labor costs, has reduced shipping times between ports to a great extent, it has resulted in less breakage due to less handling.
As containers are sealed and only opened at the destination and theft levels have been reduced. Containerization has lowered shipping expense and decreased shipping time, this has in turn help
Dowty Propellers is a British engineering company based in Staverton, Gloucestershire that specialised in the manufacture of propellers and propeller components. It is owned by General Electric; the company was formed as Rotol Airscrews in 1937 by Rolls-Royce and Bristol Engines to take over both companies' propeller development, the market being too small to support more than one company. The name is a contraction of "ROlls-Royce" and "BrisTOL". Rotol's propellers were always considered leading edge, its models equipping the Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, many other Second World War-era aircraft. By the end of the war it had introduced the first five-bladed propeller to see widespread use, used on late-model Spitfires. In 1943 the company changed its name from Rotol Airscrews Limited to Rotol Limited, in 1952 it acquired British Messier Limited, a specialist in landing gear and hydraulics. In 1958, Bristol Aeroplane and Rolls-Royce agreed to sell Rotol and British Messier to the Dowty Group.
By 1959 Rotol and British Messier along with Dowty Equipment and Dowty Fuel Systems became part of the new Dowty Aviation Division based at Cheltenham. In 1968, the company introduced the first fibreglass propellers, which went on to see widespread use. Since it has migrated to carbon fibre, remains a leader in propeller design. Following a series of changes of ownership, the original Dowty Rotol facility at Staverton is now owned by the Safran Group, operating as part of its Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Landing Gear subsidiary. Propeller design and manufacture was moved a few hundred metres down the road when the company was split into business units under its Dowty ownership in the early 1990s. On 16 January 2007, Dowty Propellers became part of GE Aviation Systems through GE buying Smiths Group’s aerospace division. On 5 February 2015, a fire at Dowty's Staverton facility caused severe damage to 80% of the factory building, destroying the main production line. A facility at Vantage Point Business Village in Mitcheldean, was selected for the company's interim propeller blade manufacturing.
Dowty propellers are used on many turboprop feederliners, including the Dash 8Q400, Saab 340 and Saab 2000, on turboprop transport aircraft such as models of the C-130J and Alenia C-27J. Dowty propellers can be found on LCACs used by the militaries of several countries; the US National Air and Space Museum's Udvar Hazy Center, has a Dowty propeller on display. Messier-Dowty George Dowty List of aircraft propeller manufacturers Dowty Propellers official site Information and pictures: Dowty Propellers plant in Gloucester, UK, from Smiths Aerospace web site. Grace's Guide "Dowty Rotol of Staverton, Churchdown"
Henry Selby Hele-Shaw
Henry Selby Hele-Shaw FRS was an English mechanical and automobile engineer. He was the inventor of the variable-pitch propeller, which contributed to British success in the Battle of Britain in 1940, he experimented with flows through thin cells. Flows through such configurations are named in his honour, he was a co-founder of Victaulic. Born on 29 July 1854 at Billericay, he was the eldest son of Henry Shaw, a lawyer who went bankrupt, his wife Marion Selby Hele, daughter of the Reverend Henry Selby Hele, vicar of Grays Thurrock and grandson of the Reverend George Horne, he was first articled at the age of 17 to Messrs Rouch and Leaker, at the Mardyke Engineering Works and served an engineering apprenticeship until 1876. Hele-Shaw was elected a Whitworth Scholar, he was the first Professor of Engineering at University College, in 1885 became the first to hold the Harrison Chair of Engineering at Liverpool University College and was a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1923 Hele-Shaw was the Society's first President.
The Whitworth Society still exists and provides an informal contact between all ages of Whitworth Scholar and a means to promote engineering in the UK. The aim of the society is to bring closer those who have benefited from Sir Joseph Whitworth's generosity, he was awarded the Franklin Institute's Certificate of Merit in 1933. He died on 30 January 1941 at Ross-on-Wye. In 1902 Hele-Shaw was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture Locomotion: On the Earth, Through the Water, in the Air. Hele-Shaw clutch Victaulic
Royal Aeronautical Society
The Royal Aeronautical Society known as the RAeS, is a British multi-disciplinary professional institution dedicated to the global aerospace community. Founded in 1866, it is the oldest aeronautical society in the world. Fellows and Companions of the society can use the post-nominal letters CRAeS, respectively; the objectives of The Royal Aeronautical Society include: to support and maintain high professional standards in aerospace disciplines. The Royal Aeronautical Society is a worldwide society with an international network of 67 branches. Many practitioners of aerospace disciplines use the Society's designatory post-nominals such as FRAeS, CRAeS, MRAeS, AMRAeS, ARAeS; the RAeS headquarters is located in the United Kingdom. The staff of the Royal Aeronautical Society are based at the Society's headquarters at No. 4 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7BQ. The headquarters is on the north-east edge of Hyde Park Corner, with the nearest access being Hyde Park Corner tube station; the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society: ISSN 0368-3931 The Aeronautical Quarterly: Aerospace: Aerospace International: ISSN 1467-5072 The Aerospace Professional: The Aeronautical Journal: ISSN 0001-9240 The Journal of Aeronautical History: AEROSPACE: ISSN 2052-451X Branches are the regional embodiment of the Society.
They deliver membership benefits and provide a global platform for the dissemination of aerospace information. As of September 2013, branches located in the United Kingdom include: Belfast, Boscombe Down, Brough, Cardiff, Christchurch, Cranfield, Derby, FAA Yeovilton, Gatwick, Gloucester & Cheltenham, Heathrow, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Manchester, Medway, Preston, Sheffield, Southend, Swindon and Yeovil; the RAeS international branch network includes: Adelaide, Blenheim, Brussels, Canterbury, Dublin, Hamilton, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Munich, Palmerston North, Perth, Singapore, Sydney and the UAE. Divisions of the Society have been formed in countries and regions that can sustain a number of Branches. Divisions operate with a large degree of autonomy, being responsible for their own branch network, membership recruitment, subscription levels and lecture programmes. Specialist Groups covering all facets of the aerospace industry exist under the overall umbrella of the Society, with the aim of serving the interests of both enthusiasts and industry professionals.
The Groups' remit is to consider significant developments in their field, they attempt to achieve this through their conferences and lectures, with the intention of stimulating debate and facilitating action on key industry issues in order to reflect and respond to the constant innovation and progress in aviation. The Groups act as focal points for all enquiries to the Society concerning their specialist subject matter, forming a crucial interface between the Society and the world in general; as of September 2013, the Specialist Group committees are as follows: Aerodynamics, Aerospace Medicine, Air Power, Air Law, Air Transport, Airworthiness & Maintenance, Avionics & Systems, Flight Operations, Flight Simulation, Flight Test, General Aviation, Greener by Design, Human Factors, Human Powered Flight, Rotorcraft, Structures & Materials, UAS, Weapons Systems & Technologies, Women in Aviation & Aerospace. In 2009, the Royal Aeronautical Society formed a group of experts to document how to better simulate aircraft upset conditions, thus improve training programs.
The Society was founded in January 1866 with the name "The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain" and is the oldest aeronautical society in the world. Early or founding members included James Glaisher, Francis Wenham, the Duke of Argyll, Frederick Brearey. In the first year, there were 65 members, at the end of the second year, 91 members, in the third year, 106 members. Annual reports were produced in the first decades. In 1868 the Society held a major exhibition at London's Crystal Palace with 78 entries. John Stringfellow's steam engine was shown there; the Society sponsored the first wind tunnel in 1870-71, designed by Browning. In 1918, the organization's name was changed to the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 1923 its principal journal was renamed from The Aeronautical Journal to The Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society and in 1927 the Institution of Aeronautical Engineers Journal was merged into it. In 1940, the RAeS responded to the wartime need to expand the aircraft industry; the Society established a Technical Department to bring together the best available knowledge and present it in an authoritative and accessible form – a working tool for engineers who might come from other industries and lack the specialised knowledge required for aircraft design.
This technical department became known as the Engineering Sciences Data Unit and became a separate entity in the 1980s. In 1987 the'Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technologists' called the'Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers' was incorporated into the Royal Aeronautical Society; the following have served as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society: In addition to the award of Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Society awards several other medals and p
United Technologies Corporation is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut. It researches and manufactures products in numerous areas, including aircraft engines, aerospace systems, HVAC, elevators and escalators and security, building systems, industrial products, among others. UTC is a large military contractor, getting about 10% of its revenue from the U. S. government. Gregory J. Hayes is the chairman. In 1974, Harry Gray left Litton Industries to become the CEO of United Aircraft, he pursued a strategy of growth and diversification, changing the parent corporation's name to United Technologies Corporation in 1975 to reflect the intent to diversify into numerous high tech fields beyond aerospace. The diversification was to balance civilian business against any overreliance on military business. UTC became a mergers and acquisitions –focused organization, with various forced takeovers of unwilling smaller corporations; the next year, UTC forcibly acquired Otis Elevator.
In 1979, Carrier Refrigeration and Mostek were acquired. At one point the military portion of UTC's business, whose sensitivity to "excess profits" and boom/bust demand drove UTC to diversify away from it carried the weight of losses incurred by the commercial M&A side of the business. Although M&A activity was not new to United Aircraft, the M&A activity of the 1970s and 1980s was higher-stakes and arguably unfocused. Rather than aviation being the central theme of UTC businesses, high tech was the new theme; some Wall Street watchers questioned the true value of M&A at any price for its own sake. Mostek was sold in 1985 to the French electronics company Thomson. UTC acquired Sundstrand Corporation in 1999, merged it into UTC's Hamilton Standard unit to form Hamilton Sundstrand. In 2003, UTC entered the security business by purchasing Chubb Security. In 2004, UTC acquired the Schweizer Aircraft Corporation which planned to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary under their Sikorsky Aircraft division.
In 2005, UTC further pursued its stake in the security business by purchasing Kidde. In 2005, UTC acquired Boeing's Rocketdyne division, merged into the Pratt & Whitney business unit. In 2007, UTC opened the Hawk Works, a Rapid Prototyping and Military Derivatives Completion Center located west of the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Big Flats, New York. In March 2008, UTC made a $2.63 billion bid to acquire Diebold, a Canton, Ohio based manufacturer of banking and voting machines. Diebold rejected the buyout bid as inadequate. In November 2008, UTC's Carrier Corporation acquired an energy service company. In December 2009, it was announced that UTC would acquire a 49.5% stake in Clipper Windpower for $206 million. In April 2010, UTC announced that it was investing €15 million to set up the United Technologies Research Centre Ireland in University College Cork which will carry out research on energy and security systems. In October 2010, UTC agreed with Clipper to acquire the rest of the company.
In September 2011, UTC acquired a $18.4 billion deal for aircraft components maker Goodrich Corporation. In June 2012, it was discovered. For pleading guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and making false statements, United Technologies and its subsidiaries were fined $75 million. In July 2012, United Technologies merged it with Hamilton Sundstrand. In February 2013, UTC Power was sold to ClearEdge Power. In October 2014, Toshiba and United Technologies made a deal to expand their joint venture outside Japan. In January 2015, UTC Building & Industrial Systems completed the acquisition of CIAT Group, a leading HVAC manufacturing company in France. In November, Lockheed Martin completed its $9.0 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft. In February 2016, UTC subsidiary Carrier Air Conditioner announced to employees at its Indianapolis plant that Carrier is moving manufacturing to Mexico: “The best way to stay competitive and protect the business for long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.”
In December, Carrier agreed keeping 1,100 jobs in Indianapolis. On September 4, 2017, UTC proposed to acquire Rockwell Collins in cash and stock for $23 billion, $30 billion including Rockwell Collins' net debt, for $500+ million of synergies expected by year four. On November 26, 2018, the company announced the Rockwell Collins deal had closed, that it will split into three independent companies. Pratt and Whitney and the newly-formed Collins Aerospace will remain under United Technologies, while Otis Elevator and UTC Climate, Controls & Security will be spun off as two independent companies. For the fiscal year 2017, United Technologies reported earnings of US$4.552 billion, with an annual revenue of US$59.837 billion, an increase of 4.5% over the previous fiscal cycle. United Technologies shares traded at over $114 per share, its market capitalization was valued at US$98.6 billion in October 2018. UTC ranked No. 51 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Otis Elevator Company: Manufacturer and servicer of elevators and moving walkways. Pratt & Whitney: Designs and builds aircraft engines and gas turbines. Pratt & Whitney Canada Collins Aerospace: Designs and manufactures aerospace systems for commercial, regio
A narrowboat or narrow boat is a boat of a distinctive design, made to fit the narrow canals of the United Kingdom. A narrowboat must be under 7 feet wide, their maximum length is 72 feet. Anything wider or longer will be unable to navigate most of the British canal network. To access the entire network the maximum is 57 feet The first narrow boats played a key part in the economic changes of the British Industrial Revolution, they were wooden boats drawn by a horse walking on the canal towpath led by a crew member. Horses were replaced with steam and diesel engines. With the advent of the railways commercial canal traffic diminished and the last regular long-distance traffic disappeared in 1970. However, some traffic continued into the beyond. By the end of the 19th century it was common practice to paint roses and castles on narrow boats and their fixtures and fittings; this tradition has continued into the 21st century. Modern narrowboats are used for holidays, weekend breaks, touring, or as permanent or part-time residences.
They have steel hulls and a steel superstructure. The numbers of boats have been rising, with the number of licensed boats on canals and rivers managed by the Canal & River Trust estimated at about 27,000 in 2006 and over 30,000 in 2014. Although a small number of steel narrowboats dispense with the need for a rear steering deck by imitating some river cruisers in providing wheel steering from a central cockpit, most narrowboats' steering is by a tiller on the stern. There are three major configurations for the stern: traditional stern, cruiser stern and semi-traditional stern; the narrowboat definition in the Oxford English Dictionary is: A canal boat of traditional long, narrow design, steered with a tiller. One not exceeding 7 feet in width or 72 feet in length Earlier quotations listed in the Oxford English Dictionary use the term "narrow boat", with the most recent, a quotation from an advertisement in Canal Boat & Inland Waterways in 1998, uses "narrowboat"; the single word "narrowboat" has been adopted by authorities such as the Canal and River Trust, Scottish Canals and the magazine Waterways World to refer to all boats built in the style and tradition of commercial boats that were able to fit in the narrow canal locks.
Although some narrow boats were built to a design based on river barges and many conform to the strict definition of the term, it is incorrect to refer to a narrowboat as a barge. In the context of the British inland waterways, a barge is a much wider, cargo-carrying boat or a modern boat modelled on one more than 7 feet wide. Another historic term for a narrow boat is a long boat, this name was used in the Midlands and on the River Severn and connecting waterways to Birmingham. Usage has not quite settled down as regards boats based on narrowboat design, but too wide for narrow canals. Narrowboats may have ship prefix NB; the key distinguishing feature of a narrowboat is its width, which must be less than 7 feet wide to navigate British narrow canals. Some old boats are close to this limit, can have trouble using certain narrow locks whose width has been reduced over time because of subsidence. Modern boats are produced to a maximum of 6 feet 10 inches wide to guarantee easy passage throughout the complete system.
Because of their slenderness, some narrowboats seem long. The maximum length is about 72 feet. Modern narrowboats tend to be shorter, to permit cruising anywhere on the connected network of British canals — including on canals built for wider, but shorter, boats; the shortest lock on the main network is Salterhebble Middle Lock on the Calder and Hebble Navigation, at about 56 feet long. However, the C&H is a wide canal, so the lock is about 14 feet 2 inches wide; this makes the largest "go-anywhere-on-the-network" narrowboat longer than the straight length of the lock, because it can lie diagonally. Some locks on isolated waterways are as short as 40 feet. Where it was possible to avoid going through locks, narrow boats were sometimes built a little larger. Wharf boats or more usually'Amptons, operated on the Wolverhampton level of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and were up to 89 feet in length and 7 foot 10.5 inches wide. Hire fleets on British canals consist of narrow boats in varied lengths from 30 feet upwards, to allow parties of different numbers or varying budgets to be able to hire a boat and get afloat.
The first narrow boats played a key part in the economic changes of the British Industrial Revolution. They were wooden boats drawn by a horse walking on the canal towpath led by a crew member a child. Narrow boats were chiefly designed for carrying cargo, though some packet boats, carried passengers, luggage and parcels. Boatmen's families lived ashore, but in the 1830s as canals started to suffer competition from the burgeoning railway system, families began to live on board because they could no longer afford rents to provide extra hands to work the boats harder and further to keep families together; as late as 1858, a Household Words article state