The Tor­pedo

Australian T3 - - TABLET -

Ir­ish-born Louis Bren­nan sealed a patent for his a twin-pro­pel­ler tor­pedo in 1878. While pre­dated by other mod­els, the Bren­nan Tor­pedo is con­sid­ered the first prac­ti­cal guided mis­sile due to its range, speed and the sim­plic­ity of its con­cept.

The tor­pedo was pow­ered by dual counter-ro­tat­ing pro­pel­lers op­er­ated by wires at­tached to wind­ing en­gines on shore. The tor­pedo’s tra­jec­tory was guided by al­ter­ing the speed of each ex­tend­ing wire.

With back­ing from sev­eral Mel­bourne busi­ness­men Bren­nan founded the Bren­nan Tor­pedo Co. be­fore sell­ing the weapon to the Bri­tish Govern­ment in 1887 for £110,000. It was pur­chased due to its ef­fec­tive­ness as a har­bour de­fence and re­mained in pro­duc­tion un­til 1906.

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