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Case Study

The only hydraulic starting system of its kind in the world

One of the world’s fastest superyachts is owned by the Aga Khan and is designed to deliver a top speed of 68 knots. This exceptional vessel is powered by huge Rolls Royce gas turbine engines. Despite this speed, those aboard would have a smooth ride due to the gas turbine design, which eliminates all mechanical vibration and counters the effects of pitch and roll.

When this superyacht was being constructed, Rolls Royce briefed Armada Engineering to design and build a bespoke hydraulic starting system that would be geared to the particular needs of these state of the art engines.

Armada’s Managing Director, Joff Collins says:

“This was a fantastic project to be involved with, and one that allowed us to demonstrate the full scope of our design and engineering skills. The hydraulics had to be able to generate a huge amount of torque to be able to turn over these massive engines.

“The system that we created needed to meet a range of exacting technical specifications. It had to encompass precise engine cranking speeds in order to ensure a clean start. The gearbox driven hydraulic pumps that we designed had to operate at any water speed. The system also had to be able to start the gas turbines in any combination.

“Our system was designed with all the above criteria in mind and was operated using PLC control which also integrated data collection from the system.

“As the project evolved, additional features were built into the system, such as a slow turning option which ensured a uniform heat dissipation on the turbine shaft. This is a good illustration of the way we work. We provide a thorough and cost-effective response to the client’s brief, but we are always looking for ways in which we can improve and enhance our solutions, to add value for our clients.

“We worked very closely with the Rolls Royce team to the develop the system and prove its performance with extensive sea trials. We now have an ongoing involvement in looking after and maintaining this superyacht, so that it keeps operating at peak performance.

“We are really proud to be play a leading role in projects like these which break new ground and push at the boundaries of what can be achieved with marine hydraulics engineering.”