Designed by the patriarch of the Thornycroft family for his own use, the MIRANDA IV is the world's first hydroplane. Built by Hart-Harden on the Thames, she launched in 1910 with her four-cylinder 110H horse-power Thorneycroft engine. When put to full throttle, the forward plane of the hull would rise clear of the water, and in speed trials the racing hydroplane achieved speeds around an astounding 35 knots.
The model is of carved beech wood, finished in varnish and mounted on turned brass columns on a mahogany base. This laminated ‘bread & butter' construction was definitely directed and possibly carved and shaped by Sir John Thornycroft himself. The precise sharp lines give a good indication of her built-for-speed purpose, which she answered. The ship measured 26'L x 6'B and weighed nearly a full ton, with mahogany bottom planking and English pine sides. She was painted an English racing green with a white hull and deck.
Thornycroft raced the hydroplane in two Bournemouth regattas and at a motor yacht club regatta in Southampton in 1910, winning all three events. At the latter, MIRANDA IV covered 16 miles in 33 minutes. The hydroplane is still in existence in the Old Tailem Town Museum in South Australia.
Provenance: Fom the Thorneycroft Family, of Chiswick & Southampton, England.
Ship Model Overall Length 38 Inches with a 8½ Inch Width & an 11¼ Inch Height; Mahogany Base Measures 35⅞ X 6⅝ Inches with 1¼ Inch Legs & 3 Inch Brass Columns
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