Royal Sovereign Class Remnants

This post from Tom Kuiper ( appeared on in March 2000 and is reproduced here by permission.

I learned an interesting fact from a colleague recently. Parts of the venerable WWI battleships HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Revenge are still in daily use. Built in 1916, these ships were scrapped in '49 and '48 respectively. In 1950, an internal rack and pinion of a 15" gun turret from each ship was salvaged and incorporated into the elevation drive of the 76-m diameter radio telescope at Jodrell Bank.

For the non-engineers, the internal rack is a large steel ring with gear teeth on the inside. The pinion is a gear which drives the ring around. There is one on each side of the telescope elevation axis. The telescope mirror is attached to the racks.

The telescope is now known as the Lovell Telescope, after Sir Bernard Lovell, founder of the observatory. More on the telescope can be found here With a little imagination you can see where the rack and pinion is on the visible side of the telescope.

Last Updated: 16 October, 2000.

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