The legendary Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 on the Hudson River in New York City, October 16, 2008, as she departs for the final time.

01 September, 2009

Tyfon Whistles

Paying out pennant and Tyfon whistles, October 16, 2008, NYC Final Departure

QE2's distinctive whistle is generated by two Tyfon whistles, mounted and partially concealed in the foremast. QE2's whistle is unique and probably the most recognized whistle of any ship afloat today. Hearing the voice of QE2 for the first time is quite an experience and I never tire hearing it.

From the photo, it is evident that the two whistles are of different diameters. Perhaps it is the combination of these two different octave whistles that makes the sound so unique and spectacular. The company that produced these units back in 1967 is still in business and making similar units. The company is Kockum Sonics with headquarters in Sweden. According to their website, they still produce a Supertyfon whistle in two different octaves. I will be researching this subject more thoroughly. In particular, I am curious whether the frequency of the whistles on QE2 meets current IMO Regulations, or whether since the ship is over 40 years old, it is in compliance with older regulations and is grandfathered.

While Alastair Greener's "We are Cunard" blog reported that Cunard has no plans to "borrow" a whistle similar to what happened with the QM2 whistle, they have promised that the new Queen Elizabeth will have her own distinct sound. Nothing can replace the sound of QE2's whistles.

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