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

29 September, 2009

Tyfon "horns" Update

Having posted to The Horn and Whistle Discussion Forum,, requesting any further information on QE2's Tyfon "horns", here is the response I received from the site's owner and foremost expert on train and ships whistles and horns:

Alright, you sent me to my notebook to dig up the specifics. Here's what's on there:

Mast, air horn: Kockumsonics MKT 230/75 air SuperTyfon
Mast, electric horn: Kockumsonics MA 18/75 ElectroTyfon
Bow: Kockumsonics MTX 150/130 ElectroTyfon

The pitches are supposed to be 75, 75 and 130 respectively. But they are sounding closer to 74, 76, 136.

Because the 75 Hz horns are really out of tune by 2Hz, you get that throbbing beat frequency. (mystery solved regarding the pumping nature of the horns at times.)

You are right about the bow horn, it's on something like it's 3rd or 4th fiberglass projector. (In my post, I commented that the unit mounted on the bow had been damaged by heavy seas several times.)

The air horn, the MKT 230/75 is quite a powerful horn and highly regarded as one of the best Kockumsonics produced. It appears to be a rare model, but according to the Horn and Whistle Forum, the QM2 has one of these installed on the funnel, encased in a dummy casing to match the "borrowed" Tyfon off the original Queen Mary. According to this website, it appears that this monster horn is not currently in production.  I can confirm that no specifications or equipment cuts show up on their website.

Regarding the correct terminology, technically, QE2's Tyfon's are both electrically and air driven "horns" and not whistles. Titanic, as a good example if you remember the whistle being blown in the scene where Jack wins his ticket onboard, has true whistles. A whistle has a tuned orifice in a given diameter of pipe, which has air or steam driven through it to produce the sound.

I wonder what the voice of the new QE3 will be? Will Cunard pay homage to her predecessors? I hope she has a better sounding horn than her sistership, Queen Victoria. I will admit that hearing her horn in person, is far better than listening to it on Youtube, but it is just not as distinctive as QE2's. I will never forget hearing her voice for the first time in Ft. Lauderdale in 2000.


  1. I have the QE2 whistle on my mobile phone. Only problem is, it ain't long enough or loud enough!

  2. We had the opportunity to hear the voice of QE2 many times on our Farewell to the UK voyage and never tired of it. Hearing it echo off the hills as we departed Greenock was priceless.