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 March, 2011

QE's Funnel Comes Up Short

Photo to left, QE2's funnel, taken from the rear.  Photo to right, QE and her captain, courtesy of Cunard's Facebook page.

What happened here Fincantieri, designers and builders of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria?  Why does the funnel casing stop short of the engine exhaust uptakes?  Even the arrangement of the uptakes is untidy.  They're not symmetrical, but who notices these little things except ship nuts like me?  The builders managed to do this on other similar Vista Class ships they have built for Holland America Line as well, but then again, they were not tasked to replicate the QE2's iconic funnel.  Okay, so they probably were not asked for a carbon copy, but a modern interpretation of what the world has come to recognize as distinctly QE2 and in effect Cunard.  The vertical ventilation slots are there on QE's stubby funnel, but we're just missing the top row!

I have yet to hear a rational reason why the casing must stop short.  The argument that I have read elsewhere is that it is an aerodynamic/functionality issue.  That explanation falls on its face when you look at Queen Mary 2's beautifully designed, if not a bit vertically compromised, funnel.  You can just make out the large, well concealed gas turbine uptakes from this photo.

Notice the similarity to QE2's funnel below, abeit abbreviated due to that damn Verrazano-Narrows Bridge height restriction!

QE2's iconic funnel in the early morning sun off the Isle of Man, October 3, 2008 ( photo mirrored for comparison to QM2's funnel)

For a more in depth discussion on the subject of QE2's funnel, including a comparision to the new Queens, visit my favorite QE2 website here.  From a link in this discussion, here is an excellent side by side comparision of QE2's magnificant funnel compared to the stubby versions on the new cruising Queens.  Looks like I need to practice some Photoshop editing here to illustrate what these funnels could easily have looked like! 

Photo courtesy of Albireo2006 found here on Flickr.

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