Clive Palmer's dream of creating a modern-day successor to the ill-fated RMS Titanic took a step forward last week with the first model tests of the Titanic II.
A 30-foot-long replica of the vessel was placed inside a 1000-foot-long tank at the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) in Germany. Over four days, the team there performed propulsion and power testing - with the prototype approaching speeds of 23 knots.
“The speed and power performance model testing is one of the critical aspects for a prototype vessel and needs to be verified before a construction contract is completed.
“Self propulsion tests determine the optimal sense of wing propeller rotation, the neutral wing thruster angle and optimal load distribution between wing and centre units.”
The Blue Star Line expects to receive the results from the testing in a few months, still holding firm to the goal of launching the vessel sometime in 2016.
Earlier this month, Clive Palmer told the AFP that his desire to build the Titanic II comes from a place of love.
"We’ve all been in love, I’ve been in love, I’m in love at the moment,” he said. "And if you’re not in love you long to be in love. What’s wrong with love? It’s very, very easy to make war – we have armies, we have navies, we have air forces – but it’s a lot harder to make peace.
"And by taking Titanic II, by recreating that... we’ve built it with a concept of love that we all want. And that’s what’s common to man – in China, in Europe and the United States. And that’s why it has got such universal appeal.
"The Titanic is an international project linking continents together and the demand has shown it’s important.”
As revealed in August, more than 40,000 people have already inquired about ticket sales - with half a dozen offering more than one million dollars to earn a place on the maiden voyage, according to James McDonald, global marketing director of Blue Star Line.
“The overwhelming response has been really good and that is shown across the world," he added. "The continued media attention is exciting. There are some people who believe there are issues, [but] we have an advisory board which has relatives of passengers and we are keen to make sure we are paying respects to them and will hopefully do that by recreating this majestic ship."
The Blue Star Line recently published the 17-minute video that appeared at launch event earlier this year in Macau, New York, London, Southampton and Halifax. Check it out below.