Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Stephane Drzewiecki, concepteur de sous-marins au service des marines russe et française (1877-1900)

Claudine Fontanon


Stefan Drzewiecki, submarine inventor for the Russian and French navies (1877-1900)

This article concerns Stefan Drzewieckis naval engineering researches.
This civil engineer was born into a rich polish Europeanized family and graduated at the
Ecole centrale des arts et manufactures in Paris. Inventor in 1877 of a submarine prototype
named Podascaphe, Drzewiecki pursued the improvement of his concept in
terms of propulsion, manoeuvring, speed and autonomy . His first prototypes were
mass-produced by the Russian navy, but the lack of interest by the Russian authorities
in the early 1890s convinced him to settle in Paris. In 1896, he took part in a competition
organized by the French Admiralty for a new type of submarine. The prize he received
gave him enough freedom to pursue his activities as an inventor. He subsequently
took an active interest in airplanes and conceived a propeller theory that drew
him closer to Gustave Eiffel, who was himself involved in aerodynamics, and also collaborated
with the Laboratoire aérodynamique dAuteuil. This Polish engineer died in
1938 after a long career entirely devoted to naval engineering and aviation.

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