Paravane (weapon)
The paravane is a form of towed underwater "glider". It was developed by Cdr Usborne and Lt Burney
Charles Dennistoun Burney
Sir Charles Dennistoun Burney, 2nd Baronet was an English aeronautical engineer, private inventor and Conservative Party politician....

 financed by Sir George White
George White
George White may refer to:*George A. White Maj.-Gen., U.S. Army*George E. White , U.S. Congressman from Illinois*George Henry White , Republican Congressman from North Carolina...

, founder of the Bristol Aeroplane Company
Bristol Aeroplane Company
The Bristol Aeroplane Company, originally the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, was both one of the first and one of the most important British aviation companies, designing and manufacturing both airframes and aero engines...


Initially developed to destroy naval mines, the paravane would be strung out and streamed alongside the towing ship, normally from the bow. The wings of the paravane would tend to force the body away from the towing ship, placing a lateral tension on the towing wire. If the tow cable snagged the cable anchoring a mine then the anchoring cable would be cut, allowing the mine to float to the surface where it could be destroyed by gunfire. If the anchor cable would not part, the mine and the paravane would be brought together and the mine would explode harmlessly against the paravane. The cable could then be retrieved and a replacement paravane fitted.
Explosive paravanes were developed by Burney as an anti-submarine weapon, as the "high speed sweep". It was a paravane, containing 80 pounds (36.3 kg) of TNT towed by an armoured electric cable. The warhead was fired automatically as soon as the submarine touched the paravane or towing cable, or by hand from the ship's bridge. It could be quickly deployed into the water, could be towed up to 25 knots (13.6 m/s), and recovery if unsuccessful was reasonably simple.
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