William Bourne, a British mathematician, drew up a design for a submarine in 1578. In the early 1600’s, Cornelius van Drebbel used Bourne's plans to build a submergible boat which traveled for short distances under the Thames River. This craft was built out of wood and covered with tightly wrapped sheets of waterproofed leather. It was propelled by oars that extended through its sides.
The first submarine-like boat to be used during wartime was David Bushnell's "Turtle". The Turtle was a one-man wooden barrel-like boat that was powered by hand-turned propellers. It was used during the American Revolution to plant bombs on the hulls of British ships. Although the Turtle was functional as a submarine, the bombs it planted were ineffective.
In 1800, Robert Fulton built the "Nautilus", a military submarine. This submarine was built with copper sheets over steel ribs and hand-powered propellers. It employed tanks that were filled with water to submerge and a horizontal rudder for steering.
It took the Nautilus 2 minutes to submerge. Once submerged, it could travel forward at a speed of 2 miles per hour. The Nautilus held enough oxygen to remain submerged for 17 minutes. Calculate how far the Nautilus could travel forward before its oxygen was exhausted?