A model of the proposed 'Titanic II' cruise ship – a replica of the ill-fated Titanic liner – has been tested in Germany.
The 9.3-metre wooden model was put through propulsion and power testing in a 300-metre tank in Hamburg earlier this month, ahead of the ship's construction in China.
Clive Palmer, mining magnate (and now likely to become a member of federal parliament, pending a recount) is behind the project, and said the results would be received later this year.
Mr Palmer first announced his intention to build a replica of the Titanic last year. The vessel is expected to make its inaugural cruise in late 2016, sailing from Southampton to New York. It will be built to resemble the original, with the only upgrades being air conditioning, a hospital and a helipad.
Mr Palmer has suggested that there will be no televisions or internet access, and said that passengers will be provided with period clothing should they wish to dress up.
As in 1912, there will be three passenger classes. Even the gym and the swimming pool will be almost identical to those on the 1912 ship.
One crucial upgrade will be the number of lifeboats. The original Titanic, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew, sank after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912. It had 16 wooden lifeboats which accommodated just 1,178 people – a third of the total capacity.
"The model testing by the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA), including resistance and open water tests, is an important part of the process in the Titanic II project," Mr Palmer said. "The Titanic II model was tested by HSVA at speeds of up to 23 knots and this testing is crucial for assessing the speed and power performance of this prototype vessel design."
Mr Palmer, who was estimated to be worth $US795 million ($A845 million) by Forbes magazine in 2012 but describes himself as a billionaire, has refused to say how much the venture will cost.
He made his fortune in mining, but also owns a number of holiday resorts. The Titanic II isn't his only business idea apparently inspired by a '90s blockbuster film. Last year he reportedly took an interest in cloning a dinosaur to attract guests to the Palmer Coolum Resort near Brisbane. He later announced plans to install more than 100 mechanical dinosaurs at the resort.
The Telegraph, London