Very strange things

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, March 23, 2020 2:19 PM

That rotten R-101. When it went up in flames it took Barnes Wallis' magnificent R-100 with it, figuratively speaking.

Here's the R-100...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa1tGgo6tQM  

And a little bit more...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k60YoKKiayE  

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Posted by M636C on Monday, March 23, 2020 7:47 PM

The big worry is that effectively the same bureaucrats who supervised the R-101 are those who are now trying to save use from the coronavirus, with the same insight into the problems involved.

However Nevil Shute was not an unbiased observer either.... Although his "No Highway" was a great predictor of the Comet disasters.

Peter

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, March 23, 2020 8:30 PM

Peter, I enjoyed reading such of Nevil Shute's books as I have. I enjoyed, particulalrly, his Trustee from the Toolroom. At the moment, I am not certain just what I have of his works, since most of my books are five miles from here, at my daughter's house. From time to time, she takes me sown to take back my previous selection and to bring more here.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, March 23, 2020 9:21 PM

Flintlock76
6)  Uh, they better not get that hydrogen-filled blimp to close to that steam engine!  One stray spark and POOF!    

Actually those hydrogen filled airships were more fireproof than expected.  During WWI, the British planes tried to shoot down German airship bombers with incendary bullets, but there was not enough oxygen to start a fire.  It wasn't until they started mixing in other bullets to open up the balloon some to introduce oxygen, that they were able to start a fire.  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, March 23, 2020 9:56 PM

But oh my God, when that fire started...

God have mercy on their souls!  

From 1930, "Hells Angels," the closest we can get.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFONt4rS1Y  

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, March 23, 2020 10:52 PM

OM:

The design details I was thinking of included the inward sloping sides of the cars, flush windows and smooth bottom.

The book "Trains, Tracks and Travel" had a brief description of the early streamlined trains starting with locomotive and cars in one articulated unit, then progressively transforming into individual cars hauled by MU'ed locomotives. Was interesting to see that exact progression detailed in Kratville's book.

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:51 AM

Deggesty

Peter, I enjoyed reading such of Nevil Shute's books as I have. I enjoyed, particulalrly, his Trustee from the Toolroom. At the moment, I am not certain just what I have of his works, since most of my books are five miles from here, at my daughter's house. From time to time, she takes me sown to take back my previous selection and to bring more here.

 

I probably should have clarified that I was talking about Shute's autobiography Slide Rule, in which he describes in detail the design and construction of the R101 while he was involved in the design and construction of the the R100 at Vickers.

If you have that in your collection I'm sure a re-reading of it now would fill in some of the long hours we will all be isolated in the near future.

No Highway was a novel effectively about the huge Bristol Brabazon airliner, which was pretty much the ultimate piston engined airliner with ten radial engines driving six propellors. Shute called it the Reindeer, an allusion to the tail assembly that had a large single fin and rudder but smaller auxiliary fins on the tailplane.

In the novel, the tailplane failed due to metal fatigue, a process that the hero Mr Honey had been working on at Farnborough.

Fatigue of fuselage window mountings caused the Comet crashes around five years after the book was published. 

But the detailed description of Honey in the novel could only have been based on an understanding of research establishments and those who work there.

Some twenty years ago I was working with the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation on a project about warship propulsion. The DSTO expert fell ill and I had to take over. But much of what went on reminded me of Shute's novel.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 10:32 AM

M636C
In the novel, the tailplane failed due to metal fatigue, a process that the hero Mr Honey had been working on at Farnborough. Fatigue of fuselage window mountings caused the Comet crashes around five years after the book was published. 

But .. to be fair ... for radically different reasons, and as the result of a radically different kind of design oversight...

I'd also like to put in a plug for Arthur Clarke's "Glide Path" as a technologically-inspired book.  (Here, from the guy who made a key insight on how George O. Smith's equilateral relay stations might be made somewhat more useful for broadcast applications -- of course, he did think, as Smith did, that these facilities would be manned...)

It does have to be said that research establishments have their own wonderful culture.  As do consulting firms, large and small.  But for fun, there is little like participating in the IETF/ISTF, or in a standards-development effort: you will see a whole 'nother side of rational engineering development...

 

(BTW, I have always loved both Shute's On the Beach and the movie Otto Preminger made from it.  Some of us may not like all of what is said, or some of the implications and assumptions leading to the particular 'world' it describes ... but it is still both a good read/watch and a worthwhile cautionary tale.)

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 2:57 PM

M636C

 No Highway was a novel effectively about the huge Bristol Brabazon airliner, which was pretty much the ultimate piston engined airliner with ten radial engines driving six propellors. Shute called it the Reindeer, an allusion to the tail assembly that had a large single fin and rudder but smaller auxiliary fins on the tailplane.

The Brabazon was powered by 8 radial engines with four propellors, where each prop was driven by two engines. Your description sounds more like the B-36, with 6 radial engines driving 6 props and 4 jet engines providing extra power when needed. The early B-36's and the C-99 had about the same take-off horsepower as the Brabazon, with the Wasp Majors providing 3,500HP each.

Another potential claim to ultimate piston engine airliner would have been the airliner version of the Fairchild Rainbow which could cruise at 450mph.

I remember seeing the last half of the "No Highway" movie on TV in '66 or '67. Went browsing in a "bookstore" some 25 or so years later and bought the one copy of the novel - made for interesting reading. I was impressed at the prescience with respect to the Comet, but was amused at the description of "fatigue" having been exposed to the dislocation theory of work hardening in an intro to engineering materials class.

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 4:34 PM

The Brabazon was powered by 8 radial engines with four propellors, where each prop was driven by two engines. Your description sounds more like the B-36, with 6 radial engines driving 6 props and 4 jet engines providing extra power when needed. The early B-36's and the C-99 had about the same take-off horsepower as the Brabazon, with the Wasp Majors providing 3,500HP each.

My apologies: I was in fact thinking of the contemporary Saunders Roe Princess which used the Proteus turboprops proposed for the production Brabazon I, but had additional single Proteus each side outboard of the two paired engines. The similarity of the engine arrangement was based on using the same power plant. In fact on the twin engines on both aircraft, contrarotating propellers were used so it could be said that the Brabazon had eight propellers and the Princess had ten.

Unlike the XF-12 the Brabazon was actually built as an airliner although it never entered service.

The No Highway movie was good but lacked the detail of the book regarding Mr Honey's work and background. A friend complained that James Stewart, a real life Air Force pilot, did not look credible in the scene where he retracts the aircraft undercarriage on the ground. He said Stewart clearly knew where the undercarriage contols were and how they operated.

The explanation of the cause of metal fatigue in the book was an indication of how little wasknown about the problem in 1949. At least Shute was aware of the effects...

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 5:10 AM

Fairchild Rainbow?  De Seversky is spinning in his grave.

Start to finish the XF-12 was a Republic project -- the merger didn't happen until 1965, which is long after the 'piston predecessor of the SR-71' was defunct.

Were there any other airliner designs that exploited the Meredith effect?

It was my understanding that this design never actually used contrarotating props, although the design spec incorporated them.

I am still sad that the Princess saw so little commercial success, and that the Brabazon (the aerial equivalent of Bulleid's Leader, perhaps?Mischief) was abandoned and scrapped -- it was an astounding piece of design work, albeit not a particularly marketable thing as an actual airliner.

Peter: if you found 1949-era metal fatigue theories amusing, what's your take on contemporary explanations of creep?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 7:39 AM

M636C

No Highway was a novel effectively about the huge Bristol Brabazon airliner, which was pretty much the ultimate piston engined airliner with ten radial engines driving six propellors. Shute called it the Reindeer, an allusion to the tail assembly that had a large single fin and rudder but smaller auxiliary fins on the tailplane.

The Bristol Brabazon in real life is of my favorite aerospace projects, even though it was commercially impractical... 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 8:08 AM

Overmod

I am still sad that the Princess saw so little commercial success, and that the Brabazon (the aerial equivalent of Bulleid's Leader, perhaps?Mischief) was abandoned and scrapped -- it was an astounding piece of design work, albeit not a particularly marketable thing as an actual airliner.

Peter: if you found 1949-era metal fatigue theories amusing, what's your take on contemporary explanations of creep?

 

Saunders-Roe's 5-deck flying ocean liner (P&O) proposal in 1956 is also as charming as those beautiful things that you could only find in our dream...

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 3:11 PM

Overmod

Fairchild Rainbow?  De Seversky is spinning in his grave.

My bad - Republic Rainbow it is. BTW, the name "Republic" was chosen as it had the same number of letters as Seversky.

Rainbow with fully developed VDT Wasp Majors...

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:26 PM

Peter: if you found 1949-era metal fatigue theories amusing, what's your take on contemporary explanations of creep?

I assume you are referring to creep in the context of adhesion and wheelst guidance.

The whole concept worried me for the second half of the 1970s when I was employed in rail/wheel interaction research.

In retrospect, I think that creep is only needed by people who believe that steel wheels and axles are rigid bodies.

I remember looking at six axles removed from an Alco C636. Every wheelset had one good wheel and one wheel worn hollow to condemnation.Then I noticed that one wheelset from each truck was worn on the opposite side. Then finally I realised that the worn wheel was on the side away from the drive gear.

I believe in slip and torsion forces but not creep forces...

Peter

 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 7:36 PM

Actually I was thinking of 'creep' in the high-temperature high-pressure boiler sense.  The explanations of the phenomenon in the mid-Fifties editions of Steam: Its Generation and Use are as amusing as reading about economics in a Thirties textbook...

Did the C636 in question have Hi-Ad trucks?

My understanding of 'creep' as in 'creep control' was that it involved microslipping -- something that very definitely works, for complex reasons, and is a potentially useful 'magnifier' of effective adhesion.  ("Control" in that sense being not elimination of the microslipping behavior, but modulation and taking advantage of it...)

Of course that use of the term may be completely wrong...

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, March 26, 2020 5:30 AM

Did the C636 in question have Hi-Ad trucks?

My understanding of 'creep' as in 'creep control' was that it involved microslipping -- something that very definitely works, for complex reasons, and is a potentially useful 'magnifier' of effective adhesion.  ("Control" in that sense being not elimination of the microslipping behavior, but modulation and taking advantage of it...)

All Alco C-636 locomotives had Alco Hi-Ad trucks. That includes all 34 built in the USA and the 29 built in Australia. 27 Australian built M-636 also had Alco Hi-ad trucks. Despite their name, these trucks had the conventional motor arrangement where one motor was on the opposite side of the axle to the other two.

I am aware of microslipping and its benefits to adheson. I just don't see why it should be called "creep" rather than "slip" just because of the magnitude.

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 26, 2020 9:10 AM

I'd dearly love to see a proper kinematic analysis of the Hi-Ad C truck, including formal description of the couples that produced harmonic rock on jointed rail at relatively common operating speed.  I can't help but think that there are some interesting reasons contributing to the 'off-side' wheels being more shelled...

I still love these trucks and think of them as modern, even in the present where far simpler designs that are far better arranged are commonplace.  They look the way high-speed trucks in the pre-wimpout '60s ought to...

In my not-so-humble opinion, "creep control" is in the same semantic family as "magnetic resonance imaging".  Just as folks in hospitals and clinics were uncomfortable trying to sell patients on something with 'nuclear' in its name, railroad purchasing departments would be on edge with anything that had 'slip' in its name ... regarding proactive traction.  (I can hear the ghost of the Commodore shouting 'do you mean to have the colossal effrontery to tell me you can stop trains with wind???)

"Creep" in the railroad setting, to me, means the movement of rail longitudinally under braking and other forces -- the thing rail anchors were designed to address.

I try to use 'microslipping' for the subject for further reasons: there are actually reasons why nominally damaging forces are 'good' for increasing effective TE.  (Just don't get the maintenance and civil people thinking too hard about some of the implications!) 

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 26, 2020 3:23 PM

More Strange Things.  Been real busy and I'm real tired edition.

 

1) Los Angeles 

The Roundhouse Cafe - Conveniently close to Bimini Baths.The Roundhouse Café located at 250 N. Virgil, conveniently close to the Bimini Baths spa and plunge (public swimming pool) – http://bit.ly/1gBWtQ0. A roundhouse is a locomotive maintenance shed built around a turntable hence the rather realistic locomotive sticking out the side there. This photo was taken in 1929 but I don’t know how long it lasted.

 

2) Russian Snowblower MiG-15 or MiG-17 radial compression engine with a lengthened jet exhaust.  Has a cockpit!!

 

3)  Early 'shoot on location' mobile studio. Very cool.

 

4)  Check out the guy on the right... " What the, nah can't be"

 

5)  I have it on good authority that this was Jones1945 car. 

 

6)  1/35,200 Scale 1/8"x 1/4" ... yes it operates!

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:11 PM

Miningman
More Strange Things.

In #2, I believe that's the actual exhaust that was in the tailcone of the fighter.  Suspect that there is no reheat (afterburning) in that engine, although it sure would melt snow for as long as the attached tank car would last...

If I look carefully, I can make out this Russian text on the front of the flatcar:

гордость центрального

 

#3 -- that is not a 'studio', it's the technical equipment concerning storage and processing of Technicolor stock when 'on location'.  More like a big twelve-wheel photo lab.

#4 -- that guy is either a young Russell Mael or one of the Sonnenkinder.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Thursday, March 26, 2020 6:02 PM

The Russian text would be " pride of(the) central". I can't bring up a larger picture on my smartphone and the quarantine means the library is closed .

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, March 26, 2020 8:37 PM

1) When I was young, Russians were always claiming they had invented key technological things first.

2) See the cabside of M-497... Wink

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 27, 2020 9:01 AM

Ah, the days when a summary neatly included all the things of value in a piece of research, succinctly stated, with notes about practical utility.

Although I am FAR from confident that I'd want a cobalt-plated watch case in my hand many times a day...

Vince, for a truly strange thing, see if Mike can find any technical information describing the Winton 318 diesel engine, or pictures of its often interesting details.  If you thought the Sabre was an interesting piece of technology, and enjoyed the Audi/Bentley short-crankshaft 12s ... you'll find the 318 interesting.  What a locomotive powerplant it would have made!

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, March 27, 2020 10:39 AM

Miningman
 

5)  I have it on good authority that this was Jones1945 car. 

This car would be welcomed by the townfolks in summer. I would have made it a 6-wheel car with two smaller pusher propellers that had a casting integrated into the streamlined car body. 

By the way, this is one of my favorite "van", the Stout Scarab:

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 27, 2020 11:51 AM

Jones1945
This car would be welcomed by the townfolks in summer. I would have made it a 6-wheel car with two smaller pusher propellers that had a casting integrated into the streamlined car body.

Why six wheels?  Fuller only needed three.

And read up on the ChannelWing, particularly the kind with a proper Fowler-flap-style multiple thrust-enhancing duct on 'the rest' of the enclosed channel, and then look at the aircraft with pusher ducted props to the rear of an Aircar-style four-person streamlined flying-boat cabin... remember that the Aircar itself was adapted from the Republic Seabee.

The afterbody of a properly-shaped cabin can easily form some of the duct structure for an effective pusher fan.  My early designs had much of the 'inner' blade length of the 'fans' shrouded spinner-style, with a directed afterbody to shape the exhaust flow... this would work with a 'multiplicity' of rear-mounted fans in a way that would preclude 'inadvertent collateral ingestion'.

If you're going to admire Stout, you really have to admire Hans Ledwinka more.  (See the settlement between those two...).  I have a suspicion the real Jones1945 dream car is one like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8fNpTSLi80

(What other vehicle make can boast partisan cred for knocking off key members of the Nazi officer corps?)

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, March 27, 2020 12:10 PM

Love that Stout "Scarab!"

Mod-man, you're going to have to tell me where to find the story about how Tatra knocked off  "...key members of the Nazi officer corps."  That's a new one on me.

Meanwhile, guess where a car belonging to a major psychotic Nazi SOB turned up?  No, not Adolf, someone else.  I won't say who, why spoil the surprise? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP4DA0PSegs  

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 27, 2020 5:40 PM

If that's who I think it's going to be... you do know that he died because fragments of upholstery were blown into his wounds and infected them.  So this car, too, gets honorary partisan status...

The prewar Tatras were fairly high-powered hemi V8s, with the whole of the engine slung out behind the rear axle centerline like those conversion kits to put a Chevy 350 in a Porsche 911.  It also had IRS with swing axles that behaved much like those on early Corvairs, abruptly lifting and rolling the tire into rim contact if the rear should swing out in oversteer... and we all know where that goes.

Apparently so many folks got seduced into going too fast, rolling, and dying in various fits of high-speed trauma that orders were issued that the cars should not be driven above a certain not terrifically fast speed - I think 80km/h.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, March 27, 2020 6:48 PM

Oh yeah, I know.

And if a certain book, "A Higher Form Of Killing," is to believed there's the possibility the bomb used in "Operation Anthropoid" was spiked with a biological agent, botulinum toxin, "Just to make sure."  

Considering what happened afterward, this probably was a "hit" that shouldn't have been done, even if the target deserved it.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, March 27, 2020 9:25 PM

Here's an actual 6-wheeled car, from a non-traditional manufacturer.  Not nearly as cool looking as those others, but I suspect it would be much easier on gas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftMxCehD08U

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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