Big boy

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:57 AM

54light15
I sure didn't know that the Fat Man bomb was a modeled after a golf ball.

Surely you knew as a child not to cut into a golf ball because it would explode!

Now if you had a toy soccer ball of appropriate size, putting the harnesses and flanges on 'as appropriate' for pits (or to use a more PC euphemism, 'physics packages') would give you less reason for complaint...

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:05 AM

Firelock76
From what I've read and heard the "Big Boys" were indeed supposed to be called "Wasatch" types after the mountain range they were meant to cover.

You left out the "h".

The original Romanization of the tribe name, the summit location, and the UP material on naming the locomotives all spell it "Wahsatch", and that is the spelling that applies to discussion of the type name. 

It does not matter that other geographical entities spell it 'Wasatch' (or that John Rimmasch spells his company name that way).

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Posted by 54light15 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 2:16 PM

I've heard that about golf balls. If I tried to cut into one of the old man's Titleists, it would have been the end of the world. For me, that is. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:20 PM

Jeez, I heard there was a deadly acid inside golf balls and if you cut into one and got it on yourself you'd melt right down into your shoes!

And '54, if I hadn't seen that Sparrowhawk in 1971 I wouldn't think there were any left either.  Beautiful little airplane too! 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:06 PM

This golf ball GUARANTEES a hole-in-one!  Devil

What is it they say about horseshoes and hand grenades?  WELL....thanks to "Becky Corp.", you can now add golf balls!  Mischief

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:46 PM

Penny Trains
This golf ball GUARANTEES a hole-in-one!

By making the hole larger than the course.

Reminds me of the story about, as I heard it, Teller and Oppenheimer during the '40s, in the days of 'Super' design before Teller-Ulam, Mike and lithium deuteride.  Teller was explaining to Oppie that he expected the device, perhaps one of the multistage 'matrioshka' alarm-clock evolutions, to have a multimegaton yield.  Oppie thought about this a moment and asked how large the prompt fireball from the device would be ... about 3 miles across.  And then started laughing!  Teller was a bit miffed at this, as you might imagine, and asked what was so funny.  "I was just trying to imagine", said Oppenheimer, "a military target large enough to drop it on".

To paraphrase a National Lampoon joke, here's the Beckme Corporation nuclear golf ball, with a blast radius of over 350 yards!  Of course, the average golfer can only drive it about 220 yards off the tee...

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:56 PM

SD70Dude
Now if I could just figure out where they got the "Ten Wheeler" name from I'd be set!

Four in the lead truck, and six drivers, of course.  "American" locomotives were often known as eight-wheelers back in the day.

Remember that the use of names for wheel arrangements was one of those folk evolutions, in the absence of a formal taxonomy that could be 'scientifically' accepted.  That is what the Whyte system so rapidly became after its introduction to the trade circa 1901.  It is interesting to read descriptions of new motive power in Sinclair and other magazines prior to that date, and watch the fun trying to characterize the locomotives and their capacities without a simple numerical axle arrangement...

Might have been possible to name it the 'Baltimore' type (the Rogers engines being some early famous locomotives with that arrangement) but it's one of those things that never got resolved enough for people to use.  There is an intermediate example of this effect in the use of 'Mastodon' for 4-8-0 vs. 'Twelve-wheeler' ... I do not consider the El Gobernador arrangement to be the 'Mastodon' but to be either known by its name or perhaps as 'Stevens' type.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:01 PM

54light15
And why Pacific? Or Atlantic? Mogul? Mikado? I understand Decapod, but those?

You get different stories depending on source.  "Atlantic" as I recall is from Atlantic Coast Line (1894); "Mogul" is from contemporary history (2-6-0 being big and powerful like the Indian rulers, whose name of course derives ultimately from 'Mongol'); "Pacific" may in fact refer to New Zealand, who in fact had the earliest true examples.  About "Mikado" there is little doubt; the first example was built for Japan.  If I remember correctly someone like Freeman Hubbard carefully worked out in an article or story as many of the names as he could; I know I had read about them by the time I was 5 or so in those vague old pre-Internet days where the libraries or bookstores were your source.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:53 PM

Hmmm, "...nuclear golf ball with a blast radius of 350 yards..."

Reminds me of when I was in the Marines and we were learning about the white phosphorus grenade, the ol' "Willie Peter."   The thing had a burst radius of 30 yards, but the average Marine could only throw it 25 yards!

As the instructor said, "Do NOT give one of these things to the guy who never made the football team!" 

Sound advice.  Then again, in an infantry platoon most grenades wind up the hands of those most capable of throwing them anyway.  I threw a grenade once.  Believe me, once was enough!

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:52 PM

Firelock-- Read the last few posts on String Lining. Come join us at the new 'Woodstock' for Forum members . Same to any and all. Meet NDG, Overmod, SD70DUDE, ride behind steam, maybe if we ask super real nice the Dude can get you up in the cab for a bit. Blow the whistle anyway! Its a spontaneous thing, that is what makes it great. End of July 30, 31, Aug 1 in Edmonton. Be a hoot. 

Overmod says "  I know I had read about them by the time I was 5 or so in those vague old pre-Internet days where the libraries or bookstores were your source."

...magazines, lots of magazines, about everything! ...and more importantly no one had the power to wipe it ALL out,  take you down, control content all at a whim and a push of a button from who knows where. No one, short of nuclear war, can wipe out my books, my photos but a 13 year old hacker can just for giggles. Of course you know all this. Let me state however that I agree with you and for now the Internet is beyond terrific, just feel something uneasy about it.

To tie this Internet thought and a gathering of us Railbirds together in Edmonton I would like to say this:

We are all lesser people when we are on line than we really are. That is why it is important not to be a jerk when on line. It would be such a fabulous event to meet as many as possible Forum members.. what else you going to do in the dog days of summer. Come meet us all. 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:34 AM

I would love to meet all of you, but 8000 miles away is too much.  If there is something important to you on this website, by all means download it and backup your computer hard-drive with one or more USB devices and even another computer's hard drive, only sensible thing to do.

The UP 4014 blog is too important for me just to read.  So I am assembling it itio a pdf for a permanent place in my computer data library.  But I was unhappy with the photo quality and decided to do something about it, and the results are:

  

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:33 PM

Overmod-- From 1871.... no 'h' or 'h'? That is the question!

Don't shoot the messenger ....from Mike ..on Big Boy thread Overmod insists Wasatch be spelled Wahsatch. The spelling of the mountains can be modern but not the old station. 




https://archive.org/stream/altacaliforniapa00unse#page/267/mode/2up 



https://archive.org/stream/crofuttstranscon00unse#page/82/mode/2up 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:52 PM

Hey, remember we were talking about the old Curtiss Sparrowhawk?

Well, looky what I found!

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/curtiss-f9c-2-sparrowhawk

Isn't it gorgeous?  Like something out of a Thirties movie!  You half-expect to see James Cagney or Pat O'Brian in the cockpit!

The article attached says pilots didn't care for it all that much, but not why?  Squirrelly handling characteristics?  Cockpit too tight?  Who knows?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, July 13, 2018 7:25 AM

Looking at the photo, it appears that forward visibility isn't all that great.  Landings on a terrestrial runway or a flight deck would not have been too easy, not unlike the earliest version of the F4U.

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, July 13, 2018 2:55 PM

Thanks so much for posting that, Firelock! I may have said it before but I think the last military biplanes (of anyone's air force) are the most beautiful aircraft ever! Didn't they later remove the landing gear from the Sparrowhawk? I recall something about that. 

I can only assume you've seen "Here Comes the Navy" with Cagney and O'Brien? I need to see it again! 

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, July 13, 2018 6:02 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

Looking at the photo, it appears that forward visibility isn't all that great.  Landings on a terrestrial runway or a flight deck would not have been too easy, not unlike the earliest version of the F4U.

 

You may be on to something there.  According to the expanded story on the A&S website, the Navy did try the Sparrowhawk as a carrier-based aircraft but rejected it.  Anyway, forward visibility was always problematic in tail-draggers, although some were better than others.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, July 13, 2018 6:06 PM

Of course I've seen "Here Comes The Navy," numerous times!  If they still had all that cool stuff they had in the Thirties I might have joined the Navy instead of the Marines!

I do shudder a bit during "Here Comes..." when Cagney reports on board the USS Arizona.  If they only knew...

Yes, some of the Sparrowhawks had the landing gear removed and had extra fuel tanks installed to extend the range.  I saw a brief video on You Tube of the same, I'll try and find it later.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Friday, July 13, 2018 11:40 PM

Firelock76
had the landing gear removed

    Wait a minute--"...had the landing gear removed..."   What on earth were they planning?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:01 AM

Paul of Covington
Firelock76
had the landing gear removed

    Wait a minute--"...had the landing gear removed..."   What on earth were they planning?

They were to be based on a rather unconventional aircraft carrier:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Macon_(ZRS-5)

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 14, 2018 9:26 AM

OK folks, I found some good stuff!

First, some film of the Sparrowhawks during flight operations with one of the no landing gear aircraft.  A good head-on shot where you can see the extended range fuel tank installed.  Since the planes were meant to operate from the airships it made sense to dispence with the landing gear in favor of extended range.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWoEQRl8dCs

Second, some neat footage of the USS Akron with Sparrowhawk flight ops.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTGBFY82Gik

And last, just for fun, a ten-minute clip from "Here Comes The Navy" with the immortal James Cagney and Pat O'Brian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhN5qRJO6fY

Man, they had some great gear back in those days, didn't they?

Now, here's something to postulate on, just for fun.

Let's suppose the USS Macon hadn't been lost.  It's December 6th, 1941, and in response to the "War Warning" that had gone out on November 30th the USS Macon is patrolling the waters around Hawaii with it's full complement of extended range Sparrowhawks (obsolete by this time, but still in use because, after all, they're still serviceable) and one of those Sparrowhawks just happens to spot a massive naval task force where one shouldn't be and flying "Rising Sun" flags.

Makes you wonder how history might have been changed just a little bit.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:12 AM

That is course assuming that the airship happens to be patrolling in that sector at that moment.  Realistically, the USS Macon and its aircraft would have been shot down in minutes.

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:24 AM

In his book "And I was There", Eddie Layton had expressed his concern about not having enough PBY's to do a 360 degree patrol of the ocean around Pearl Harbor, leavig the area to the northeast unpatrolled.

As for the Macon and Sparrohawks being shot down, the whole point of the attack was to acheive complete surprise - Pearl Harbor would have turned out differently with a couple of hours warning. NB, the sinking of the midget submarine should have raised the alarm...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:29 AM

Of course CSS. However, to shoot down the Sparrowhawks, which a Zero could have done with ease, we'd have to assume the Japanese were running flight ops during the approach to Hawaii, which I'm not sure they were doing.  Probably not, why exhaust the pilots when you need them fresh for the "Main Event?"  We'd also have to assume they had radar so they could see the Macon out there, or it's aircraft, and I'm not sure just how good Japanese radar was at the time, or if the fleet even had it to begin with, somehow I think not, they way they let themselves get "bounced" by the Dauntlesses at Midway.  And remember one of the Sparrowhawks wouldn't have to be right on top of the Japanese to report their presence, assuming good visability the fleet could have been seen a long ways off.  And IF a Sparrowhawk was sighted the Japanese would have had to scramble fighters to intercept it and that would have taken time, probably enough time for that 'Hawk to make itself scarce. 

The Macon itself could have been brought down, but it would have taken some doing to do so considering it's size and gas volume.  There would have been plenty of time for Macon to radio Pearl Harbor  "Hey!  There's something out here, and it ain't American!"

Again, just postulation, of course it didn't happen.  But by it's "sacrifice," if we want to use that term, the Macon would have more than covered it's cost by saving the rest of the Pacific Fleet.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:20 PM

   Thanks, SD70Dude.   I had been skimming through the discussion without paying too much attention and didn't realize the carriers we were talking about were dirigibles.

   And thanks, Firelock76, for those links.   Sometimes the things men do make circus acts look like child's play.  What sailors were able to do on the old square riggers never ceases to amaze me.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 14, 2018 4:08 PM

Thanks Paul!  The old square-riggers, "Wooden ships and iron men."

Back in 1997 I watched a History Channel show on the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," 200th anniversary.  The Navy took it out of Boston for a sail, and actually had an on-board crew trained to sail it.  The folks going up the masts had safety vests, safety harnesses, and hard hats. It made perfect sense in this day and age, but I wondered what old-time top-men would have thought of that.  Would they have laughed, or would they have said "Gorramity!  I wish WE had rigs like that!"  We'll never know.

Reminds me of another "Old Ironsides" story I heard from a Coast Guard Reserve Lieutenant Commander.  Remember OpSail '76, the parade of "Tall Ships" up the Hudson River for the Bicentennial?  The Navy heard about it and said "Hey!  Wouldn't it be something if we got 'Old Ironsides' out of Boston, sailed it down to New York, and led the parade?"

There was just one problem, no-one in the Navy in 1976 was sail qualified, and certainly not on square-riggers.  Then the Coast Guard heard about it and said "No problem boys, WE'LL sail it for you!"  The Coasties DO have the "Eagle" sail training ship after all.

"Uh, hm, uh, no thanks!"  said the Navy.  And that was the end of that!

Inter-service rivalry, don't you know.

And a little musical selection from those days of "Wooden ships and iron men."  This goes back as far as the 17th Century, as far as anyone knows.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKFxb3SSEa0

I've heard other versions, I like this one the best!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, July 14, 2018 7:13 PM

"Wackiest Ship In The Army".  That's what that sounds like Wayne.  Wink

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 14, 2018 8:04 PM

Not as wacky as you might think Becky, check this out...

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/6149/meet-the-biggest-and-baddest-ships-in-the-us-army

By the way, I remember "The Wackiest Ship In The Army,"  both the movie and the short-lived TV show!  Yeah, I'm approaching geezerdom, or something.

Wayne

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:03 PM

Firelock76

Of course CSS. However, to shoot down the Sparrowhawks, which a Zero could have done with ease, we'd have to assume the Japanese were running flight ops during the approach to Hawaii, which I'm not sure they were doing.  Probably not, why exhaust the pilots when you need them fresh for the "Main Event?"  We'd also have to assume they had radar so they could see the Macon out there, or it's aircraft, and I'm not sure just how good Japanese radar was at the time, or if the fleet even had it to begin with, somehow I think not, they way they let themselves get "bounced" by the Dauntlesses at Midway.

Had the Macon been patrolling the ocean around Oahu, the IJN may have called off the Pearl harbor attack as they would not have been able to approach undetected.

As for radar, my understanding that the Japanese fleet had much in the way of radar at the beginning of the war. The fleet was also under strict radio silence and the use of radar would have been forbidden. OTOH, the IJN had very good optics on their ships, so...

Assuming the Macon had survived the 1930's, I wonder if the USN would have installed radar on it - at 10,000' the radar range against sihps would hae been on the order of 150 miles.

Again, just postulation, of course it didn't happen.  But by it's "sacrifice," if we want to use that term, the Macon would have more than covered it's cost by saving the rest of the Pacific Fleet.

Anything that would have given 12 hours of warning would have made a huge difference and the sacrifice of the Macon would indeed been worth the cost. Keep in mind that the IJN was counting on total surpise.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:23 PM

Erikem, it's interesting to speculate on just what the Japanese task force commander, Admiral Nagumo, would have done if he'd realized he'd been spotted.  He'd already received the "Climb Mount Niitaka" order on December 2d giving the go-ahead for the attack unless specifically being ordered not to.  Nagumo was a competant commander, but not one for showing much initiative, and he certainly couldn't break radio silence to ask Tokyo "What do I do now?"

I'd imagine if Admiral Yamamoto was on-site and in personal command he'd have said the following to the staff...

"Gentlemen, remember the Prussian Field Marshal von Moltke's dictum, 'No plan survives five minutes contact with the enemy...'?  Well, we've been spotted, we've come too far to turn back, and the High Command in Tokyo is determined to have a war with the United States.  So, this is what we're going to do."

"We increase the speed of the task force to get to the attack point as quickly as possible.  The Americans will have to overcome the inertia of a peacetime military not expecting trouble and that will take time, so we do have a bit of a window of opportunity.  Instead of three attack waves we launch all aircraft at once, everyone goes in.  If the American fleet is still in harbor we try to hurt them as much as we can.  If they've left, we demolish ALL the shore installations we can, especially the fuel storage areas, we have the intelligence, we know where everything is.  Without shore support facilities in Hawaii the American fleet will have to withdraw to the West Coast, and it will be months before they can return to the Pacific for any offensive operations against us."

"We may have lost the element of surprise, but we've trained for this for months, the men are ready, the weapons are ready, and the spirit of the men may just give us the edge to make this attack a success."

"Remember, the purpose of this attack is to neutralise the American Pacific Fleet, so tell your pilots and aircrews to be agressive, push the attacks home as hard as they can, damage and destroy as much as they can, our national survival is at stake here.  And good luck to them all!"

Any thoughts, anyone?

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:46 PM

Cheech and Chong skit reply:

 Nakimoro raises his arm..." Honorable Admiral sir"

Admiral..." Yes, Nakimoro in the back"  

Nakimoro.... " You out of your #%**~€&@ mind?!!

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