The film about Mr. Preston Tucker always intrigued me as a kid. Perhaps it speaks to the quality raising that I got that it was a movie we owned and watched frequently, but even today when I think of Tuckers I think about that stylized version of his life, and how The Man kept trying to keep him down. One thing from the movie that I thought was awesome was the armored car he develops first, which really has only a bit part in the movie. I think, though, that I wanted one of those about as much as I wanted a Tucker car, because it was faster than anything else on the battlefield! Too fast for the government to buy! Nothing is cooler to a 10 year old, well, very little anyhow, than a fighting machine that doesn’t get built because it is too fast.
I recently came across the lead image you see on the Modern Mechanix website, and it jogged my memory on this machine, and I decided to find out more. Hit the jump, and let’s discover the other Tucker!
Continue reading The Other Tucker
The Professor recently finished the latest addition to his garden. Spiffy. Seriously though this war relic appears to have been converted into a tourist attraction (otherwise, that garbage can looks a little out of place). Unfortunately, my limited image search capabilities turned up nothing so I’m not even sure which war or country [...]
During WWII (and to a lesser extent, WWI), “dummy” tanks were used as decoys to mislead the enemy’s reconnaissance as to the size or deployment of forces, or to get the enemy to waste time trying to destroy fake targets. It was a fairly effective strategy and even today the M1 Abrams will often [...]
It has been a little while since we have done a Toasters Museum Adventures post, and after my out of town working weekend a couple of weeks ago, I have a little something to share. As I mentioned last week, I took in an Omnimax movie on that Saturday, and some of you were perhaps wondering just where that might have been. It was in fact at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Myself and some buddies from work spent an afternoon there, complete with a little good natured ribbing from the home front for being a bunch of nerds who hit up a science museum during off time instead of day drinking craft beers.
In addition to having the big, big screen movie theatre, this museum also happens to have a retired submarine tied up pier-side in the river for visitors’ touring pleasure–the USS Blueback (SS-581). This sub was not only the last non-nuclear boat built by the US, but also the last to retire from the US Navy inventory. She is a Barbel class boat that was launched and commissioned in 1959, serving actively until 1990, and was donated to the museum in 1994. Past the jump you will find more pictures that I took on our tour, plus some fun facts about the Blueback!
Continue reading TMA*: OMSI
Maybe if they had invented carbon fibre a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, they wouldn’t have gone through so many storm troopers.
In Soviet Russia, Truck Rockets You!
Image via highpowerrocketry.blogspot.com.
You may remember the Beriev Be-200 from such Atomic Toasters posts as skitter‘s Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, where it made a brief appearance. This plane is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft and was designed by Beriev Aircraft and is assembled at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant of the Russian-based Irkut company. The first test aircraft flew in September of 1998, and the first production aircraft was delivered in 2003.
The Be-200 mission variants include fire-fighting, search and rescue, freighter, passenger aircraft and ambulance. The fire-fighting variant has a crew of two members, and is fitted with fire extinguishing fluid and water tanks. The aircraft can drop 270t of water on the fire area without refuelling. Water capacity is 12,000 kg (26,450 lb).
The search and rescue (SAR) variant can perform operations within an area of 200 miles for 6.5 hours. The aircraft is equipped with an inflatable rubber dinghy, thermal-imaging and optical search aids and first-aid kit. The SAR variant can be configured to carry 45 passengers.
The transport variant is fitted with floor-mounted cargo-handling equipment to transport loose cargoes, as well as cargoes loaded in standard containers and pallets. The aircraft has the capacity to carry 6.5t payload.
The passenger variant, designated as Be-210, can carry 72 passengers. It has the maximum range of 1,850km.
The BE-200 ambulance version can accommodate ten medical staff as well as 30 injured persons on stretchers. The aircraft feature emergency diagnostics and intensive care facilities. (naval-technology.com)
The firefighting system was developed specifically for this aircraft, and is capable of scooping water while skimming the water surface at 90-95% of takeoff speed. The engines are two D-346TP high-bypass ratio engines. These turbofan engines deliver a higher performance at hot-and-high conditions compared with turboprop engines installed on similar types of fire-fighting aircraft (according to Beriev’s promo material anyhow).
Now that we all know a little about this big flying boat, let’s get to the good stuff–video! And since the only thing better than video of one interesting post-Soviet Russian amphibious aircraft is video of two interesting post-Soviet Russian amphibious aircraft, check out the sweet two ship formation flying!
Continue reading Бериев Бе-200
Take some time this afternoon, and enjoy some whimsical creations from Mr. Bruce McCall. Some of these are out of Major Howdy Bixby’s Album of Forgotten Warbirds, others are from The Other Air Forces. All are perfectly legitimate and useful aircraft, if only they had actually been built.
A longtime contributor to the New Yorker, Bruce McCall is a humorist and illustrator whose best-known work draws on the big-shouldered hubris of the middle 1920s and the early 1950s to create a future paradise where the skies are filled with zeppelins and every car has wings. He’s a wry observer of contemporary life and a witty writer.
McCall began his career as an illustrator for car ads — by his own account not a very good illustrator. He’d left the field and became a copywriter when, on a whim, he and a friend sent some humorous drawings to Playboy (at that time, 1970, it was a legit career move). He soon connected with the founders of the National Lampoon, a pioneering humor magazine, and went on to create some of their most enduring images — finding in the 1970s countercultural media a rich audience for his satirical take on the Atomic Age. He’s now working the same magic at the New Yorker. (ted.com)
Continue reading Have a Zany Afternoon!
Nuclear explosions are known to have some occasional side effects, not all of which could exactly be classified as advantageous. Some of the effects however, don’t really have all that much bearing on the final outcome, and we only know about them thanks to high speed photography. Lightning bolts out of nuclear clouds is just one such effect.
Continue reading Man Made Lightning