“Hang on a sec. I can see my school from here.”
The idea of building your own, well, anything really, I think, holds some certain appeal. Your hands built the kit car, the dining room table, the circuit boards inside your computer, and I think that gives a greater appreciation when you use the thing you built. A fellow by the name of Jack Bally has taken the idea of a home-built aircraft to a whole different level, with a quite exacting 1/3 scale replica of a B-17 bomber, made to be a flyable manned aircraft. Not quite completed yet, you can see it above parked next to a 2 passenger Cessna 140, which gives you a sense of the size of this plane. The wingspan is 34ft 7in, and the four engines are Hirth 3002 4-cylinder 2-strokes that will make around 60 horsepower apiece. The air frame for the mini-17 is all handmade out of aluminum, and the landing gear is retractable, just like the real deal. Continue reading Built to Scale
Not to be outdone by the Swiss army knife, the Soviets came up with their own multitool. Perfect for when you’re looking for a single implement to kill someone, hack up the body, then bury it. I think I know what I’m getting The Professor for Christmas!
[Show as [...]
USS Coral Sea (CV-43) – the 3rd and final ship of the WWII era Midway class Aircraft Carriers, shows off with a demonstration of just how incredibly maneuverable these ships were, 1953.
Along with her older sisters USS Midway (CV-41) and USS Franklin D Rosevelt (CV-42), these triplets were the US Navy’s first “Super-carriers” as they were then known, a superlative that would eventually come to describe the much larger Forrestal design, and even more so those that followed. But for nearly a decade, these three remained the largest and most capable warships in the world.
They had some inherent sea-keeping issues such as a low freeboard – the flightdeck wasn’t very high so bluewater (unbroken waves) would regularly crash over the bow in high seas. And they tended to bob like corks… especially the Midway which had its hull widened to address the freeboard issue, only to create an even bigger monster with a fast roll center, which also caused the ship to corkscrew in rough weather. It was such a wild ride our system’s gyros would regularly go on the fritz during storms, necessitating a trip up the aft radar tower to fix them, in the rain, in the dark, with only a red penlight to see with, trying not to short anything out or electrocute yourself while planes tried in vain to land down below you. Good times!
These 3 sisters were known to cause the sea-legs of even the saltiest sailors to wobble as they chewed on crackers, even more so than the smaller escort ships that accompanied her (which we joked went over one wave, then under two). They certainly put hair on the chest of all who sailed upon her decks.
BUT, they could also turn on Neptune’s dime.
Nearly 40 years after the lead photo was taken, in February 1991 we would have some fun with that maneuverability Continue reading “LEFT FULL RUDDER!”
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!
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!