Saturday, April 27, 2013
Tiger I is the common name of a German heavy tank developed in 1942 and used in World War II. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf.E, often shortened to Tiger. It was an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun, in its initial armored fighting vehicle-dedicated version, which in its Flak version had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both air and ground targets. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable.
While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was over-engineered, used expensive and labour intensive materials and production methods, and was time-consuming to produce. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and immobilizations, and limited in range by its huge fuel consumption. It was, however, generally mechanically reliable but expensive to maintain. It was also complicated to transport, and vulnerable to immobilization when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved road wheels in winter weather conditions, often jamming them solid. In 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.
The tank was given its nickname Tiger listen by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘Panzer VI version H’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H), but the tank was redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943. It also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.
Today, only a handful of Tigers survive in museums and exhibitions worldwide. The Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131 is currently the only one restored to running order.
The Tiger differed from earlier German tanks principally in its design philosophy. Its predecessors balanced mobility, armour and firepower, and were sometimes outgunned by their opponents.
The Tiger I represented a new approach that emphasised firepower and armour. While heavy, this tank was not slower than the best of its opponents. However, with over 50 metric tons dead weight, suspensions, gearboxes, and other such items had clearly reached their design limits and breakdowns were frequent. Design studies for a new heavy tank had been started in 1937, without any production planning. Renewed impetus for the Tiger was provided by the quality of the Soviet T-34 encountered in 1941. Although the general design and layout were broadly similar to the previous medium tank, the Panzer IV, the Tiger weighed more than twice as much. This was due to its substantially thicker armour, the larger main gun, greater volume of fuel and ammunition storage, larger engine, and more solidly-built transmission and suspension.
The Tiger I had frontal hull armour 100 mm (3.9 in) thick and frontal turret armour of 120 mm (4.7 in), as opposed to the 80 mm (3.1 in) frontal hull and 50 mm (2 in) frontal turret armour of contemporary models of the Panzer IV. It also had 60 mm (2.4 in) thick hull side plates and 80 mm armour on the side superstructure and rear, turret sides and rear was 80 mm. The top and bottom armour was 25 mm (1 in) thick; from March 1944, the turret roof was thickened to 40 mm (1.6 in). Armour plates were mostly flat, with interlocking construction. The armour joints were of high quality, being stepped and welded rather than riveted and were made of maraging steel.
The The gun's breech and firing mechanism were derived from the famous German "88" dual purpose flak gun. The 88 mm KwK 36 L/56 gun was the variant chosen for the Tiger and was, along with the Tiger II's 88 mm KwK 43 L/71, one of the most effective and feared tank guns of World War II. The Tiger's gun had a high muzzle velocity and extremely accurate Leitz Turmzielfernrohr TZF 9b sights (later replaced by the monocular TZF 9c). In British wartime firing trials, five successive hits were scored on a 16 by 18 in (410 by 460 mm) target at a range of 1,200 yards (1,100 m).Tigers were reported to have knocked out enemy tanks at ranges greater than 2.5 miles (4.0 km), although most World War II engagements were fought at much shorter ranges. Triangulation (range finding) equipment was not yet available, so tank crews had a vested interest in approaching the enemy as closely and as fast as possible.nominal armour thickness of the Tiger was reaching up to 200 mm at the mantlet.
The rear of the tank held an engine room flanked by two separate rear compartments each containing a fuel tank, radiator, and fans. The Germans had not developed an adequate diesel engine, so a petrol (gasoline) powerplant had to be used instead. The engine utilised was a 21-litre (1282 cu.in.) 12-cylinder Maybach HL 210 P45 with 650 PS (641 hp, 478 kW). Although a good engine, it was inadequate for the vehicle. From the 250th Tiger, it was replaced by the uprated HL 230 P45 (23 litres/1410 cuin) with 700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW). The engine was in V-form, with two cylinder banks at 60 degrees. An inertial starter was mounted on its right side, driven via chain gears through a port in the rear wall. The engine could be lifted out through a hatch on the rear hull roof.
The engine drove front sprockets, which were mounted quite low. The Krupp-designed eleven-tonne turret had a hydraulic motor whose pump was powered by mechanical drive from the engine. A full rotation took about a minute.
Another new feature was the Maybach-Olvar hydraulically-controlled semi-automatic pre-selector gearbox. The extreme weight of the tank also required a new steering system. The clutch-and-brake system, typical for lighter vehicles, was retained only for emergencies. Normally, steering depended on a double differential, Henschel's development of the British Merritt-Brown system. The vehicle had an eight-speed gearbox, and the steering offered two fixed radii of turns on each gear, thus Tiger had sixteen different radii of turn. In first gear, at a speed of a few km/h, the minimal turning radius was 3.44 meters (11.28 ft). In neutral gear, the tracks could be turned in opposite directions, so the Tiger I pivoted in place. There was an actual steering wheel and the steering system was easy to use and ahead of its time.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
From Wikipedia "Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug," was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded the P-47 could weigh up to eight tons. A modern-day counterpart in that role, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.
Initial deliveries of the Thunderbolt to the USAAF were to the 56th Fighter Group, which was also on Long Island. The 56th served as an operational evaluation unit for the new fighter. Teething problems continued. A Republic test pilot was killed in an early production P-47B when it went out of control in a dive, and crashes occurred due to failure of the tail assembly. The introduction of revised rudder and elevator balance systems and other changes corrected these problems. In spite of the problems, the USAAF was interested enough to order an additional 602 examples of the refined P-47C, with the first of the variant delivered in September 1942.
Beginning in January 1943, Thunderbolt fighters were sent to the joint Army Air Forces – civilian Millville Airport in Millville, New Jersey in order to train civilian and military pilots.
Essentially similar to the P-47B, the initial P-47Cs featured strengthened all-metal control surfaces, an upgraded GE turbosupercharger regulator and a short vertical radio mast. After the initial manufacture of a block of 57 P-47Cs, production moved to the P-47C-1, which had a 13 in (33 cm) fuselage extension forward of the cockpit at the firewall to correct centre of gravity problems, ease engine maintenance and allow installation of a new engine mount. There were a number of other changes, such as revised exhausts for the oil coolers, and fixes to brakes, undercarriage and electrical system as well as a redesigned rudder and elevator balance. The 55 P-47C-1s were followed by 128 P-47C-2s which introduced a centerline hardpoint with under-fuselage shackles for either a 500 lb (227 kg) bomb or a 200 U.S. gal (758 l, 167 Imp gal) fuel tank that conformed to the underside of the fuselage. The main production P-47C sub-variant was the P-47C-5 which introduced a new whip antenna and the R-2800-59 engine with water-methanol injection with a war emergency power rating of 2,300 hp (1,716 kW). With the use of pressurized drop tanks, the P-47C was able to extend its range on missions beginning 30 July 1943.
The P-47C was sent to England for combat operations in late 1942. The 56th FG was sent overseas to join the 8th Air Force, whose 4th and 78th Fighter Groups were soon to be equipped with the Thunderbolts. The 4th Fighter Group was built around a core of experienced American pilots, volunteers who had served with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during 1941–43 in the Eagle Squadrons and who flew the Spitfire until January 1943. The 78th FG, formerly a P-38 group, also began conversion to the P-47 in January 1943.
The first P-47 combat mission took place 10 March 1943 when the 4th FG took their aircraft on a fighter sweep over France. The mission was a failure due to radio malfunctions. All P-47s were refitted with British radios, and missions resumed 8 April. The first P-47 air combat took place 15 April with Major Don Blakeslee of the 4th FG scoring the Thunderbolt's first air victory. On 17 August, P-47s performed their first large-scale escort missions, providing B-17 bombers with both penetration and withdrawal support of the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and claiming 19 kills against three losses.
By mid-1943, the Jug was also in service with the 12th Air Force in Italy, and it was fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific with the 348th Fighter Group flying escort missions out of Brisbane, Australia.
Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, of which 12,602 were built. The "D" model actually consisted of a series of evolving production blocks, the last of which were visibly different from the first.
The first P-47Ds were actually the same as P-47Cs. Republic could not produce Thunderbolts fast enough at its Farmingdale plant on Long Island, so a new plant was built at Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville plant built a total of 110 P-47Ds, which were completely identical to P-47C-2s. Farmingdale aircraft were identified by the "-RE" suffix after the block number, while Evansville aircraft were given the "-RA" suffix.
The P-47D-1 through P-47D-6, the P-47D-10, and the P-47D-11 successively incorporated changes such as the addition of more engine cooling flaps around the back of the cowl to reduce the engine overheating problems that had been seen in the field. Engines and engine subsystems saw refinement, as did the fuel, oil and hydraulic systems. Additional armor protection was also added for the pilot.
The P-47D-15 was produced in response to requests by combat units for increased range. The internal fuel capacity was increased to 375 U.S. gal (1,421 l) and the bomb racks under the wings were made "wet" (equipped with fuel plumbing) to allow a jettisonable drop tank pressurized by vented exhaust air to be carried under each wing, in addition to the belly tank. Five different auxiliary tanks were fitted to the Thunderbolt during its career:
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
From Wikipedia "The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.
The Hawker Fury was an evolutionary successor to the successful Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighters and fighter-bombers of World War II. The Fury was designed in 1942 by Sydney Camm, the famous Hawker designer, to meet the Royal Air Force’s requirement for a lightweight Tempest Mk.II replacement. Developed as the "Tempest Light Fighter", it used modified Tempest semi-elliptical outer wing panels, bolted and riveted together on the fuselage centerline. The fuselage itself was similar to the Tempest, but fully monocoque with a higher cockpit for better visibility. The Air Ministry was sufficiently impressed by the design to write Specification F.2/43 around the concept.
Six prototypes were ordered; two were to be powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines, two with Centaurus XXIIs, one with a Centaurus XII and one as a test structure. The first Fury to fly, on 1 September 1944, was NX798 with a Centaurus XII with rigid engine mounts, powering a Rotol four-blade propeller. Second on 27 November 1944 was LA610, which had a Griffon 85 and Rotol six-blade contra-rotating propeller. By now development of the Fury and Sea Fury was closely interlinked so that the next prototype to fly was a Sea Fury, SR661, described under "Naval Conversion." NX802 (25 July 1945) was the last Fury prototype, powered by a Centaurus XV. With the ending of the Second World War in Europe, the RAF Fury contract was cancelled and development centred on the Sea Fury. LA610 was eventually fitted with a Napier Sabre VII, which was capable of developing 3,400-4,000 hp (2,535-2,983 kW). As a result it became the fastest piston engined Hawker aircraft, reaching a speed of around 485 mph (780 km/h).
The Royal Navy’s earlier Supermarine Seafire had never been completely suitable for carrier use, having a poor view for landing and a narrow-track undercarriage that made landings and takeoffs "tricky". Consequently, the Sea Fury F X (later F 10) replaced it on most carriers. Sea Furies were issued to Nos. 736, 738, 759 and 778 Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
The F 10 was followed by the Sea Fury FB 11 fighter-bomber variant, which eventually reached a production total of 650 aircraft. The Sea Fury remained the Fleet Air Arm’s primary fighter-bomber until 1953 and the introduction of the Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker.
A total of 74 Sea Furies FB 11 (and one FB 10) served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) between 1948 and 1956. All flew from the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent in 871 squadron.
The last flights of the Canadian Sea Furies were made by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout, who ferried WG565 to Calgary, Alberta to serve as an instructional airframe at the local Provincial Institute of Technology, and F/O Lynn Garrison who flew WG565 on 1 April 1958.
Because production continued until well after the end of the Second World War and aircraft remained in Royal Navy service until 1955, dozens of airframes have survived in varying levels of condition. A number of Sea Furies were overhauled by Hawker Aircraft at their factory at Blackpool during 1959 and supplied to civil companies in Germany, equipped with target-towing gear for Luftwaffe contract flying. Some of these aircraft survive today, owned and operated by warbird enthusiasts.
Around a dozen heavily modified Sea Furies are raced regularly at the Reno Air Races as of 2009. Most of these replace the original sleeve-valve Centaurus radial, because rotational speed and tuning potential are limited in contrast to more conventional engines such as the Rolls Royce Merlin. Most racing Sea Furies use the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major or the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engine.
WJ232, the aircraft 'Hogey' Carmichael flew during the 9 August 1952 action which resulted in him being credited with the destruction of a MiG-15 jet fighter, remains in operation in Australia in its original Royal Navy markings, with civil registration VH-SHF.
Following their retirement, something like 46 Sea Furies were stored in a wooden World War Two hangar. Some had less than 4 hours total time - little more than factory test flights. As they were about to be sold to Lynn Garrison, and his associates, by Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, a fire destroyed the hangar and its contents. The aircraft were being offered to Ramfis Trujillo, son of the Dominican president, who was studying at America's Leavenworth Army School.Many additional airframes remain as static displays in museums worldwide. One of these ex- RCN WG565 is on display in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (I walked on the wing of this aircraft). It was ferried there for instructional use in the Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout. On 1 April 1958, Flying Officer Lynn Garrison, of 403 City of Calgary Squadron, RCAF, made the last military flight for this type in Canada.
Friday, April 19, 2013
The Ford Model A of 1928–1931 (also colloquially called the A-Model Ford or the A, and A-bone among rodders and customizers) was the second huge success for the Ford Motor Company, after its predecessor, the Model T. First produced on October 20, 1927, but not sold until December 2, it replaced the venerable Model T, which had been produced for 18 years. This new Model A (a previous model had used the name in 1903–1904) was designated as a 1928 model and was available in four standard colors.
By 4 February 1929, one million Model As had been sold, and by 24 July, two million. The range of body styles ran from the Tudor at US$500 (in grey, green, or black) to the Town Car with a dual cowl at US$1200. In March 1930, Model A sales hit three million, and there were nine body styles available.
The Model A was produced through 1931. When production ended in March, 1932, there were 4,849,340 Model As made in all styles. Its successor was the Model B, which featured an updated 4-cylinder engine, followed by the Model 18 which introduced Ford's new flathead (sidevalve) V8 engine.
Prices for the Model A ranged from US$385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line Town Car. The engine was a water-cooled L-head 4-cylinder with a displacement of 201 cu in (3.3 l). This engine provided 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS). Typical fuel consumption was between 25 and 30 mpg (U.S.) (8 to 12 kilometres per litre or 8-9 l/100 km) using a Zenith one-barrel up-draft carburetor, with a top speed of around 65 mph (105 km/h); It had a 103.5 in (2,630 mm) wheelbase with a final drive ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a conventional 3-speed sliding gear manual unsynchronised unit with a single speed reverse. The Model A had 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes. The 1930 and 1931 editions came with stainless steel radiator cowling and headlamp housings.
The Model A came in a wide variety of styles: Coupe (Standard and Deluxe), Business Coupe, Sport Coupe, Roadster Coupe (Standard and Deluxe), Convertible Cabriolet, Convertible Sedan, Phaeton (Standard and Deluxe), Tudor Sedan (Standard and Deluxe), Town Car, Fordor (2-window) (Standard and Deluxe), Fordor (3-window) (Standard and Deluxe), Victoria, Station Wagon, Taxicab, Truck, and Commercial.
The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls with conventional clutch and brake pedals; throttle and gearshift. Previous Ford models used controls that had become uncommon to drivers of other makes. The Model A's fuel tank was located in the cowl, between the engine compartment's fire wall and the dash panel. It had a visual fuel gauge, and the fuel flowed to the carburetor by gravity. A rear view mirror was optional. In cooler climates, owners could purchase an aftermarket cast iron unit to place over the exhaust manifold to provide heat to the cab. A small door provided adjustment of the amount of hot air entering the cab. Model A was the first car to have safety glass in the windshield.
The Soviet company GAZ, which started as a cooperation between Ford and the Soviet Union, made a licensed version of the Model A from 1932-1936. This itself was the basis for the FAI and BA-20 armored car, which saw use as scout vehicles in the early stages of World War II.
In addition to the United States, Ford made the Model A in plants in Argentina, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In Europe, where cars were taxed according to engine size, Ford equipped the Ford Model A with a 2,033 cc (124.1 cu in) engine providing a claimed output of just 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS). However, the engine size was still large enough to equate to a fiscal horsepower of 14.9hp (as opposed to the 24hp of the larger engine) and attracted a punitive annual car tax levy of £24 in the UK and similar penalties in other principal European markets. It therefore was expensive to own and too heavy and thirsty to achieve volume sales, and so unable to compete in the newly developing mass market, while also too crude to compete as a luxury product. European manufactured Model As failed to achieve the sales success in Europe that would greet their smaller successor in England and Germany.
From 1913 through the early 1920s, the Ford Motor Company dominated the automotive market with its Model T. However, during the mid-1920s, this dominance eroded as competitors, notably General Motors, caught up with Ford's mass production system and began to outcompete Ford in some areas, especially by offering more powerful engines, new convenience features, or cosmetic customization.[ Also, features Henry considered to be unnecessary, such as electric starters, were gradually shifting in the public's perception from luxuries to essentials.
Ford's sales force recognized the threat and advised Henry Ford to respond to it. Initially he resisted, but the T's sagging market share finally forced him to admit a replacement was needed. When he finally agreed to begin development of this new model, he focused on the mechanical aspects and on what today is called design for manufacturability (DFM), which he had always strongly embraced and for which the Model T production system was famous. Although ultimately successful, the development of the Model A included many problems that had to be resolved. For example, the die stamping of parts from sheet steel, which the Ford company had led to new heights of development with the Model T production system, was something Henry had always been ambivalent about; it had brought success, but he felt that it was not the best choice for durability. He was determined that the Model A would rely more on drop forgings than the Model T; but his ideas to improve the DFM of forging did not prove practical. Eventually, Ford's engineers persuaded him to relent, lest the Model A's production cost force up its retail price too much.
Henry's disdain for cosmetic vanity as applied to automobiles led him to leave the Model A's styling to a team led by Edsel Ford.
It was during the period from the mid-1920s to early 1930s that the limits of the first generation of mass production, epitomized by the Model T production system, became apparent. The era of "flexible mass production" had begun.
The Ford Model A was well represented in media of the era since it was one of the most common cars. Model kits are still available from hobby shops in the 2000s, as stock cars or hot rods.
Perhaps in reference to the remarkable upgrade from the previous Model T, a song was written about the Model A by Irving Kaufman called Henry's Made a Lady Out Of Lizzie, a reference to the moniker Tin Lizzie given to the Model T.
Several Model As have obtained particular notoriety. The Ramblin' Wreck, a 1930 Sport Coupe, is the official mascot of the student body at the Georgia Institute of Technology and appears at sporting events and student body functions. Ala Kart, a customized 1929 roadster pickup built by George Barris won two straight "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" awards at the Oakland Roadster Show before making numerous film and television appearances. Between October 1992 to December 1994, Hector Quevedo, along with his son Hugo, drove a 1928 Model A 22,000 miles (35,000 km) from his home in Punta Arenas, Chile to the Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The car required minimal service including a flat tire and transmission work in Nicaragua and is now housed in the Henry Ford Museum.
Charlie Ryan's Hot Rod Lincoln was a Model A with a Lincoln flathead V12 and other modifications.
Monday, April 15, 2013
The Jaguar E-Type (a.k.a. Jaguar XK-E) is a British sports car, manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. More than 70,000 E-Types were sold.
In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in a The Daily Telegraph online list of the world's "100 most beautiful cars" of all time.
In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
The E-Type was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as a two-seater convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). A "2+2" four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later.
On its release Enzo Ferrari called it "The most beautiful car ever made".
Later model updates of the E-Type were officially designated "Series 2" and "Series 3", and over time the earlier cars have come to be referred to as, sensibly, "Series 1" and "Series 1½".
Of the "Series 1" cars, Jaguar manufactured some limited-edition variants, inspired by motor racing :
- The "'Lightweight' E-Type" which was apparently intended as a sort of follow-up to the D-Type. Jaguar planned to produce 18 units but ultimately only a dozen were reportedly built. Of those, two have been converted to Low-Drag form and two others are known to have been wrecked and deemed to be beyond repair, although one has now been rebuilt. These are exceedingly rare and sought after by collectors.
- The "Low Drag Coupé" was a one-off technical exercise which was ultimately sold to a Jaguar racing driver. It is presently believed to be part of the private collection of the current Viscount Cowdray.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I tried something different with this model. Instead of painting the body of this car, all I did was apply a couple of coats of gloss varnish and it turned out great.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Here are some more image s of Entex Models 1/16 scale 1935 Morgan 3 Wheeler. From Wikipedia "Beginning in 1932, a new series of Morgan three-wheelers began with the F-4. The F-4, and its later siblings the F-2 and the F-Super, used a pressed-steel chassis and the four-cylinder Ford Sidevalve engine that was used in the Model Y. Production of the Ford-engined three-wheelers would continue until 1952.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Here are some images plus a composite of Polar Lights 1/72 scale C 57 D Space Cruiser from Forbidden Planet painted up as Space Probe Nº 1 from the Twilight Zone's "The Invader's".
An old woman (Agnes Moorehead) lives alone in a rustic cabin. She is dressed shabbily, and there are no modern conveniences in evidence. After hearing a strange noise above her kitchen roof, she is accosted by small intruders that come from a miniature flying saucer that has landed on her roof. Two tiny robotic figures, only about 6 inches high, emerge from the craft.
She battles them for many minutes, finally killing one and following the other back to the ship, which she proceeds to attack with a hatchet. From within the craft, she hears a voice speaking in English with an apparent American accent (voiced by Director Douglas Heyes). One of the intruders is frantically warning other potential visitors that the people on the planet are giants and impossible to defeat. The woman finishes her destruction of the ship, which is quiet now, and collapses, exhausted. (Prior to this scene, the episode has no dialogue.)
The camera pans, and on the side of the ship, we see U.S. Air Force Space Probe No. 1, and it is revealed that the "invaders" are humans from Earth and the woman in the small farmhouse was the alien being.
The United Planets Cruiser C57-D is a fictional starship featured in MGM's 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet. The design used for the C57-D is a flying saucer, inspired by of the spate of UFO sightings during the 1950s era, and which itself inspired the look of the exterior saucer section and interior design of another iconic starship, Star Trek's USS Enterprise.
In the movie's screenplay, the ship carries no name, only the designation "United Planets Cruiser C57-D."
The saucer has a lenticular profile. Above there is a dome, approximately a third of the diameter of a lens. Below there is a very shallow cylinder of about the same diameter, and a somewhat smaller dome that ostensibly houses the ship's faster-than-light light drive engine and central landing pedestal. The precise contours and proportions differ slightly between the models, full-size sets, and matte paintings used in the film. On landing, a stairway and two conveyor-loading ramps swing down at an angle from the central base of the bottom lens shape.
The original movie blueprints for the ship's command deck show it to have a central circular "navigation center", reminiscent of the TARDIS console used later in Doctor Who, with a transparent globe centered on a small model of the C57-D. Around this central space are a number of wedge-shaped rooms, including:
- A room with a curved table, chairs, and a space for books (presumably a galley and recreation room).
- A room with the "communications center", a chart table and the "main viewscope".
- A room with 16 bunk beds, with a pit and crane between it and the central area.
- A room with 9 "decelerator tubes". The movie shows the crew standing within these transparent cylinders while the ship decelerates from hyperdrive, but does not reveal whether the tubes must also be used during the ship's transition to faster-than-light speed.
The studio created a stage set of the ship's interior command and mezzanine decks and a 60-foot (18 m) semicircular mockup of the landed ship's lower half (with the landing pedestal and ramps). The sets suggest that the saucer's size is between 100 feet (30 m) and 175 feet (53 m) feet in diameter.
Three miniatures were used, of 22 inches (56 cm), 44 inches (110 cm), and 82 inches (210 cm) or 88 inches (220 cm) in diameter, and costing an estimated $20,000. The largest miniature, constructed of wood, steel, and fiberglass, which contained the internal motors for the ramps, central pedestal, and red neon engine light, weighed 300 pounds (140 kg).
In 1970 MGM sold off the largest saucer miniature as part of the large MGM studio auction, but there was no later record kept of who bought the prop. A North Carolina man, who had originally bought the miniature and stored it in his garage, hadn't realized the prop's market value until 2008; so he finally put it up for auction that year, and it was sold for $78,000.
The C57-D miniatures were later reused in several episodes of the Twilight Zone TV series, sometimes slightly altered for the appearance:
- 1960 "Third from the Sun" — The original navigation center is seen, as well as the starship.
- 1960 "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" — The movie saucer scene reused was optically reprinted but was shown flying upside down.
- 1961 "The Invaders" — A facsimile of the original saucer model, used for USAF Space Probe No 1, was partially destroyed by the episode's sole (giant) character at the end of the episode.
- 1962 "To Serve Man"
- 1962 "Hocus-Pocus and Frisby"
- 1963 "Death Ship" — This episode makes the greatest use of stock and new footage of the C57-D; it is identified in the episode as the Space Cruiser E-89, patrolling the 51st star system in the year 1997. Here the model saucer is shown using downward-directed rocket thrust propulsion; the identical crashed saucer already on the ground is a separately created prop.
- 1963 "On Thursday We Leave for Home"
- 1964 "The Fear"
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
German Type XXIII submarines were the first so-called elektroboats to become operational. They were small coastal submarines designed to operate in the shallow waters of the North Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, where larger Type XXI Elektro boats were at risk in World War II. They were so small they could carry only two torpedoes, which had to be loaded externally. As with their far larger brothers — the Type XXI — they were able to remain submerged almost all of the time and were faster than all previous designs worldwide, due to the improved streamlining of their shape, batteries with larger capacity and the snorkel, which allowed the diesel engines to be used while submerged. The Type XXI and XXIII U-boats revolutionized post-war submarine design.
When development began on the Type XXI U-boat in late 1942, it was proposed to simultaneously develop a smaller version incorporating the same advanced technology to replace the Type II coastal submarine. Admiral Karl Dönitz added two requirements: as the boat would have to operate in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, it had to be able to be transported by rail, and it had to use the standard 53.3-cm torpedo tubes.
The development of the Type XXIII was given a high priority, with an emphasis on using existing components as much as possible. To reduce development time, Hellmuth Walter designed the new submarine based on the previous Type XXII prototype. By 30 June 1943 the design was ready and construction began in parallel at several shipyards in Germany, France, Italy and German-occupied Russia. The lead contractor was Deutsche Werft in Hamburg.
As with the Type XXI, the Type XXIII was intended to be constructed in sections, various modules being produced by different subcontractors. Some were to be assembled at foreign yards, including U-2446 through U-2460 at the Deutsche Werft yard at Mykolaiv. These were reassigned to the Linzner yard on 1 May 1944 and subsequently cancelled. In the end, circumstances meant that construction was concentrated at Germaniawerft in Kiel and Deutsche Werft in Hamburg, Germaniawerft building 51 and Deutsche Werft 49. Of the 280 submarines ordered, only 61 entered service, and only 6 ever carried out a war patrol.
The Type XXIII had an all-welded single hull design, the first submarine to use a single hull. It had a fully streamlined outer casing and apart from the relatively small conning tower and a fairing which housed the Diesel exhaust silencer, it had an uncluttered upper deck. In line with Walter's design practice, there were no forward hydroplanes, although these were added later.
The submarine was propelled by a single three-bladed propeller and steered by a single rudder. As with the Type XXI, the lower section of the figure-of-eight hull was used to house a large 62-cell battery.
In order to allow the boat to be transported by rail, the hull sections had to be limited in size to fit the standard loading gauge. For transportation, the hull was broken into four sections and the bridge was removed. Due to the space restrictions, the forward bow section had to be made as short as possible, which meant that only two torpedo tubes could be fitted and no reload torpedoes could be carried. The torpedoes were loaded by ballasting the submarine down at the stern so that the bow lifted clear of the water and the torpedoes could be loaded directly into their tubes from a barge.
The Type XXIII proved to have excellent handling characteristics, and was highly maneuverable both on the surface and underwater. Its crash dive time was 9 seconds, and its maximum diving depth was 180 m (590 ft). Speed submerged was 12.5 kn (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph), while surfaced speed was 9 kn (17 km/h; 10 mph). A submerged speed of 10.5 kn (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) could be attained while snorkeling.
The first Type XXIII, U-2321, was launched from Deutsche Werft in Hamburg on April 17, 1944. It was one of six XXIIIs that went on operational patrol around the British Isles in early 1945. Forty-eight others followed from Deutsche Werft and 13 from Germaniawerft of Kiel. U-4712 was the last one launched, on April 19, 1945.
None of the six operational Type XXIIIs — U-2321, U-2322, U-2324, U-2326, U-2329 and U-2336 — were sunk by the Allies ships but they sank or damaged five ships for a total of 14,601 tons.
The first war patrol of a Type XXIII began late in the war when U-2324 sailed from Kiel on 18 January 1945. Although she was to survive the war, she sank no enemy vessels. The first Type XXIII to achieve combat success was U-2322, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Fridtjof Heckel. Sailing from a Norwegian base on 6 February 1945, she encountered a convoy off Berwick, Northumberland, and sank the coaster Egholm on 25 February. U-2321, operating from the same base, sank the coaster Gasray on 5 April 1945 off St Abbs Head. U-2336, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Emil Klusmeier, later sank the last Allied ships lost in the European war on 7 May 1945, when he torpedoed and sank the freighters Sneland and SS Avondale Park off the Isle of May inside the Firth of Forth.
The Sneland and the Avondale Park were sunk around 23:03, less than an hour before the official German surrender, and the Avondale Park was the last merchant ship to be sunk by a U-boat. At the time it was felt that Kapitänleutnant Klusmeier, who was on his first patrol, had deliberately ignored Donitz’s ceasefire order, however Klusmeier claimed that he had never received the order.