Thursday, February 25, 2016

Le Rhone Type 9C

Here are some images of Williams Brothers 1/6 scale Le Rhone Type 9C rotary engine.

From Wikipedia"
Le Rhône was the name given to a series of popular rotary aircraft engines produced in France by Société des Moteurs Le Rhône and the successor company of Gnome et Rhône. They powered a number of military aircraft types of the First World War. Le Rhône engines were also produced under license worldwide.
Although not powerful (the largest wartime version produced 130 horsepower (97 kW)), they were dependable rotary engines. The Le Rhône 9 was a development of the Le Rhône 7, a seven-cylinder design. Examples of Le Rhône engines are on public display in aviation museums with several remaining airworthy, powering vintage aircraft types.

The copper induction tubes had their crankcase ends located in different places on the 80 and 110 horsepower (60 and 82 kW) versions – the 80 hp versions had them entering the crankcase in a location forward of the vertical centerline of each cylinder, while the 110 hp version had them located behind the cylinder's centerline. This resulted in the 80 hp version's intake plumbing being "fully visible" from the front, while the 110 hp version had the lower ends of its intake tubes seemingly "hidden" behind the cylinders.
A complicated slipper bearing system was used in the Le Rhône engine. The master rod was of a split-type, which permitted assembly of the connecting rods. It also employed three concentric grooves, designed to accept slipper bearings from the other cylinders. The other connecting rods used inner-end bronze shoes, which were shaped to fit in the grooves. The master rod was numbered as number one and the shoes of numbers two, five and eight rode in the outer groove, the shoes of three, six and nine in the middle groove and four and seven in the inner groove. Although this system was complex, the Le Rhône engines worked very well.
The Le Rhône engines used an unconventional valve actuation system, with a single centrally-pivoting rocker arm moving the exhaust valve and the intake valve. When the arm moved down it opened the intake valve and when it moved up it opened the exhaust value. To make this system work a two-way push-pull rod was fitted, instead of the more conventional one-way pushrod. This feature required the cam followers to incorporate a positive action, a function designed in by using a combination of links and levers. This design prevented valve overlap and so limited power output, but as the engine structure and cooling arrangements would not have been adequate at a higher power output this should not be considered a significant design fault.

As well as production by Société des Moteurs Gnome et Rhône, which had bought out Société des Moteurs Le Rhône in 1914, the Le Rhône was produced in Germany (by Motorenfabrik Oberursel), Austria, the United Kingdom (by Daimler), Russian Empire and Sweden.
80 hp (60 kW) le Rhône engines were made under license in the United States by Union Switch and Signal of Pennsylvania, and the 110 hp (82 kW) Oberursel Ur.II rotary engine used by Germany in World War I, in such famous fighters such as the Fokker Dr.I triplane, was a close copy of the 110 hp (82 kW) le Rhône 9J version.
The Le Rhône 9C is a nine-cylinder rotary aircraft engine produced in France by Gnome et Rhône. Also known as the Le Rhône 80 hp in a reference to its nominal power rating, the engine was fitted to a number of military aircraft types of the First World War. Le Rhône 9C engines were also produced under license in Great Britain by several companies, and in the United States.
In common with other Le Rhône series engines, the 9C featured highly visible telescopic copper induction pipes and used a single push-pull rod to operate its two overhead valves.
Examples of Le Rhône 9C engines are on view in aviation museums either installed in aircraft exhibits or as stand-alone displays. A few examples of the 9C engine remain airworthy both in Europe and North America, one powering a vintage Sopwith Pup biplane in England, and a small number of others having powered reproduction WW I-era aircraft at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and other American "living" aviation museums that fly their restored original engines in both similarly restored original, and airworthy reproduction period aircraft.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Boeing B-29-45-MO (Enola Gay)

Here are some images of Monogram's 1/48 scale Boeing B-29-45-MO (Enola Gay).

From Wikipedia"

The Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named for Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of the pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, who selected the aircraft while it was still on the assembly line. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb. The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused unprecedented destruction. Enola Gay participated in the second atomic attack as the weather reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of Kokura. Clouds and drifting smoke resulted in Nagasaki being bombed instead.
After the war, the Enola Gay returned to the United States, where it was operated from Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico. It was flown to Kwajalein for the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests in the Pacific, but was not chosen to make the test drop at Bikini Atoll. Later that year it was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, and spent many years parked at air bases exposed to the weather and souvenir hunters, before being disassembled and transported to the Smithsonian's storage facility at Suitland, Maryland, in 1961.
In the 1980s, veterans groups engaged in a call for the Smithsonian to put the aircraft on display, leading to an acrimonious debate about exhibiting the aircraft without a proper historical context. The cockpit and nose section of the aircraft were exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in downtown Washington, D.C., for the bombing's 50th anniversary in 1995, amid a storm of controversy. Since 2003, the entire restored B-29 has been on display at NASM's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The last survivor of its crew, Theodore Van Kirk, died on July 28, 2014, at the age of 93.

The Enola Gay (Model number B-29-45-MO, Serial number 44-86292, Victor number 82) was built by the Glenn L. Martin Company (now Lockheed Martin) at its Bellevue, Nebraska plant, located at what is now known as Offutt Air Force Base. The bomber was one of 15 B-29s with the "Silverplate" modifications necessary to deliver atomic weapons. These modifications included an extensively modified bomb bay with pneumatic doors and British bomb attachment and release systems, reversible pitch propellers that gave more braking power on landing, improved engines with fuel injection and better cooling, and the removal of protective armor and gun turrets.

Enola Gay after Hiroshima mission, entering hard-stand. It is in its 6th Bombardment Group livery, with victor number 82 visible on fuselage just forward of the tail fin.
Enola Gay was personally selected by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., the commander of the 509th Composite Group, on 9 May 1945, while still on the assembly line. The aircraft was accepted by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on 18 May 1945 and assigned to the 393d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, 509th Composite Group. Crew B-9, commanded by Captain Robert A. Lewis, took delivery of the bomber and flew it from Omaha to the 509th's base at Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, on 14 June 1945.
Thirteen days later, the aircraft left Wendover for Guam, where it received a bomb-bay modification, and flew to North Field, Tinian, on 6 July. It was initially given the Victor (squadron-assigned identification) number 12, but on 1 August, was given the circle R tail markings of the 6th Bombardment Group as a security measure and had its Victor number changed to 82 to avoid misidentification with actual 6th Bombardment Group aircraft.During July, the bomber made eight practice or training flights, and flew two missions, on 24 and 26 July, to drop pumpkin bombs on industrial targets at Kobe and Nagoya. Enola Gay was used on 31 July on a rehearsal flight for the actual mission.
The partially assembled Little Boy gun-type nuclear weapon L-11 was contained inside a 41-inch (100 cm) x 47-inch (120 cm) x 138-inch (350 cm) wooden crate weighing 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) that was secured to the deck of the USS Indianapolis. Unlike the six Uranium-235 target discs, which were later flown to Tinian on three separate aircraft arriving 28 and 29 July, the assembled projectile with the nine Uranium-235 rings installed was shipped in a single lead-lined steel container weighing 300 pounds (140 kg) that was securely locked to brackets welded to the deck of Captain Charles B. McVay III's quarters. Both the L-11 and projectile were dropped off at Tinian on 26 July 1945.

On 5 August 1945, during preparation for the first atomic mission, Tibbets assumed command of the aircraft and named it after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets, who had herself been named for the heroine of a novel. When it came to selecting a name for the plane, Tibbets later recalled that:
my thoughts turned at this point to my courageous red-haired mother, whose quiet confidence had been a source of strength to me since boyhood, and particularly during the soul-searching period when I decided to give up a medical career to become a military pilot. At a time when Dad had thought I had lost my marbles, she had taken my side and said, "I know you will be all right son."

On 5 August 1945, during preparation for the first atomic mission, Tibbets assumed command of the aircraft and named it after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets, who had herself been named for the heroine of a novel. When it came to selecting a name for the plane, Tibbets later recalled that:
my thoughts turned at this point to my courageous red-haired mother, whose quiet confidence had been a source of strength to me since boyhood, and particularly during the soul-searching period when I decided to give up a medical career to become a military pilot. At a time when Dad had thought I had lost my marbles, she had taken my side and said, "I know you will be all right son."
The name was painted on the aircraft on 5 August by Allan L. Karl, an enlisted man in the 509th. Regularly assigned aircraft commander Robert Lewis was unhappy to be displaced by Tibbets for this important mission, and became furious when he arrived at the aircraft on the morning of 6 August to see it painted with the now-famous nose art.
Hiroshima was the primary target of the first nuclear bombing mission on 6 August, with Kokura and Nagasaki as alternative targets. Enola Gay, piloted by Tibbets, took off from North Field, in the Mariana Islands, about six hours' flight time from Japan, accompanied by two other B-29s, The Great Artiste, carrying instrumentation, and a then-nameless aircraft later called Necessary Evil, commanded by Captain George Marquardt, to take photographs. The director of the Manhattan Project, Major General Leslie R. Groves, Jr., wanted the event recorded for posterity, so the takeoff was illuminated by floodlights. When he wanted to taxi, Tibbets leaned out the window to direct the bystanders out of the way. On request, he gave a friendly wave for the cameras.

Hiroshima explosion.
After leaving Tinian, the aircraft made their way separately to Iwo Jima, where they rendezvoused at 2,440 meters (8,010 ft) and set course for Japan. The aircraft arrived over the target in clear visibility at 9,855 meters (32,333 ft). Captain William S. "Deak" Parsons of Project Alberta, who was in command of the mission, armed the bomb during the flight to minimize the risks during takeoff. His assistant, Second Lieutenant Morris R. Jeppson, removed the safety devices 30 minutes before reaching the target area.
The release at 08:15 (Hiroshima time) went as planned, and the Little Boy took 43 seconds to fall from the aircraft flying at 31,060 feet (9,470 m) to the predetermined detonation height about 1,968 feet (600 m) above the city. Enola Gay traveled 11.5 mi (18.5 km) before it felt the shock waves from the blast. Although buffeted by the shock, neither Enola Gay nor The Great Artiste was damaged.
The detonation created a blast equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT (67 TJ). The U-235 weapon was considered very inefficient, with only 1.7% of its fissile material fissioning. The radius of total destruction was about one mile (1.6 km), with resulting fires across 4.4 square miles (11 km2). Americans estimated that 4.7 square miles (12 km2) of the city were destroyed. Japanese officials determined that 69% of Hiroshima's buildings were destroyed and another 6–7% damaged. Some 70,000–80,000 people, or some 30% of the city's population, were killed by the blast and resultant firestorm, and another 70,000 injured. Out of those killed, 20,000 were soldiers.

Enola Gay returned safely to its base on Tinian to great fanfare, touching down at 2:58 pm, after 12 hours 13 minutes. The Great Artiste and Necessary Evil followed at short intervals. Several hundred people, including journalists and photographers, had gathered to watch the planes return. Tibbets was the first to disembark, and was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross on the spot.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cable Car

Here are some images of Artesania Latina's 1/22 scale San Fransisco Cable Car.

From Wikipedia"
A cable car is a type of cable transport used for mass transit where rail cars are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars stop and start by releasing and gripping this cable as required. Cable cars are distinct from funiculars, where the cars are permanently attached to the cable, and cable railways, which are similar to funiculars, but where the rail vehicles are attached and detached manually.

The first cable-operated railway, employing a moving rope that could be picked up or released by a grip on the cars was the Fawdon railway (or wagonway) in 1826, a Colliery railway line.[3][4] The London and Blackwall Railway, which opened for passengers in east London, England, in 1840 used such a system. The rope available at the time proved too susceptible to wear and the system was abandoned in favour of steam locomotives after eight years. In America, the first cable car installation in operation probably was the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway in New York City, which ran from 1 July 1868 to 1870. The cable technology used in this elevated railway involved collar-equipped cables and claw-equipped cars, and proved cumbersome. The line was closed and rebuilt, and reopened with steam locomotives.
Other cable cars to use grips were those of the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which later became part of the San Francisco cable car system. The building of this line was promoted by Andrew Smith Hallidie with design work by William Eppelsheimer, and it was first tested in 1873. The success of these grips ensured that this line became the model for other cable car transit systems, and this model is often known as the Hallidie Cable Car.
In 1881 the Dunedin cable tramway system opened in Dunedin, New Zealand and became the first such system outside San Francisco. For Dunedin, George Smith Duncan further developed the Hallidie model, introducing the pull curve and the slot brake; the former was a way to pull cars through a curve, since Dunedin's curves were too sharp to allow coasting, while the latter forced a wedge down into the cable slot to stop the car. Both of these innovations were generally adopted by other cities, including San Francisco.
In Australia the Melbourne cable tramway system operated from 1885 to 1940. It was one of the most extensive in the world with 1200 trams and trailers operating over 15 routes with 103 km (64 miles) of track. Sydney also had a few cable tram routes.
Cable cars rapidly spread to other cities, although the major attraction for most was the ability to displace horsecar (or mule-drawn) systems rather than the ability to climb hills. Many people at the time viewed horse-drawn transit as unnecessarily cruel, and the fact that a typical horse could work only four or five hours per day necessitated the maintenance of large stables of draft animals that had to be fed, housed, groomed, medicated and rested. Thus, for a period, economics worked in favour of cable cars even in relatively flat cities.
For example, the Chicago City Railway, also designed by Eppelsheimer, opened in Chicago in 1882 and went on to become the largest and most profitable cable car system. As with many cities, the problem in flat Chicago was not one of grades but of transportation capacity. This caused a different approach to the combination of grip car and trailer. Rather than using a grip car and single trailer, as many cities did, or combining the grip and trailer into a single car, like San Francisco's California Cars, Chicago used grip cars to pull trains of up to three trailers.
In 1883 the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Railway was opened, which had a most curious feature: though it was a cable car system, it used steam locomotives to get the cars into and out of the terminals. After 1896 the system was changed to one on which a motor car was added to each train to maneuver at the terminals, while en route, the trains were still propelled by the cable.

On 25 September 1883 a test of a cable car system was held by Liverpool United Tramways and Omnibus Company in Kirkdale, Liverpool. This would have been the first cable car system in Europe, but the company decided against implementing it. Instead the distinction went to the 1884 route from Archway to Highgate, north London, which used a continuous cable and grip system on the 1 in 11 (9%) climb of Highgate Hill. The installation was not reliable and was replaced by electric traction in 1909. Other cable car systems were implemented in Europe, though, among which was the Glasgow District Subway, the first underground cable car system, in 1896. (London's first deep-level tube railway, the City & South London Railway, had earlier also been built for cable haulage but had been converted to electric traction before opening in 1890.) A few more cable car systems were built in the United Kingdom, Portugal and France, but European cities, having many more curves in their streets, were less suitable for cable cars than American cities.
Though some new cable car systems were still being built, by 1890 the cheaper to construct and simpler to operate electrically-powered trolley or tram started to become the norm, and eventually started to replace existing cable car systems. For a while hybrid cable/electric systems operated, for example in Chicago where electric cars had to be pulled by grip cars through the loop area, due to the lack of trolley wires there. Eventually, San Francisco became the only street-running manually operated system to survive—Dunedin, the second city with such cars, was also the second-last city to operate them, closing down in 1957.
  In the last decades of the 20th century cable traction in general has seen a limited revival as automatic people movers, used in resort areas, airports (for example, Toronto Airport), huge hospital centers and some urban settings. While many of these systems involve cars permanently attached to the cable, the Minimetro system from Poma/Leitner Group and the Cable Liner system from DCC Doppelmayr Cable Car both have variants that allow the cars to be automatically decoupled from the cable under computer control, and can thus be considered a modern interpretation of the cable car.

The cable is itself powered by a stationary motor or engine situated in a cable house or power house. The speed at which it moves is relatively constant depending on the number of units gripping the cable at any given time.
The cable car begins moving when a clamping device attached to the car, called a grip, applies pressure to ("grips") the moving cable. Conversely the car is stopped by releasing pressure on the cable (with or without completely detaching) and applying the brakes. This gripping and ungripping action may be manual, as was the case in all early cable car systems, or automatic, as is the case in some recent cable operated people mover type systems. Gripping must be an even and gradual process in order to avoid bringing the car to cable speed too quickly and unacceptably jarring the passengers.
In the case of manual systems, the grip resembles a very large pair of pliers, and considerable strength and skill are required to operate the car. As many early cable car operators discovered the hard way, if the grip is not applied properly, it can damage the cable, or even worse, become entangled in the cable. In the latter case, the cable car may not be able to stop and can wreak havoc along its route until the cable house realizes the mishap and halts the cable.
One apparent advantage of the cable car is its relative energy efficiency, because of the economy of centrally located power stations, and the ability of descending cars to transfer energy to ascending cars. However, this advantage is totally negated by the relatively large energy consumption required to simply move the cable over and under the numerous guide rollers and around the many sheaves. Approximately 95% of the tractive effort in the San Francisco system is expended in simply moving the four cables at 9.5 miles per hour. Electric cars with regenerative braking do offer the advantages, without the problem of moving a cable. In the case of steep grades, however, cable traction has the major advantage of not depending on adhesion between wheels and rails. There is also the obvious advantage that keeping the car gripped to the cable will also limit the downhill speed to that of the cable.
Because of the constant and relatively low speed, a cable car's potential to cause harm in an accident can be underestimated. Even with a cable car traveling at only 9 miles per hour, the mass of the cable car and the combined strength and speed of the cable can do quite a lot of damage in a collision.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Flying Sub

Here are some images of Mobius Models 1/32 scale Flying Sub from the 1960's television series "Voyage to the bottom of the Sea".
I decided to add some navy markings to the craft just for something different.

From Wikipedia"
Between the TV version's first and second seasons, the Seaview miniatures were extensively revised. Dated May 1965 the drawings penned by William Creber (who also designed the Flying Sub itself) stated "modifications to be applied to all miniatures." The number of bow windows was reduced from eight on two levels of four each to a single row of four (actually two with a dividing girder.) This then matched the interior set with the exterior miniatures but with the added detrimental effects of a more bulbous frontal appearance and a reduction in apparent overall size of the vessel. The Control Room, previously located on an upper level, was moved forward on a lower level ahead of the conning tower, to connect directly with the Observation Room, and a large hangar bay was added to the bow, beneath the Observation Room/Control Room combination. This hangar held the 36 foot wide and long, flying submersible, aptly called the "Flying Sub" or "FS-1", implying that there were several more back at the base, which would have to be the case since several Flying Subs were lost to mishaps or combat during the run of the show. Promotional materials published between the first and second seasons referred to it as the Flying Fish, but the name was evidently dropped prior to the start of filming and was never used in the show. It was deployed through bomb-bay like doors. As it broke the surface, its engines could generate enough thrust for the vehicle to take off and fly at supersonic speeds. The Flying Sub was also nuclear powered.