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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Wernigerode Aircraft MuseumWhen we were on our Harz tour, I rode over to Wernigerode, a small town at the foot of the Harz hills, which has an aircraft museum. The museum has 4 halls, called hangars but they aren't, Wernigerode doesn't even have an airfield. I've divided my photos into 4 sections, WW1, civilian utility planes, Mach 1 fighters and Mach 2 interceptors. They also have helicopters and partially restored junk not worth mentioning. Here are some of my photos.
The aircraft shown above is a 7/8 replica of a french Nieuport 11 introduced in 1915 to counter the Fokker plague. The Germans had machine guns synchronised to fire through the propellor circle, the allies didn't have this technology, so Nieuport mounted the Lewis or Hotchkiss machine gun above the upper wing. Power was an 80 hp Gnome Rhone radial. Alledgedly this unarmed replica is currently capable of flying. Methinks it was the only aircraft in the museum thus rated, all the rest in the museum were gate guardians or mere engineless shells :-(
This silver monoplane is a Messerschmitt 208 Taifun, the nosewheel version of the 108 taildragger. It is a WW2 era light liason transporter. I've flown a 108 Taifun taildragger, better performance than current Cessnas or Pipers! 240 hp, 310 km/h, 19,000+ ft ceiling.
The czeck-built (1967-1990) Zlin 37 Cmelak was the eastern-block cropduster and fire-bomber used until the fall of the iron curtain. Reload time for the hopper was only 1 minute so it was a really good utility plane. Motor is an M-601 9 cylinder radial. Equivalent to a Boing Stearman on which I learned crop-dusting.
This is the Antonow 2 heavy duty biplane, still in use around the world, e.g. for parachute jumpers. To give you a sense of scale, each of the 4 propellor blades is the size of a man!
Moving on to the Mach 1 fighters, this is the MIG 15, widely used by the eastern bloc, e.g. during the korean war. It's counterpart there was the american F-86 Sabre.
Just after the F-86, NATO published an RFP for a Mach 1 fighter and ground-support plane. Italy came up with the Fiat G.91 which West Germany also bought for the Luftwaffe. Power was an Orpheus 203, with 23 kN thrust, giving a top speed of 1085 km/h. It only had 2 cannons. The Luftwaffe also had 225 F-86 Sabres, just as fast but with 6 half-inch calibre machine guns in the nose (no cannons). These were phased out in 1965 and replaced by the Starfighter.
Moving on to the Mach 2 jets, here are a couple contemporary to the F-104 Starfighter. This is a french Mirage III RS canard delta shown above. The Swiss bought 18 of these for photo missions 1969-2003. The SNECMA ATAR 09 C-3 engine could push it to 2400 km/h.
Finally, we saw a soviet-bloc MIG 21, produced from 1959 onwards. Upgrades such as radar and double-seating were introduced late. It could reach 2175 km/h. The cockpits of both MIGs were small, like the EE Lightning interceptor we used in the UK (you had to be under 5ft 8" to fit ;-).
Sadly, none of these planes were in flying condition, some were just shells with their engine removed. Disappointing. On the bright side, there was an F-16 cockpit on display and you could "fly" a static Messerschmidt 109 simulator (static, so no Gees felt even even when pulling really hard in combat turns (about 8 or 9 G, I guessed).
Saturday, June 24, 2017
ecce libri : Hobbitus illeWhen we were lads back in school, the latin texts we were given to read were generally boring: Julius Caesar, Virgil, Cicero, way over our heads and much too complicated. There were NO latin books which you read for fun.
But now Mark Walker, a latin teacher and writer, has translated J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" into latin :-) And pretty easy and straightforward latin at that :-)
"in foramine terrae habitabat hobbitus: nec foedum, sordidum madidumque foramen, nec extremis lumbricorum atque odore caenoso implementum, nec etiam foramen aridum, inane, harenosum, in quo nihil erat ad considendum aut edendum aptum; immo foramen-hobbitum, ergo commodum."
You can see from the word order that this was translated by a Brit :-) There aren't many made-up words :- elves come across as dryades, dwarves as nanus, etc. He has managed to put the songs and poems into rhyming rhythms, unusual in latin. I like it that unfamiliar/new words are marked with an asterisk on their first occurrence and are glossed in a vocabulary at the end.
I'm only upto chapter four so far but I recommend the Oxford Latin Dictionary as a reference companion, because Google's translator is a dead loss here, just look at what a hash it makes of translating the latin paragraph above back into english :-(
The ISBN number is 978-0-00-744521-9, there are 319 pages, numbered in roman numerals ;-)
gratias ago deorum et Marco Ambulatorio ;-)
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The horsepower warehouseOn our way up into the Harz mountains (see previous post) we stopped over in Einbeck. Einbeck is a small town famous for its brewery (Einbecker Urbock beer is the way to go!). However, Einbeck is also home to the PS-Speicher - which translates as "The horsepower warehouse" - a 6 storey granary building now converted into a motorcycle museum. Here is a selection of the photos I took :-)
The oldest bikes are on the top floor, you spiral down on a timeline towards today. This is a pre-WW1 Victoria twin, no rear suspension, powered by a fore-and-aft horizontally-opposed twin. I expect the rear cylinder had some cooling problems.
With up to 50 bikes per floor there were a total of about 300, but no worries, I'll only show you half a dozen or so. This is the box-framed Mars, often used with a sidecar. Same engine arrangement, same design problem.
Many early motorbikes were exactly that, bikes fitted with an small engine almost as an afterthought. This was an up-market model, appropriately called the "Snob" ;-)
Really exotic, the Megola. Banana-shaped pressed-steel frame, with a 5-cylinder radial engine mounted inside the front wheel. That's the petrol tank mounted on the left of the front wheel with a cylindrical manual-feed oil pump on the side of that, both feeding their fluids through the front axle! No clutch, no gears but a hell of an unsprung weight.
This is a collection of some commuting DKWs. Two-stroke singles, fishtail exhausts leaving an oily smoke plume behind them. Cough, cough!
Forward into the 1950s, this is a very neat Horex. Single cylinder, OHC, enclosed drive chain, 'jampot' rear suspension, Very clean, comfortable and civilised.
The German superbike of the seventies was the Münch. It used the 4 cylinder air-cooled engine from the NSU cars of the period. Friedel Münch hand-built less than 500 bikes, this as a model TTS. It uses the huge 2LS drum brake he built himself.
Finally, inspired by Peter Fonda's "Captain America", someone built this BMW boxer powered chopper.
Trip report to be continued later.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Bode River scenery :-)Over the long weekend 20+ of us went on a motorcycle trip up into the Harz mountains. But the valley scenery is spectacular too. Here are two photos of the Bode river scenery for your delectation.
Most of the roads are switchback, curvy and grippy, ideal for motorcycling :-)
Friday, June 9, 2017
May-HemGB sinks into chaos with a hung parlament.
Theresa May gambled and lost. Bigly!
She had hoped to win hugely, so that she could go into the Brexit talks from a position of increased strength. Now she can only govern with the support of DUPes, northern Irish, who oppose e.g. abortions and climate change :-( The EU negotiators can say "You don't even have a mandate!" if she gets too obstructionist. Loser!
Own goal! June 8th is the end of May.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
On turning 73his has been a depressing month so far. Now this :-(
First off, the dynamo on my motorcycle failed, so no motorcycling for me, I've missed 2 weekend trips. I'm still waiting for Triumph to deliver a spare part. How hard can that be? Do they wait until there are 100 failures before manufacturing a bunch of 100, to save on machine setup costs? Sheesh! Depressing and annoying.
Then the senior dog died, so, grieving, I drove over to the animal crematorium in Peckelsheim (½ hour away) and went there again a few days later to collect the ashes. What joyless drives :-(
Now today, yet another birthday, I'm 73 now. That's an age where "happy hour" means an afternoon nap! And sundry aches and pains seemingly won't go away. Also quite depressing!
Sheldon once explained why his favourite number was 73. Now 73 is the 21st prime number. If you flip the digits on both of those numbers, you get 37 is the 12th prime number. True! How amazing is that? So I'm now a proud owner of his "73" T-shirt :-) I suppose a 73 T-shirt could be interpreted as being 44 years old and '44 is my year of birth. Coincidence? ;-)
Friday, June 2, 2017
Time to die :-(sad day yesterday. We had to put our elder dog down as she was really suffering from the tumor on her aorta, not eating or drinking any more and hardly able to move. Sad, sad, sad.
Goodbye Frieda, you gave us 12 happy years.
Wernigerode Air Museum
ecce libri : Hobbitus ille
Bode River scenery
On turning 73 :-(
Time to die :-(
Learning to fly...
In Memoriam : Klacks
Pynchon turned 80
Oldtimer Meet in Boke
May Day ;-)
C W-M's Persistence
UN World Book Day
Elephant ears / Blinkers
Kosmo turns ten
For older bikers ;-)
Abel prize for Yves Meyer
Merkel met Trump
PI Day, USA
Ain Bulldog Blog
Finding life hard?
Not Always Right
Rants from t'Rookery
The Alternate Brain
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This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : Für alle Seiten, die auf dieser Website verlinkt sind, möchte ich betonen, dass ich keinerlei Einfluss auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mir ihren Inhalt nicht zu eigen.
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Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
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