Monday, October 27, 2008

My World Tuesday

My World in HO Scale.
This post combines where I was born, raised and live with model trains.
A win/win.
This is the County Court House with one of the oldest churches in town.
The local model railroad club has built Evansville, IN in HO scale. Of course the city is much larger than this but everyone of these buildings are modeled after the real thing. Some however no longer exist.
This was the Grand Theater. A very classy theater that became a movie house. When they tore it down the demolition crew wrecked a friends brand new 63 Split Window Corvette!!

The building with the stripped roof is the Post Office and Tariff House. Evansville is on a bend in the Ohio river and was a major riverboat port. When the Wabash and Erie Canal ended here they built the tariff house right between the two so they could collect both ways. It has been beautifully restored.
At one time the train did run right through the middle of town down Division Street cutting the town in half.

The old McCurdy Hotel. A grand old hotel that has become a retirement home. They are getting ready to boot out the oldsters and take it Condo. They are actually going to build the oldsters a brand new place so don't worry.
The old train Yard on the west side. My Grandfather was an engineer for the old L&N Railroad and worked here.
Another view of the old train station. They tore it down to build a Pawn shop! The pawn shop was just torn down so the cross town expressway could be widened. Such is progress.
Thanks to the people putting on My World.
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

March 79A Outside In

Here is the anatomy of a 70's vintage Formula Atlantic Race car.This is a March 79A chassis #4. March only built 3 of the 79A's. They were originally set up for Formula 3 (I think) in Europe. Doug Shierson here in the US bought it and had March rework it to Atlantic specs, hence the chassis #4. The car weighed 1130 LBS. WITHOUT driver.
The basic aluminum tub with a forged aluminum front bulkhead and a machined magnesium rear bulkhead. This view shows the sub frame that carries the radiator and front body work

Right side rear view.
Rear end showing the wing mounted to the transmission, oil cooler and sway bar

View of the office.
Notice all of the room.
I'm 6'-4" and there was room for me.
By 1980 Atlantic's became sized for less than ample people.
Notice the brackets for supporting the side pods are different on the right and left. I think this is because March just did what was needed. nothing sophisticated.
Cosworth BDD engine, 1600cc. Approximately 200 HP.
It would turn 10,000RPM and sound sooo good.
Hewland FT 200, 5 speed transmission w/ inboard brakes
The rear suspension was definitely different than most.
It has a lower "Z" arm with a single trailing arm.
The front edge of the trailing arm could be adjusted high to low and the lower "Z" arm had extra toe adjustment. However nothing seemed to change as things were adjusted.
It was very neutral - almost too much.
By the way---FAST!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My World Tuesday

This is the Amanda Blast Furnace of AK Steel in Ashland KY. As an engineer doing consulting design I work in a lot of various industries. We have installed equipment on the downstream rolling mill section where the final steel sheets come out. This blast furnace runs 24 hours a day seven days a week to produce the molten steel that is then carried over to the casting mill where large slabs are produced.This looks like a dirty old piece of equipment, which it is. It was last updated in the early 60's. But if you show up at the plant early in the morning before the sun is up and get to see the 50 foot tall blue flame blasting out of the top it is a sight to see.
If you have anything made of steel this is how it started out.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

St. Louis Transportation Museum

The St. Louis Transportation Museum has a huge amount of train engines. These include the biggest diesel and steam locomotives ever built. Which are really impressive.

This is one of the two only "Big Boy" steam engines that were built. They were built during WWII to pull the heavy trains of war materials from coast to coast.
The Big Boy was a 2-16-4. It had two sets of eight drive wheels and the engine was so long the the drive wheel sets are articulated in the center with their own sub-frames. Again they proved the old axiom that there are size limits to everything. They were just too big and consumed too many resources.

This is a very early streamliner. It began a trend during the 20's and 30's.

Here is a GM streamliner from the 50's. I see some of the same lines that were in the 57 Chevy.

A huge snow plow for mountain work.

This engine was just too happy for its own good.

This is the way to go to school. I don't remember where this was used.

The last thing I expected to see at the train museum...a Tug Boat!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

...Autocross goes

Here are a few views from the last autocross of the year.An autocross starts with walking. Here an experienced driver walks the novice's through the course. See the video at the end for a view at speed.
A little bit of everything usually shows up.

Two mild mannered econobox's. Maybe.

The Miata corner.

Old race cars can run for ever.

Some old race cars run forever very fast!

One of Paul's runs in real time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


My favorite airplane is one that really goes..... There are a couple of reasons that I like this plane. 1. It is the fastest operational plane ever built.

2. It was one of the last planes designed using slide rules.

Since I was one of the last groups of engineering students to learn and use slide rules I feel a real attachment. The tire in the banner has so much aluminum in them to dissipate heat that the rubber even looks silver. Even inside this plane the temperature was extremely high.

What is it? The SR-71

Here is one at Wright-Paterson
Here is one at the Pima museum in Tucson AZ. This one also has one of the RC drones that they could launch into real tough places.

Another view of the one at Wright-Pat.

One on display at Eglin AFB in Florida.

This one is in Balboa Park San Diego CA.

Mobile AL is home to this one along with other planes at the USS Alabama museum.

The Boeing Museum in Seattle has a YA-12. A two place plane that the CIA used.

HMMM. Wonder what for?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


This is the only functional LST in the US. It is on display here in Evansville. During WWII Evansville was the largest "Corn Field" (not on a sea coast, inland) shipyard building LST'sHere a 20mm machine gun points at the sky.

40mm These are all operational. They even cranked it around to show how easy it worked.

Ships wheel. Old and worn. This LST was involved in the landings on Sicily, Italy and Normandy. It worked after the war into the 60's helping land supplies in Antarctica during the expeditions there. The US then gave it to the Greek Navy and was rescued from them a few years ago.

Engine room. They wouldn't let me go down there.

Tank deck.
They could put 20 tanks in here. The dark square at the end is the ramp door where you unloaded vehicles.

Bridge with the Greek emblem still in place.

65 year old radio. This may not work.

Soldier bunk area.
These were all along the port side between the tank deck and the hull.
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