Saturday, February 28, 2009

....and Some Things Go FFAASSTT

The picture in the header is the start of the SCCA National Championship race last October. Tom is on the right. He finished third.The stripped down chassis. It has a reinforced space frame. All of the body work and undertray are carbon fiber.

I made an error in my initial blog when I stated that it had an 1100 cc engine which is really a 1000cc engine.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

....things that go slow

On a recent trip to Tucson Arizona I found this colection of wagons and carts at a gas station on the way to Tombstone.Most were the 1 HP versions. Early pick up truck.
Most had also been uprated at some point with rubber treaded tires. I imagine it made a huge difference in the ride:-)

Early single seater. Not sure what formula it fell under?

The four seater saloon, 2 HP.

The classic station wagon or shooting brake, depending on which side of the ocean you are on.

2 HP SUV caught at full throttle

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This could really GO!!! So Watch the Sky

It has been a while since I posted anything and this is not a car post. Snow and ice have made me think of going to Arizona to get away from it and that is where I visited the last Titan II missile silo that has been converted to a museum. This is not so much a Sky Watch as a Watch the Sky post.
This is a display of the engines used. The big double first stage engine, the large second stage engine and the small steering engines for the war heads. I wish I knew how much HP each would generate. This is a good reminder of the "Cold War" and how close we could have been to a Hot War.

This is the concrete silo cover. It is in the retracted position. If they needed to open it for actual use explosive would have been used to move it.
The missile in the silo. Notice the hole in the side of the nose cone. Every day a Russian satellite does a fly over and takes a picture to make sure that hole is there and that there is NOT a war head inside. The old "trust but verify" still is used.

After going down an elevator a long way, and they wouldn't tell us how far, we had to go through four blast doors to get to the control room.

This is the tunnel from the control room out to the missile. The large cans along the walls are shock absorbers that can withstand anything except a direct atomic bomb blast.

Looking up out of the silo at the nose cone. they have built a glass cover to protect the missile because the cover has to be left open so the Russians can look at it each day, smile.

This is the control panel where the Presidents code would have been entered into the group of thumb switches that opened the oxidiser valve so the missile could launch.

The "safe" for the keys that turned everything on. I wouldn't have thought of a filling cabinet with a few locks on it. High tech at its best. Wonder what it cost?

The Titan II had three individually guided war heads. Here is where the targets were set. Hope they don't have my address. As an engineer I found this really interesting but thinking of what would have happened if these had been used is pretty scary.