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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Strangely it was actually von Braun's idea for the moon rover vehicle...
    I like that.

    You know if there is anyone that loves their cars more than Americans it's the Germans!

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    In the late 1950's and early1960's I was working on my first job as a rocket engine mechanic. I was part of a crew that was hanging and firing some of the rocket engines that provided the engineering knowledge that was later used in the Apollo Program..

    The area where I worked had had a German V-2 engine that was used to assist in development of the Redstone missile.

    Although it's hard to believe, there are still conspiracy theorists out there who claim that America never reached the Moon. They believe that it was all done in a TV studio.

    It would be funny if it wasn't so stupid.

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I like that.

    You know if there is anyone that loves their cars more than Americans it's the Germans!
    As someone with German blood and American roots I guess I am doubly cursed!

    Being a second generation pilot I was more closely following the X planes and fringe of space flights. Now in hindsight the accomplishments that went into the moon shots were just too close to home to appreciate. Having grown up in SoCal when it was aviation central, the "Valley" was a huge part of both space and aviation. The neighborhood I lived in, perhaps half the families were engineers or machinist at the many primes and subs. The family on one side was a tool maker and on the other a radar engineer.

    We as kids took for granted what our parents were doing, we just saw their work as what they did. So many were directly involved in this or that, it was just what they did. They were just Mr. Rogers or Mr. Miller down the street. When I was a kid, a little older teenager, we would ride our motorcycles to little coffee shops or cafes, we would strike up a conversation with guys like a controls engineer on the B1. A good friends dad was a VP at Lockheed, he got as big a kick out of our hot rods as we kids did. Remember also, SoCal was hot rod central partly as a result of the aviation industry. Lots of the folks in racing were from the aviation industry.

    As kids growing up at that time and place we had no idea of the significance of it, in the bigger sense. What a time to be a kid, I would love to do it all over again.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    In the late 1950's and early1960's I was working on my first job as a rocket engine mechanic. I was part of a crew that was hanging and firing some of the rocket engines that provided the engineering knowledge that was later used in the Apollo Program..

    The area where I worked had had a German V-2 engine that was used to assist in development of the Redstone missile.

    Although it's hard to believe, there are still conspiracy theorists out there who claim that America never reached the Moon. They believe that it was all done in a TV studio.

    It would be funny if it wasn't so stupid.

    YouTube
    Wow were you based out of New Mexico white sands or with ABMA (Army Ballistic Missile Agency ?) [Also in Huntsville ]…

    I have a lot of early astronautical engineering text books from that period that describe that crucial testing. (From the late 50's to early 60's) … Interesting the combustion chambers for the V2 were ingenious yet crude and then next steps with the "German Rocket scientists" + American knowhow and industry made a hell of a difference to that platform/ much more modern rocketry. [including your testing / mechanics , no doubt.]. Just from a machining point of view the screw impellers that were used on the later developed pump units were amazingly advanced.

    My mom used to tell me about the static test firing they did in Huntsville later on that would shake the ground and even shatter windows.

    Sorta odd a lot of the German rocket scientists after being captured and later made US citizens were held at white sands New Mexico for a really long time (better part of a decade) twiddling their thumbs. Some of them became complete alcoholics as there was not much to do, and they had gotten as far they could theoretically on "Paper" and firing old captured V2s . Funny stories and pranks they pulled on each other with not much else to do for too long.

    Redstone (missile) was big deal for many reasons.

    My father told me that Von Braun got totally plastered when they finally launched Explorer 1 (on Redstone missile), purportedly 11 Bloody Mary's... So much pressure after Sputnik launched from the Russians and the parallel military projects were not working out/ failing. Von Braun was super super happy / relieved. As you know the civilian agency (NASA) was formed out of that not much later.

    __________________________________________________ _________

    * video , Buzz punching someone out... Another (old school) alcoholic... Punching that reporter out. [At least he dried out; once you have walked on the moon what else is there ??? ].

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in SoCal View Post
    As someone with German blood and American roots I guess I am doubly cursed!

    Being a second generation pilot I was more closely following the X planes and fringe of space flights. Now in hindsight the accomplishments that went into the moon shots were just too close to home to appreciate. Having grown up in SoCal when it was aviation central, the "Valley" was a huge part of both space and aviation. The neighborhood I lived in, perhaps half the families were engineers or machinist at the many primes and subs. The family on one side was a tool maker and on the other a radar engineer.

    We as kids took for granted what our parents were doing, we just saw their work as what they did. So many were directly involved in this or that, it was just what they did. They were just Mr. Rogers or Mr. Miller down the street. When I was a kid, a little older teenager, we would ride our motorcycles to little coffee shops or cafes, we would strike up a conversation with guys like a controls engineer on the B1. A good friends dad was a VP at Lockheed, he got as big a kick out of our hot rods as we kids did. Remember also, SoCal was hot rod central partly as a result of the aviation industry. Lots of the folks in racing were from the aviation industry.

    As kids growing up at that time and place we had no idea of the significance of it, in the bigger sense. What a time to be a kid, I would love to do it all over again.

    Steve
    That's a cool telling / recounting.

    I heard that the "Rocket" engineers were having trouble with the honeycomb composites especially for the common bulkhead on the Saturn V (second stage If I remembered that right)… And it was these groovy surfing guys that had a ton of experience with epoxies and phenolics and making very accurate shapes with surf boards that really helped things out and so a lot of them were hired for these completely new composite fuel tanks... I think the complaint was when surf was up (no one was to be found) ; you can imagine with super uptight engineers with a deadline that the "Free world" is waiting on and the surfing dudes are no where to be found.

    Even today Lockheed Martin has trouble with experimental composites on aircraft.

    tricky stuff.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________________________________


    Also "Cursed" with German blood + American roots but raised / grew up in the UK, left for US when I was 21/22 -ish. Then ten years back in Uk and 12 years here in Rocky mountain region.

    Cool that were / are a pilot... Lot of fun !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in SoCal View Post
    As someone with German blood and American roots I guess I am doubly cursed!

    Being a second generation pilot I was more closely following the X planes and fringe of space flights. Now in hindsight the accomplishments that went into the moon shots were just too close to home to appreciate. Having grown up in SoCal when it was aviation central, the "Valley" was a huge part of both space and aviation. The neighborhood I lived in, perhaps half the families were engineers or machinist at the many primes and subs. The family on one side was a tool maker and on the other a radar engineer.

    We as kids took for granted what our parents were doing, we just saw their work as what they did. So many were directly involved in this or that, it was just what they did. They were just Mr. Rogers or Mr. Miller down the street. When I was a kid, a little older teenager, we would ride our motorcycles to little coffee shops or cafes, we would strike up a conversation with guys like a controls engineer on the B1. A good friends dad was a VP at Lockheed, he got as big a kick out of our hot rods as we kids did. Remember also, SoCal was hot rod central partly as a result of the aviation industry. Lots of the folks in racing were from the aviation industry.

    As kids growing up at that time and place we had no idea of the significance of it, in the bigger sense. What a time to be a kid, I would love to do it all over again.

    Steve
    Speaking of the x series machines...the company that made the motors for the x1 and x15 was a town over in the 50s. Their test stands are on property of picatinny arsenal. Some have had some dismantling but most is still there. Unfortunately they are mostly in areas that are now fenced off so exploration is not possible. Test site D is the only one accessable by vehicle. It's bad ass reading about the testing they did and the achievements they made in rocket propulsion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    Wow were you based out of New Mexico white sands or with ABMA (Army Ballistic Missile Agency ?) [Also in Huntsville ]…

    I have a lot of early astronautical engineering text books from that period that describe that crucial testing. (From the late 50's to early 60's) … Interesting the combustion chambers for the V2 were ingenious yet crude and then next steps with the "German Rocket scientists" + American knowhow and industry made a hell of a difference to that platform/ much more modern rocketry. [including your testing / mechanics , no doubt.]. Just from a machining point of view the screw impellers that were used on the later developed pump units were amazingly advanced.

    My mom used to tell me about the static test firing they did in Huntsville later on that would shake the ground and even shatter windows.

    Sorta odd a lot of the German rocket scientists after being captured and later made US citizens were held at white sands New Mexico for a really long time (better part of a decade) twiddling their thumbs. Some of them became complete alcoholics as there was not much to do, and they had gotten as far they could theoretically on "Paper" and firing old captured V2s . Funny stories and pranks they pulled on each other with not much else to do for too long.

    Redstone (missile) was big deal for many reasons.

    My father told me that Von Braun got totally plastered when they finally launched Explorer 1 (on Redstone missile), purportedly 11 Bloody Mary's... So much pressure after Sputnik launched from the Russians and the parallel military projects were not working out/ failing. Von Braun was super super happy / relieved. As you know the civilian agency (NASA) was formed out of that not much later.

    __________________________________________________ _________

    * video , Buzz punching someone out... Another (old school) alcoholic... Punching that reporter out. [At least he dried out; once you have walked on the moon what else is there ??? ].
    I wasn't at New Mexico. Rather, I worked at the Rocketdyne Santa Susana Propulsion Field Laboratory. It was on the Northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley, not too far from the present day Ronald Reagan Presidential Library at Simi Valley, California.

    The German V-2 Scientists, among them Werner Von Braun, did come to the US along with many V-2 engines, parts and blueprints that had been developed at Penemunde. Production was later moved to a mountain area called Mittenwald,. Sadly, most of the production of the V-2 was done with slave labor under terrible conditions. Von Braun was well aware of this, but apparently our need for his and the other scientists' knowledge was considered vitally important at the time. I never had much respect for Von Braun for that reason but nonetheless, we would never have made it to the Moon without him and the others.

    The rocket program at White Sands, New Mexico was called Operation Paperclip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    The rocket program at White Sands, New Mexico was called Operation Paperclip.
    This is not entirely correct. Operation paperclip (originally operation overcast) was the secret program to bring German scientists to USA to work on projects, this was so the soviets would not get the great brain power the germans had. Von Braun and those at white sands were a big part of the program but not the entire program.
    Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America — Central Intelligence Agency
    Here is the book reviewed in the above link:
    Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen

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    A couple of years ago was told about a guy that was a an awesome welder. Not unusual to hear but then I hear that again from someone else a few months later that he could weld absolutely anything. Then last year I happened to be on a trip with this gentleman and his wife. Somehow welding came up (probably in a discussion about my personal shop). Turns out he welded as contractor doing aerospace in the 60s. He actually welded for the Gemini project. Everything had to be tested, make two mistakes and you were gone. He said when he left it was the #2 weldor in the company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    This is not entirely correct. Operation paperclip (originally operation overcast) was the secret program to bring German scientists to USA to work on projects, this was so the soviets would not get the great brain power the germans had. Von Braun and those at white sands were a big part of the program but not the entire program.
    Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program to Bring Nazi Scientists to America — Central Intelligence Agency
    Here is the book reviewed in the above link:
    Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen
    It's OK. I'm married so I'm used to being nit-picked, corrected and abased.


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    I wasn't trying to nit pic, sorry if it came across that way, just wanted to be Joe Friday - Just the facts. I think that time in our history is very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I wasn't at New Mexico. Rather, I worked at the Rocketdyne Santa Susana Propulsion Field Laboratory. It was on the Northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley, not too far from the present day Ronald Reagan Presidential Library at Simi Valley, California.

    The German V-2 Scientists, among them Werner Von Braun, did come to the US along with many V-2 engines, parts and blueprints that had been developed at Penemunde. Production was later moved to a mountain area called Mittenwald,. Sadly, most of the production of the V-2 was done with slave labor under terrible conditions. Von Braun was well aware of this, but apparently our need for his and the other scientists' knowledge was considered vitally important at the time. I never had much respect for Von Braun for that reason but nonetheless, we would never have made it to the Moon without him and the others.

    The rocket program at White Sands, New Mexico was called Operation Paperclip.
    At Mittenwald most of the slave labor was sadly used to blast and dig tunnels.

    "Slave labor" for construction of actual V2 components is / was a complicated issue*. Von Braun had photos of captured white Russians well fed in prison uniforms at drawing boards etc.


    My father (also German but immigrated to the US after the war, then drafted into the Korean war and given a US passport) ~ He was personal friends with von Braun (especially as he illustrated several books for him outside of Marshall Space Flight Center work ). Von Braun always had a terrific sense of humor, dry wit and very charismatic and of course an excellent salesman (ice boxes to eskimos. ); my father's artwork and other was mainly used to sell Washington administrators on WHAT and WHY we were spending all this money on a civilian manned spaceflight program (I.e. turn Von Braun's chicken scrawls into conceptual artwork for future projects to help sell "The idea".). . What is not often mentioned Von Braun did a massive amount contract work for the military and development of crucial ICBMs for the US arsenal... [The Polaris system ("Jupiter") missile, was something he was very proud of outside of civilian based work with NASA. (launching a (nuclear) missile from a submarine under water is an amazing feat in of itself )). ].

    I agree the Von Braun "Conundrum" is unresolvable / unreconcilable. Usually marked out as a true Faustian Bargain. I believe one of the principal Saturn V designers was deemed a Nazi war Criminal much later (in the 1990's (like when he was in his 80's and was sent back to Germany )[I don't think it was Dannenberg, Harry Rupper (sp) If memory serves me right? Deemed as no longer useful or a security threat and sent off after helping to put man on the moon for the USA. ].

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________


    * When I worked at the Smithsonian they had an Arado German jet bomber from WWII (at the Garber facility at the time) and it was interesting the aircraft was partially restored and taken apart, they found like sharp rocks denting a fuel tank and other as evidence of deliberate sabotage by the enforced labor used to build parts of the aircraft. I thought that was pretty cool. Need for human resistance and ingenuity in spite of absolute oppression.

    Arado Ar 234 - Wikipedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    I wasn't trying to nit pic, sorry if it came across that way, just wanted to be Joe Friday - Just the facts. I think that time in our history is very interesting.
    No apology necessary...what I should have said was that scientists came over under Operation Paperclip and that branched out later on into a number of test areas, one of which was the area where I worked at Rocketdyne. One of the three test stands where I worked had a V-2 engine running there now and then starting in 1947 when the lab was opened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    A couple of years ago was told about a guy that was a an awesome welder. Not unusual to hear but then I hear that again from someone else a few months later that he could weld absolutely anything. Then last year I happened to be on a trip with this gentleman and his wife. Somehow welding came up (probably in a discussion about my personal shop). Turns out he welded as contractor doing aerospace in the 60s. He actually welded for the Gemini project. Everything had to be tested, make two mistakes and you were gone. He said when he left it was the #2 weldor in the company.
    That's amazing !

    Interesting the further development after Gemini for the space carrier vehicles like the Saturn 1b they had to purportedly "Tear" into the welding machines and completely re-invent "Welding" massive quasi automated welding machines (using massive jigs) especially for fuel tanks and bulk heads etc. simply because "Human" skills were too inconsistent... Sounds like your friend set a VERY high standard* that could only be partially matched by advanced newly developed welding machines and x-ray inspection methods.


    I heard a story that because the tanks on the Saturn 1B were individually quite small that they hired and trained a number of people of diminutive stature (today we call them "little people" ) as full engineers for internal inspection of really tight spaces including specific fuel tanks. (I don't know if that's true or not ? ).

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________


    * Way beyond ordinary skill in the art. I have friend that is a superb welder (fully qualified ) she works for Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos welding steel structures that get blown up. That's all they do she builds them , they destroy them. Kinda weird to have all your work continually destroyed and nothing to show for it. And yet always having work in progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    At Mittenwald most of the slave labor was sadly used to blast and dig tunnels.

    "Slave labor" for construction of actual V2 components is / was a complicated issue*. Von Braun had photos of captured white Russians well fed in prison uniforms at drawing boards etc.


    My father (also German but immigrated to the US after the war, then drafted into the Korean war and given a US passport) ~ He was personal friends with von Braun (especially as he illustrated several books for him outside of Marshall Space Flight Center work ). Von Braun always had a terrific sense of humor, dry wit and very charismatic and of course an excellent salesman (ice boxes to eskimos. ); my father's artwork and other was mainly used to sell Washington administrators on WHAT and WHY we were spending all this money on a civilian manned spaceflight program (I.e. turn Von Braun's chicken scrawls into conceptual artwork for future projects to help sell "The idea".). . What is not often mentioned Von Braun did a massive amount contract work for the military and development of crucial ICBMs for the US arsenal... [The Polaris system ("Jupiter") missile, was something he was very proud of outside of civilian based work with NASA. (launching a (nuclear) missile from a submarine under water is an amazing feat in of itself )). ].

    I agree the Von Braun "Conundrum" is unresolvable / unreconcilable. Usually marked out as a true Faustian Bargain. I believe one of the principal Saturn V designers was deemed a Nazi war Criminal much later (in the 1990's (like when he was in his 80's and was sent back to Germany )[I don't think it was Dannenberg, Harry Rupper (sp) If memory serves me right? Deemed as no longer useful or a security threat and sent off after helping to put man on the moon for the USA. ].

    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________


    * When I worked at the Smithsonian they had an Arado German jet bomber from WWII (at the Garber facility at the time) and it was interesting the aircraft was partially restored and taken apart, they found like sharp rocks denting a fuel tank and other as evidence of deliberate sabotage by the enforced labor used to build parts of the aircraft. I thought that was pretty cool. Need for human resistance and ingenuity in spite of absolute oppression.

    Arado Ar 234 - Wikipedia
    That is very interesting material you provide here. I watched a show on Mittenwald a while back on the History channel. They mentioned that the slave labor workers there would sabotage the rockets that they worked on. They would do things like leave certain tubes loose and also urinate on the gyroscopic stable platforms.

    The death rate there was incredible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    That's amazing !

    Interesting the further development after Gemini for the space carrier vehicles like the Saturn 1b they had to purportedly "Tear" into the welding machines and completely re-invent "Welding" massive quasi automated welding machines (using massive jigs) especially for fuel tanks and bulk heads etc. simply because "Human" skills were too inconsistent... Sounds like your friend set a VERY high standard* that could only be partially matched by advanced newly developed welding machines and x-ray inspection methods.


    I heard a story that because the tanks on the Saturn 1B were individually quite small that they hired and trained a number of people of diminutive stature (today we call them "little people" ) as full engineers for internal inspection of really tight spaces including specific fuel tanks. (I don't know if that's true or not ? ).

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________


    * Way beyond ordinary skill in the art. I have friend that is a superb welder (fully qualified ) she works for Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos welding steel structures that get blown up. That's all they do she builds them , they destroy them. Kinda weird to have all your work continually destroyed and nothing to show for it. And yet always having work in progress.
    I worked for a time at Rocketdyne reassembling rebuilt engines that had "timed-out" in testing. That is to say that the engines that Rocketdyne was building at the time were limited to just a few minutes of time and if they exceeded that time before acceptance, they were recycled.

    The welding that I saw on the engines at that time, was simply the best. In that era, there was no machine welding. Every weld was done by hand using what was then called "Heliarc". They used straight Helium and DC, IIRC. The welds were X-rayed and inspected before the inspection team would stamp their approval. Each weld had the beautiful "stacks of dimes'. It's too bad that they mostly wound up in the Ocean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    That is very interesting material you provide here. I watched a show on Mittenwald a while back on the History channel. They mentioned that the slave labor workers there would sabotage the rockets that they worked on. They would do things like leave certain tubes loose and also urinate on the gyroscopic stable platforms.

    The death rate there was incredible.
    Absolutely true.

    True crimes against humanity / war crimes.

    A lot of books have been written about that, and I don't have an organizational chart for who was responsible for what below Dornberger and rocket development versus operations in charge of enforced labor. Would Von Braun have directed the organization of slave labor directly ? I doubt it as that was not his job; would he have had knowledge of what was going on quite probably/possibly. I'm not 100% sure how the NAZI's organized that in such a way that higher staff would not be de-moralized by such knowledge, or that development efforts* would be deliberately hampered / slow down in the face of imminent defeat as soon as the Americans got involved in the war. Hard to say if the NAZI / Army top brass had a way to insulate different departments from such horrific goings on. The other thing is having slave labor construct incredibly sensitive instruments (The Gyro stabilized platform in particular, as you mention) would seem absolutely absurd to any self respecting German engineer even separate from the clear human violations. I suspect there may have been a need to insulate different departments from the totality of operations as dire as they really were.


    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _


    * It's strangely ironic that the V2 was an incredibly expensive and inefficient way of delivering a 1000 lb war head / conventional explosives. Some military historians have stated that the V2 in some sense was useful to allies during the war as it consumed so many resources for such an ineffective weapon in terms of scale. Tragic loss of lives of course in it's execution and delivery. But since the development of THE bomb the acquisition of ballistic missile technology was of paramount importance (of course). Von Braun hanging out with Herman Oberth ~ His mentor (space flight and going to the moon was always his dream and kinda piggy backed his dream to whoever would 'Pay" for it .)

    Also ironically when the Germans were questioned / debriefed after capture they often cited the US scientist, Robert Goddard's work (pioneer of liquid propellant rocket systems, as most know) as being critical to earlier versions of A4/ V2,saying they read his US patents lol and kinda pointed to the absurdity of the US military to have completely ignored his work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I worked for a time at Rocketdyne reassembling rebuilt engines that had "timed-out" in testing. That is to say that the engines that Rocketdyne was building at the time were limited to just a few minutes of time and if they exceeded that time before acceptance, they were recycled.

    The welding that I saw on the engines at that time, was simply the best. In that era, there was no machine welding. Every weld was done by hand using what was then called "Heliarc". They used straight Helium and DC, IIRC. The welds were X-rayed and inspected before the inspection team would stamp their approval. Each weld had the beautiful "stacks of dimes'. It's too bad that they mostly wound up in the Ocean.
    That's so cool... Takes a really fine and nice touch with the fingers, --> Stack of dimes. ["Peeps" at Garber put mig and tig in my hands and hated me ever since as I had done fine art / air brush work previously so that "feel" came very naturally to me, but I think I'm just to ADD overall to maintain that continuity of movement and concentration needed for really long seams that are mission critical. Takes a very patient and sure individual with killer skills to that level of work you are talking about. ].

    Heliarc is awesome.

    We had the B29 "Enola Gay" in a million pieces at Garber facility at the time celebrating "50 years of dropping the Bomb" , what was interesting on the B-29 oil sump tanks (that were rubber) but were held in a sort of polygonal aluminum sheet metal bulk head holding structure was aluminum welded seams (aft and high behind the main engine / nacelles )... These "welds" were NOT with inert gas (hadn't been invented yet (as you know)) , it was kinda weird how they fed the seams on that as the weld didn't exactly join but somehow interstitially keyed in the seam. Sorta weird and wild. Kinda like industrial archeology.


    Funny with the US space programs that there are very few artifacts that have actually been to space and have come back. As everything is discarded "Down range" as you know as you said.


    Wracking my brains here I believe the space suits and Capsules are the only major space hardware to return to Earth intact.
    That's a lot of hardware that either crashed on the moon, in orbit somewhere around the sun or just burnt up.

    Probably had the Apollo program had not been "Nixed" literally the last remaining Saturn V's would have been launched and literally at museums that the few remaining unlaunched Saturn V's would not be around to see.

    So many techniques have been lost there's no way we could build a Saturn V today using the original methods we'd have to do something very different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    That's so cool... Takes a really fine and nice touch with the fingers, --> Stack of dimes. ["Peeps" at Garber put mig and tig in my hands and hated me ever since as I had done fine art / air brush work previously so that "feel" came very naturally to me, but I think I'm just to ADD overall to maintain that continuity of movement and concentration needed for really long seams that are mission critical. Takes a very patient and sure individual with killer skills to that level of work you are talking about. ].

    Heliarc is awesome.

    We had the B29 "Enola Gay" in a million pieces at Garber facility at the time celebrating "50 years of dropping the Bomb" , what was interesting on the B-29 oil sump tanks (that were rubber) but were held in a sort of polygonal aluminum sheet metal bulk head holding structure was aluminum welded seams (aft and high behind the main engine / nacelles )... These "welds" were NOT with inert gas (hadn't been invented yet (as you know)) , it was kinda weird how they fed the seams on that as the weld didn't exactly join but somehow interstitially keyed in the seam. Sorta weird and wild. Kinda like industrial archeology.


    Funny with the US space programs that there are very few artifacts that have actually been to space and have come back. As everything is discarded "Down range" as you know as you said.


    Wracking my brains here I believe the space suits and Capsules are the only major space hardware to return to Earth intact.
    That's a lot of hardware that either crashed on the moon, in orbit somewhere around the sun or just burnt up.

    Probably had the Apollo program had not been "Nixed" literally the last remaining Saturn V's would have been launched and literally at museums that the few remaining unlaunched Saturn V's would not be around to see.

    So many techniques have been lost there's no way we could build a Saturn V today using the original methods we'd have to do something very different.
    Gas welding aluminum and even stick aluminum can be done, but it's not easy. I recall when I was a mere child back in Chicago. I owned a 1946 Harley Big Twin (later nicknamed the Knucklehead) It had a cracked lower left front motor mount. This was a common fault with the early Harleys. I stripped the engine and took the left side crankcase to a truck repair shop nearby that advertised aluminum welding.

    The fellow that did the job was very skillful indeed. He preheated the case and then proceeded to gas weld a beautiful knob on the broken aluminum mount. He left enough so that I could file it down and re-drill the hole for the bolt.

    You could hardly see where the metal had melted as I watched him work. That's the problem with gas welding aluminum - a little too much heat and your work piece is on the floor. I can well imagine that there were lots of gas welds on aluminum during WWII production. It's a testament to the men and women who were doing it to help the war effort.
    Last edited by Newman109; 06-09-2019 at 10:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post

    The fellow that did the job was very skillful indeed. He preheated the case and then proceeded to gas weld a beautiful knob on the broken aluminum mount. He left enough so that I could file it down and re-drill the hole for the bolt.

    You could hardly see where the metal had melted as I watched him work. That's the problem with gas welding aluminum - a little too much heat and your work piece is on the floor. I can well imagine that there were lots of gas welds on aluminum during WWII production. It's a testament to the men and women who were doing it to help the war effort.
    Aluminum is still commonly gas welded in auto coachwork panel beating and some tank construction but seldom heavy sections. It's used on sheet because the finished product is more workable. I read u[p on it and bought the equipment but haven't started into it yet.


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