Monday, January 23, 2017

Sunken B-29 Fortress on Eielson AFB, AK

Located southeast of Fairbanks, and just north of the base, beyond the end of the long runway, an iconic piece of US Air Force history lies abandoned in a flooded gravel pit. The object in question is a mighty Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which over the years has garnered the moniker ‘Lady of the Lake’.  The conventional wisdom was it was intentionally placed there for water rescue training. Waid estimates it was probably placed sometime between 1954 and 1956.

The abandoned World War Two aircraft, which is submerged in an artificial pond at the side of Transmitter Road, has been a well-known landmark at Eielson AFB for more than 60 years.

But a recent underwater survey of the wreck uncovered its identity, confirming long-circulating rumours that the Lady of the Lake was an aircraft of historic significance. In August 2014 the Daily News-Miner spoke with base historian Jack Waid, who’d spent years working to trace the submerged aircraft’s history.

During the meticulously-planned survey, divers recovered the wireless operator’s desk, which sported the aircraft’s serial number: 44-62214. Armed with this information, Waid was able to confirm an Eielson AFB legend that the Lady of the Lake was the aircraft that detected the first evidence of Soviet atomic testing in 1949

There’s no known record of the aircraft being towed from storage at Eielson AFB to its watery grave nearby, but it’s likely that the move took place in 1955 or 1956. Of course, the result is the same: the last surviving example of a WB-29 model Superfortress,

the Golden Sahara, as seen on a June 25, 1962 broadcast of I've Got a Secret.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

using a grill surround as a sign holder? Cool

looks like the good people at Mack made a space shuttle replica

Land Rover cat tracked and rail road bogeys

Found on the season 22 episode 4 of Top Gear

Stirling Moss heading to his Maserati, 1960 Sebring. A rare photo of motorsports where the driver is racing and the car isn't

a month after its 1966 Sebring victory, chassis GT/110 was being cannibalized for parts on a regular basis.

This death of 1,000 cuts carried on until 1970, when it became clear that U.S. Customs wasn’t going to forget about the importation of chassis GT/110.

Brought in on a temporary import bond, long since expired, Shelby had but two choices: pay the import duty plus late fees, or scrap the car. He opted for the latter, ordering the car cut up ahead of the Customs inspector’s visit.

This proved to be a violation of the rules, as vehicles in questions had to be destroyed in the presence of a Customs inspector. With no other options, Shelby ordered the car to be tack welded back together, then cut apart under the watchful eye of the government inspector.

I Fidanzati Della Morte, 1956. Brought out of obscurity to be screened at the Festival of Pulsano, April 19 2016 at Deus Leica Theatre of Milan

Only a single copy of this film exists in all of Italy, and it was restored for a viewing by a world that never even knew it existed.

The film was partially shot in Taranto (one reason to "bring it" at home), and revived by Alessandro Marotto and Silva Fedrigo, who own a film distribution company (Rodaggio Distribution) founded with the objective to recover, promote and distribute films about the world of two wheels, with an eye on the productions independent and unobtainable movie.

The spectacular world of motorcycle racing, including the famous Milano-Taranto, is the backdrop to the classic love triangle between Charles, his wife and his lover.

Technical advice was headed by Bruno Francisci, three-time winner of its Milan-Taranto, twice riding Guzzi and Gilera 4 cylinders.

 Looking at it now sixty years later, the issues dealt with are very bold for its time; in addition to adultery it comes to race strategy and "opportunistic" team agreements.

Behind the camera was Romolo Marcellini, director, who a few years later filmed the documentary The Grand Olympics (Oscar nominee for Best Documentary in 1962). The idea of projecting the work of Marcellini in the province of Taranto ideally closes a circle historical, because in 1956 he ran the last Milano-Taranto

1938 Mercedes steering wheel (thanks Doug!)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

a major stockholder once forced a car maker into making her a car in 1935, 17 years after they stopped making cars, and had it designed by Count de Sakhnoffsy

Dr. Tingley used her major stockholding in the White Company, and seat on the board of directors,  to convince the company to manufacture this one-of-a-kind car at a time when White was only manufacturing trucks, light commercial vehicles, and buses. 

Dr. Louisa Tingley on their board of directors, and she wouldn't settle for driving anything but a White. She drove this until 1952

This large, 4-passenger sedan, designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsy, was fabricated using a reduced scale bus body mounted on White's  3/4 ton chassis.

the Rolling Sculpture Art Deco Cars exhibit in the North Carolina Museum of ART in Raleigh was photographed by the Carhunter blogger

Brian says that all Ford dealerships were forced to sell tractors even if they were in a city location, resulting in many being modified for city service with snow plows or paving equipment! Hemmings agrees

a very interesting analysis of the introduction of mechanization and it's role in bringing about the great depression is at

No, Ford had little to do with the great depression, I'm not connecting Ford with it. Tractors though, had a lot to do with the great depression. How about that for an odd introspection!

Bankers preferred to make loans to farmers, on the farm mortgage, and on the tractors and equipment... because, they knew that a farmer was going to pay that loan back in order to keep making a living.

On the other hand, making a loan to a car buyer, well, the car can be driven far away from the bank's ability to get it back, and it's only a "joy ride" machine, not a thing depended on for making a living. So, banks weren't as happy about car loans.

Well, banks were fat and happy mortgaged out the wazoo on farms, and those had a big problem in 1926 with pigs, and suddenly, the banks foreclosed the farms, kicking out all the farmers, and there simply was no one in the cities looking to by the farms. Farmers couldn't afford to, and city people didn't want the labor intensive acquisition. So, farms went fallow. The number of people off the farms, who couldn't find jobs in skilled labor or white collar work went through the roof, and food wasn't being made on farms to the same level it used to be.

Then you had the upturned soil getting blown about, and the dust bowl problem became wide spread, and the farms weren't getting worked, and the farmer families moved west.

It is relevant to note that, in 1900, 90 percent of U.S.A. citizens were living and working on the farms; in 1979 only 7 percent were on the farms, mostly as local supervisors for big, absent-ownership corporations. The owners of the farmlands today are no longer “farmers” or even individual humans—they are the great business conglomerates. What began in 1934 as government subsidies and loans to farmers for farm machinery, later to keep acreage out of production, would by 1978 result in President Carter making enormous payments to appease big corporations for cutting off vital grain and other strategic shipments to Russia. Next, the U.S. government would make enormous subsidies to bail out large corporations such as Lockheed and Chrysler, which as basic military suppliers the U.S. government could not allow to go bankrupt. Eventually the U.S. taxpayers will be asked to make “free-of-risk” bail-outs of “private” enterprises, corporations with initial physical assets worth over a billion dollars classifed as risk enterprises.

the 1914 motorcycle for 4, and a family went coast to coast on it

huh, I never noticed the "facelift" for long haul Fords vs the local stuff

Friday, January 20, 2017

the 1928 Indian experimental roadster

cool item in the Indian museum, an original shipping crate

The Esta Manthos Indian motorcycle collection has a sled! The mid 40's Eliason company used Indian motors

how to analyze a problem... the obvious conclusions inexperienced desk jockeys arrive at, or the thoughtful scientific logical method of cause and effect - using WW2 bombers

During WWII the Army wanted to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire.

The desk jockeys safe at home researched where bombers tend to get hit, intending to recommend  re-enforcing the parts of the airplane that get hit the most would result in more planes making it back

They found that when American planes came back from engagements over Europe, they were covered in bullet holes. But the damage wasn’t uniformly distributed across the aircraft. There were more bullet holes in the fuselage, none in the engines.

The red dots show where bombers were hit the most, so they told the army and  plane manufactures to put more armor on those sections.

 You don’t want your planes to get shot down by enemy fighters,
  so you armor them.
  But armor makes the plane heavier, and heavier planes are less maneuverable and use more fuel.         Armoring the planes too much is a problem;
  armoring the planes too little is a problem.
  Somewhere in between there’s an optimum.
  You have a team of geniuses (Statistical Research Group) in New York City is to figure out where that optimum is. Exactly how much more armor belonged on those parts of the plane? That was what they came to Wald for.

Frederick Mosteller, who would later found Harvard’s statistics department, was there.
Leonard Savage, the pioneer of decision theory
Norbert Wiener, the MIT mathematician and the creator of cybernetics, dropped by from time to time. Milton Friedman, the future Nobelist in economics, was often the fourth-smartest person in the room.
The smartest person in the room was usually Abraham Wald, and he had left Romania because the Nazis wanted to kill all Jewish people.

 It wasn’t the answer they got. The armor, said Wald, doesn’t go where the bullet holes are. It goes where the bullet holes aren’t: on the engines.

- how did you obtain that data?

- well, we looked at every bomber returning from a raid, marked the damages on the airframe on a sheet and collected the sheets from all allied air bases over months. What you see is the result of hundreds of those sheets.

- and your conclusion?

- well, the red dots are where the bombers were hit. So let’s enforce those parts because they are most exposed to enemy fire.

- no. the red dots are where a bomber can take a hit and return. The bombers that took a hit to the ailerons, the engines or the cockpit never made it home. That’s why they are absent in your data. The blank spots are exactly where you have to enforce the airframe, so those bombers can return.

He got strange looks, so he made it even simpler for the military to understand (if they were smart, they wouldn't be in the military, see (and I'm a vet, I know what I'm talking about, smart people go out and create wealth, the rest of the people either go in the military, or remain broke))

If you go to the recovery room at the hospital, you’ll see a lot more people with bullet holes in their legs than people with bullet holes in their chests. But that’s not because people don’t get shot in the chest; it’s because the people who get shot in the chest don’t recover.

BTW: You can see the result of this research today. This is the exact reason the A-10 has the pilot sitting in a titanium armor bathtub and has it’s engines placed high and shielded.

Abraham Wald was home schooled until college. No wonder he was brilliant, he never went to USA public schools run by the Dept Of Education.

Being a religious Jew, he did not attend school on Saturdays, as was required at the time by the Hungarian school system, and was thus home-schooled by his parents until college. His parents were quite knowledgeable and competent as teachers.

In 1928 he graduated in mathematics from the King Ferdinand I University.
In 1927, he entered graduate school at the University of Vienna, from which he graduated in 1931 with a Ph.D. in mathematics, Menger, the great mathematician mentored him.

Despite Wald's brilliance, he could not obtain a university position, because of Austrian discrimination against Jews.
 However, Oskar Morgenstern created a position for Wald in economics.
When the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938, the discrimination against Jews intensified. In particular, Wald and his family were persecuted as Jews.

Wald was able to immigrate to the United States, at the invitation of the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics, to work on econometrics research.

His family, all but a single brother, would later die in Auschwitz, the extermination camp.

The official name for the people inside the apartment was the Statistical Research Group, a cabal of geniuses assembled at the request of the White House and made up of people who would go on to compete for and win Nobel Prizes. The SRG was an extension of Columbia University, and they dealt mainly with statistical analysis. The Philadelphia Computing Section, another group made up entirely of women mathematicians, worked six days a week at the University of Pennsylvania on ballistics tables. Other groups with different specialties were tied to Harvard, Princeton, Brown and others, 11 in all, each a leaf at the end of a new branch of the government created to help defeat the Axis – the Department of War Math.

Mephistopheles, the last car to set the world land speed record on public roads

the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry extensively damaged the Spirit of America when they had it on loan from Craig Breedlove, and they didn't fess up about it, so he's sueing them, and the lawsuit was just given the greenlight by a federal judge.

the Museum of Science and Industry contacted Breedlove and requested him to loan the vehicle to it for an exhibition in 1965 (that's right, over 50 years ago). The two parties made an oral agreement, with conditions of the loan being:

the Spirit of America would not be shown commercially anywhere other than at the Museum without Breedlove’s prior written approval;

the Spirit of America would be made available in the event that a motion picture about the record runs of the vehicle was going to be made; and

in the event that the Spirit of America was to be removed from exhibition, it would returned to Mr. Breedlove at his request.

 When it was returned to him in 2015, he discovered that it had been damaged, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Damage included exterior panels that no longer fit, stretched intake duct mountings for the jet engine and graffiti where schoolchildren carved their initials in the aluminum finish, the lawsuit said.

In addition, Breedlove said the vehicle’s frame had been cut and “unprofessionally” rewelded, and the driver’s seat was missing. The car was taken to a professional restoration shop, which estimated repair costs at $395,000.

Other missing parts included water, oil and fuel tanks and the Spirit’s historic turnaround dolly.

Previously the court wasn't convinced that Breedlove had a claim, and then, he shoved it to them with the documents that listed the standards and best practices from the American Association of Museums (which the Museum of Science and Industry is part of).

That, apparently, was what the judge needed to see to let the museum get taken to court.

Steven Young, a Los Angeles-based attorney representing Breedlove, said Monday the AAM standards "made clearer to the court" that the museum was negligent in its handling of the vehicle. "They didn't live up to museum standards," Young said.

"Stewardship is the careful, sound and responsible management of that which is entrusted to a museum's care. Possession of collections incurs legal, social and ethical obligations to provide proper physical storage, management and care for the collections and associated documentation, as well as proper intellectual control."

1967 through 1969 Camaro option A67 - Folding Rear Seat

Thursday, January 19, 2017

be careful about your volume, it's probably not loud enough. Turn it up, and enjoy

these are the Don Fezell collection leaving the tent at the auction today. He really had the coolest collection of pure muscle cars

the Range Rover downhill craziness over the route of the skiing " Inferno Murren "

Guy Newmark’s Porsche 356 has been driven daily for the past four decades – which is how the legendary model has managed to hit one million miles

Beck and the double supercharged beast

Hover bike is a go,

In their younger days. 1974

when they were young and wild and free.

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

 Seven years after a daring bank robbery involving an anti-tank gun used to blow open a vault, the robbery team temporarily puts aside their mutual suspicions to repeat the crime after they are unable to find the loot from the original heist, hidden behind a school chalkboard. The hardened artilleryman and his flippant, irresponsible young sidekick are the two wild cards in the deck of jokers

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot... if you want to watch a Jeff Bridges Clint Eastwood buddy movie with George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis... and those two died in the last two years, and who knows how much longer Clint or Jeff have... they are OLD (Clint 87, Jeff 68)

old Jags are curvy beasts