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Tags » ‘history’

the Spitfire

January 16th, 2018 by admin

The design looked like a winner, reinforced by the maiden flight of the prototype on March, 5, 1936, by test pilot Mutt Summers. ‘I don’t want anything touched,’ he declared once he had landed.

The English government, deeply concerned about the pace of Nazi rearmament, was delighted with the early trials and placed an initial order for 310 Spitfires.

By June 1937, the contract had run into severe difficulties. For all its technical expertise, Supermarine was a relatively small company without the facilities for mass production.

Much of the work therefore had to be farmed out to subcontractors, many of which had little experience in aero engineering. One firm put no fewer than 15,000 queries through to Supermarine in 18 months.

The delays over the delivery forced the resignation of the Air Secretary, Lord Swinton in early 1938.
His successor ordered the creation of a vast Spitfire factory at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham.

Warehouses, rolling mills, bus depots, car showrooms, a steamroller works, a strawberry basket factory and a stately home were all commandeered for this purpose.

However, gross mismanagement and a recalcitrant workforce resulted in zero planes completed in the next two years.

Captain George Eyston’s record-breaking car Speed of the Wind in London,1935. Back when land speed record cars, were still cars, and could be driven on the roads and streets, not airplanes, or rockets, without wings.

December 28th, 2017 by admin

Cozette, a name from a character in Les Miserables, I love that name. Cozette Superchargers, I’ve never heard of them.

Between 1926 and 1954, Captain George Edward Thomas Eyston MC OBE broke dozens of speed records at Brooklands, Montlhery, Pendine Sands, and Bonneville, in cars ranging in size from 750cc M.G.’s to the 5,000 b.h.p. Thunderbolt.

Eyston broke the world land speed record three times between 1937 and 1939. On August 27, 1937, he broke his own automobile land speed record, of 311.42 mph at Bonneville in November 1936, raising the mark to 345.49 mph.

In September 1938, Eyston raised the land speed record to 357.5 mph.

In a lecture he delivered that month, Eyston described his built-for-speed Thunderbolt as having two 2,300-horsepower Rolls Royce motors geared together; the vehicle measured 35 feet long and weighed nearly 7 tons.

The engines were a pair of Rolls-Royce R-type V-12 aero engines, as previously used singly in Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird of 1933. In fact, one of Eyston’s spare engines for the record attempts was on loan from Campbell.

There were so few of these engines built (around 20) that many of them had illustrious careers over several different records. One of the Thunderbolt’s had already powered the Schneider Trophy winner.

He will be remembered as among the most versatile and successful racing men of them all. In spite of a very busy life, George Eyston was the perfect gentleman, well-dressed, softly spoken and modest.

For relaxation, he was a sailor of Olympic class, an accomplished deep-sea angler, a distinguished oarsman, and a pilot.

He was not only a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur but he was awarded the OBE in 1948 and he was a Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

After giving up active high-speed work Eyston master-minded record bids for MG at Utah until 1959. His last drive in anger had been in 1952, when he averaged nearly 121 m.p.h. for 12 hours in the unblown 1 1/2-litre MG EX179 – at the age of 57. Not only was Eyston responsible for much of the engineering that went into MG and other record-cars, including his own creations, but before that he had been Engineering Consultant to Chrysler, in the evolution of the “Super-Power” streamlined sports saloon, for instance.

He had been a pioneer in the diesel-engine record-car field, first with the ‘bus-engined AEC, with Chrysler chassis, from which stemmed his special “Speed of the Wind” and “Flying Spray” exploits, using Ricardo-diesel and Rolls-Royce aero-engines. In many of his record bids little Bert Denly was Eyston’s co-driver and off-duty they would go fishing together.

Read the rest here:
Captain George Eyston’s record-breaking car Speed of the Wind in London,1935. Back when land speed record cars, were still cars, and could be driven on the roads and streets, not airplanes, or rockets, without wings.

at least five B-25s crashed into Lake Murray, South Carolina, three were immediately salvaged, and at least one remained abandoned at the bottom of Lake Murray until 2005

December 27th, 2017 by admin

After the Doolittle Raiders group went off to California for the mission to Japan, other pilots continued to train over Lake Murray for practice bombing runs on Doolittle Island.

Records indicate that at least five B-25s crashed into the lake, three were immediately salvaged, and on April 4, 1943, a B-25 was on a skip-bombing mission over the lake’s island targets when:

Second Lieut. William Fallon had engines “pulled” on him many times as part of his rigorous flight training. The U.S. Army Air Corps went to great lengths preparing their pilots to fly the multi-engine aircraft that made up the wartime inventory. The training consisted of simulated engine failure immediately after take-off, on short final to landing and in cruise flight at comfortable altitudes. On Sunday, April 4th, 1943, this training would pay off for Lt. Fallon and his four crewmates as they practiced low-level bombing runs over Lake Murray, South Carolina.

Earlier in the morning the crew departed nearby Columbia Army Air Base and proceeded 12 miles northwest to the big man-made lake which had become a designated training area for flight crews all around the southeast region. The locals were accustomed to hearing the low-pitched rumble of the Cylones and Wasps growling about the lake. They never tired or complained of seeing them and actually enjoyed watching them as they soared and wheeled.

Lexington resident Bryce Lever and a friend were fishing from the bank of the lake that morning at the same time that the late Mrs. Katherine Townsend Tapp was walking along the shore with a friend. That’s when things began to get exciting for Lt. Fallon. Around 10:45 that morning, the crew had just finished a bombing run when the left engine of their B-25 began to fail. Unable to determine the cause he quickly ordered his co-pilot to “feather number one” while bringing the power up on number two. As he concentrated on flying the airplane, his instincts already had him slowly turning the now crippled bomber southeast towards the air base. Due to their low altitude and inability to climb he quickly consulted with his co-pilot and his bombardier as to what their best course of action should be.

The bombardier, Second Lt. Henry Mascall, convinced Fallon that a water landing was the best thing to do since loosing the good right engine at that low altitude could mean real trouble. Fallon concurred and with very little time ordered the crew to prepare as he pointed the nose of the ship into the last known wind direction. Both he and his co-pilot stood on the right rudder to counter the yaw from the healthy right engine but the big Mitchell was slowly descending, even with full power on the right side. The altimeter eased down as Fallon kept wings level until they were just feet above the surface. Back – pressure on the yoke raised the nose into a tail-down flair for landing position-just as he would on dry land. As the aft fuselage began to skip across the water, the ensuing drag suddenly pitched the nose of the bomber down, smashing into the surface.

Several plexiglass panels in the nose burst from the impact with the lake water. At the same time the right propeller struck the water with all of its torque, causing the motor to rip away from the mount and skip across the water. The aircraft quickly came to a halt and bobbed around while Mascall released the life raft. All crewmembers were safe and exited the aircraft out onto the wing where they clambered aboard the raft and paddled away.

The same day, another B-25 had ditched in the lake with all crewmembers safely rescued as well. Since it went down in only 50 feet of water it was later salvaged, but the Army quickly determined that Fallon’s ship was too far down and abandoned any salvage efforts. Soon, the war would be over, Columbia Army Air Base was turned over to Lexington County to serve as a civilian airfield and B-25C serial number 41-12634 settled in for a sixty-year long nap nestled safely in the dark, cold bosom of Lake Murray.

Greenville resident Dr. Bob Seigler had researched the plane since 1989. In 1992, he was working with the US Naval Reserve Sonar Unit when they located the exact position. With help from his

there is a covered wagon in Texas that has made the news papers a couple of times, the first time was in 1955, the second was more recent, when someone sent me a newspaper clipping, maybe in 2013

December 13th, 2017 by admin

May 16, 1955 The Eagle, Bryan, Texas

80 -Year Old Woman Wants To Repeat Wagon Venture

SHERMAN. Tex. — Her daughter paid a man 30 cents to teach her to harness a horse. The horse bit him. That’s why Ma Weaver paid the 30 cents. Then Ma and her two daughters were off by covered wagon for Denver, Colo. Today, 21 years later, that covered wagon is a permanent fixture in the side yard of her home at 322 N. Burdette St.

Mrs. Birdie Weaver, Ma to all who know her, has only one regret these days. She can’t find anyone to repeat the trip with her. She’s 80. “I’d buy a new wagon,” she dreams. The original has rotted to much for such a journey. “It’s the only way to travel. Automobiles is awful. Just perfectly awful. I wouldn’t go anywhere in a car.”

The trip started from here in October, 1934. Mother, Betty and Beatrice arrived in Denver six months later, spent a year and returned the same way. The younger women were in their 20s. Beatrice now is Mrs. R. D. Spangler. Why did they make the trip? “Just for the fun of it,” says Ma Weaver with finality. It was no typical prairie schooner which made the voyage. Instead of canvas, the covering was of sheet metal. Coops I underneath carried their chickens. Winnie the milk cow tagged along behind wearing special shoes designed by the Weavers.

Grandma drove this GT 350 “until ’77, when it got kind of run down. She stuck it in the garage and said ‘I’ll work on it later.’ 28 years later: ‘You know that car that Grandma has in the garage?’ and the grandson’s like, ‘Oh, the one with all the cardboard boxes and carpet on it?’” That’s when the GT350 got a 2nd life and sympathetic exterior restoration

October 4th, 2017 by admin

A father and son headed to Los Angeles to watch cars like theirs in action.

Never forget.

September 11th, 2017 by admin

Go here to see the original: 
Never forget.

John Fitch, far more than just a race car driver, and more than a racing team director. Not only did he date JFK’s sister, he was manager of Lime Rock, inventor of the sand barrel safety barrier saving over 17,000 lives, and a WW2 fighter pilot in the P51 Mustang

August 6th, 2017 by admin

To think of him only on terms of a Gran Prix race car driver is to miss the majority of his astonishing life.

But learn from that. To think of most people in terms of just one thing, is to miss the big picture of their lives, and odds are you’ll have missed the better parts.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1917. He was a descendent of the inventor of the steamboat, John Fitch. Fitch’s stepfather was an executive with the Stutz Motor Company, which introduced him to cars and racing at an early age.

When WW2 broke out, he volunteered in spring of 1941, for the United States Army Air Corps. His service took him to North Africa, where he flew the A-20 Havoc and then on to England. By 1944, Captain Fitch was a P-51 Mustang pilot with the Fourth Fighter Group on bomber escort missions, and became one of the Americans to shoot down a German Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

When Fitch returned to the U.S., he was among many young pilots who’d developed the need for speed during the conflict. He became part of the Palm Springs set, hanging out with Joe Kennedy’s sons including Jack and Bobby, and dating his daughter. But he was increasingly interested in racing and by the 1950s had started to devote more and more time to the sport.

Fitch opened an MG car dealership and also began racing at

On Christmas Day, December 25, 1830, the Best Friend of Charleston became the first regularly scheduled steam locomotive passenger train in the United States.

August 5th, 2017 by admin

The locomotive made its initial run on the first six miles of track of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company. Chartered in 1827, the same year that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was incorporated, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company steamed out of Charleston. The new line was designed to make Charleston competitive with Savannah, Georgia, for the cotton trade.

Over the next three years the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company became, for a time, the world’s longest railway line. The company was a predecessor of J. P. Morgan’s Southern Railway Company, which grew out of the realignment of southern railways following the Civil War.

This “Best Friend” was built in the late 1920’s for the centennial of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company.

According to a report in the City Gazette, November 22, 1821 issue, a railroad was suggested to run from Charleston to Hamburg and a branch on to Columbia. Horatio Allen (1802-1890) was the chief engineer for The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company from 1829 – 1835. (This line is now a part of the Southern Railway System.) On December 19, 1827, The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company was chartered. Work began, January 9, 1830, on the line to Branchville, SC which was 62 miles from Charleston and it was opened in November, 1832. The line to Hamburg (adjacent to Augusta, GA) was opened on October 1, 1833. The line was now the longest continuous railroad in the world, 136 miles in length, and first to carry the US mail. (Derrick 1930, 10) This route took passengers on the 11 ½ hour trip with 7 stops for $6.75 one way. (Edgar 1998, 283)

The “Best Friend” had a brief, but historic, life. It was completed and put into regular service on December 25, 1830. On June 17, 1831, three men were injured in an explosion. A tied down safety valve due to the noise of the steam escaping, caused the boiler to blow up. Parts of the “Best Friend” were used in construction of the “Phoenix.” The “Best Friend” having been designed by C.E. Detmold, chief engineer was Horatio Allen, who early on advocated steam power locomotion and Nicholas W. Darrell became the first railway engineer. Nicholas W. Darrell died in 1869 after running engines for many years and having the distinction of being the first man to open the throttle on the “Best Friend.” The “Best Friend of Charleston” was modeled after its forerunner “Best Friend” and was known as the first locomotive built in the United States and used in service of transportation. (Southern Railway System, 1)

The “Stourbridge Lion,” in 1829 was the first locomotive to run on tracks in America.

Bessie Stringfield, finally getting some long overdue praise, in a great little illustrated book

August 2nd, 2017 by admin

The last of the Horse Drawn Carriages

July 30th, 2017 by admin

Just before the last of these horsecars was banished from the streets of New York City, a photographer snapped this photo of one of the last