Monthly Archives: June 2015

LiquiGlide slides into customer space

LiquiGlide slides into customer space
Seeking back, Varanasi attributes a lot of LiquiGlide&#39s achievement to MIT&#39s innovation-based ecosystem, which promotes fast prototyping for the marketplace through experimentation and collaboration. This ecosystem includes the Deshpande Center for …
Read a lot more on MIT News

7 Ways 3D Printing Is Already Disrupting Worldwide Manufacturing
Accurate Rapid Prototyping. 3D printing has been used for nearly 20 years to produce physical replicas of new portion or solution designs. Frequently referred to as speedy prototyping, this procedure has usually been something but speedy, with service providers often …
Read far more on Forbes

Sigma Labs and Arete Revolutionary Options Announce Joint Venture Company
The joint venture will offer a full suite of services from style via prototyping and manufacturing of high precision metal components. &quotThis is an exciting improvement for Sigma Labs which I think will accelerate the Business&#39s development prospects …
Study far more on CNNMoney

(Post from China rapid prototyping blog)

Nice Prototype Maker China photos

Check out these prototype maker china images:

Oh the joys of the open road!
prototype maker china

Image by brizzle born and bred
Timeline of motoring history 1940 – 2008

1940
Car production in Britain is put on hold as most factories go over to munitions production.

The German Luftwaffe destroys the centre of Coventry.

Oldsmobile and Cadillac offer the first fully automatic transmission.

Enzo Ferrari leaves Alfa Romeo to establish Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari.

In Japan, Toyo Kogyo produces its first passenger car.

1941
Lord Austin dies aged 74

Louis Chevrolet dies aged 63. He is buried at Indianapolis, scene of his greatest racing victories.

Packard are the first car manufacturer to offer air conditioning.

Chrysler introduces the Fluid Drive transmission, a manual transmission with a fluid coupling instead of a clutch.

1943
American passenger car production falls to just 139 vehicles as war production requirements take over.

1944
Volvo focus on occupant safety with the introduction of a safety cage.

Louis Renault is arrested and imprisoned for collaborating with the Germans. He dies at Fresnes prison in ‘suspicious circumstances’.

Enzo Ferrari’s Maranello workshops are bombed and destroyed.

1945
2nd World War in Europe ends with Germany’s unconditional surrender to the allies on May 7th.

In receivership since 1939, Triumph is acquired by Standard.

Petrol rationing in Britain continues.

Henry Ford resigns as president of The Ford Motor Company, handing over to his grandson, Henry Ford 11.

French President Charles de Gaulle nationalizes Renault and the company’s name is changed to Regié Nationale des Usines Renault.

The newly elected Socialist government ‘encourages’ manufacturers to export half their output. To counteract the consequential development of an illicit black-market car buyers are required to sign a covenant preventing the sale of new cars for one year.

1946

Newly designed post-war models are launched by British car makers Triumph, Armstrong-Siddeley, Jowett and Bentley as the British Motor Industry celebrates its fiftieth birthday.

Petrol ration for British motorists is increased by 50 per cent.

Ford of Britain produce their millionth car, an 8hp Anglia.

Michelin patent the Radial-ply tyre.

In light of negative wartime connotations William Lyons changes the name of SS Cars Ltd. to Jaguar Cars Ltd and begins to focus on export markets.

Enzo Ferrari rebuilds his bombed workshops and begins work on the development and production of the Ferrari 125 Sport. The first Ferrari hits the road!

1947
Packard offers power seats and windows across their range.

Ettore Bugatti dies in Paris aged 66.

The American car industry celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

Henry Ford dies at the age of 84.

BMW engine and car designs are ‘acquired’ by Bristol and Frazer-Nash as ‘war reparations’.

David Brown, already successful in the British engineering industry, sees an advertisement in The Times offering ‘A high-class motor business, established 25 years’ and pays £20.000 to buy Aston Martin. He has already purchased Lagonda, having owned a Lagonda Rapide himself in the past.

A new name, Standard-Vanguard, is introduced to the British public

Instead of taxing cars based on the 1906 RAC horsepower formula a flat- rate system is introduced.

Enzo Ferrari’s 125 Sport wins its first race. The first of many Ferrari victories.

1948
The first motor show since the end of the war takes place at Earls Court.

Morris introduce the Minor family car, designed by Alec Issigonis.

Jaguar Cars Ltd. announces the XK120 sports car featuring low, streamlined body, an outstanding twin overhead cam 6 cylinder engine and a top speed of 120mph. Alongside it the elegant MK 5 saloon (sedan) replaces the pre-war model known by enthusiasts, though not the company, as the MK 4.

Citoen introduce the 2CV, reputedly designed to accommodate gentlemen still wearing their hats and to drive across a ploughed field without breaking a cargo of eggs!

The American motor industry builds its 100,000,000th car.

Ferdinand Porsche launches the Porsche marque by introducing the 356/2 as a no-frills sports car re-working of his war-time Volkswagen project.

Developed along the well proven lines of the Willys Jeep, Rover introduce the 4 wheel drive Land Rover.

Buick offer the Dynaflow fully automatic gearbox. This is essentially the automatic gearbox as we know it today,

1949
Michelin ‘X’ radial-ply tyres go on sale for the first time.

1950
British government ends petrol rationing but doubles fuel tax.

The new car covenant, introduced to prevent a black market in new cars is extended from one to two years ownership.

The UK’s former double purchase tax on luxury cars is halved.

Ford wins back its second place in the US sales league from Chrysler.

Automatic transmission becomes available on lower priced Chevrolet models.

Goodyear offers self-repairing tyres (tires).

60% of American families now own a car.

6,657,000 cars are sold in the USA.

Rover demonstrates the JET 1 the world’s first gas turbine powered car.

Ford engineer Earle S MacPherson designs the MacPherson Strut, a combination of spring, shock absorber and stub-axle which simplifies design and production and reduces costs.

Ford UK introduces Consul and Zephyr models.

In the USA, automatic gearboxes become more readily available – Chevrolet offer the Powerglide, Ford the Fordomatic and Merc-O-Matic.

Nash feature seatbelts in the Rambler. The promoted benefits are that they ‘overcome the problems caused when sleeping passengers fall out of their seats’!

1951
Porsche enters a 356 SL in the Le Mans 24-Hours and wins the 1100cc class·

Ferdinand Porsche dies aged 75.

Lotus Engineering Co founded by aeronautical engineer and competitive sports car driver Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.

100mph performance becomes available at realistic prices as Triumph announces the TR and the Healey introduces their 100/4 sports cars.

Chrysler offer power steering and the M-6 Torque-Converter Automatic. They also spark a horsepower race with the 180 horsepower, 331 cubic-inch Firepower Hemi V-8 engine.

Kaiser introduces new safety features, a pop-out windshield and a padded dashboard top.

Jaguar introduces the prototype C-Type race-car, aimed at winning Le Mans.

1952
In the USA, sales of cars with automatic transmissions exceed 2 million.

Crosley ceases production.

Rival manufacturers Nuffield organisation (Morris) and Austin comes to an end with their amalgamation into the British Motor Corporation (BMC) with Lord Nuffield in the driving seat.

Mercedes shows the spectacular 300SL ‘gull wing’ sports coupe.

Packard offer power brakes.

The newly developed disk braking system, now available from Dunlop, is fitted to Jaguar’s C Types, enabling them to achieve 1st, 2nd and 4th places at Le Mans.

1953
As wartime austerity begins to fade in the United Kingdom, the availability of higher octane fuels allows higher compression ratios and improvements in engine performance.

Singer announces the SMX Roadster, Britain’s first plastic-bodied production car. Only 12 are made before the project is abandoned.

Britain’s New Car Covenant Purchase Scheme, originally introduced to prevent new cars being sold-on at a premium, is abolished.

General Motors Launch the Corvette, a radical glass-fibre-bodied roadster concept car featuring a wrap-around windshield and powered by a venerable straight six engine. Production is limited.

Porsche introduces the 550 ‘Spyder’ race-car with a triangulated tubular steel chassis, aluminium bodywork and a VW-based 4 cylinder ‘boxer’ engins. 550 Spyders dominate the 1500cc class at Le Mans and then the same class in the Pan Americana, Mexican road race.

1954
The 50 millionth General Motors car rolls off the production line.

All Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac models feature wrap-around Panoramic windshields.

Ford introduces overhead valves on its V8 engines in Ford and Mercury models.

Nash merges with Hudson to form the American Motors Corporation.

Studebaker merges with Packard.

GM reveals the 370 horsepower turbine-powered Firebird I concept car.

The two seat Ford Thunderbird roadster is announced.

Lanchester offer the Sprite with automatic transmission, still a rarity in Europe.

Having re-established production of the ‘Beetle’ with much help from British Army personnel, Volkswagen start to focus on generating export sales.

Tubeless tyres (tires) are now offered on all new American cars.

Jaguar Cars replace the XK120 with the XK 140, featuring a 190 horsepower engine, mechanical refinements and chrome trim. The new Jaguar D Type race-car is introduced at Le Mans without success.

1955
The revolutionary Citroen DS19 is introduced with a futuristic aerodynamic body, self-levelling hydropneumatic suspension, power steering and braking and automatic jacks.

McDonald’s opens its first drive-thru hamburger bar.

Chrysler launches ‘Imperial’ as a separates brand.

Kaiser goes out of business.

American car sales hit a record 7,915,000. Jaguar launch the MK 1 Family sports saloon (sedan) to broaden their market appeal. They also win at Le Mans with a much improved D-type.

1956
Fuel supplies are seriously limited by the Suez crisis, resulting in rationing in Britain and other European countries and an upsurge of interest in economical micro-cars for personal transportation.

U.S. car stylists begin to adopt tail fins and rocket-shaped tail lamps as science fiction and space rockets enter the American consciousness.

The Ford Foundation offers over ten million Ford Motor Company shares for sale to the public.

BMC commissions Pininfarina to styles its new models.

Lanchester comes to the end of the road as Daimler discontinues production.

Ford of America offers seat belts to a disinterested public.

The "McKenna Duties" on luxury imports are finally abolished.

Jaguar D Type wins the Le Mans 24 Hours for a second successive year.

The Porsche 550A Spyder, a modified version of its predecessor, wins the Targa Florio road race on its debut, beating much more powerful competitors. It goes on to ‘wipe the floor’ at virtually every appearance.

1957
The Lotus Elite (Type 14) is announced, featuring a revolutionary glassfibre monocoque construction.

Ford Motor Company introduces the Continental Mark II, priced at almost ,000.

The three millionth Mercury comes off Ford’s production line.

Packard and Chrysler offer pushbutton automatic transmissions.

Packard offers power door locks.

Chrysler offers an in-car record player.

80% of all new cars sold in America have a V-8 engine.

The American Congress approves construction of the 41,000 mile Interstate highway system.

The Nash and Hudson marques are discontinued by parent company AMC.

A new Fiat 500 is introduced featuring a rear-mounted vertical twin-cylinder air cooled engine.

Chrysler produce their ten millionth Plymouth.

The new Ford Skyliner features a retractable hardtop, a ‘first’ for a production car.

Ford introduces the Ranchero pickup.

Chevrolet, Pontiac and Rambler adopt fuel injection.

66% of all cars purchased in the USA are bought on extended finance.

Jaguar introduce the XK 150 and a D Type wins the Le Mans 24 Hours for a third successive year.

1958
Work starts on the Ml ‘London to Birmingham’ Motorway, the UK’s first.

Roads around London are governed by a new 40mph speed limit.

To celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the Model T, Ford re-assembles a 1909 example.

Ford produce their fifty millionth car.

The revolutionary glassfibre Lotus Elite (Type 14) enters production. With all-round independent suspension and a 1,216 cc overhead cam Coventry Climax engine it has spectacular handling and is capable of 118mph! In spite of its success as a racecar Lotus will loose money on every one built.

With controversial styling and sophisticated features, the Ford Edsel is launched to a luke-warm reception.

Chrysler builds its twenty five millionth vehicle.

Packard production comes to an end.

The Austin-Healy ‘Frogeye’ Sprite is introduced.

The new chairman of BMC is Sir Leonard Lord.

A record one million cars are produced in Britain.

Toyotas and Datsuns are imported to the United States for the first time.

The Ford Thunderbird becomes a four-seater ‘personal luxury’ car.

American car sales drop by 31% due to an economic recession.

C F Kettering, inventor of the electric starter and Ethyl-Leaded Gasoline dies aged 82.

Porsche introduce the "RSK" Spyder, or Type 718 which continues to win class and outright honours in the hands of such drivers as Dan Gurney, Wolfgang von Trips and Jo Bonnier.

A fascination with the impending space-age inspires Cadillac to begin giving its new models fins and rocket-shaped taillights.

1959
UK Government reduces Purchase Tax on new cars from 60 to 50 per cent.

Triumph introduce the Michelotti styled Herald, featuring all round independent suspension.

Lea Francis go out of business.

NSU announce that they will build Wankel rotary engined cars.

Dutch manufacturer DAF begins car production, using the Variomatic belt-drive automatic transmission.

The M1, Britain’s first motorway is opened by The Right Honourable Ernest Marples, minister of Transport.

British Motor Corporation introduces the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Se7en variants, built on separate production lines at Cowley, Oxford and Longbridge, Birmingam to a revolutionary compact design by Alec Issigonis. Whichever brand of ‘Mini’, it features a rubber-cone suspension system and a gearbox built into the engine, beneath the crankshaft. Perhaps the Mini’s most significant contribution to the packaging efficiency of modern front-wheel-drive cars is its transversely mounted engine.

Jaguar launches the MK II family sports saloon (sedan) to great acclaim.

The Ford Anglia arrives. It is a small family car with conventional mechanical layout. Its unusual feature is a reverse-slope rear window, which ensures good headroom for rear-seat passengers.

Studebaker introduces the Lark, a compact car intended to compete with European imports.

An Aston-Martin DBR 1, driven by Caroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori wins the Le Mans 24 hours.

1960
Eighty percent of United Stated families own at least one car.

The UK Daimler Company becomes part of Jaguar Cars.

The Japanese car industry manufactures 200,000 cars.

The Ford Anglia l05E is introduced with a four speed gearbox and a raked back rear window.

OPEC (The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is formed to give the oil producing countries more power over crude oil prices.

The millionth Morris Minor leaves the production line, one of a series of 350 painted in a celebratory shade of lilac with white leather upholstery.

Jaguar Cars Limited buys Daimler and begins to offer ‘badge engineered’ Jaguars.

1961
The Cortina Mk I is introduced by Ford of Britain.

BMC introduce the Morris I IOO featuring a revolutionary ‘Hydrolastic’ suspension system.

The ‘MOT’ test is introduced by Ernest Marples, requiring that all cars over 10 years old are subjected to an annual test.

BMC chief, Sir Leonard Lord becomes Lord Lambury.

Commercial vehicle producers Leyland Motors acquire Standard Triumph and AEC.

Porsche introduce the W-RS Spyder race-car with its well-proven flat four power unit.

1962
Chevrolet introduce the Nova, a compact car with plain styling and 4 or 6 cylinder engines, designed to offer economical family motoring.

Ford UK introduces the Consul Cortina, an attractive medium-sized family saloon, powered by an 1198cc OHV engine. (The ‘Consul’ is dropped very quickly). Though launched as a two-door, a four-door body becomes available within a few months.

The W-RS Spyder, now powered by a 2.0-litre flat-eight engine, continues to build Porsche’s racing prowess by winning everything in sight.

1963
The Leyland Motor Corporation formed under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Spurrier.

Ford’s Cortina DeLuxe is now available with a 1498cc engine and also as high-performance Lotus model featuring a twin-cam engine and major suspension modifications.

Lord Nuffield dies aged 86.

The Hillman Imp is unveiled to compete with the BMC Mini. It features a light-alloy 4 cylinder, 875cc slant-4 engine, originally developed by Coventry Climax to power fire pumps. Manufactured at Linwood, a new Scottish production plant, this is the first car since the 1931 Arrol Johnston, to be made in Scotland.

NSU announce the Spyder their first car to use a Wankel engine.

Rover introduces the 2000 P6 saloon which wins them the European Car of the Year Award.

In Italy Feruccio Lamborghini Automobili founded in Sant’Agata near Bologna. The debut of the prototype 350 GTV takes place at the Turin Motor Show.

Porsche’s W-RS Spyder continues its winning ways at Le Mans and the Nurburgring.

1964
Triumph launches the 2000 family saloon.

The Ford Mustang is ‘released’ to great acclaim and achieves sales of more than 500,000 in its firs 18 months.

Following many years of crippling strikes at its British Light Steel Pressings Ltd factory, the Rootes Group sells a controlling interest to Chrysler.

Despite continuing disinterest, front seat belts supplied as standard in all American cars.

Having resigned his position after just 4 months in charge of The Leyland Motor Corporation Sir Henry Spurrier dies.

Porsche’s W-RS Spyder wins further season championships in the hands of Edgar Barth, before final retirement.

1965
BMC’s intended merger with the Pressed Steel Company is subjected to a report by the Monopolies Commission.

The British government introduces a 70 mph maximum speed "as a four month experiment" which is still with us today.

An automatic transmission, specially designed by AP is available to Mini buyers.

Rolls Royce’s launch Silver Shadow its first unit constructed car.

Ralph Nader publishes his book ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’ exposing safety standards severely compromised by USA manufacturers’ cost constraints. The rear-engined Chevrolet Corvair receives Nader’s particular attention.

1966
Jensen FF sports coupe is launched, featuring Fergusson’s four wheel drive system, Italian styling, a powerful V8 engine and anti-lock brakes.

British Motor Holdings is created by merging The Jaguar Group (Jaguar, Daimler, Guy, Coventry Climax, Henry Meadows) with BMC.

Ford UK update the Cortina with smoother, but boxier styling.

Largely as a result of Ralph Nader’s expose of the American Motor industry the U.S. Congress passes a rigorous auto safety act. Rear seat belts now supplied as standard equipment in all cars sold in the USA.

Peugeot and Renault agree to establish a partnership organisation, La Francaise de Mecanique, to manufacture common mechanical parts.

Sir William Lyons retires as the Managing Director, becoming Chairman and Chief Executive as Jaguar Cars Limited and the British Motor Corporation Limited announce the merger of the two companies.

1967
Panhard, France’s oldest car maker is disolved by its owners Citroen.

NSU produce the first series production passenger car to be powered by a Wankel engine, the Ro80.

Rover and Alvis are absorbed into the Leyland Motor Corporation.

Ford UK introduce the crossflow engine to their product range in 1300cc and 1600cc capacities.

Ford UK and Ford of Europe start to co ordinate development and production programmes to increase commonality of design and component use.

1968
Ford introduces the Escort range, including a high performance ‘twin-cam’ engined version.

The largest car company in British history is formed as British Motor Holdings merges with Leyland Motors to create British Leyland Motor Corporation.

Rover offers the Buick-based V8 in the P6 body-shell to create the 3005, later re-named the 3500.

As bitter strikes cripple industry Renault lose production of I000,000 vehicles.

Volkswagen introduces the 411 or ‘Variant’. Based on an extended ‘Beetle’ floor-pan it features a contemporary body-style and 2 or 4 doors. An estate (station wagon) version is also available.

Citroen buys Maserati, primarily, to take advantage of its engine know-how. Their forthcoming SM coupé will be powered by a Maserati V6 engine.

David Brown is knighted.

1969
Volkswagcn take over Audi.

Jaguar launches the XJ6.

The new British Leyland organisation introduces the Austin Maxi. Sir Alex Issigonis’s last project, in spite of its outstanding practicality, its boxy styling, sparse interior, lack of power and ‘notchy’ five-speed gearbox attracts criticism.

Renault and Peugeot start production of common components as a result of their 1966 agreement, at Douvrin, near Lens in Northern France.

Enzo Ferrari sells 50% of Ferrari’s share capital to Fiat.

1970
Land Rover launches an entirely new concept. The Range Rover is a luxury off-road car and, as an immediate sales success it points the way for rivals, laying the foundation for a whole new market sector.

Citroen launches two new aerodynamic models, the GS family car and the Masserati-powered SM sports saloon.

Italian styling house Ghia of Turin is acquired from Alessandro de Tomaso by Ford.

Mercedes build the C III experimental car to act as a test-bed for future road-car developments. Featuring dramatic aerodynamic styling and powered by a triple rotor Wankel engine developing 280bhp, it achieved a top speed of 160mph.

Japan’s monthly production output of 200,000 cars, makes it the world’s second biggest motor manufacturer.

Volkswagen reveals the K70, their first water cooled model.

Kjell Qvale, Norwegan born head of the ‘British Motor Car Distributors’ in San Francisco, takes over Jensen Motors.

The Chrysler 160/l80 range is launched at the Paris Salon.

The General Motors’ ‘family’ come together from all parts of the globe, under the leadership of Opel, Germany, to begin a project which will result in a ‘World Car’ to rival the success of the VW beetle. For Opel it will result in the Kadette C, small family car. Internationally it becomes known as GM’s ‘T Car’.

1971
Jensen ceases production of the four-wheel-drive ‘FF’ sports-car, but continues with the two-wheel drive ‘Interceptor’ version.

Morris Minor production finally comes to an end.

Peugeot and Renault join forces with Volvo to form a new joint-venture organisation. PRV will design and produce V-engines at their Douvrin production plant.

Mercedes preview the C111-2 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Once again a test-bed vehicle it features a four-rotor Wankel engine rated at 350 bhp which took the car to 180mph.

Aston Martin’s financial performance causes difficulties, prompting the David Brown Group to sell to financiers. The DBS stays in production.

Jaguar reveals their VI2 production engine, making it available in an enlarged E-type as well as XJ6 and Daimler sedans. This makes them one of only a handful of manufacturers who have ever offered this configuration on a production basis.

Maserati introduce the Bora.

1972
A record l,900,000 cars produced by British motor industry in this year.

The success of Japanese cars becomes evident when Datsun becomes the second biggest importer of cars into Britain.

Maserati introduces the Merak.

Lotus Esprit mid-engined concept car shown on Giorgio Giugiario’s Ital Design stand at the Turin Motor Show.

Sir William Lyons retires as chairman of Jaguar, exactly 50 years after forming the company. Labour relations and production quality problems beset the whole British Leyland organisation, of which Daimler-Jaguar is a significant part.

1973
The Arab-Israeli War causes fuel supply problems and steep rises in pump prices for motorists throughout the world and the realisation that oil is a finite resource. The OPEC organisation becomes more powerful. In Britain motorists queue for petrol and speeds are restricted to 50mph to conserve national stocks and consumption.

Ford opens Bordeaux plant to manufacture automatic transmissions.

Volksvagen ‘Beetle’ production beats the Model T’s record.

Chevrolet offers airbags in some models as a reaction to a rise in fatal car accidents in the USA.

Alfa Romeo introduce the Alfasud, a small family car featuring front wheel drive, a flat-four ‘boxer’ engine, nimble handling and a bonded-in windscreen. The car is made in a new purpose built plant near Naples in Southern Italy – ‘sud’ being Italian for South.

The Bertone-styled Maserati Khamsin is launched into a tough sales environment.

The first fruits of the GM ‘T Car’ project appear in Brasil, with the launch of the Chevrolet Chevette and in Germany with the Opel Kadett C. Although superficially different all T Cars share the same mechanical configuration and many significant components.

1974
E. L. Cord dies

Gabriel Voisin, aeronautical pioneer, industrialist and car manufacturer dies.

The last of 11,916,519 VW ‘Beetles’ to be built at Wolfsburg, leaves the production line.
The VW Golf, a completely new water-cooled, front wheel drive model becomes and instant sales success and Karmann start production of the Scirocco sports coupe version. Both cars styled by Georgetto Guigaro.

Peugeot takes over Citroen to form PSA.

Plans for the Chevrolet Vega to be powered by the repeatedly delayed outcome of General Motors’ Wankel rotary engine project are abandoned and production continues with an alloy block/iron head 4 cylinder unit.

As a result of the previous year’s the fuel crisis, American sales of large-engined cars have slumped and manufacturers start to look at ways of improving fuel econonmy.

Ford begins research into the Stirling ‘hot air’ engine but having made considerable progress, as fuel prices drop back the urge to take the project all the way to production diminishes.

In spite of one million 127s leaving their production lines Fiat find themselves in deep financial difficulties.

The last E Type Jaguar leaves the Coventry factory.

The Douvrin-built PRV V6 engine appears for the first time in the Volvo 264 and soon after in the Peugeot 504 Coupé and Cabriolet models.

In an attempt to cut fatalities in the United States the maximum speed limit is reduced to 55 mph.

1975
Production of the Ford Escort MK1comes to an end.

Ford introduce the Escort MK2 with a squarer body style.

In America VW launch the Golf as the Rabbit.

Rolls Royce unveil the Camargue with Italian styling by Pininfarina, hand- built on the Silver Shadow floor pan at their Mulliner Park Ward coach-building division. Priced at £29,250, it is the first car in the world to feature completely automatic split-level air conditioning and the first Rolls Royce to be designed in metric dimensions.

Porsche announce the 911 Carrera Turbo.

Chrysler UK, in financial difficulties is propped up by the British Government. The introduction of the French built Alpine brings in vital sales.

Volvo takes a majority shareholding in Holland’s DAF car and truck manufacturer.

The Douvrin-built PRV V6 is introduced in the Peugeot 604 and Renault 30 TS models.

Citroen replaces the DS21 with the CX which is voted European Car of the Year.

British Leyland, struggling against a tide of strikes and a poor reputation gets an injection of £200,000,000 from the UK Government.

Jaguar launch the XJS to replace the E type. Due to stringent American crash regulations earlier plans to include a roadster in the range have been dropped.

Lotus Cars start production of the new mid-engined Esprit and confirm their move up-market with front-engined Eclat.

All American cars now come with catalytic converters in the exhaust system in an effort to cut air polluting emissions.

Citroën pulls out of Maserati, leaving Alejandro De Tomaso and GEPI to come to the rescue a few months later.

VW introduce the Polo, the third of their ‘new generation’ cars.

The UK gets its own version of the GM T-Car, the Vauxhall Chevette. A unique aerodynamic ‘droop-snoot’ front-end, designed by Vauxhall Chief-Stylist, Wayne Cherry complements the neat hatch-back body tub.

Australia launches its version of the ‘T Car’, the Holden Gemini, in 4-door saloon (sedan) and stylish coupé versions.

1976
The Chrysler Alpine voted European Car of the Year.

The Renault Alpine A310 sports-car is launched with a rear mounted PRV ‘Douvrin’ V6 engine.

Ford’s first front drive car, the Fiesta, announced.

The Golf GTi debuts at the Frankfurt International Motor Show establishing a new market sector later known as the ‘Hot Hatch’.

Rover launch the 3500 ‘SD1’ a roomy saloon with Ferrari Daytona inspired styling and the ex-Buick alloy V8 engine.

VW introduce a small diesel engine to the golf range.

Mercedes reveal the C111-3. Where its two predecessors had been powered by Wankel rotary engines, this one has a 5 cylinder turbo-charged/inter-cooled Diesel engine producing 180 bhp. At Nardo test track on June 12th, at an average speed of around 150mph, the C111-3 either establishes or brake a total of 16 world speed and endurance records, some of which pertained regardless of its engine type.the

Vauxhall’s ‘T Car’ Chevette appears in the UK as a 2 or 4 door saloon (sedan).

1977
Michael Edwardes takes over the helm of the British Leyland conglomerate, together with its labour relations, production quality and public perception .

Volkswagen cease production of the ‘Beetle’ in Germany forty years after production began.

Rover’s 3500 ‘SD1’ wins the European Car of the Year award.

Merger plans between Swedish manufacturers Saab and Volvo are abandoned.

Production of the Wankel rotary engined NSU Ro80 comes to an end.

Porsche introduce 924 and 928 models, both featuring front-mounted water-cooled engines and rear transaxles. The 924 is an aborted VW project and thus contains a high percentage of WV parts-bin components, including the engine from the Transporter van. The V8 powered 928 is eventually intended to take over from the 911 and wins the European Car of The Year Award.

1978
The Volvo DAF conglomerate slips into financial difficulties. The Dutch Government comes to the rescue with financial aid.

British Leyland shows substantial signs of recovery in the hands of Michael Edwardes but the company’s future is far from secure.

Toyo Kogyo launch the Mazda RX7, a two-seat sports coupe powered by a Wankel rotary engine.

Ford introduces the Fiesta, their first front-wheel-drive small family car. It is to be made at plants in England, Spain and Germany.

1979
Rolls Royce Motor Company is sold to Vickers for £38m as part of the Rolls-Royce engineering group.

Rover begins collaboration with Honda.

Maserati Bora production comes to an end.

Simca- Matra complete the first model of new and practical concept in personal transportation. Based on a single-box van-like shape but with a car-like interior and comfortable flexible seating for up to seven people, the P17 concept is rejected by Talbot-Simca, prompting Matra to approach Renault and to develop the concept further in prototype P18. The MPV is on its way!

1980
Rear wheel drive Escort Mk2 production comes to an end to make way for the new front-wheel-drive Escort Mk3.

Bitter strikes at British Leyland provoke chairman Sir Michael Edwardes to threaten "Return to work or lose your jobs."

Daimler-Jaguar division of British Leyland gets John Egan as its new Chairman. Egan sets about rebuilding pride in the quality of design and production, lost since British Leyland’s formation.

1981
General Motors announces the launch of the Saturn project in the USA, with the intention of creating a new brand and new products from scratch.

John Z DeLorean, former General Motors high-flyer, launches the DMC-12, his stainless steel gull-wing dream car into a world of recession and high interest rates. Designed by Georgetto Guigaro, engineered by Lotus Cars and powered by the Douvrin PRV V6 engine it appears over-priced against stiff opposition and quality issues compound the problem.

Maserati launch the Biturbo range of coupes, spyders and saloons powered by twin-turbocharged all-alloy V6 engines.

1982
Honda starts production at its first US factory.

Having built 8,563 DMC-12s, the DeLorean Motor Company’s factory in Northern Ireland goes into receivership and after a few months, the British government, DeLorean’s biggest creditor by far, issues orders to shut it down.

Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman dies suddenly aged 54, having grown Lotus into an extraordinarily successful Grand Prix team, a substantial low-volume sports car production specialist and an extremely reputable auto-engineering consultancy.

1983
Lexus is announced as the name of Toyota’s new luxury brand in the USA and Europe, intended to allow them to overcome brand prejudice and compete head to head with the prestige European and American manufacturers.

Maserati end production of the Merak

1984
Japanese manufacturer Toyo Kogyo changes its name to Mazda Motor Corporation.

Renault release the new Espace, the first MPV, designed, developed and built for them by Matra at their assembly plant in Romorontin, near Paris.

1985
Chrysler buys AMC and takes over production of the Jeep range.

Founder of Jaguar, Sir William Lyons, dies as the company sees its reputation for quality and value return.

1986
Volkswagen takes a 51% share in Spanish car makers SEAT.

1987
The Ford Motor Company acquires a 75% shareholding in Aston Martin Lagonda.

1988
The new Lincoln Continental is Ford’s first car with a six-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive.

Fiat acquires additional shares in Ferrari, taking its total shareholding to 90%.

Enzo Ferrari dies in Modena, aged 90.

British Aerospace buys Rover Group.

1989
General Motors takes a 50% stake in Saab of Sweden.

General Motors introduces the Geo brand to market Suzuki, Isuzu, and Toyota models in the USA.

Lexus introduces its first model, the LS400.

Honda announces plans to establish European car production by expanding its existing manufacturing facilities at Swindon UK

Honda starts Civic production at its East Liberty, Ohio plant.

Ford takes over Jaguar Cars, promising to build on the unique identity and brand values of the Jaguar name.

1990
Vickers Rolls Royce and BMW announce a joint venture company to build aero-engines – BMW Rolls-Royce GmbH.

Following Czech government approval, VW establishes a new partnership with Skoda.

1992
The Dodge Viper is released with a steel chassis, a glass-fibre body and a 400 horsepower light-alloy V10 engine.

1993
Maserati is bought outright by Fiat.

With development input from parent company Ford, Jaguar announces a vastly improved XJ6.

Sir David Brown, former owner of Aston-Martin Lagonda, dies aged 89.

Aston Martin introduce the DB7, with sleek, modern bodywork, strong six cylinder engines and Jaguar XJS underpinnings. Produced at a dedicated factory in Bloxham, near Banbury in Oxfordshire, it soon begins to achieve sales levels previously unheard of for any Aston Martin.

1994
BMW buys Rover Cars from British Aerospace.

McLaren Cars, previously successful as Formula 1 racing car constructors, introduce the F1 sports supercar. Designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens it features a BMW V12 engine, a top speed well in excess of 200 mph and a price in excess of £500,000.00.

The Ford Motor Company acquires the outstanding 25% interest Aston Martin Lagonda to gain complete control.

1996
The Museum of Modern Art in New York places an early E-Type roadster on permanent display, only the third car to given this honour.

Jaguar introduces the V8 Powered XK8 as a replacement for the venerable XJS.

1997
Vickers put Rolls-Royce Motor Cars up for sale to the highest bidder.

1998
Ferrari takes control of Maserati, and closes the factory for a complete refit and modernisation.

VW announce the New Beetle. A modern stylised interpretation of the original, it shares its floor-pan and many mechanical components with the front-wheel drive Golf.

Rolls Royce is sold after an acrimonious bidding war between Volkswagen and BMW. The final outcome is that, while VW wins the production plant at Crewe and the Bentley brand name, BMW buys the rights to use the Rolls Royce name and announces its plan to develop a new generation of cars which will be built at its own British factory from 2003.

Chrysler and Daimler Benz merge to form Daimler-Chrysler. Initial indications are that the two businesses will remain autonomous.

1999
Volvo sells its car-making division to Ford Motor Company but continues to manufacture trucks.

Aston Martin becomes part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group joining Jaguar, Lincoln and Volvo, enabling it to call on a pool of expertise, financial and technical resources which would otherwise have been way beyond its reach.

2000
Having invested considerably in the Rover Group and struggled unsuccessfully to make it pay, BMW withdraws and ‘sells’ Rover and MG to The Phoenix Group for a token £1.00. BMW retains the rights to brands Mini, Triumph, Riley and Land Rover, the last of which it then sells to Ford.

2001
Under the ownership of BMW Rolls-Royce move production from Derby to a new, purpose built factory next to the old Grand Prix circuit at Goodwood, West Sussex.

BMW release the ‘NEW MINI’, a modern interpretation of the original Mini built at the former Morris Abingdon plant. Powered by a South-American built, Chrysler-sourced engine, it retains the original’s cheeky appeal and dynamic handling.

In the UK, a new Licence-plate numbering system is introduced.

Jaguar Cars introduce the X Type, based on an extended version of Ford’s European Mondeo floorpan with transverse engine and 4 wheel-drive.

2002
Rolls Royce complete their new factory and commence production of the new Phantom, due for delivery to customers on the 1st January 2003.

Named after the company’s founder Enzo, Ferrari introduce the Enzo supercar. Made of carbonfibre and incorporating much else in the way of Formula 1 technology, its all-alloy, 660 bhp, V12 engine endows the Enzo with a top speed of 217.5 mph.

2003
First customers for Rolls Royce’s New Phantom take delivery on 1st January as promised and world-wide deliveries commence.

Production of the ‘Beetle’ finally comes to an end at VW’s Puebla, plant in Mexico.

Matra’s production-line closes at Romorontin, following commercial failure of Renault’s Avantime and their decision to take Espace production in-house. Matra and its facilities are sold to Italian styling house and niche production specialists Pininfarina SpA, who rename the company Matra Automobile Engineering.

Peter Morgan, son of Morgan founder ‘HFS’ dies aged 84, leaving the business in the safe hands of his son Charles.

Now owned by Volkwagen, Bentley introduces their first all-new design. Based on VW’s large-car platform, the new Continental GT features a contemporary body (styled in-house), 4 wheel drive and an extensively re-engineered version of VW’s 6 litre W12 engine, twin-turbocharged to produce 552bhp.

2004
Car production in the UK reaches its highest level in five years. Britain’s biennial motor show has its last event at the National Exhibition Centre before its move back to London.

More than 40 years after it was launched, the e-type Jaguar has a special exhibition devoted to it at London’s Design Museum.

Production begins on the Aston Martin Volante.

24 year old Russian multimillionaire Nikolas Smolensky purchased Blackpool based TVR for £15 million.

2005
MG Rover -the last "traditional" British mid-sized car manufacturer goes into administration with the key assets finally being purchased by China based Nanjing Automobie Group. Thousands of jobs are lost although there is hope that small scale car manufacturing could return to the same Longbridge plant sometime in the future.

Elsewhere in the Midlands, production begins on the new Aston Martin Vantage.

2006
Honda and the MINI brand continue to help the UK economy as both enjoy increased investment resulting in new jobs. Honda plans to add a further 700 people to its UK workforce, while the world-wide success of the MINI will result in a further 1200 jobs in manufacturing and assorted component industries.

Nissan announce that its new Qashqai car will be built at the company’s Sunderland plant, with the cars being exported across the globe, including Japan. The Qashqai is described as a crossover -effectively a passenger car with a sleek dynamic top half combined with SUV attributes of large pronounced wheel arches and slightly elevated ground clearance. In terms of its size its sits between C-segment hatchbacks and SUVs.

Lotus announces it is to produce a new mid-engined sports car which should be available in about two years time.

The 1½ millionth Honda Civic rolls of the production line at Bridgend.

TVR, the innovative Blackpool based specialist sports car company finally closes its doors after a long battle to remain in production. Owners, enthusiasts and employees meet up for a final celebration in Blackpool.

The British Motor Show returns to London after several decades in the West Midlands. The new venue is the Excel Centre on the banks of the River Thames and nearly 500,000 people attend.
The 30,000th Aston Martin is produced, while the Jaguar XK coupe wins Britain’s car of the year award and luxury car of the year awards.

2007
The Bentley marque enjoys continued success under the parentage of Volkswagen and its newest model is the company’s fastest ever production car -the Bentley Continental GT Speed. It has a top speed of over 200 mph and can get from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. It is offered for sale in Britain at £137,500.

Manufacturers around the world put more effort and resources into designing and building more environmentally friendly vehicles as the price of oil increases and there is greater awareness of the damage that harmful pollutants are causing from traditional petrol based engined cars.

Britain’s young motor racing star Lewis Hamilton very nearly becomes the new world F1 motor racing champion in his first season -eventually being beaten in the final race. His success though reignites interest in motor sport around the world.

2008
Ford accepts an offer by the rapidly expanding Tata Motors of India for the purchase of Land Rover and Jaguar. The Indian company say their aim is to ensure the cars will remain essentially British.

As the Model T celebrates its 100th anniversary, Ford also announces plans for a year long celebration of the iconic car around the world. One initiative is for a surviving car to be displayed in the "glass tank’ outside the Design Museum in London.

The new Roewe 550 is unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show in China with the hope that the car may eventually be produced at the old MG Rover plant at Longbridge.

In the US, General Motors announces annual losses for 2007 of billion -the largest ever loss by a US car manufacturer and a further sign that many of the older established car makers are struggling to compete with the surge of production from Asia.

See – History of Motor Car / Automobile Inventions and Improvements

www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/5108328806/

That Was the Year That Was – 1966
prototype maker china

Image by brizzle born and bred
The swinging sixties were in full flow, but in some corners of the world the peace and love mantra of the flower-power generation could not be heard.

Even as hippies in London and San Francisco were weaving daisies into their hair, in China Mao Tse-Tung launched the Cultural Revolution, a 10-year political campaign aimed at rekindling revolutionary Communist fervour. Brandishing their copies of Mao’s Little Red Book of quotations, students of the Communist Party – the so-called Red Guards – pursued an ideological cleansing campaign in which they renounced and attacked anyone suspected of being an intellectual, or a member of the bourgeoisie. Thousands of Chinese citizens were executed, and millions more were yoked into manual labour in the decade that followed.

Meanwhile, the US government, under president Lyndon B Johnson, was escalating its military presence in Vietnam. By the year’s end, American troop levels had reached 389,000, with more than 5,000 combat deaths and over 30,000 wounded. The war was a brutal and dirty one, with many US casualties caused by sniper fire, booby traps and mines.

The Americans responded by sending B-52 bombers over North Vietnam, and by launching the infamous Search and Destroy policy on the ground.

"To know war," Johnson said in his State of the Union address before Congress, in January 1966, "is to know that there is still madness in this world".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=InRDF_0lfHk

There was bloodshed on the streets of London too, when Ronnie Kray, brother of Reggie, shot George Cornell dead in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in March.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rhr8Vjzy8E

Two years after his proclamations about the "white heat of technology" Harold Wilson was prime minister of a Labour government that included technology minister Tony Benn. If Benn was pleased to witness the introduction of the first homegrown UK credit card – The Barclaycard – in 1966, he was in the minority. The card was met with "a tidal wave of indifference", according to a Barclays executive.

Perhaps the UK public simply had other things on their minds.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRuVVqn63co

This was, after all, the year in which Bobby Moore’s England beat the Germans 4-2 to lift the World Cup at Wembley.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T6IY2fz_Mc

Musically, 1966 was a vintage year. Jim Reeves’ Distant Drums knocked the Small Faces’ All or Nothing off the top spot. Other number ones in the year included Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, the Walker Brothers’ The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and The Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones.

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones also continued their dominance of the music scene, with Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby, Paperback Writer and Paint it Black all topping the charts.

A Man for all Seasons won Best Picture at the 1966 Oscars, and its star Paul Scofield won Best Actor. Other films released this year included Georgy Girl, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Alfie and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzQTF–oQ-U

On the small screen, viewers were subjected to the rants of Alf Garnet in Till Death us do Part; while US audiences were introduced to the delights of the Monkees and Star Trek. And the dynamic duo, Batman and Robin, thwarted lute-playing electronics genius the Minstrel as he tried to sabotage the computer systems at the Gotham City Stock Exchange.

"Batman heads off new corporate IT disaster" – now there’s a headline to conjure with.

The Queen opens the £10 million Severn Bridge on September 8. The Severn Bridge was opened in 1966 to replace the ferry service crossing from Aust to Beachley. The new bridge provided a direct link for the M4 motorway into Wales.

The Severn Bridge has now carried more than 300,000,000 vehicles since it was opened in 1966. Between 1980 and 1990 traffic flows increased by 63% and there were severe congestion problems in the summer and at peak times each day. Further increases in traffic flows were expected in the years ahead. The problems encountered on the Severn Bridge were made worse by the occasional high winds, accidents and breakdowns. It is for these reasons that the Second Severn Crossing was constructed as without it congestion would become more serious and frequent on the M4, M5 and the local road network.

Bristol’s Mecca Centre opens

1966 – Thursday May 19 is a glittering night in Bristol when 800 of the West Country’s VIPs are invited to the opening of the city centre’s brand new £32 million leisure complex on Frogmore Street With a dozen licensed bars, a casino, a cinema, a night club, an ice rink and a thousand plastic palm trees, this is the biggest entertainment palace anywhere in Europe and somewhere to rival the West End of London. There are girls! In bikinis! There’s even pineapple! On sticks! Drivers park their Hillman Imps in the multi-story car park!

And, amazingly enough, the venue has been an entertainment centre ever since. Bristol . . . entertainments capital of the South West, and one of the entertainments attractions of Europe. That was the talk of the town when Mecca moved into Bristol, splashed out a fortune and began building the New Entertainments Centre in Frogmore Street, towering over the ancient Hatchet Inn and the Georgian and Regency streets nearby.

The New Entertainments Centre wasn’t just big, it was enormous and it was what 60s leisure and fun-time were all about, Mecca promised. Here, slap bang in the middle of Bristol, the company was creating the largest entertainment centre in the whole of Europe. A dozen licensed bars, an ice rink, bowling lanes, a casino, a night club, a grand cinema, asumptuous ballroom and, naturally, a multi-storey car park to accommodate all those Zephyr Zodiacs, Anglias, Westminsters, Minis, Victors and Imps etc which would come pouring into town bringing the 5,000 or so customers who would flock to the centre every day.

London might have its famous West End. Bristol had its Frogmore Street palace of fun and the opening night of the biggest attraction of all, the Locarno Ballroom, on May 19th was the Night To Crown All First Nights, the Post proudly announced. Sparkling lights, plastic palm trees in shadily-lit bars, a revolving stage, dolly birds in fishnet tights and grass skirts . . . this was glamour a la mid-60s and Bristol loved it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNk8yuZ4lbI

Horace Batchelor K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M

1966 – KEYNSHAM became a familiar household name to millions of Radio Luxembourg listeners across Europe in the 1950s and 1960s — thanks to a local betting expert.

Self-styled ‘football pools king’ Horace Batchelor helped punters win a total of more than £12 million between 1948 and 1971 at a time when £75,000 was a fortune and his series of radio ads always mentioned mentioned Keynsham, which Horace would then spell out.

Customers followed his unique ‘infra draw’ tip system, which forecast which matches would be drawn in the pools. He put the otherwise little-known town on the map by spelling out its name letter by letter so listeners would address their applications correctly when ordering tips by post.

His ads included genial patter such as: ‘Hello, friends — this is Horace Batchelor, the inventor of the fabulous Infra-Draw system. You too can start to win really worthwhile dividends using my method.’

Members of the system clubbed together to enter very large permutations with a good chance of winning the pools and then sharing the takings — though each individual only received a small fraction of each big windfall. Horace himself set a world record by personally netting more than 30 first dividends and thousands of second and third dividends.

During his heyday up to 5.000 orders a day were delivered via Keynsham to his office in Old Market, Bristol. His first major pools win came in 1948 when he was presented with £11,321 at Bedminster’s Rex Cinema —part of the biggest dividend then paid by Sherman’s Pools.

It also included £45,000 which he shared with syndicate members. – By 1955 he had won enough to live in luxury, running three cars and puffing cigars in an 18-room house. He later retired to a 27-bedroom ‘Batchelor pad’ in Bath Road, Saltford, a small village just outside of Keynsham, which he named ‘Infra -Grange’ after his system.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU7MMdlATZQ

Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966

Pickles, the mongrel dog who found the World Cup in a London street after it had been stolen three months before the 1966 finals, became a bigger story than that year’s general election.

In March 1966, a few months before the start of the World Cup finals in England, a mongrel dog named Pickles found the missing Jules Rimet trophy in a London street.

One week before Pickles came to the rescue, the priceless trophy had been stolen from the Westminster’s Methodist Central Hall where it was being displayed, albeit in a glass cabinet.

And this despite the presence of no less than five security guards. On that fateful Sunday, however, the guard stationed next to the trophy had taken the day off. The thieves stole in through a back door and snatched away the World Cup.

For his winning role in the tale, Pickles was made Dog of the Year in 1966 and awarded a year’s free supply of dog food. His owner, a Thames lighterman named David Corbett, was a prime suspect in the case and police questioned him for hours before he was cleared.

With a dramatic goal in the final moments of what was a nail-biting match, England finally became soccer World Cup champions, securing a 4-2 win over West Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium. It was just one of the many highlights of 1966 that are etched on my memory from a year that had its fair share of controversy and tragedy as well as producing some outstanding music.

‘more popular than Jesus’

Controversy come in the wake of John Lennon’s quip in a newspaper interview that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus now’. It caused a furor and led to thousands of the group’s records being burned on bonfires in protest in some parts of America. I recall seeing the news coverage on TV showing angry groups of people tossing piles of vinyl in to the flames. It was far cry from the outpourings of adoration and admiration that the Liverpool lads usually enjoyed. And for a while threatened to damage their reputation.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ6NL3iNNMs

The anti-Beatles outcry did however subside following an apology from Lennon and things eventually got back to normal on the Fab Four front. The catchy Paperback Writer topped the charts and their imaginative album Revolver reinstated their popularity.

Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales

One of the most tragic events that year In Britain was the Aberfan coal tip disaster in Wales that claimed 144 lives, including 116 children. I was at work on a weekly newspaper on the October morning it happened. My colleagues and I had a radio on and listened to updates on and off throughout the day as rescuers dug through the tons of slurry that had roared down the hillside, desperately trying to find survivors in the mangled remains of the school building. I’ll always remember that it was a very dark period, particularly as so many young lives had been lost in what was later shown to have been an avoidable tragedy.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lzJLww3DvM

On the music front, 1966 threw up several gems, not least some groundbreaking offerings from The Beach Boys. It was, of course, the year that the magical singles Good Vibrations and God Only Knows and the grandiose album Pet Sounds set new standards in rock recording. Indeed, such was the excellence of the band at that time that it spurred The Beatles on to experiment and push their own musical boundaries still further.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YI

Motown was in its glory too, and The Four Tops epitomized all that was great about the sounds made under the guidance of Berry Gordy in the bustling, vibrant city that was Detroit. Reach Out I’ll Be There.

Other memorable songs, were Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, the Spencer Davis Group’s Somebody Help Me, the Rolling Stones Paint It Black, The Walker Brothers’ operatic The Sun Ain’t `Gonna Shine Anymore, and Chris Farlowe’s cover version of the Stones’ Out Of Time. All of them are classics of rock.

Tom Jones’ Green, Green Grass of Home was the biggest selling single. Way before The Voice!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSajFnkUxQY

George Harrison married Patti Boyd.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm8oTkuIJgs

Sergio Leone created the spaghetti western with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly starring Clint Eastwood. Due to the striking height difference between Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach of over 9 inches, it was sometimes difficult to include them in the same frame.

Because Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PgAKzmWmuk

In the 1960s Michael Caine was a cocky young British movie star with a Cockney accent. He played a caddish womanizer in Alfie (1966) "Not a lot of people know that"

Adam Sandler, Halle Berry, David Schwimmer, David Cameron, Cindy Crawford, Helena Bonham Carter were all born in 1966.

The first episode of Star Trek aired.

Walt Disney died.

The Beatles achieved their 10th number 1!

The Sound of Music won Best Picture at the Oscars.

Twiggy was named the face of ’66 by Daily Express.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncuD39xi-7M

1966 was also the year that the term Swinging London was coined by Time magazine, and as they say the rest is history

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDIxIqc0Qkw

For a few years in the 1960s, London was the world capital of cool. When Time magazine dedicated its 15 April 1966 issue to London: the Swinging City, it cemented the association between London and all things hip and fashionable that had been growing in the popular imagination throughout the decade.

London’s remarkable metamorphosis from a gloomy, grimy post-War capital into a bright, shining epicentre of style was largely down to two factors: youth and money. The baby boom of the 1950s meant that the urban population was younger than it had been since Roman times.

By the mid-60s, 40% of the population at large was under 25. With the abolition of National Service for men in 1960, these young people had more freedom and fewer responsibilities than their parents’ generation. They rebelled against the limitations and restrictions of post-War society. In short, they wanted to shake things up… Added to this, Londoners had more disposable income than ever before – and were looking for ways to spend it. Nationally, weekly earnings in the ‘60s outstripped the cost of living by a staggering 183%: in London, where earnings were generally higher than the national average, the figure was probably even greater.

This heady combination of affluence and youth led to a flourishing of music, fashion, design and anything else that would banish the post-War gloom. Fashion boutiques sprang up willy-nilly.

Men flocked to Carnaby St, near Soho, for the latest ‘Mod’ fashions. While women were lured to the King’s Rd, where Mary Quant’s radical mini skirts flew off the rails of her iconic store, Bazaar.

Even the most shocking or downright barmy fashions were popularised by models who, for the first time, became superstars. Jean Shrimpton was considered the symbol of Swinging London, while Twiggy was named The Face of 1966. Mary Quant herself was the undisputed queen of the group known as The Chelsea Set, a hard-partying, socially eclectic mix of largely idle ‘toffs’ and talented working-class movers and shakers.

Music was also a huge part of London’s swing. While Liverpool had the Beatles, the London sound was a mix of bands who went on to worldwide success, including The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones. Their music was the mainstay of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline and Radio Swinging England. Creative types of all kinds gravitated to the capital, from artists and writers to magazine publishers, photographers, advertisers, film-makers and product designers.

But not everything in London’s garden was rosy. Immigration was a political hot potato: by 1961, there were over 100,000 West Indians in London, and not everyone welcomed them with open arms. The biggest problem of all was a huge shortage of housing to replace bombed buildings and unfit slums and cope with a booming urban population. The badly-conceived solution – huge estates of tower blocks – and the social problems they created, changed the face of London for ever. By the 1970s, with industry declining and unemployment rising,

Swinging London seemed a very dim and distant memory.

1966 in British music

14 January – Young singer David Jones changes his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones (later of the Monkees).

19 January – Michael Tippett conducts the performance of his cantata The Vision of St Augustine in London.

6 February – The Animals appear a fifth time on The Ed Sullivan Show to perform their iconic Vietnam-anthem hit "We Gotta Get Out of this Place".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D88vc_GWw-g

4 March – The Beatles’ John Lennon is quoted in The Evening Standard as saying that the band was now more popular than Jesus. In August, following publication of this remark in Datebook, there are Beatles protests and record burnings in the Southern US’s Bible Belt.

5 March – The UK’s Kenneth McKellar, singing "A Man Without Love", finishes 9th in the 11th Eurovision Song Contest, which is won by Udo Jürgens of Austria.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH8BQmfhUgo

6 March – In the UK, 5,000 fans of the Beatles sign a petition urging British Prime minister Harold Wilson to reopen Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1SQ99AYudo

16 April – Disc Weekly is incormporated with Music Echo magazine.

1 May – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Who perform at the New Musical Express’ poll winners’ show in London. The show is televised, but The Beatles’ and The Stones’ segments are omitted because of union conflicts.

13 May – The Rolling Stones release "Paint It, Black", which becomes the first number one hit single in the US and UK to feature a sitar (in this case played by Brian Jones).

17 May – American singer Bob Dylan and the Hawks (later The Band) perform at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Dylan is booed by the audience because of his decision to tour with an
electric band, the boos culminating in the famous "Judas" shout.

2 July – The Beatles become the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. The performance ignites protests from local citizens who felt that it was inappropriate for a rock and roll band to play at Budokan, a place – until then – designated to the practice of martial arts.

11 August – John Lennon holds a press conference in Chicago, Illinois to apologize for his remarks the previous March. "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."

29 August – The Beatles perform their last official concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

16 September – Eric Burdon records a solo album after leaving The Animals and appears on "Ready, Steady, Go", singing "Help Me Girl", a UK #14 solo hit. Also on the show are Otis Redding and Chris Farlowe.

9 November – John Lennon meets Yoko Ono when he attends a preview of her art exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhJIiEeMeF0

9 December – The Who release their second album A Quick One with a nine-minute "mini-opera" A Quick One While He’s Away.

16 December – The Jimi Hendrix Experience release their first single in the UK, "Hey Joe".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3JsuWz4xWc

1966 in British television

3 January – Camberwick Green is the first BBC television programme to be shot in colour.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWUu-LTFJjE

3 March – The BBC announces plans to begin broadcasting television programmes in colour from next year.

5 April – The Money Programme debuts on BBC2. It continued to air until 2010.

23 May – Julie Goodyear makes her Coronation Street debut as Bet Lynch. She did not become a regular character until 1970.

6 June – BBC1 sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNSbMNl9K7Q

30 July – England beat West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley.

Summer – Patrick McGoohan quits the popular spy series Danger Man after filming only two episodes of the fourth season, in order to produce and star in The Prisoner, which begins filming in September.

2 October – The four-part serial Talking to a Stranger, acclaimed as one of the finest British television dramas of the 1960s, begins transmission in the Theatre 625 strand on BBC2.

29 October – Actor William Hartnell makes his last regular appearance as the First Doctor in the concluding moments of Episode 4 of the Doctor Who serial The Tenth Planet. Actor Patrick Troughton briefly appears as the Second Doctor at the conclusion of the serial.

5 November – Actor Patrick Troughton appears in his first full Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks as the Second Doctor.

16 November – Cathy Come Home, possibly the best-known play ever to be broadcast on British television, is presented in BBC1’s The Wednesday Play anthology strand.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMR8KYDkRqk

BBC1

3 January – The Trumptonshire Trilogy: Camberwick Green
5 January – Softly, Softly (1966–1969)
10 March – The Frost Report (1966)
7 May – Quick Before They Catch Us (1966)
17 May – All Gas and Gaiters (1966–1971)
24 May – Beggar My Neighbour (1966–1968)
7 August – It’s a Knockout (BBC1 1966–1982
17 November – The Illustrated Weekly Hudd (1966–1967)

BBC2

5 April – The Money Programme (1966–2010)

ITV

22 March – How (1966–1981)

1966 Events

3 January – British Rail begins full electric passenger train services over the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Manchester and Liverpool with 100 mph (160 km/h) operation from London to Rugby. Services officially inaugurated 18 April.

Stop-motion children’s television series Camberwick Green first shown on BBC1.

4 January – More than 4,000 people attend a memorial service at Westminster Abbey for the broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, who died last month aged 52.

12 January – Three British MPs visiting Rhodesia (Christopher Rowland, Jeremy Bray and David Ennals) are assaulted by supporters of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith.

20 January – The Queen commutes the death sentence on a black prisoner in Rhodesia, two months after its abolition in Britain.

Radio Caroline South pirate radio ship MV Mi Amigo runs aground on the beach at Frinton.

21 January – The Smith regime in Rhodesia rejects the Royal Prerogative commuting death sentences on two Africans.

31 January – United Kingdom ceases all trade with Rhodesia.

9 February – A prototype Fast Reactor nuclear reactor opens at Dounreay on the north coast of Scotland.

17 February – Britain protests to South Africa over its supplying of petrol to Rhodesia.

19 February – Naval minister Christopher Mayhew resigns.

28 February – Harold Wilson calls a general election for 31 March, in hope of increasing his single-seat majority.

1 March – Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan announces the decision to embrace decimalisation of the pound (which will be effected on 15 February 1971).

4 March – In an interview published in The Evening Standard, John Lennon of The Beatles comments, "We’re more popular than Jesus now".

Britain recognized the new regime in Ghana.

5 March – BOAC Flight 911 crashes in severe clear-air turbulence over Mount Fuji soon after taking off from Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing all 124 on board.

9 March – Ronnie, one of the Kray twins, shoots George Cornell (an associate of rivals The Richardson Gang) dead at The Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, east London, a crime for which he is finally convicted in 1969.

11 March – Chi-Chi, the London Zoo’s giant panda, is flown to Moscow for a union with An-An of the Moscow Zoo.

20 March – Theft of football’s FIFA World Cup Trophy whilst on exhibition in London.

23 March – Pope Paul VI and Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome.

27 March – Pickles, a mongrel dog, finds the FIFA World Cup Trophy wrapped in newspaper in a south London garden.

30 March – Opinion polls show that the Labour government is on course to win a comfortable majority in the general election tomorrow.

31 March – The Labour Party under Harold Wilson win the general election with a majority of 96 seats. At the 1964 election they had a majority of five but subsequent by-election defeats had led to that being reduced to just one seat before this election. The Birmingham Edgbaston seat is retained for the Conservatives by Jill Knight in succession to Edith Pitt, the first time two women MPs have followed each other in the same constituency.

6 April – Hoverlloyd inaugurate the first Cross-Channel hovercraft service, from Ramsgate harbour to Calais using passenger-carrying SR.N6 craft.

7 April – The United Kingdom asks the UN Security Council authority to use force to stop oil tankers that violate the oil embargo against Rhodesia. Authority is given on 10 April.

11 April – The Marquess of Bath, in conjunction with Jimmy Chipperfield, opens Longleat Safari Park, with "the lions of Longleat", at his Longleat House, the first such drive-through park outside Africa.

15 April – Time magazine uses the phrase "Swinging London".

19 April – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley go on trial at Chester Crown Court, charged with three so-called Moors Murders.

30 April – Regular hovercraft service begins over the English Channel (discontinued in 2000 due to competition with the Channel Tunnel.)

Liverpool win the Football League First Division title for the second time in three seasons.

3 May – Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commence broadcasting on AM with a combined potential 100,000 watts from the same ship anchored off the south coast of England in international waters.

6 May – The Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for three child murders committed between November 1963 and October 1965. Brady is guilty of all three murders and receives three concurrent terms of life imprisonment, while Hindley is found guilty of two murder charges and an accessory charge which receives two concurrent life sentences alongside a seven-year fixed term.

12 May – African members of the UN Security Council say that the British army should blockade Rhodesia.

14 May – Everton defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, overturning a 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday lead during the final 16 minutes of the game.

16 May – A strike is called by the National Union of Seamen, ending on 16 July.

18 May – Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announces that the number of police forces in England and Wales will be cut to 68.

26 May – Guyana achieves independence from the United Kingdom.

6 June – BBC1 television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part begins its first series run.

23 June – The Beatles go on top of the British singles charts for the 10th time with Paperback Writer.

29 June – Barclays Bank introduces the Barclaycard, the first British credit card.

3 July – 31 arrests made after a protest against the Vietnam War outside the US embassy turns violent.

12 July – Zambia threatens to leave the Commonwealth because of British peace overtures to Rhodesia.

14 July – Gwynfor Evans becomes member of Parliament for Carmarthen, the first ever Plaid Cymru MP, after his victory at a by-election.

15 July – A ban on black workers at Euston railway station is overturned.

16 July – Prime Minister Harold Wilson flies to Moscow to try to start peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. The Soviet Government rejects his ideas.

20 July – Start of 6-month wage and price freeze.

26 July – Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.

30 July – England beats West Germany 4-2 to win the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick and Martin Peters scores the other English goal in a game which attracts an all-time record UK television audience of more than 32,000,000.

1 August – Everton sign Blackpool’s World Cup winning midfield player Alan Ball, Jr. for a national record fee of £110,000.

2 August – Spanish government forbids overflights of British military aircraft.

4 August – The Kray Twins are questioned in connection with a murder in London.

5 August – The Beatles release the album Revolver.

10 August – George Brown succeeds Michael Stewart as Foreign Secretary.

12 August – Three policemen are shot dead in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, while sitting in their patrol car in Braybrook Street.

15 August – John Whitney is arrested and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.

17 August – John Duddy is arrested in Glasgow and charged with the murder of three West London policemen.

18 August – Tay Road Bridge opens.

24 August – Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is first staged, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

29 August – The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

3 September – Barely five months after the death of Barry Butler, a second Football League player this year dies in a car crash; 30-year-old John Nicholson, a Doncaster Rovers centre-half who previously played for Port Vale and Liverpool.

5 September – Selective Employment Tax imposed.

15 September – Britain’s first Polaris submarine, HMS Resolution, launched at Barrow-in-Furness.

17 September – Oberon-class submarine HMCS Okanagan launched at Chatham Dockyard, the last warship to be built there.

19 September – Scotland Yard arrests Ronald "Buster" Edwards, suspected of being involved in the Great Train Robbery (1963).

27 September – BMC makes 7,000 workers redundant.

30 September – The Bechuanaland Protectorate in Africa achieves independence from the U.K. as Botswana.

4 October – Basutoland becomes independent and takes the name Lesotho.

18 October – The Ford Cortina MK2 is launched.

20 October – In economic news, 437,229 people are reported to be unemployed in Britain – a rise of some 100,000 on last month’s figures.

21 October – Aberfan disaster in South Wales, 144 (including 116 children) killed by collapsing coal spoil tip.

22 October – British spy George Blake escapes from Wormwood Scrubs prison; he is next seen in Moscow.

Spain demands that United Kingdom stop military flights to Gibraltar – Britain says "no" the next day.

25 October – Spain closes its Gibraltar border against vehicular traffic.

5 November – Thirty-eight African states demand that the United Kingdom use force against Rhodesian government.

9 November – The Rootes Group launches the Hillman Hunter, a four-door family saloon to compete with the Austin 1800, Ford Cortina and Vauxhall Victor.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6aTt-zFlo4

15 November – Harry Roberts is arrested near London and charged with the murder of three policemen in August.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXp36IUpDkU

16 November – The BBC television drama Cathy Come Home, filmed in a docudrama style, is broadcast on BBC1. Viewed by a quarter of the British population, it is considered influential on public attitudes to homelessness and the related social issues it deals with.

24 November – Unemployment sees another short rise, now standing at 531,585.

30 November – Barbados achieves independence.

1 December – Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith negotiate on HMS Tiger in the Mediterranean.

12 December – Harry Roberts, John Whitney and John Duddy are sentenced to life imprisonment (each with a recommended minimum of thirty years) for the murder of three West London policemen in August.

20 December – Harold Wilson withdraws all his previous offers to Rhodesian government and announces that he agrees to independence only after the founding of black majority government.

22 December – Rhodesian Prime minister Ian Smith declares that he considers that Rhodesia is already a republic.

31 December – Thieves steal millions of pounds worth of paintings from Dulwich Art Gallery in London.

Undated

Centre Point, a 32-floor office building at St Giles Circus in London, designed by Richard Seifert for property speculator Harry Hyams, is completed. It remains empty for around a decade.

London School of Contemporary Dance founded.

Mathematician Michael Atiyah wins a Fields Medal.

The motorway network continues to grow as the existing M1, M4 (including the Severn Bridge on the border of England and Wales) and M6 motorways are expanded and new motorways emerge in the shape of the M32 linking the M4 with Bristol, and the M74 near Hamilton in Scotland.

Japanese manufacturer Nissan begins importing its range of Datsun branded cars to the United Kingdom.

The 1966 British Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Brands Hatch on 16 July 1966. It was the fourth round of the 1966 World Championship. It was the 21st British Grand Prix and the second to be held at Brands Hatch. It was held over 80 laps of the four kilometre circuit for a race distance of 341 kilometres.

The race, the first of the new three-litre engine regulation era where starters reached 20 cars,

was won for the third time by Australian driver Jack Brabham in his Brabham BT19, his second win in succession after winning the French Grand Prix two weeks earlier. New Zealand driver Denny Hulme finished second in his Brabham BT20, a first 1–2 win for the Brabham team. The pair finished a lap ahead of third placed British driver Graham Hill in his BRM P261. Brabham’s win ended a streak of 4 consecutive wins by Jim Clark at the British Grand Prix. Brabham’s win put him ten points clear in the championship chase over Austrian Cooper racer Jochen Rindt with Hulme and Ferrari’s Lorenzo Bandini a point further back.

1965–66 in English football

7 October 1965: An experiment to broadcast a live game to another ground takes place. Cardiff City play Coventry City and the match is broadcast to a crowd of 10,000 at Coventry’s ground Highfield Road.

20 March 1966: The World Cup is stolen from an exhibition at Central Hall, Westminster, where it was on show in the run-up to this summer’s World Cup in England.

27 March 1966: The World Cup is recovered by Pickles, a mongrel dog, in South London.

16 April 1966: Liverpool seal the First Division title for the seventh time in their history with a 2–0 home win over Stoke City.

14 May 1966: Everton win the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the final at Wembley Stadium, despite going 2–0 down in the 57th minute.

11 July 1966: England, as the host nation, begin their World Cup campaign with a goalless draw against Uruguay at Wembley Stadium.

16 July 1966: England’s World Cup campaign continues with a 2–0 win over Mexico (goals coming from Bobby Charlton and Roger Hunt) that moves them closes to qualifying for the next
stage of the competition.

20 July 1966: England qualify for the next stage of the World Cup with a 2–0 win over France in their final group game. Roger Hunt scores both of England’s goals.

23 July 1966: England beat Argentina 1–0 in the World Cup quarter-final thanks to a goal by Geoff Hurst.

26 July 1966: England reach the World Cup final by beating Portugal 2–1 in the semi-final.

Bobby Charlton scores both of England’s goals.

30 July 1966: England win the World Cup with a 4–2 win over West Germany in extra time.

Geoff Hurst scores a hat-trick, with Martin Peters scoring the other goal.

Honours

Competition Winners
First Division Liverpool
Second Division Manchester City
Third Division Hull City
Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers
FA Cup Everton
League Cup West Bromwich Albion
Charity Shield Manchester United and Liverpool (shared)
Home Championship England

Protei in http://www.cbnweek.com/
prototype maker china

Image by cesarharada.com
www.cbnweek.com/v/article?id=6925

无人舰队,准备起航

2014-04-21 | 第一财经周刊作者 :黄俊杰 | 图 :金迪
41 0 0
在MH370航班漫长的搜寻过程中,卫星和飞机找到的疑似残骸一次次被发现只是常年漂浮的塑料和金属。而4年前墨西哥湾泄露的石油至今没有被清理干净,依然不断伤害着周遭海豚和海龟的生存空间。
这时,如果有一支由数百艘小船组成的无人舰队,一天24小时、一年365天不间断地清理着海上的原油和垃圾,情况或许就会不同。
这正是Protei的目标。
Protei是一款不需要额外动力,完全依靠清洁能源就能在海上长期工作的小型无人船。在4月6日举办的深圳制汇节(Maker Faire)上,Protei创始人凯撒·原田(Cesar Harada)的小团队也带着最新的Protei原型机“乐天派”号(Optimist)前来参展。
仅两米长的“乐天派”看起来有点像大号的玩具帆船,船身一节一节,有如鱼骨一般——独特的船身是Protei与其他船只最大的不同,在水中转向时,船身也会随之弯曲,就像鱼一样。
如此设计并不是为了美观,而是为了拥有更持久的续航能力。
泄露的原油和海上飘荡的垃圾都会随洋流而流动,最有效的处理方法是让清洁用的船拖着长条型的清理设备逆流而上,沿“之”字航行。
帆船在逆流转向时会损失很多动力,必须有辅助动力才能继续维持航行方向。但原田同时希望Protei能够仅仅依靠风和阳光等清洁能源,便能长时间在海上进行工作。所以,变形船身是实现这一目标的关键。
“变形的船身就好像现代飞机的机翼。当飞机起飞或者降落时,你会看到机翼的很多部分会进行调整,形成多个平面,这样可以更有效地利用气流。”原田对《第一财经周刊》介绍说。相比之下,固定船身在他看来,就相当于60年前飞机机翼的设计水平了。
原田本是麻省理工学院的一位研究人员,从事海洋清洁方面的研究。2010年墨西哥湾石油泄露以后,他觉得自己参与的研究项目太过前瞻,无法迅速解决现实问题,而且学校申请了很多专利,也对技术的实际应用与普及形成一定阻碍。因此,原田决定辞去工作,创立Protei无人船项目。
想到变形船身的点子以后,原田自己首先用木块、电路板和防水塑料膜拼凑了四个简陋的样品来验证想法的可行性。随后在2011年,他通过众筹网站KickStarter筹得3万美元,开始产品化之路。
当2012年原田带着第5代原型机走上TED大会讲台时,Protei已经能像鱼类一样灵活地扭动身躯、调整航向了。
然而,之后的进展却并不顺利。
彼时,原田在鹿特丹租了一间厂房,请了10名工程师工作了3个月。但通过Kickstarter筹得的资金很快便被用完。后来加入的一位美国投资人也很快撤出。
“大约6个月的时间里,我们没有任何收入。对公司来说,那段时间非常艰难。不过我们依然继续改进设计,最后从Ocean Exchange拿到了10万美元研究资金。”原田回忆说。Ocean Exchange是由湾流和华轮-威尔森航运公司赞助的一个平台,专为初期阶段的海洋技术项目提供资金支持。
2013年年初,整个Protei团队参加了Unreasonable at Sea技术创业孵化器,4个月的时间里,团队随一艘邮轮从美国圣地亚哥一直航行至西班牙巴塞罗那,并和另外10家创业公司以及导师一起改进产品,完善商业思路。
这段旅途结束后,Protei也搬到了香港,将市郊一间简陋的屋子作为办公室。原田说,自己之所以选择香港而非制造业基地深圳的主要原因是,香港的市场环境相对开放,不但可以很快注册公司,而且能够正常访问Facebook、Twitter等网站——社交网站对Protei至关重要,来自这些网站的反馈可以直接帮助原田改进产品。
不同于传统实验室或者商业公司,Protei的开发流程高度依赖外界反馈,从而能够快速改进设计。
Protei研发团队每周的工作大体如下:每周一,设计一些部件;周二去深圳购买元器件;周三周四两天把元器件按照设计组装起来;周五进行测试,当天下午把测试数据放到网上;周末,线上反馈就来了,也为下一周的工作提供了参考和建议。
其实,除了变形以外,Protei还采用了模块化设计。当它需要负载更多的设备时,可以将多个架设着风帆的动力单元连接在一起,连接处可任意弯曲。Protei每个风帆顶部都装有传感器,当它在转向时,不同的风帆在电脑的控制下可以自动调整角度,确保最有效地利用风能。
为了在复杂的海洋环境下长期工作,原田希望Protei能够有对抗风暴的能力。除了通过传感器和处理器自动调整风帆和船身获得平衡外,Protei还得将体积控制得很小。
“这就好像蚂蚁。蚂蚁从一米高度掉到地上,并不会受伤。”原田解释说,更大的船虽然可以用更好的引擎,也有更好的质量,但小船则可以拥有更广阔的应用前景。
显然,他更倾向于组建由数以百计小船构成的船队,通过计算机算法让整个船队自动协同工作。人类控制者则可以直接远程操控整个船队,而非每人控制一艘船。
原田深受自己在麻省理工的前辈、iRobot公司创始人罗德尼·布鲁克斯(Rodney Brooks)的影响。布鲁克斯曾在1989年发表的一篇名为“Fast,Cheap,Out of Control”的论文里描绘了一个拥有大量小型、简易人工智能机器人集群的未来。在过去12年里,iRobot卖出了超过1000万台这样的小型Roomba吸尘器机器人。
是的,Protei所设想的基础即“无人”。船员需要一定的生存环境、食物和淡水才能生存,这就对远洋船只造成了很多限制——不但需要定期进港补给,还不能非常小。
事实上,无人控制设备,特别是无人飞机,已不算新奇,从几百元人民币就能买到的用iPhone遥控的飞行器,到美国生产的造价上千万美元的战斗机,不一而足。就连亚马逊也用“无人送货飞机”的设想为其财报添彩。
但很长一段时间,海上无人船的研究并不受人重视。当英国发动机生产巨头罗尔斯·罗伊斯年初宣布设计无人商船时,就饱受质疑。
波罗的海航运公会(BIMCO)分析师皮特·桑德(Peter Sand)曾在接受彭博社采访时表示,无人商船还停留在学术讨论阶段,没有任何委员会成员会提及无人操控船只的设想。而波罗的海航运公会的成员控制着全球2/3的商船队。
今天的商用货轮和油轮都已非常庞大并且高度自动化。一艘20万吨的远洋集装箱货轮往往只需要10至20人就能正常航行,因此无人货运对减少成本帮助有限。
但海洋科研不然。
“若要取得一些基本远洋数据,不仅需要派几位博士生去研究,还需要厨师、船长、水手等很多人支持考察船的运作。几个月下来,往往需要耗资上百万美元。”原田相信,廉价无人船将大大降低海洋科研的成本,让很多因“囊中羞涩”而无法进行的科研继续下去。
而除了科研和清理垃圾以外,原田也认为,无人船还有更多新的应用前景。
比如监控非法捕捞和偷渡行为。
目前,已经有不少国家开始用无人机监控领海,但即便最昂贵的军用无人机也只能在空中停留一两天,无法覆盖足够大的范围。
“有很多关于自然资源保护的规章,但发现不了非法捕捞,就没有意义。而大量装有传感器的无人船只,可以有效发现这种非法行为。”Protei可以起到永久监测站的作用,原田介绍说,目前已经有某些国家的军方联系咨询相关应用。
4月初,Protei已将“乐天派”原型机放在官网上销售,装配好的型号每艘售价1280美元,用户主要是志同道合的研究者。产品开卖第一周,Protei就收获了7艘船的订单。
当然,目前的原型机离原田的最终目标还很遥远,但维持公司运作,正是依靠这种边改进设计边销售的模式。
5月,原田将带着Protei奔赴芬兰——临近的波罗的海的全球水循环最慢的海域,有大量垃圾漂在海面,正等着他的“舰队”到来。
联系编辑:nini@yicai.com

— English

Unmanned fleet, ready to set sail
2014­04­21 | First Financial Weekly Author: Huang Chun­chieh | Figure: Kindi 41 0 0
In the MH370 flight lengthy search process, satellites and aircraft wreckage found suspected to be found again only perennial floating plastic and metal. And four years ago, the Gulf of Mexico oil leak has not been cleaned up, but they still hurt the dolphins and sea turtles around the living space.
At this time, if there is a team of hundreds of small boats unmanned fleet consists of 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to clean up the sea uninterrupted crude oil and garbage, the situation would probably be different.
This is Protei target.
Protei is a need for additional power, clean energy will be able to completely rely on long- term work for small unmanned boat at sea. In the April 6 festival organized by the Shenzhen exchange system (Maker Faire) on, Protei founder Cesar Harada (Cesar Harada) also with a small team of Protei latest prototype "optimist" sign (Optimist) come to the exhibition.
Only two meters long "optimist" looks a bit like a large toy sailboat, a section of the hull, like a fish bone in general – a unique hull is Protei biggest difference with the other boats in the water steering, Hull will also curved, like a fish.
This design is not for aesthetics, but to have a more lasting endurance.
Leaked oil and sea drift with ocean currents and garbage will flow, the most effective approach is to allow cleaning of the boat dragging long bar of cleaning equipment upstream, along "the" word voyage.
Sailing in the countercurrent will lose a lot of power steering, auxiliary power must be maintained in order to continue sailing directions. But Harada also hope Protei can only rely on clean energy such as wind and sun, will be able to work long hours in the sea. Therefore, the deformation of the hull is the key to achieving this goal.
"Deformed hull like modern aircraft wing when the plane taking off or landing, you will see a lot of parts of the wing will be adjusted to form a plurality of flat, so you can more effectively utilize the airflow." Harada on " First Financial Weekly "said. In contrast, fixed hull in his opinion, is equivalent to 60 years ago, the level of the aircraft wing design.
Harada is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, engaged in the study of marine clean area. After the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he felt too involved in their own research projects forward, unable to quickly solve practical problems, and the school applied for many patents, but also on the practical application of technology and the popularity of a certain obstacles. Therefore, Harada decided to quit his job, the creation of Protei unmanned boat project.
Under a
www.cbnweek.com/v/article?id=6925
1/5
5/7/2014 Unmanned fleet, ready to set sail _ First Financial Weekly
Thought of the idea after deformation of the hull, Harada himself first with pieces of wood, circuit boards and waterproof plastic film pieced together the feasibility of four simple sample to validate the idea. Then in 2011, he was raised by the public website KickStarter to raise $ 30,000 to start the product of the road.
When in 2012 with a fifth-generation prototype Harada TED Conference took the podium, Protei has been able to be as flexible as the fish writhing body, adjust the heading.
However, after progress was not smooth.
That time, Harada rented a workshop in Rotterdam, invited 10 engineers working for three months. However, the funds raised through Kickstarter will soon be exhausted. An American investor and later joined soon withdraw.
"About six months time, we do not have any income. For the company, that time is very difficult, but we still continue to improve the design, and finally from the Ocean Exchange got $ 100,000 in research funding." Harada recalls. Ocean Exchange by Gulfstream and Wallenius – Wilson Line sponsored a platform designed to provide financial support for the early stages of marine technology projects.
In early 2013, the entire Protei team participated Unreasonable at Sea technology business incubator, four month’s time, the team with a cruise ship has sailed from San Diego to Barcelona, S​pain, and another 10 start-up companies as well as mentors to improve products together, sound business ideas.
After the end of this journey, Protei also moved to Hong Kong, the outskirts of a shabby house as an office. Harada said he chose the main reason for the non-manufacturing base in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s relatively open market environment, not only can quickly registered company, and can normally access Facebook, Twitter and other sites – social networking sites crucial for Protei important feedback from these sites can help Harada improve the product.
Unlike traditional laboratory or commercial companies, Protei development process is highly dependent on external feedback, which can quickly improve the design.
Protei R & D team working week roughly as follows: every Monday, the design of some components; Tuesday to go to Shenzhen to buy components; Wednesday and Thursday two days according to the design of the components are assembled; Friday test, the test data in the afternoon on the web ; weekend, online feedback came, also provides references and suggestions for the next week’s work.
In fact, in addition to the deformation, Protei also uses a modular design. When it needs to load more equipment, you can be more than one set of sails power unit connected together, the connection can be bent. Protei top of each sail is equipped with sensors, when it is turned, different sails under control of the computer can automatically adjust the angle, to ensure the most efficient use of wind energy.
For long-term work in the complex marine environment, Harada hope Protei to have the ability to fight the storm. In addition to the sensor and the processor automatically adjusts the sails and hull to achieve balance outside, Protei have to control the volume is very small.
"It’s like ants Ants fell to the ground from a height of one meter, and not get hurt." Harada explained that larger ships can better engine though, there are better quality, but you can
www.cbnweek.com/v/article?id=6925
2/5
5/7/2014 Unmanned fleet, ready to set sail _ First Financial Weekly
have a broader boat application prospects.
Obviously, he is more inclined to build a fleet of hundreds of boats constituted by a computer algorithm automatically work together so that the entire fleet. Humans who can directly control the entire fleet of remote control, rather than each control a ship.
Harada by MIT’s own predecessors, iRobot co-founder Rodney Brooks (Rodney Brooks) impact. Brooks has published an article in 1989 entitled "Fast, Cheap, Out of Control" papers have portrayed a large number of small, simple artificial intelligence robot cluster in the future. In the past 12 years, iRobot has sold more than 10 million units so small Roomba vacuum cleaner robot.
Yes, the foundation Protei envisaged that "nobody." Crew needs some living environment, food and water to survive, and this caused a lot of boats on the ocean restrictions – not only require regular supplies into port, it can not be very small.
In fact, no control equipment, especially unmanned aircraft, has not novel, from a few hundred yuan will be able to buy the iPhone remote control aircraft, the cost of production to the United States millions of dollars on fighter jets, which varies foot. Even Amazon is also used ideas "unmanned aircraft delivery," the luster of its earnings.
But for a long time, no research ship at sea is not the subject of attention. When the British engine giant Rolls-Royce announced in early design unmanned merchant, it suffered questioned.
Baltic Association (BIMCO) analyst Peter Sander (Peter Sand) had interview with Bloomberg News, said that no merchant still in the stage of academic discussion, no member of the committee will mention the idea of u​nmanned vessels. The members of the Baltic Association of the global merchant fleet control 2/3.
Today’s commercial cargo ships and tankers are very large and highly automated. A 200,000 tons of ocean-going container ships often only need 10-20 people will be able to normal navigation, and therefore no one to help reduce the cost of freight on limited.
However, marine scientific research is not.
"To get some basic ocean data, not only need to send several doctoral students to study, but also a lot of people cook, captain, sailor and other supporting research ship operations. Few months, often need to spend millions of dollars." Harada believe, cheap unmanned ship will greatly reduce the cost of marine scientific research, so many research because of "cash- strapped" and can not continue.
And in addition to research and rubbish, Harada also believes that there are no more new boats prospects.
Such as monitoring illegal fishing and smuggling behavior.
Currently, many countries have started using drones monitoring territorial waters, but even the most expensive military UAVs can only stay twelve days in the air, can not cover a large enough range.
"There are a lot of regulations on the protection of natural resources, but could not find illegal fishing, it does not make sense, while a large number of unmanned vessels equipped with sensors that can effectively detect such illegal acts." Protei can play the role of permanent stations, Harada said that there are already some countries military ties
www.cbnweek.com/v/article?id=6925
3/5
5/7/2014 Unmanned fleet, ready to set sail _ First Financial Weekly
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月初 4, Protei has "optimist" prototype on the official online sales, assembled model priced $ 1,280 per vessel, users are mainly like-minded researchers. Products on sale in the first week, Protei harvested seven vessels on order.
Of course, the current prototype from Harada’s ultimate goal is still far away, but to maintain the company’s operations, it is relying on this side edge sales model to improve the design.
May, Harada will take Protei went to Finland – Baltic Sea slowest global water cycle approaching, there is a lot of rubbish floating in the sea, waiting for his "fleet" soon.
To contact the editor: nini@yicai.com

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Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning

In the P-38 Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and his team of designers created one of the most successful twin-engine fighters ever flown by any nation. From 1942 to 1945, U. S. Army Air Forces pilots flew P-38s over Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific, and from the frozen Aleutian Islands to the sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Lightning pilots in the Pacific theater downed more Japanese aircraft than pilots flying any other Allied warplane.

Maj. Richard I. Bong, America’s leading fighter ace, flew this P-38J-10-LO on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field, Ohio, to evaluate an experimental method of interconnecting the movement of the throttle and propeller control levers. However, his right engine exploded in flight before he could conduct the experiment.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Company

Date:
1943

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 390 x 1170cm, 6345kg, 1580cm (12ft 9 9/16in. x 38ft 4 5/8in., 13988.2lb., 51ft 10 1/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal

Physical Description:
Twin-tail boom and twin-engine fighter; tricycle landing gear.

Long Description:
From 1942 to 1945, the thunder of P-38 Lightnings was heard around the world. U. S. Army pilots flew the P-38 over Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific; from the frozen Aleutian Islands to the sun-baked deserts of North Africa. Measured by success in combat, Lockheed engineer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and a team of designers created the most successful twin-engine fighter ever flown by any nation. In the Pacific Theater, Lightning pilots downed more Japanese aircraft than pilots flying any other Army Air Forces warplane.

Johnson and his team conceived this twin-engine, single-pilot fighter airplane in 1936 and the Army Air Corps authorized the firm to build it in June 1937. Lockheed finished constructing the prototype XP-38 and delivered it to the Air Corps on New Year’s Day, 1939. Air Corps test pilot and P-38 project officer, Lt. Benjamin S. Kelsey, first flew the aircraft on January 27. Losing this prototype in a crash at Mitchel Field, New York, with Kelsey at the controls, did not deter the Air Corps from ordering 13 YP-38s for service testing on April 27. Kelsey survived the crash and remained an important part of the Lightning program. Before the airplane could be declared ready for combat, Lockheed had to block the effects of high-speed aerodynamic compressibility and tail buffeting, and solve other problems discovered during the service tests.

The most vexing difficulty was the loss of control in a dive caused by aerodynamic compressibility. During late spring 1941, Air Corps Major Signa A. Gilke encountered serious trouble while diving his Lightning at high-speed from an altitude of 9,120 m (30,000 ft). When he reached an indicated airspeed of about 515 kph (320 mph), the airplane’s tail began to shake violently and the nose dropped until the dive was almost vertical. Signa recovered and landed safely and the tail buffet problem was soon resolved after Lockheed installed new fillets to improve airflow where the cockpit gondola joined the wing center section. Seventeen months passed before engineers began to determine what caused the Lightning’s nose to drop. They tested a scale model P-38 in the Ames Laboratory wind tunnel operated by the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and found that shock waves formed when airflow over the wing leading edges reached transonic speeds. The nose drop and loss of control was never fully remedied but Lockheed installed dive recovery flaps under each wing in 1944. These devices slowed the P-38 enough to allow the pilot to maintain control when diving at high-speed.

Just as the development of the North American P-51 Mustang, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and the Vought F4U Corsair (see NASM collection for these aircraft) pushed the limits of aircraft performance into unexplored territory, so too did P-38 development. The type of aircraft envisioned by the Lockheed design team and Air Corps strategists in 1937 did not appear until June 1944. This protracted shakedown period mirrors the tribulations suffered by Vought in sorting out the many technical problems that kept F4U Corsairs off U. S. Navy carrier decks until the end of 1944.

Lockheed’s efforts to trouble-shoot various problems with the design also delayed high-rate, mass production. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the company had delivered only 69 Lightnings to the Army. Production steadily increased and at its peak in 1944, 22 sub-contractors built various Lightning components and shipped them to Burbank, California, for final assembly. Consolidated-Vultee (Convair) subcontracted to build the wing center section and the firm later became prime manufacturer for 2,000 P-38Ls but that company’s Nashville plant completed only 113 examples of this Lightning model before war’s end. Lockheed and Convair finished 10,038 P-38 aircraft including 500 photo-reconnaissance models. They built more L models, 3,923, than any other version.

To ease control and improve stability, particularly at low speeds, Lockheed equipped all Lightnings, except a batch ordered by Britain, with propellers that counter-rotated. The propeller to the pilot’s left turned counter-clockwise and the propeller to his right turned clockwise, so that one propeller countered the torque and airflow effects generated by the other. The airplane also performed well at high speeds and the definitive P-38L model could make better than 676 kph (420 mph) between 7,600 and 9,120 m (25,000 and 30,000 ft). The design was versatile enough to carry various combinations of bombs, air-to-ground rockets, and external fuel tanks. The multi-engine configuration reduced the Lightning loss-rate to anti-aircraft gunfire during ground attack missions. Single-engine airplanes equipped with power plants cooled by pressurized liquid, such as the North American P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection), were particularly vulnerable. Even a small nick in one coolant line could cause the engine to seize in a matter of minutes.

The first P-38s to reach the Pacific combat theater arrived on April 4, 1942, when a version of the Lightning that carried reconnaissance cameras (designated the F-4), joined the 8th Photographic Squadron based in Australia. This unit launched the first P-38 combat missions over New Guinea and New Britain during April. By May 29, the first 25 P-38s had arrived in Anchorage, Alaska. On August 9, pilots of the 343rd Fighter Group, Eleventh Air Force, flying the P-38E, shot down a pair of Japanese flying boats.

Back in the United States, Army Air Forces leaders tried to control a rumor that Lightnings killed their own pilots. On August 10, 1942, Col. Arthur I. Ennis, Chief of U. S. Army Air Forces Public Relations in Washington, told a fellow officer "… Here’s what the 4th Fighter [training] Command is up against… common rumor out there that the whole West Coast was filled with headless bodies of men who jumped out of P-38s and had their heads cut off by the propellers." Novice Lightning pilots unfamiliar with the correct bailout procedures actually had more to fear from the twin-boom tail, if an emergency dictated taking to the parachute but properly executed, Lightning bailouts were as safe as parachuting from any other high-performance fighter of the day. Misinformation and wild speculation about many new aircraft was rampant during the early War period.

Along with U. S. Navy Grumman F4F Wildcats (see NASM collection) and Curtiss P-40 Warhawks (see NASM collection), Lightnings were the first American fighter airplanes capable of consistently defeating Japanese fighter aircraft. On November 18, men of the 339th Fighter Squadron became the first Lightning pilots to attack Japanese fighters. Flying from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, they claimed three during a mission to escort Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers (see NASM collection).

On April 18, 1943, fourteen P-38 pilots from the 70th and the 339th Fighter Squadrons, 347th Fighter Group, accomplished one of the most important Lightning missions of the war. American ULTRA cryptanalysts had decoded Japanese messages that revealed the timetable for a visit to the front by the commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. This charismatic leader had crafted the plan to attack Pearl Harbor and Allied strategists believed his loss would severely cripple Japanese morale. The P-38 pilots flew 700 km (435 miles) at heights from 3-15 m (10-50 feet) above the ocean to avoid detection. Over the coast of Bougainville, they intercepted a formation of two Mitsubishi G4M BETTY bombers (see NASM collection) carrying the Admiral and his staff, and six Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters (see NASM collection) providing escort. The Lightning pilots downed both bombers but lost Lt. Ray Hine to a Zero.

In Europe, the first Americans to down a Luftwaffe aircraft were Lt. Elza E. Shahan flying a 27th Fighter Squadron P-38E, and Lt. J. K. Shaffer flying a Curtiss P-40 (see NASM collection) in the 33rd Fighter Squadron. The two flyers shared the destruction of a Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor maritime strike aircraft over Iceland on August 14, 1942. Later that month, the 1st fighter group accepted Lightnings and began combat operations from bases in England but this unit soon moved to fight in North Africa. More than a year passed before the P-38 reappeared over Western Europe. While the Lightning was absent, U. S. Army Air Forces strategists had relearned a painful lesson: unescorted bombers cannot operate successfully in the face of determined opposition from enemy fighters. When P-38s returned to England, the primary mission had become long-range bomber escort at ranges of about 805 kms (500 miles) and at altitudes above 6,080 m (20,000 ft).

On October 15, 1943, P-38H pilots in the 55th Fighter Group flew their first combat mission over Europe at a time when the need for long-range escorts was acute. Just the day before, German fighter pilots had destroyed 60 of 291 Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses (see NASM collection) during a mission to bomb five ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany. No air force could sustain a loss-rate of nearly 20 percent for more than a few missions but these targets lay well beyond the range of available escort fighters (Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, see NASM collection). American war planners hoped the long-range capabilities of the P-38 Lightning could halt this deadly trend, but the very high and very cold environment peculiar to the European air war caused severe power plant and cockpit heating difficulties for the Lightning pilots. The long-range escort problem was not completely solved until the North American P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection) began to arrive in large numbers early in 1944.

Poor cockpit heating in the H and J model Lightnings made flying and fighting at altitudes that frequently approached 12,320 m (40,000 ft) nearly impossible. This was a fundamental design flaw that Kelly Johnson and his team never anticipated when they designed the airplane six years earlier. In his seminal work on the Allison V-1710 engine, Daniel Whitney analyzed in detail other factors that made the P-38 a disappointing airplane in combat over Western Europe.

• Many new and inexperienced pilots arrived in England during December 1943, along with the new J model P-38 Lightning.

• J model rated at 1,600 horsepower vs. 1,425 for earlier H model Lightnings. This power setting required better maintenance between flights. It appears this work was not done in many cases.

• During stateside training, Lightning pilots were taught to fly at high rpm settings and low engine manifold pressure during cruise flight. This was very hard on the engines, and not in keeping with technical directives issued by Allison and Lockheed.

• The quality of fuel in England may have been poor, TEL (tetraethyl lead) fuel additive appeared to condense inside engine induction manifolds, causing detonation (destructive explosion of fuel mixture rather than controlled burning).

• Improved turbo supercharger intercoolers appeared on the J model P-38. These devices greatly reduced manifold temperatures but this encouraged TEL condensation in manifolds during cruise flight and increased spark plug fouling.

Using water injection to minimize detonation might have reduced these engine problems. Both the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the North American P-51 Mustang (see NASM collection) were fitted with water injection systems but not the P-38. Lightning pilots continued to fly, despite these handicaps.

During November 1942, two all-Lightning fighter groups, the 1st and the 14th, began operating in North Africa. In the Mediterranean Theater, P-38 pilots flew more sorties than Allied pilots flying any other type of fighter. They claimed 608 enemy a/c destroyed in the air, 123 probably destroyed and 343 damaged, against the loss of 131 Lightnings.

In the war against Japan, the P-38 truly excelled. Combat rarely occurred above 6,080 m (20,000 ft) and the engine and cockpit comfort problems common in Europe never plagued pilots in the Pacific Theater. The Lightning’s excellent range was used to full advantage above the vast expanses of water. In early 1945, Lightning pilots of the 12th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, flew a mission that lasted 10 ½ hours and covered more than 3,220 km (2,000 miles). In August, P-38 pilots established the world’s long-distance record for a World War II combat fighter when they flew from the Philippines to the Netherlands East Indies, a distance of 3,703 km (2,300 miles). During early 1944, Lightning pilots in the 475th Fighter Group began the ‘race of aces.’ By March, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Lynch had scored 21 victories before he fell to antiaircraft gunfire while strafing enemy ships. Major Thomas B. McGuire downed 38 Japanese aircraft before he was killed when his P-38 crashed at low altitude in early January 1945. Major Richard I. Bong became America’s highest scoring fighter ace (40 victories) but died in the crash of a Lockheed P-80 (see NASM collection) on August 6, 1945.

Museum records show that Lockheed assigned the construction number 422-2273 to the National Air and Space Museum’s P-38. The Army Air Forces accepted this Lightning as a P-38J-l0-LO on November 6, 1943, and the service identified the airplane with the serial number 42-67762. Recent investigations conducted by a team of specialists at the Paul E. Garber Facility, and Herb Brownstein, a volunteer in the Aeronautics Division at the National Air and Space Museum, have revealed many hitherto unknown aspects to the history of this aircraft.

Brownstein examined NASM files and documents at the National Archives. He discovered that a few days after the Army Air Forces (AAF) accepted this airplane, the Engineering Division at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, granted Lockheed permission to convert this P-38 into a two-seat trainer. The firm added a seat behind the pilot to accommodate an instructor who would train civilian pilots in instrument flying techniques. Once trained, these test pilots evaluated new Lightnings fresh off the assembly line.

In a teletype sent by the Engineering Division on March 2, 1944, Brownstein also discovered that this P-38 was released to Colonel Benjamin S. Kelsey from March 3 to April 10, 1944, to conduct special tests. This action was confirmed the following day in a cable from the War Department. This same pilot, then a Lieutenant, flew the XP-38 across the United States in 1939 and survived the crash that destroyed this Lightning at Mitchel Field, New York. In early 1944, Kelsey was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in England and he apparently traveled to the Lockheed factory at Burbank to pick up the P-38. Further information about these tests and Kelsey’s involvement remain an intriguing question.

One of Brownstein’s most important discoveries was a small file rich with information about the NASM Lightning. This file contained a cryptic reference to a "Major Bong" who flew the NASM P-38 on April 16, 1945, at Wright Field. Bong had planned to fly for an hour to evaluate an experimental method of interconnecting the movement of the throttle and propeller control levers. His flight ended after twenty-minutes when "the right engine blew up before I had a chance [to conduct the test]." The curator at the Richard I. Bong Heritage Center confirmed that America’s highest scoring ace made this flight in the NASM P-38 Lightning.

Working in Building 10 at the Paul E. Garber Facility, Rob Mawhinney, Dave Wilson, Wil Lee, Bob Weihrauch, Jim Purton, and Heather Hutton spent several months during the spring and summer of 2001 carefully disassembling, inspecting, and cleaning the NASM Lightning. They found every hardware modification consistent with a model J-25 airplane, not the model J-10 painted in the data block beneath the artifact’s left nose. This fact dovetails perfectly with knowledge uncovered by Brownstein. On April 10, the Engineering Division again cabled Lockheed asking the company to prepare 42-67762 for transfer to Wright Field "in standard configuration." The standard P-38 configuration at that time was the P-38J-25. The work took several weeks and the fighter does not appear on Wright Field records until May 15, 1944. On June 9, the Flight Test Section at Wright Field released the fighter for flight trials aimed at collecting pilot comments on how the airplane handled.

Wright Field’s Aeromedical Laboratory was the next organization involved with this P-38. That unit installed a kit on July 26 that probably measured the force required to move the control wheel left and right to actuate the power-boosted ailerons installed in all Lightnings beginning with version J-25. From August 12-16, the Power Plant Laboratory carried out tests to measure the hydraulic pump temperatures on this Lightning. Then beginning September 16 and lasting about ten days, the Bombing Branch, Armament Laboratory, tested type R-3 fragmentation bomb racks. The work appears to have ended early in December. On June 20, 1945, the AAF Aircraft Distribution Office asked that the Air Technical Service Command transfer the Lightning from Wright Field to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, a temporary holding area for Air Force museum aircraft. The P-38 arrived at the Oklahoma City Air Depot on June 27, 1945, and mechanics prepared the fighter for flyable storage.

Airplane Flight Reports for this Lightning also describe the following activities and movements:

6-21-45 Wright Field, Ohio, 5.15 hours of flying.
6-22-45Wright Field, Ohio, .35 minutes of flying by Lt. Col. Wendel [?] J. Kelley and P. Shannon.
6-25-45Altus, Oklahoma, .55 hours flown, pilot P. Shannon.
6-27-45Altus, Oklahoma, #2 engine changed, 1.05 hours flown by Air Corps F/O Ralph F. Coady.
10-5-45 OCATSC-GCAAF (Garden City Army Air Field, Garden City, Kansas), guns removed and ballast added.
10-8-45Adams Field, Little Rock, Arkansas.
10-9-45Nashville, Tennessee,
5-28-46Freeman Field, Indiana, maintenance check by Air Corps Capt. H. M. Chadhowere [sp]?
7-24-46Freeman Field, Indiana, 1 hour local flight by 1st Lt. Charles C. Heckel.
7-31-46 Freeman Field, Indiana, 4120th AAF Base Unit, ferry flight to Orchard Place [Illinois] by 1st Lt. Charles C. Heckel.

On August 5, 1946, the AAF moved the aircraft to another storage site at the former Consolidated B-24 bomber assembly plant at Park Ridge, Illinois. A short time later, the AAF transferred custody of the Lightning and more than sixty other World War II-era airplanes to the Smithsonian National Air Museum. During the early 1950s, the Air Force moved these airplanes from Park Ridge to the Smithsonian storage site at Suitland, Maryland.

• • •

Quoting from Wikipedia | Lockheed P-38 Lightning:

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. Named "fork-tailed devil" by the Luftwaffe and "two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese, the P-38 was used in a number of roles, including dive bombing, level bombing, ground-attack, photo reconnaissance missions, and extensively as a long-range escort fighter when equipped with drop tanks under its wings.

The P-38 was used most successfully in the Pacific Theater of Operations and the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations as the mount of America’s top aces, Richard Bong (40 victories) and Thomas McGuire (38 victories). In the South West Pacific theater, the P-38 was the primary long-range fighter of United States Army Air Forces until the appearance of large numbers of P-51D Mustangs toward the end of the war. The P-38 was unusually quiet for a fighter, the exhaust muffled by the turbo-superchargers. It was extremely forgiving, and could be mishandled in many ways, but the rate of roll was too slow for it to excel as a dogfighter. The P-38 was the only American fighter aircraft in production throughout American involvement in the war, from Pearl Harbor to Victory over Japan Day.

Variants: Lightning in maturity: P-38J

The P-38J was introduced in August 1943. The turbo-supercharger intercooler system on previous variants had been housed in the leading edges of the wings and had proven vulnerable to combat damage and could burst if the wrong series of controls were mistakenly activated. In the P-38J model, the streamlined engine nacelles of previous Lightnings were changed to fit the intercooler radiator between the oil coolers, forming a "chin" that visually distinguished the J model from its predecessors. While the P-38J used the same V-1710-89/91 engines as the H model, the new core-type intercooler more efficiently lowered intake manifold temperatures and permitted a substantial increase in rated power. The leading edge of the outer wing was fitted with 55 gal (208 l) fuel tanks, filling the space formerly occupied by intercooler tunnels, but these were omitted on early P-38J blocks due to limited availability.

The final 210 J models, designated P-38J-25-LO, alleviated the compressibility problem through the addition of a set of electrically-actuated dive recovery flaps just outboard of the engines on the bottom centerline of the wings. With these improvements, a USAAF pilot reported a dive speed of almost 600 mph (970 km/h), although the indicated air speed was later corrected for compressibility error, and the actual dive speed was lower. Lockheed manufactured over 200 retrofit modification kits to be installed on P-38J-10-LO and J-20-LO already in Europe, but the USAAF C-54 carrying them was shot down by an RAF pilot who mistook the Douglas transport for a German Focke-Wulf Condor. Unfortunately the loss of the kits came during Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier‘s four-month morale-boosting tour of P-38 bases. Flying a new Lightning named "Snafuperman" modified to full P-38J-25-LO specs at Lockheed’s modification center near Belfast, LeVier captured the pilots’ full attention by routinely performing maneuvers during March 1944 that common Eighth Air Force wisdom held to be suicidal. It proved too little too late because the decision had already been made to re-equip with Mustangs.

The P-38J-25-LO production block also introduced hydraulically-boosted ailerons, one of the first times such a system was fitted to a fighter. This significantly improved the Lightning’s rate of roll and reduced control forces for the pilot. This production block and the following P-38L model are considered the definitive Lightnings, and Lockheed ramped up production, working with subcontractors across the country to produce hundreds of Lightnings each month.

Noted P-38 pilots

Richard Bong and Thomas McGuire

The American ace of aces and his closest competitor both flew Lightnings as they tallied 40 and 38 victories respectively. Majors Richard I. "Dick" Bong and Thomas J. "Tommy" McGuire of the USAAF competed for the top position. Both men were awarded the Medal of Honor.

McGuire was killed in air combat in January 1945 over the Philippines, after racking up 38 confirmed kills, making him the second-ranking American ace. Bong was rotated back to the United States as America’s ace of aces, after making 40 kills, becoming a test pilot. He was killed on 6 August 1945, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, when his P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter flamed out on takeoff.

Charles Lindbergh

The famed aviator Charles Lindbergh toured the South Pacific as a civilian contractor for United Aircraft Corporation, comparing and evaluating performance of single- and twin-engined fighters for Vought. He worked to improve range and load limits of the F4U Corsair, flying both routine and combat strafing missions in Corsairs alongside Marine pilots. In Hollandia, he attached himself to the 475th FG flying P-38s so that he could investigate the twin-engine fighter. Though new to the machine, he was instrumental in extending the range of the P-38 through improved throttle settings, or engine-leaning techniques, notably by reducing engine speed to 1,600 rpm, setting the carburetors for auto-lean and flying at 185 mph (298 km/h) indicated airspeed which reduced fuel consumption to 70 gal/h, about 2.6 mpg. This combination of settings had been considered dangerous; it was thought it would upset the fuel mixture and cause an explosion. Everywhere Lindbergh went in the South Pacific, he was accorded the normal preferential treatment of a visiting colonel, though he had resigned his Air Corps Reserve colonel’s commission three years before. While with the 475th, he held training classes and took part in a number of Army Air Corps combat missions. On 28 July 1944, Lindbergh shot down a Mitsubishi Ki-51 "Sonia" flown expertly by the veteran commander of 73rd Independent Flying Chutai, Imperial Japanese Army Captain Saburo Shimada. In an extended, twisting dogfight in which many of the participants ran out of ammunition, Shimada turned his aircraft directly toward Lindbergh who was just approaching the combat area. Lindbergh fired in a defensive reaction brought on by Shimada’s apparent head-on ramming attack. Hit by cannon and machine gun fire, the "Sonia’s" propeller visibly slowed, but Shimada held his course. Lindbergh pulled up at the last moment to avoid collision as the damaged "Sonia" went into a steep dive, hit the ocean and sank. Lindbergh’s wingman, ace Joseph E. "Fishkiller" Miller, Jr., had also scored hits on the "Sonia" after it had begun its fatal dive, but Miller was certain the kill credit was Lindbergh’s. The unofficial kill was not entered in the 475th’s war record. On 12 August 1944 Lindbergh left Hollandia to return to the United States.

Charles MacDonald

The seventh-ranking American ace, Charles H. MacDonald, flew a Lightning against the Japanese, scoring 27 kills in his famous aircraft, the Putt Putt Maru.

Robin Olds

Main article: Robin Olds

Robin Olds was the last P-38 ace in the Eighth Air Force and the last in the ETO. Flying a P-38J, he downed five German fighters on two separate missions over France and Germany. He subsequently transitioned to P-51s to make seven more kills. After World War II, he flew F-4 Phantom IIs in Vietnam, ending his career as brigadier general with 16 kills.

Clay Tice

A P-38 piloted by Clay Tice was the first American aircraft to land in Japan after VJ-Day, when he and his wingman set down on Nitagahara because his wingman was low on fuel.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Noted aviation pioneer and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry vanished in a F-5B-1-LO, 42-68223, c/n 2734, of Groupe de Chasse II/33, out of Borgo-Porreta, Bastia, Corsica, a reconnaissance variant of the P-38, while on a flight over the Mediterranean, from Corsica to mainland France, on 31 July 1944. His health, both physical and mental (he was said to be intermittently subject to depression), had been deteriorating and there had been talk of taking him off flight status. There have been suggestions (although no proof to date) that this was a suicide rather than an aircraft failure or combat loss. In 2000, a French scuba diver found the wreckage of a Lightning in the Mediterranean off the coast of Marseille, and it was confirmed in April 2004 as Saint-Exupéry’s F-5B. No evidence of air combat was found. In March 2008, a former Luftwaffe pilot, Horst Rippert from Jagdgruppe 200, claimed to have shot down Saint-Exupéry.

Adrian Warburton

The RAF’s legendary photo-recon "ace", Wing Commander Adrian Warburton DSO DFC, was the pilot of a Lockheed P-38 borrowed from the USAAF that took off on 12 April 1944 to photograph targets in Germany. W/C Warburton failed to arrive at the rendezvous point and was never seen again. In 2003, his remains were recovered in Germany from his wrecked USAAF P-38 Lightning.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":

Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.

On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr.

Date:
1945

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)

Materials:
Polished overall aluminum finish

Physical Description:
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat
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Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat:

The Grumman F6F Hellcat was originally conceived as an advanced version of the U.S. Navy’s then current front-line fighter, the F4F Wildcat (see NASM collection). The Wildcat’s intended replacement, the Vought F4U Corsair (see NASM collection), first flown in 1940, was showing great promise, but development was slowed by problems, including the crash of the prototype.

The National Air and Space Museum’s F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 41834, was built at Grumman’s Bethpage, New York, factory in February 1944 under contract NOA-(S)846. It was delivered to the Navy on February 7, and arrived in San Diego, California, on the 18th. It was assigned to Fighter Squadron 15 (VF-15) on USS Hornet (CV12) bound for Hawaii. On arrival, it was assigned to VF-3 where it sustained damage in a wheels-up landing at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. After repair, it was assigned to VF-83 where it was used in a training role until February 21, 1945. After numerous transfers 41834 was converted to an F6F-3K target drone with the installation of sophisticated radio-control equipment. It was painted red with a pink tail that carried the number 14. Its mission was to be used in Operation Crossroads – the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. It flew on June 24, 1946, with a pilot, on a practice flight and was launched, unmanned, soon after the first bomb test. Instrumentation on board and photographic plates taped to the control stick obtained data on radioactivity. Three more manned flights preceded the final unmanned flight on July 25, 1946, which evaluated the first underwater explosion. Records indicate that exposure of this aircraft to the radioactive cloud was minimal and residual radiation is negligible.

F6F-3K 41834 was transferred to NAS Norfolk and logged its last flight on March 25, 1947, with a total of 430.2 flying hours. It was assigned to the National Air Museum on November 3, 1948, and remained at Norfolk until October 4, 1960, when it was moved by barge to Washington and placed in storage. In 1976 this Hellcat was loaned to the USS Yorktown Museum at Charleston, South Carolina. A superficial restoration was performed at the museum, but because of the harsh environment and its poor condition the Hellcat was returned to NASM on March 16, 1982. In 1983, it was sent to Grumman Aerospace where a team of volunteers completely restored the aircraft. In 1985, it was shipped back to the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland, and put in storage. NASM’s F6F-3 Hellcat is scheduled to be displayed in the new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy center at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in 2004.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation

Date:
1943

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 338 x 1021cm, 4092kg, 1304cm (11ft 1 1/16in. x 33ft 5 15/16in., 9021.2lb., 42ft 9 3/8in.)

Physical Description:
Heavy armor plate, reinforced empennage, R-2800-10W engine, spring tabs on the ailerons (increased maneuverability), could carry rockets as well as bombs.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Photomontage of main entrance view, including P-40 Warhawk & F-4 Corsair up front, SR-71 Background below in the near distance, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise beyond
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Image by Chris Devers
Blogged on ☛ HoloChromaCinePhotoRamaScope‽ as: Bye bye, Miss American Pie.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Kittyhawk IA):

Whether known as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a successful, versatile fighter during the first half of World War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain among the most popular airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the first American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.

Curtiss-Wright built this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.

Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.

Manufacturer:
Curtiss Aircraft Company

Date:
1939

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft 4 13/16in.)

Materials:
All-metal, semi-monocoque

Physical Description:
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird’s performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight’s conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

Manufacturer:
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

Designer:
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

Date:
1964

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)
Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

Materials:
Titanium

Physical Description:
Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

• • • • •

Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Vought F4U-1D Corsair :

By V-J Day, September 2, 1945, Corsair pilots had amassed an 11:1 kill ratio against enemy aircraft. The aircraft’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design allowed ground clearance for the huge, three-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, which spanned more than 4 meters (13 feet). The Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine and Hydromatic propeller was the largest and one of the most powerful engine-propeller combinations ever flown on a fighter aircraft.

Charles Lindbergh flew bombing missions in a Corsair with Marine Air Group 31 against Japanese strongholds in the Pacific in 1944. This airplane is painted in the colors and markings of the Corsair Sun Setter, a Marine close-support fighter assigned to the USS Essex in July 1944.

Transferred from the United States Navy.

Manufacturer:
Vought Aircraft Company

Date:
1940

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 1020cm, 4037kg, 1250cm (15ft 1 1/8in. x 33ft 5 9/16in., 8900lb., 41ft 1/8in.)

Materials:
All metal with fabric-covered wings behind the main spar.

Physical Description:
R-2800 radial air-cooled engine with 1,850 horsepower, turned a three-blade Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller with solid aluminum blades spanning 13 feet 1 inch; wing bent gull-shaped on both sides of the fuselage.

• • • • •

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Space Shuttle Enterprise:

Manufacturer:
Rockwell International Corporation

Country of Origin:
United States of America

Dimensions:
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. long x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)

Materials:
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass features; payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite; thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.

The first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a full-scale test vehicle used for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground; it is not equipped for spaceflight. Although the airframe and flight control elements are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this vehicle has no propulsion system and only simulated thermal tiles because these features were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-long approach-and-landing test flight program. Thereafter it was used for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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