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Thread: Vintage work crew photos

  1. #1781
    Supporting Member desbromilow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volodar View Post
    ´Forging 14 in. shells with steam hammer at Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co., 1918´

    i see the projectile, not the shell.
    depending upon your terminology, the projectile is called a "shell" - hence the term "shelling the enemy trenches" and "shelling the beaches"... not all "cannons" use casings like pistols and rifles. The larger guns (think the Mighty Mo) use a projectile (shell), and then the propellant is loaded into the chamber in portioned lots, and the entire ensemble is initiated by a much smaller primer. There is several scenes in various movies showing how the guns in larger naval turrets are loaded.. the "bags" containing the propellant essentially rupture and disintegrate and the remnants are discharged out the muzzle with the rest of the smoke and roar as the gun is fired. It's been recently covered in Australian journalism that the powder bags for a number of field guns contained asbestos, and as such the gunnery crews were breathing asbestos as a result when they were enveloped in the smoke around the guns.

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    Supporting Member jdurand's Avatar
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    My mom was an inspector at Wright (Write?) Aeronautical in her younger days, approved the B-52 engines. She could and did stand up to any boss or military brass that tried to get her to pass substandard engines to "make the numbers". Very kind, nice lady until someone tried to get her to cheat at her job.

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    I believe 'shell' is the correct term for the projectile — for large ordinance like this. (Which usually carries an explosive charge, itself.)

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    As I understood it the propellant bags were made of silk, (originally), but now cotton or rayon, or other flammable material so as to be fully consumed during firing. Why would they employ a fibre that is designed to resist burning?

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    Supporting Member desbromilow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12bolts View Post
    As I understood it the propellant bags were made of silk, (originally), but now cotton or rayon, or other flammable material so as to be fully consumed during firing. Why would they employ a fibre that is designed to resist burning?
    I do not know the answer to why... I asked the same question when it hit the news here. I could guess and say perhaps it was to reduce burning embers landing on the ground near the guns and starting a scrub fire, but that is just a guess on my part. I always worked on the principle that the bags were medium weight cotton or silk as well, so was quite surprised when the news stories talked about "a small amount of asbestos" being in them.

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    Supporting Member baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12bolts View Post
    As I understood it the propellant bags were made of silk, (originally), but now cotton or rayon, or other flammable material so as to be fully consumed during firing. Why would they employ a fibre that is designed to resist burning?
    I went to work for a Naval Ammunition Depot after high school and during the ordnance worker training the propellant for the 16" naval guns was discussed since the components were stored there. I don`t remember what the the main bag was made of but each one had a red silk section sewed on the bottom that contained black powder which was what ignited the grains of smokeless powder in the main charge. The smokeless powder was extruded like rifle powders are although on a much larger scale, each grain being more than 2" long with longitudinal holes which controlled the burning rate.

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    Supporting Member VinnieL's Avatar
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    Thank Goodness she did! Those B-52's were beasts and I'm sure with the amount of years they have been in operation countless generations of aviators owe their lives to your mother's dedication!

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    I know somebody that worked at a boeing plant. building and then later in QC. he retired early due to the make the quota **** and told to pas sub std planes ,components & work. he wont fly....i dont blame him for not flying.

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    I have an ex-brother-in-law who worked his whole career at a Boeing plant. He spent his whole career riding a 3-wheeled bicycle around the plant picking parts for shipping. His Dad and uncle also retired from there.

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    A B-52 taking off is the loudest sound I have ever heard...

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