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Good on the Bros. It does my heart good to see a warbird restored. And then there’s this:
They have taken delivery of a fourth Rolls Royce Merlin engine, which they said was key to getting it airborne.
One wonders just how many re-manufactured Merlins exist and who’s doin’ the re-manufacturing. That HAS to be the nichiest of niche markets.
Buck – I was friends with (late) old crusty English mechanic – he was I’d say a master mechanic. Rebuilt everything from VWs to Ferraris.
Anyway he said – though the early 60s you could buy a still crated-in-cosmolene Packard-Merlin for next to nothing.
Just read that FiFi – the only air worthy B29 (out of 4,000 built) is grounded because of an engine problem.
And they had just re engined the plane a year/2 ago. Because of the problems of the original Wright Cyclones they put a different version of that engine in – and had to re-engineer the cowling.
All; told it costs $10,000 / hour to run it. When its running.
So my hat’s off to those guys.
Oh, if anyone’s interested I’ll dig through my Reno Air Races pics and see if I can find that Merlin with the cam covers off – as I recall 4 valves/cylinder, gear driven cams – other than metallurgy and electronics they couldn’t improve on that 70 years later.
In fact at Reno i think they are doubling the horsepower – presumably with different pistons & crankshaft – over 3500 hp.
Thanks for that, Bill.
The Lanc has always been one of my favorite aircraft. Glad to read that another one will be in the air!
Saw one on the ramp at NAS Sangley Point, R.P back in ’67. I don’t remember who it belonged to but do remember it had roundels like the British used. I’m wondering if this could be the same airplane? I sure do wish I had taken a picture at the time.
Very Good…I plan to watch the original :”Dambusters”
Hope you enjoyed the film. The new version is to be released this year so should be very interesting. The screenplay was written by Stephen Fry who, along with others involved in the politics of the film making, decided that Guy Gibson’s faithful labrador who was killed by a car on the morning before the raid, should have its name changed. “Of its time”, the poor old dog’s name was a direct reference to its jet black coat – yes it was the `N` word, which was also used as the code word to signify that a dam had been breached. I understand that `historical correctness` has been substituted by political correctness and general decency, the producers having renamed the canine character “F**kface”. (Only kidding, I think they’ve dropped an offending `N` or `R` somewhere and the dog will actually be called Igger or Niggen or something along those lines).
Interestingly, the original film can be seen and heard with the offending word included in all its un-dubbed horror. However, the bouncing bombs have not been substituted by big Jelly Babies, the 1,600 or so people including French, Dutch and Belgian POW’s and labourers will still be drowned and there will still be a 40% casualty rate for the bomber crews.
Don’t get me wrong, I think `that word` is extremely offensive and it was never in my repertoire of insulting invectives and I have arrested people for using it as such at a football match I was policing in 1977 (and racist chanting and abuse is currently a real hot topic in pro football). But on this occasion it was the name of a dog in 1943. Maybe it just `is what it is`? Maybe the American market, where this film needs to score big, has something to do with it? I can’t help wondering what Mel Brooks would have done?
The use of the N-word is quite a problem. I myself am torn between historical accuracy and the use of a term I find terribly offensive. I’m just glad it wasn’t MY decision to make.
OTOH, there’s a movement in the US to Bowdlerize Mark Twain’s classic “Huckleberry Finn” for the same reason (“they” wanna change Nigger Jim’s name, to what I don’t know). While I can support the “Dambusters” decision to change the word, I cannot and will not support changing Twain. How’s THAT for a double standard?
Thanks for your thoughts Buck. Offensive it definitely is. Amazing how glibly it was used in those days. (My dog’s called “Monty” by the way
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