Monday, 10 March 2008

Yours in white wine sauce Blog competition

Around the World in 80 models - part two

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter Two
The construction and testing of the Holt caterpillar mechanism has gone well and although there is some disagreement as to whether the steam engine has enough horse power, the general agreement is that the project is progressing well. Further up the chain of command the situation is not so good. The American Government has lodged a complaint against ‘under-hand business practices’ and the American Patent office have started proceeding against the German Special Projects division for breach of Patent AS 12867/1887 ‘Chain Track’ Held by The Holts Tractor Company of Ohio.

One point of interest to the reader is that the Holt patent track laying system is the basis of both the German A7V, and the French Renault tanks.

This is not the only issues affecting the project as the German Navy is still refusing to release any armour platting and now Krupps have written to Herr Dr. Lacher to suggest that they are being put under pressure to refuse to supply the naval designed guns! The political intrigue surrounding this project is growing by the day and it will take all of Dr. Lacker’s skills to negotiate a suitable outcome.

We have a compromise – The German Navy have agreed to allow the steel plate and naval guns to be used, provided that the project is now a joint venture and the Land Ironclads are now referred to as Land Ships! Herr Lacher is said to be ‘delighted at the combined expertise of the Imperial German Army and Navy working together. It is hoped that this amalgamation will speed up both development and construction times.’

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter Two
The airships envelope has been successfully test filled and although the event went without a hitch, there is concern that the existing envelope may need to be increased in size, or at the very least altered to include one extra gas bag – a similar experience has been encountered in a number of dirigible builds, and the usual way around this is to extend the envelope in the centre section. O’Driscall is against such actions and it might be that the gondola will have to be reduced in size and/or the maximum load reduced.

The high pressure steam engine has also been delivered and is undergoing trials, to confirm its maximum pressure out-put and to investigate ways that the whole assembly can have its weight reduced. On this point a new member and specialist engineer has been brought in to the project to oversee the mechanical specifications and build, Robert Lock, a Welshman, who has worked in Italy and been involved in many similar project’s will also help with the building of the gondola. ‘Bob’ Lock has also expressed an interest in piloting the airship, a position that has already had a number of candidates and should prove a ‘delightful aside’ to the more serious project of construction!

The ‘Fenian Ram’ and ‘Irish Folly’ are both engaged in testing the new Shillelagh stick bombs. The bomb is shaped like the British Congreve Rocket, but intended to be dropped rather than rocket propelled. Many civilised nations have reportedly tested such devices, few will admit to owning any!


1 comment:

Bob Lock said...

Unfortunately my prescription for air-sickness tablets got lost in the post (damn steam-powered pigeons) so couldn't pilot it, sorry... :)