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Need help with a rocket motor ID



 
 
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  #41  
Old February 3rd 07, 11:43 PM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
Dave Kearton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,453
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID - no more calls, we have our winner.

William R Thompson wrote:
"Dave Kearton" wrote:

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts - except for the retard on
sci.space.history who told me to do my own research. I think my
way was a lot more educational.


I'm guessing that you were answered by Oswald Mosley, a man
with nothing to say and no trouble proving it.



I think you've scored a direct hit with this one. Why anybody would
select the identity of a Facist as his screen presence escapes me...


"OM
--
]=====================================[
] OMBlog - http://www.io.com/~o_m/omworld [
] Let's face it: Sometimes you need [
] an obnoxious opinion in your day! [
]=====================================[ "






the AQM-37 can do up to Mach 3 or 4, depending on the version.
It's a target drone, and the article in your pictures is probably the
sustainer engine (the bigger thrust chamber must give it the initial
boost up to speed, but it would burn a lot of fuel). Propellants are
identified as liquid oxygen and kerosene. At least five thousand of
these drones have been manufactured since 1959. Even allowing
for the number that must have splashed into the oceans, it seems
likely that one of them could have landed in the Skylab Parking Lot.

--Bill Thompson




Unfortunately, the motor is still in the US. The current 'owner' is
quite happy with his purchase, and is fairly sure that it's legal - but
until he's totally sure, he wants to keep quiet about it.

Through the wonders of the Internet, we could assemble a quick think-tank
to sort it out. There has to be something to counterbalance the porn
and get rich quick schemes.


Once again, thanks to (almost) all who put their oar in.


--

Cheers

Dave Kearton


Ads
  #42  
Old February 4th 07, 02:20 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
[email protected]_cyber.org[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 31
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 02:47:10 GMT, "William R Thompson"
wrote:

"Dave Kearton" wrote:

William R Thompson wrote:


One obvious question--can you find out if those
nuts are metric or SAE?


I'll ask the question and see what happens, if it's a confused mixture
of metric and imperial, does that mean it's a NASA rocket?


Only if it's from a project that NASA wanted to kill.

NASA has recently announced (see

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2...metricmoon.htm

that all manned operations on the moon will use metric measurements.
This is probably NASA's way of telling the American public that
we won't return to the moon after all, not if we have to go without
our 3/8 inch socket wrenches.


In 1963 I was designing ducting for the Saturn V/S-1C.

"Everyone knows" that for the same bolt cross sectional area the
weight goes down as you increase the number of bolts. (I. E. use a lot
of small bolts for light weight.)

I used 1/4" but I was told that "our Germans" in Huntsville didn't
like that, they liked 3/8 inch. Being the kind that asks, asked.

Two reasons.

1) 3/8 is the "same" size as a 10 mm bolt and they knew how big that
was.

2) 3/8 big enough that the mechanics couldn't break them when they
ovr torqued them.

I am willing to meet people half way (sometimes). I used 5/16s
exclusively.

(I later heard that at P&W the jet engine shop rebelled and they got
the chief engineer to agree to send every designer out on the foor
where they had a rig set up with 10-56 screws, which was what everyone
wanted ot use for case flanges and stuff.

They said anyone who could torque them without wringing them off could
design with them. No one could. )

This is not the first time that NASA "metricated." And, if fact, I am
not sure that NASA has evre been any different than the US as a whole.
Congress authorized (but did not require) the use of the metric system
in the mid 1800s. That is the same as NASA always was. (One time
Congress was going to require my MOTHER to learn how much a kilo of
butter was. That was going TOO far. )

The Saturn V had 10 meter (first and second stages) tanks, for
example.

The first time NASA put out rules that said that everything had to be
expressed in "SI" I happened to have wandered off and was working on
AF programs.

When I started back on NASA proposals I was told SI was off. I asked
what happened and I was told "Isp choke.".

What?

They said that we went to NASA for a presentation and the program
manager was livid when he found that the charts did not have thruster
Isp on them. He said "Isp on ALL charts." Our guys said "Isp is not a
SI unit." NASA said "well, put it on in SI units." Our guys said "Isp
is not an SI concept." He said "No more SI on this program." And they
withdrew the everything SI rule.

When I got to the ISS that was a hot debate. I said "Show me where
this rule is written down, I want to see what it says. BUt I could
never find it. There was a "everyone knows" rule that said that "for
astronaut safety" you couldn't do anything thta made the astronauts
talk about SI units. At least in our end of the station.

When we got to talk to Russians we found out that they had about as
many opinions per person as we did. All there data had Isp in seconds
adn they didn't know exhaust velocites. Other stuff was in all sorts
of "*******ized" units. I never saw a presure in pascals, for example.
I think they mostly used "kilobar" or "kg/cm**2."

One guy was very adamant that the program should use SI and I told him
I would support him on that if they would agree to convert too.And at
the design review for the FGB I challanged them on that, and they
produced a document (the originals, actually. They were not big on
coping machines.) that gave evreything on the whole program in SI. BUt
I couldn't find anyone at the working level that knew that the
document existed or what it said.

I could go on, but I won't. I am the only person in the world
completly happy with both systems, and who thinks they are both
equally screwed up.

Henry H.










--Bill Thompson

  #43  
Old February 4th 07, 02:20 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
[email protected]_cyber.org[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 31
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 02:47:10 GMT, "William R Thompson"
wrote:

"Dave Kearton" wrote:

William R Thompson wrote:


One obvious question--can you find out if those
nuts are metric or SAE?


I'll ask the question and see what happens, if it's a confused mixture
of metric and imperial, does that mean it's a NASA rocket?


Only if it's from a project that NASA wanted to kill.

NASA has recently announced (see

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2...metricmoon.htm

that all manned operations on the moon will use metric measurements.
This is probably NASA's way of telling the American public that
we won't return to the moon after all, not if we have to go without
our 3/8 inch socket wrenches.


In 1963 I was designing ducting for the Saturn V/S-1C.

"Everyone knows" that for the same bolt cross sectional area the
weight goes down as you increase the number of bolts. (I. E. use a lot
of small bolts for light weight.)

I used 1/4" but I was told that "our Germans" in Huntsville didn't
like that, they liked 3/8 inch. Being the kind that asks, asked.

Two reasons.

1) 3/8 is the "same" size as a 10 mm bolt and they knew how big that
was.

2) 3/8 big enough that the mechanics couldn't break them when they
ovr torqued them.

I am willing to meet people half way (sometimes). I used 5/16s
exclusively.

(I later heard that at P&W the jet engine shop rebelled and they got
the chief engineer to agree to send every designer out on the foor
where they had a rig set up with 10-56 screws, which was what everyone
wanted ot use for case flanges and stuff.

They said anyone who could torque them without wringing them off could
design with them. No one could. )

This is not the first time that NASA "metricated." And, if fact, I am
not sure that NASA has evre been any different than the US as a whole.
Congress authorized (but did not require) the use of the metric system
in the mid 1800s. That is the same as NASA always was. (One time
Congress was going to require my MOTHER to learn how much a kilo of
butter was. That was going TOO far. )

The Saturn V had 10 meter (first and second stages) tanks, for
example.

The first time NASA put out rules that said that everything had to be
expressed in "SI" I happened to have wandered off and was working on
AF programs.

When I started back on NASA proposals I was told SI was off. I asked
what happened and I was told "Isp choke.".

What?

They said that we went to NASA for a presentation and the program
manager was livid when he found that the charts did not have thruster
Isp on them. He said "Isp on ALL charts." Our guys said "Isp is not a
SI unit." NASA said "well, put it on in SI units." Our guys said "Isp
is not an SI concept." He said "No more SI on this program." And they
withdrew the everything SI rule.

When I got to the ISS that was a hot debate. I said "Show me where
this rule is written down, I want to see what it says. BUt I could
never find it. There was a "everyone knows" rule that said that "for
astronaut safety" you couldn't do anything thta made the astronauts
talk about SI units. At least in our end of the station.

When we got to talk to Russians we found out that they had about as
many opinions per person as we did. All there data had Isp in seconds
adn they didn't know exhaust velocites. Other stuff was in all sorts
of "*******ized" units. I never saw a presure in pascals, for example.
I think they mostly used "kilobar" or "kg/cm**2."

One guy was very adamant that the program should use SI and I told him
I would support him on that if they would agree to convert too.And at
the design review for the FGB I challanged them on that, and they
produced a document (the originals, actually. They were not big on
coping machines.) that gave evreything on the whole program in SI. BUt
I couldn't find anyone at the working level that knew that the
document existed or what it said.

I could go on, but I won't. I am the only person in the world
completly happy with both systems, and who thinks they are both
equally screwed up.

Henry H.










--Bill Thompson

  #44  
Old February 4th 07, 02:58 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
Dave Kearton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,453
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

wrote in message
...
On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 02:47:10 GMT, "William R Thompson"
wrote:

I could go on, but I won't. I am the only person in the world
completly happy with both systems, and who thinks they are both
equally screwed up.

Henry H.




We all understand the difficulty of migrating from one system to another.

Australia's change to metrics started on the 14th Feb '66 with the change to
decimal currency - dollars and cents. All Aussies over 45 can still
remember the TV jingle. A currency based on multiples of 10 makes more
sense than one based on 12s (unless your family tree doesn't branch)
Once that was achieved, switching to Celsius from Farneheit in the mid '70s
wasn't such of a chore.

At one point, for a couple of years in the early '80s, as I recall, it was
illegal to posess for sale rulers with imperial units on them. It was
a ridiculous and draconian measure - but effective in getting some of the
older farts to consider using metric units.

Road signs and speeds followed next, closely followed by weights and
measures in general. All up, the conversion for the general public
was completed by the mid '80s, I'd imagine it was completed a lot faster in
specialist industries.


One thing that I find quirky with the US metric experience is your parochial
spelling of metric units. Whereas the rest of the world has adopted
the original spelling of Litre, Metre etc, why does the US prefer to use
the 'er spelling ?




--

Cheers

Dave Kearton


  #45  
Old February 4th 07, 02:58 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
Dave Kearton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,453
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

wrote in message
...
On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 02:47:10 GMT, "William R Thompson"
wrote:

I could go on, but I won't. I am the only person in the world
completly happy with both systems, and who thinks they are both
equally screwed up.

Henry H.




We all understand the difficulty of migrating from one system to another.

Australia's change to metrics started on the 14th Feb '66 with the change to
decimal currency - dollars and cents. All Aussies over 45 can still
remember the TV jingle. A currency based on multiples of 10 makes more
sense than one based on 12s (unless your family tree doesn't branch)
Once that was achieved, switching to Celsius from Farneheit in the mid '70s
wasn't such of a chore.

At one point, for a couple of years in the early '80s, as I recall, it was
illegal to posess for sale rulers with imperial units on them. It was
a ridiculous and draconian measure - but effective in getting some of the
older farts to consider using metric units.

Road signs and speeds followed next, closely followed by weights and
measures in general. All up, the conversion for the general public
was completed by the mid '80s, I'd imagine it was completed a lot faster in
specialist industries.


One thing that I find quirky with the US metric experience is your parochial
spelling of metric units. Whereas the rest of the world has adopted
the original spelling of Litre, Metre etc, why does the US prefer to use
the 'er spelling ?




--

Cheers

Dave Kearton


  #46  
Old February 4th 07, 04:40 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
William R Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 150
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

[email protected]_wrote:

I see that there was a lot of discussion I didn't read. I am glad to
see that the source was tracked down. But, I am I bit surprised to see
it was from Rocketdyne.


It looks like someone issued specs that said, basically, "make it
reliable and simple, and don't worry too much about the weight."

(For airplanes, RATO lost out to the army developed "JATO" solid
propellant "boosters.")


I can see why. RATO could be throttled and restarted, but I think
the only application anyone saw for that was in seaplane take-offs.
JATO looks a lot less maintenance-intense than RATO (see attached
picture).

T-Stoff, was a mixture of 80% hydrogen peroxide plus
oxyquinoline or phosphate as a stabilizer. [most of the other 20
percent would have been water. _hh]

And that

C-Stoff was a mixture of 57% methanol + 30% hydrazine hydrate + 13%
water, with
traces of either cupro-potassium cyanide or copper oxide (probably as
a stabilizer).


I accept those as being correct. Methanol the kind of stuff you would
want as a fuel. The hydrazine hydrate would be added to provide
"smooth combustion" and the water may have resulted from using the
highest concentration of hydrazine hydrate that was available, or
possibly it was just added as coolant.


(Usually wiki is a really good place for this kind of stuff, but I
didn't find the exact numbers there)


Those are the same figures in Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements."
I figure that Mano Zeigler gave different numbers in "Rocket Fighter"
due to conditions in Axisland--with the Allies bombing their plants
and supply lines, they may have had to settle for anything that could
flow through the lines and burn.

It is hard to find people in the rocket biz that have had long term
exposure to hydrazine that have not also be exposed to N2O4 so when
there are stories about long term effects, you don't know which to
blame. But I will take the alternative to "in a couple of more days,
they die." Better chronic than prompt.


As I recall, Vance Brand passed out from exposure to dumped fuels
during the Apollo-18/ASTP descent, and the crew was taken to the
hospital afterward. They didn't seem to suffer any long-term effects.

(In ordnance circles, I got into this thing of distinguishing between
"high order" explosions or "detonations" and "low order" explosions or
deflagrations. Then there are "no yield" ones, like tank ruptures. I
use to rankle when people talked about auto gas tanks exploding, or
example. Then I read some dictionaries. The "sufficient" definition of
an "explosion" seems to be some event in which a noise was heard.)


I know people who think that a proper footnote is anything with
an asterisk. (Sorry, but citing a newspaper gossip column isn't
quite the same as citing, say, a trial transcript.)

One thing that was more hazardous on the Me163 than the exotic (for
then) propellants was the operational scenario. Take off, climb to
combat altitude, run out of propellant, glide to a landing spot, and
be stuck on the ground on the landing skids.


The allied pilots quickly figured that out, and that there was little
to be done about powered flight, so they just waited and followed them
down and nailed them on the ground. It is a wonder that anyone had any
stories about explosions, they should have all been killed.


My conclusion from trying to find out what happened was that the
Luffwaffe was totally negligent in keeping any useful accident reports
in the WW II era, at least that I found.


That was a typical condition in the Reich. And, given how hard it was
to find self-confessed Nazis after the war, the condition persisted.
Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich" is a classic example.

Designers are often told that "You have to listen to what the user
says, they were the ones that know what is going on.

I agree that you should listen. But you should evaluate what you hear.
Anyone's "eye witness account" is likely to be highly biased and
frequently just imaginary.


That's what I was taught when getting my degrees in hysteria, er, history.
My favorite example has to do with the "Nuts!" event at Bastogne.
There are several accounts of exactly what was said; the accounts
come from people who were there--and they don't match up.

(Although the military historian SLA Marshall claims that the
Germans did, indeed, get the "Nuts!" message. Marshall interrogated
Manteuffel and his staff after the war. At one session Manteuffel
kept blaming his mistakes on his staff. At last one of his subordinates
leaned forward, waggled a finger in Manteuffel's face and shouted
"Nuts! Nuts!")

And, what were the seals and all the other bits made of. I was once
reading a report on the X-1 which was very like an American Lox Me163
and at about the same time. There was something about an explosion and
a fire. The report said they weren't sure what happened, but they
though it might have involved a seal. (I think maybe it was in a check
valve and lit off when the valve closure slammed on it.) They then
started to discuss what sort of special, proprietary LEATHER (!) the
seal was made of. I quit reading.


The Ulmer leather gaskets, which if memory serves were treated with
tricresyl phosphate. The accounts I've read said that the treated gaskets
didn't react with the liquid oxygen--but in the presence of lox, the gaskets
became *very* sensitive to mechanical shock, making them "slightly"
explosive. I think the losses of the X-1A, X-1D and second X-2 were
blamed on that.

--Bill Thompson




Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	F-84&RATO.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	137.5 KB
ID:	6139  
  #47  
Old February 4th 07, 04:40 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
William R Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 150
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

[email protected]_wrote:

I see that there was a lot of discussion I didn't read. I am glad to
see that the source was tracked down. But, I am I bit surprised to see
it was from Rocketdyne.


It looks like someone issued specs that said, basically, "make it
reliable and simple, and don't worry too much about the weight."

(For airplanes, RATO lost out to the army developed "JATO" solid
propellant "boosters.")


I can see why. RATO could be throttled and restarted, but I think
the only application anyone saw for that was in seaplane take-offs.
JATO looks a lot less maintenance-intense than RATO (see attached
picture).

T-Stoff, was a mixture of 80% hydrogen peroxide plus
oxyquinoline or phosphate as a stabilizer. [most of the other 20
percent would have been water. _hh]

And that

C-Stoff was a mixture of 57% methanol + 30% hydrazine hydrate + 13%
water, with
traces of either cupro-potassium cyanide or copper oxide (probably as
a stabilizer).


I accept those as being correct. Methanol the kind of stuff you would
want as a fuel. The hydrazine hydrate would be added to provide
"smooth combustion" and the water may have resulted from using the
highest concentration of hydrazine hydrate that was available, or
possibly it was just added as coolant.


(Usually wiki is a really good place for this kind of stuff, but I
didn't find the exact numbers there)


Those are the same figures in Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements."
I figure that Mano Zeigler gave different numbers in "Rocket Fighter"
due to conditions in Axisland--with the Allies bombing their plants
and supply lines, they may have had to settle for anything that could
flow through the lines and burn.

It is hard to find people in the rocket biz that have had long term
exposure to hydrazine that have not also be exposed to N2O4 so when
there are stories about long term effects, you don't know which to
blame. But I will take the alternative to "in a couple of more days,
they die." Better chronic than prompt.


As I recall, Vance Brand passed out from exposure to dumped fuels
during the Apollo-18/ASTP descent, and the crew was taken to the
hospital afterward. They didn't seem to suffer any long-term effects.

(In ordnance circles, I got into this thing of distinguishing between
"high order" explosions or "detonations" and "low order" explosions or
deflagrations. Then there are "no yield" ones, like tank ruptures. I
use to rankle when people talked about auto gas tanks exploding, or
example. Then I read some dictionaries. The "sufficient" definition of
an "explosion" seems to be some event in which a noise was heard.)


I know people who think that a proper footnote is anything with
an asterisk. (Sorry, but citing a newspaper gossip column isn't
quite the same as citing, say, a trial transcript.)

One thing that was more hazardous on the Me163 than the exotic (for
then) propellants was the operational scenario. Take off, climb to
combat altitude, run out of propellant, glide to a landing spot, and
be stuck on the ground on the landing skids.


The allied pilots quickly figured that out, and that there was little
to be done about powered flight, so they just waited and followed them
down and nailed them on the ground. It is a wonder that anyone had any
stories about explosions, they should have all been killed.


My conclusion from trying to find out what happened was that the
Luffwaffe was totally negligent in keeping any useful accident reports
in the WW II era, at least that I found.


That was a typical condition in the Reich. And, given how hard it was
to find self-confessed Nazis after the war, the condition persisted.
Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich" is a classic example.

Designers are often told that "You have to listen to what the user
says, they were the ones that know what is going on.

I agree that you should listen. But you should evaluate what you hear.
Anyone's "eye witness account" is likely to be highly biased and
frequently just imaginary.


That's what I was taught when getting my degrees in hysteria, er, history.
My favorite example has to do with the "Nuts!" event at Bastogne.
There are several accounts of exactly what was said; the accounts
come from people who were there--and they don't match up.

(Although the military historian SLA Marshall claims that the
Germans did, indeed, get the "Nuts!" message. Marshall interrogated
Manteuffel and his staff after the war. At one session Manteuffel
kept blaming his mistakes on his staff. At last one of his subordinates
leaned forward, waggled a finger in Manteuffel's face and shouted
"Nuts! Nuts!")

And, what were the seals and all the other bits made of. I was once
reading a report on the X-1 which was very like an American Lox Me163
and at about the same time. There was something about an explosion and
a fire. The report said they weren't sure what happened, but they
though it might have involved a seal. (I think maybe it was in a check
valve and lit off when the valve closure slammed on it.) They then
started to discuss what sort of special, proprietary LEATHER (!) the
seal was made of. I quit reading.


The Ulmer leather gaskets, which if memory serves were treated with
tricresyl phosphate. The accounts I've read said that the treated gaskets
didn't react with the liquid oxygen--but in the presence of lox, the gaskets
became *very* sensitive to mechanical shock, making them "slightly"
explosive. I think the losses of the X-1A, X-1D and second X-2 were
blamed on that.

--Bill Thompson




Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	F-84&RATO.jpg
Views:	36
Size:	137.5 KB
ID:	6140  
  #48  
Old February 4th 07, 04:41 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
William R Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 150
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

"Dave Kearton" wrote:

One thing that I find quirky with the US metric experience is your
parochial spelling of metric units. Whereas the rest of the world
has adopted the original spelling of Litre, Metre etc, why does the US
prefer to use the 'er spelling ?


Prefer, hell, let's see *you* win an argument with a Microsoft spellcheckre.

--Bill Thompson


  #49  
Old February 4th 07, 04:41 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
William R Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 150
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

"Dave Kearton" wrote:

One thing that I find quirky with the US metric experience is your
parochial spelling of metric units. Whereas the rest of the world
has adopted the original spelling of Litre, Metre etc, why does the US
prefer to use the 'er spelling ?


Prefer, hell, let's see *you* win an argument with a Microsoft spellcheckre.

--Bill Thompson


  #50  
Old February 4th 07, 05:31 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
[email protected]_cyber.org[_1_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 31
Default Need help with a rocket motor ID

On Sun, 4 Feb 2007 12:28:20 +1030, "Dave Kearton"
wrote:

wrote in message
.. .
On Sat, 03 Feb 2007 02:47:10 GMT, "William R Thompson"
wrote:

I could go on, but I won't. I am the only person in the world
completly happy with both systems, and who thinks they are both
equally screwed up.

Henry H.




We all understand the difficulty of migrating from one system to another.


So, don't migrate, use what suits, which is what people do, anyway.

At least in the U. S. and to my observation, a lot in Europe, too.

I use to be involved with some standards activity. (in ordinary
language, you could have said I was a mermber of a ISO working group).
Some one once told me that the nice thing about standards was that
there were so many everyone could have one of their own. After a
while, I concluded that the result of having more standards ws that
there were more choices, because the old ones don't go away.

So, I went away.


Australia's change to metrics started on the 14th Feb '66 with the change to
decimal currency - dollars and cents. All Aussies over 45 can still
remember the TV jingle. A currency based on multiples of 10 makes more
sense than one based on 12s (unless your family tree doesn't branch)


The US has had decimal currancy for a while.

Once that was achieved, switching to Celsius from Farneheit in the mid '70s
wasn't such of a chore.


The question of temperature scales (very near and dear to me, a
mechanical engineer who is suppose to know about thermodynamics) is
really quite seperate from the "Metric" issue. The original Metric
system didn't even include temperatrue, as the concept was not really
established at that time.

In promoting the Centegrade scale, the proponents tried to paint
Farneheit as being stupid. Who would make a scale that went from 32 to
212 for Gods sake.

Well, he didn't. He had variations as the progresed in his work, but
basiclly he intended to go from zero to 96 degrees. The zero he had a
bit of trouble standardizing, but he intended it to be the coldest
temperature that would be expernced. The 96 was suppose t be avrage
human body temperature. (Why 96? A bit of numerology, apprently, but
it was at least three times a power of two. A power of two is very
handy when you are laying out scales. 100 has no advantage.)

The fact that water freezes at about zero is handy, maybe. But you
have to use negative numbers for ordinary temperatures. Not good in
Farneheit's day.

Water boiling is not really very relevant.

Neither the freezing point or the boiling point have actually be the
definitions of the scale for almost almost as long as the scale has
existed.

The actual definitions now are that there is only one refernce point
and that is zero, absolute. The "Celsius" scale is defined in terms of
the "Kelvin" or "degree" to ordinary people. The only difference in
that and Farneheit now is that a Farneheit degree is 1/1.8 times the
size of a Kelvin. Big deal.

What is the boiling point of LOX? Who cares what the scale is?


At one point, for a couple of years in the early '80s, as I recall, it was
illegal to posess for sale rulers with imperial units on them. It was
a ridiculous and draconian measure - but effective in getting some of the
older farts to consider using metric units.



Ridiculous and draconian measure, I say. The law is a fool, I say.




Road signs and speeds followed next, closely followed by weights and
measures in general. All up, the conversion for the general public
was completed by the mid '80s, I'd imagine it was completed a lot faster in
specialist industries.


Specialist industries in the US converted any time they wanted to, and
many, like the drug industry, have been metric forever.


The US had a fit of metrication fever about the same time. It got as
for as putting up a few speed limit signs. And "kilometer" posts.


When people saw those, the said what the F*** is this, and when they
figureed out how much money this was going to cost, most states said
"Forget it."

That was one of those "unfunded mandates" (that is not the right term,
maybe). The Federal government mandated it, but the states were going
to have to pay for it.

I live near the state of Deleware. They not only have mile posts on
their turnpike, they have kilo posts, too. In fact, they have HALF
kilo posts! Deleware is so small you can almost see all of them at
once. There are about 20 or 30 of them.

(I am not really sure about the mile posts. They may have the speed
limit signs in mph and kph also. They can if they want to.)


One thing that I find quirky with the US metric experience is your parochial
spelling of metric units. Whereas the rest of the world has adopted
the original spelling of Litre, Metre etc, why does the US prefer to use
the 'er spelling ?



I don't really remember. That has been going on for at least 150
years.

I think it has something to do with the idea that we speak, more or
less, English here. And we couldn't pronounce "metre."

I think that the US was the first country other than France to adopt
the meter/metre. A long time before the British. We just didn't make
it mandantory.

A few years ago, the inch was redefined so that it is now 2.54 cm,
EXACTLY. You just don't have to say it in cm. When that happened, the
US shrank by 20 feet. No big deal except to those with beach property.

In the metrication exercise, there was one part of it that did "catch
on." That was that the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco and Firearms)
did mandate compulsory metric bottle sizes for all Alcoholic
beverages.

Of course, they completly screwed it up. Actually, they jsut made
brand new metric sizes for the old bottle sizes. So they are metric,
but wierd metric.

The main size is 750 ml, which is very close to the old 4/5 US quart
size (746 ml, IIRC). Not worth the effort. "Twice" that is not 1.5 l.,
as you might suppose, but accordign to the BATF is 1.75 l. Beats me.
Just makes it hard to compare prices.

The people who squeeled the loudest? The French wine industry, who not
only had to change bottle sizes, they had to have STANDARD sizes. 200
years and there was not a standard size for wine bottles!

The French said that was because the wine bottle was a standard in its
self, the perfect size for two people to consume at a meal! Known to
them, even if not to you.

There are several "funny" thing about the liter/litre. It has driven
the SI guys, who have a lot of time on thier hands, in to various fits
of stupid.

It is not as simple as I once thought, but the liter got "double
defined" like a lot of other stuff in the orginal metric system.

The kilometer was the orignal "base" unit, and was 1/40000 the Earths
circumference, (Paris meridian, of course. )

Before they even got the survey done, the scratched lines on a bar for
a "practical standard". Of course, those don't agree, and on, and on.

The kilogram was based on the weight (or mass, take your pick) of
1/1000 of a cubic meter.

The liter was either 1/1000 o f a cubic meter or the volume of one
kilogram of water, it fluctuated. And, those were not the same, of
course.

Just a few years ago, the SI banned the liter entirely. No matter how
you spelled I think maybe it was out for 6 years.

Then they let it back in, with the cobic meter definition.

The other oddity of the liter/liter is that the SI says you cannot
abreviate it except as "l.". Even though that is very confusing to
read often. "L." is not allowed because capitals are resereved for
units that are named for people.

Some genius tried to fix that by submitting a bio of Andre Litre, the
great physicist who was a the son of a wine merchant. The Si woudn't
by it. No sense of humor.

After haveing been following measurement issues for about 100 years, I
got a big surprise lately when I discovred the explanation for the
size of the US gallon. I always thought it was just dumb. 231 cubic
inches. I had read somewere that the people responsible for the
British standars at one time just happened to have a nice cup that
size.

Not so. In Queen Anne's day, there were several gallons, various
sizes, used for various things in various parts of Britian. So , Queen
Anne, or her agents, decided to have a new standard, so that there
would be one more gallon, "Queen Anne's Wine Gallon."

In order to demonstrate their scientific talents they defined that as
exactly the volume of a cylinder seven inches in diameter and six
inches hight. They picked those numbers because using them, you get an
exact whole number for the volume. 231 cubic inches! They also defined
the gallon as just that, 231 cubic inches.

Problem was, those are only the same on days when pi is equal to 22/7.
Most days, pi is closer to 355/113/

That is a differnence of 0.1 cubic incehs, or something. OH, well.

Later, after we ran them off, the British tried to catch up with the
French by defining yet another gallon, This one equal in volume to 10
pounds of water, at some conditions.

Well, happy metrication, and have a good 1/365.24 of a mean solar
year.

Henry H.





 




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