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Real Life "Kerbalisms"


Lisias
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On 6/24/2022 at 6:04 PM, Lisias said:

Oukey, now we need a new female Kerbal on the main team, a mechanic called Gladys! :)

 

Gladys Ingle has been one of my heros for years, ever since I came across some photos of her changing planes in mid air. Her tight clothing makes is obvious that she is not wearing a parachute. I am pleased to report that some years ago I read that she lived to a ripe old age.

 

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11 minutes ago, benzman said:

Gladys Ingle has been one of my heros for years, ever since I came across some photos of her changing planes in mid air. Her tight clothing makes is obvious that she is not wearing a parachute. I am pleased to report that some years ago I read that she lived to a ripe old age.

 

So you may want to second my suggestion! :)

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The Soviets built a reverse-engineered copy of the B-29 called the Tu-4. A variant of the Tu-4 carrying two KS-1 Kometa anti-ship missiles was produced called the Tu-4K. The weapon system was tested between 1951 and 1953.

To test the KS-1, a demonstrator called the izdeliye K (product K) was built, which was basically a crewed version of the missile, capable of reuse. The izdeliye K would operate like a real KS-1, up until near the moment of impact when the pilot would take over and fly back to base.

One test flight was particularly eventful. The crew had taken off and were flying towards the test area, when suddenly there was a jolt. One crew member looked out of the observation blister, discovering that the izdeliye K- along with its pilot, WWII ace Sultan Amet-Khan- had disappeared! Having no idea what happened (the release button had a guard that had to be removed before pushing it, and obviously the bomber crew had not done so), the crew quickly spotted the demonstrator descending in a dive. Amet-Khan managed to fire up the engine, pull up, and make it back to base- definitely on the part of his flying skills. A lesser pilot may not have been so lucky.

Despite the mysterious nature of the incident, no "investigation" was required. Amet-Khan immediately admitted that he had simply gotten bored during the transit to the test area, and started pushing random buttons. He thought that the power supply from the Tu-4 was not in operation, but the release button's supply was always active in case of an emergency.

He apparently suffered no serious reprimands as a result of the incident. He completed further test flights as part of the program, and was awarded the Order of Lenin and became a Stalin Prize laureate for his work on it.

This was originally intended for the fun fact thread over in the Science and Spaceflight section, but then I realized it made more sense here.

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4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

The Soviets built a reverse-engineered copy of the B-29 called the Tu-4. 

A variant of the Tu-4 carrying two KS-1 Kometa anti-ship missiles was produced called the Tu-4K. The weapon system was tested between 1951 and 1953.

Another fun fact about the Tu-4 is that it's said that Stalin had ordered Tupolev to make a precise copy of the thing (a B-29 has landed on Sovied Union in emergency, and "mysteriously" the craft vanished…. :P ), and Tupolev took the order to the letter - the rumour says that every Tu-4 made after had a typewriter as standard equipment as one was found forgotten on that B-29.

For people wondering how was that KS-1:

1430027635_107495607_ks1.jpg

And this is the manned version:

1430028638_pic_3.jpg

The manned version had the same auto-pilot of the unmanned version - it was essentially a fighter turned into a kamikaze style craft!

4 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Despite the mysterious nature of the incident, no "investigation" was required. Amet-Khan immediately admitted that he had simply gotten bored during the transit to the test area, and started pushing random buttons. He thought that the power supply from the Tu-4 was not in operation, but the release button's supply was always active in case of an emergency.

This is something that I totally imagine Jeb doing. :)

(I'm just trying to imagine the "whatahell" expression on his face at that moment!!! :D )

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In case the RQ-3 DarkStar was ever caught in another nation's airspace, I imagine the US would be able to get away with claiming it was a UFO.

Dark_Star_USAF.jpg

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As "Scud B", i.e. R-17 is a rework of R-11 aka "Scud A", who is a deep rework of Wasserfall, who is a hypergolic version of the twice-shrinked A-4, it's also von-Braunish, like a budget version of Saturn.

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As far as "more boosters" goes, it's a lot easier to strap a bunch of Scud's together than it is to make a whole new rocket stage (then again all it would need to be would be a new fuel tank and a bunch of Scud engines on the bottom, and that would look a lot less Kerbal).
I wonder if the Scud engine can be easily switched from hypergolics to Kerolox propellants?

Anyways, that brings me to another real life Kerbalism.
The LR87 rocket engine.

Now you might say "hey wait a minute, how is the main engine of the Titan I and Titan II ICBM/launch vehicle a Kerbal design?"

Well, can you think of any other rocket engine that was designed for ONLY Kerolox, but later (with minimal modification) converted to Hypergolic propellants (NTO/Aerozine-50), and then converted AGAIN (once more without too severe of modifications) to use Hydrolox?
Sure it didn't launch anything with those hydrolox propellants, but that's more because we figured out quickly that at the time hydrolox was best used in upper stages, and using a 1st stage engine on an upper stage would pose problems that were easier solved by just using the purpose-built RL-10 on the Centaur upper stage (creating the Titan II or III with Centaur upper stage).

I don't think you could think of any pump-fed engines that were so easily converted between not just two, but THREE different propellant combinations, with the initial engine having no intent to be adapted for its later propellants.

Oh and the Titan II version of the LR87 (the hypergolic one) was EXTREMELY RELIABLE, to the point that for a long time it served as the main engine for one of the larger ICBMs in the ICBM portion of our nuclear triad.
Actually, the only one that I don't know to be extremely reliable is the Hydrolox one, and that's only because it never launched anything. If it had, I'm sure it would have been quite reliable, despite the unique challenges of dealing with hydrolox.

EDIT: If I'm not being clear, the reason I consider it such a Kerbal engine is because it's a case of "We didn't design it to do that, but hey it works so we're gonna go with it!"
It could also be one of those "accidental genius" designs that Kerbals occasionally come up with.

Edited by SciMan
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6 hours ago, SciMan said:

Well, can you think of any other rocket engine that was designed for ONLY Kerolox, but later (with minimal modification) converted to Hypergolic propellants (NTO/Aerozine-50), and then converted AGAIN (once more without too severe of modifications) to use Hydrolox?

Not that drastic, but I know the Soviets had a lot of conversions from hypergolics, including to methalox. And then of course there was the project to convert the R-29 SLBM from UDMH-NTO to a hydrazine-aluminium slurry and, separately, to ClF5. Both were at least fired.

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Posted (edited)

The Star Raker! So pretty much, NASA just went the Kerbal way and said "MOOAAARRRR BOOOSSSTTTAAAHAHHHHHSHSSSSS!!!!!" and ended up with a spaceplane with a grand total of 10 supersonic ramjet engines. It would go up to 45,000 feet and then... wait for it... DIVE to break the sound barrier. It would go up to Mach 6 and the rockets kicked in at 29km. What a monstrosity!

Spoiler

150_050120_04.jpgstarraker1malvarez.jpgOIP.NSlstuFEAGdpBzfQpog4qgHaF6?pid=ImgDe

Edited by Second Hand Rocket Science
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So the 1930s Japanese came up with a blooper for hand grenades.

23661496_original.jpg

Somehow (prpbably the odd form of the baseplate), the Allies came up with the meme that it was a "knee mortar":

23661271_original.jpg

In reality, it was a nice way to shatter bones. Your own.

MEDIC!

18 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Probably, already was here.

T-20 Komsomolets artillery tug (early WWII).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komsomolets_armored_tractor

  Reveal hidden contents

 

With tent

d0533fas-960.jpg

 

With gun (ZiS-30)

00054116.jpg

 

Spoiler

204347.jpg

79682_900.jpg

4babc8f436fb725bc8b6b00c5e82a88a.jpg

"Muh ancestor!"

The current (ish) artillery tractor, the MT-LB, isn't having a boring life either.

 

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