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  1. Clive, I recall that they are called "hydromotors" in the main gun manual. These systems are usually a constant speed AC motor driving a hydraulic system (back to back pump and motor) using a swashplate arrangement (I think). It allows an infinitely variable speed output to the elevation and traverse drivetrains. I would love to get hold of the British printed Illustrated Parts List for the predictor, as it would confirm (or not) the above theory and tell me what I am missing. I do not think what I am missing out of the predictor would be hard to make, if only I knew what was missing. D.
  2. This one is set up for the No.3 Kerrison Predicter, with electric hydromotors for traverse and elevation. Very original. I have the Predictor and the hydromotors, but yet to fit them to a gun. There is a lot of wiring and electrical stuff out of sight in these mountings, so it is not a simple restoration. There is also a diesel generator that comes with it, and the motors inside are marked 50 Volts, 50Hz 3 Phase. The Kerrison was literally a barn find in its original crate, but the previous owner had repurposed the aluminium gables and the telescope mounts / linkages. So I'm still looking for those bits...D.
  3. Hi Coppo, I would be interested. Can you PM me with the details? cheers, watercart (Damien)
  4. I have been doing a bit of research on another Brotherhood item, being a Brotherhood-Crocker car c.1904. It is a 4 cylinder T-head engine, but interesting to note that the Brotherhood logo was based on their 3 cylinder radial design that could be adapted to either being a pump / compressor or a motor. The early 3 cylinder torpedo motors are straight Brotherhood designs. A photo of the car engine is included for interest sake. However, no evidence that it was used in a military application...yet. Brotherhood did design some very innovative features for the car engine. Most of the car and engineering journals at the beginning of 1905 have large articles on the engineering side that can be seen using Graces Guide if you are curious. A lead on any parts for a Brotherhood car engine and gearbox would be much appreciated. But back to the main subject, - out of the blue, I have also been offered a Japanese torpedo engine for the museum. It happens to be an 8 cylinder radial unit with an 18 inch diameter. This was a bit of a surprise, as I have not seen any references to it. The Japanese definitely produced the Whitehead long stroke 2 cylinder designs for their 18, 21 and 24 inch torpedoes, so where an 8 cylinder radial for an 18inch fits in, I do not know (other than very tightly).The present owner was a salvage diver after WW2 and recovered the torpedo. He has had the motor running on compressed air, so he says. I will be following it up. ATB, DNA
  5. Simon, the best indicator of the torpedo diameter is measuring the maximum diameter of the engine. If it just squeezes inside a 21inch circle, then it will certainly be a 21inch weapon. If the weapon was 24 inches, the designers would have used up every bit of that additional diameter in their quest for maximum power. If 21 inches, then your observation that higher pressure (400 bar) or higher percentage O2 was used will be the only alternatives. The 8 cylinder stats quoted with respect to a similar range and double the air volume tend to make me think it was not high purity O2, but you never know. In general reading, I was under the impression that several countries including UK experimented with varying percentages above 20% purity. As we know, the Japanese seem to have been the only ones to get higher purity O2 wrangled properly for their various torpedoes, which gave an old Whitehead long stroke 2 cylinder design a new lease on life. D
  6. Simon, looking back at the stats quoted earlier, I am thinking about the power you will have to dissipate when running it up, if you decide to go for full power that is. If the 8 cyl vs. 4 cyl Mk.VIII / IX engine stats apply to this engine, you are consuming almost twice the air in about 3/4 of the time that a Mk.VIII engine would. On a dynamometer, we were getting about 550HP out of a Mk.VIII engine, which is significantly higher than the handbook minimum. Are we therefore contemplating in the ballpark of 1200 HP for this engine? Much as I would like to see this thing go full power, I am not sure how you would set this up for a run without the risk of things getting out of hand! We have been concentrating on the engine somewhat, but the actual torpedo that contained this 8 cylinder beast would need to be somewhat different to a Mk.VIII / IX. For a start, doubling the air capacity would need to double the reservoir length or the storage pressure. I had a quick look through the previous 5 pages buy did not see reference to the diameter of the engine / torpedo (sorry if I missed it). As a 21 inch torpedo is a more or less standard length to fit in in-service launching tubes, this would require the same size reservoir and doubling of the reservoir pressure. Otherwise, to keep pressures under 250bar, are we looking at a 24inch diameter weapon? Getting ignition would also be interesting, as I cannot tell whether there is a pre-combustion igniter on the engine. In Mk.VIIIs, this as a device with three hammers that are cocked and released to fire three blank cartridges as the first blast of compressed air and fuel go to the engine. I assume that the fuel admitted to the cylinders ignites by the usual diesel principle, as the pre-ignited mix is now warm as opposed to actually burning (??). If I were in your situation, I may be thinking about finding a tame racing engine workshop with a dyno that could take 1200HP and a fairly sizable test rig containing fuel and compressed air. And a method of directing the exhaust outside... Maybe just sticking to turning it over with compressed air for a few seconds would prove functionality as well as avoiding accumulation of corrosive combustion products internally, which may cause seizure in future. After all, Mk.VIIIs where fuel ignition failed were still capable of about 22 knots over a few hundred yards. Cheers, Damien
  7. Simon, the standard approach for conservators in most situations is to only do what is reversible, so your comment about bites of the cherry is prescient. Overall, the objective is to get the motor looking decent, rather than being a frosty looking ball of corrosion, so I would go with the steel wool and oil approach to begin with. At least that will have the least risk of doing irreversible damage. If it still looks a bit rubbish, you can ponder the alternatives then. Some of my professional work deals with the effects of salt water corrosion, so that may be another avenue of consideration if the motor is a combination of steel, aluminium and brass that has been sitting in salt water for a long while. The bad news is that chloride ions penetrate deep into metals such as steel over a period of time and can play havoc with the metal once it is out of the water, eg, anchors that have been sitting on the bottom of the bay for 200 years OK, and explode into giant puff balls of rust when within months of being landed. Lots of work has been done in this area with Mary Rose and USS Monitor, etc. Bottom line is that regardless of your treatment, chloride contamination may make life interesting. You will know you have it if you get aggressive rust forming under paint / preservative on what you thought was a clean and well prepared surface. For steel tanks and ship hulls that have not had long term seawater exposure onto bare steel, ultra high pressure water blasting (approx 30,000psi) can be effective, as it can remove salt embedded in the surface of the object. However, this can be very harsh on aluminium, and is not too effective on a long term salt water immersion. I do not have the specific info on the preservation products, but I saw a can of it at a local automotive paint supplier. It is a silicone based product used by the oily rag / barn find restorers where original paint and patina are the priority.
  8. I took a measurement of the internal diameter of the air line from the Mk.VII torpedo air reservoir. It is 3/4 inch, so capable of discharging a lot of air quickly. Given that it is an historic artifact, keeping a bit of patina on the steel and brass would be standard museum practice. Fine or medium steel wool and oil would remove the soft rust scale but leave a stable patina and paint. If you want to go down that path (as opposed to attempting to make it look brand new), you can get products now that apply over the steel components' patina that makes them look good and protects against further rusting. From the photos, it is not clear whether there is much brass as the earlier engines, but it would be the crank case material and some pipework if anything.
  9. So far so good, but the system essentially runs off both high pressure and massive volume throughput of the air. The torpedo air pipes direct from the air flask are quite large compared with dive cylinders. I will have a look at the sectioned Mk.VIII and confirm what air pipe diameter it has. Getting ahead of ourselves a bit, but knowing the cubic inch displacement of the 8 cyl engine compared with the Mk.VIII's BBC 4 cylinder would give some idea of what increase in volume flow rate would be needed. If a Mk.VIII engine rates at 550HP and the 8 cyl rates at 800HP, then roughly 50% more air flow for the 8 cyl?
  10. A very interesting engine. I wonder who made it? I had some dealings with Commonwealth service torpedoes pre 1990, but have never seen an 8 cylinder engine like Simon's. If it was made in the UK, I would be reasonably certain that it was not produced in any quantity. Another angle is that it may have been an example of a continental engine (1900-45?) recovered for tech intel purposes? Re nyloc nuts, can you discount that someone has not had a go at restoring it more recently? The engine sold by Prestons is a 4 cylinder radial Brotherhood burner cycle engine that went into service in the 21 inch Mk.8 (submarine) and Mk.9 (surface launched) torpedoes. The Prestons one in particular looks like a WW2 produced type that would have been in service until the late 1980s. Recently I had the job of sectioning a whole Mk.8 torpedo for a museum and read the manual that came with it. Some interesting specs: (1). The fuel is listed as "shale oil".(2) It carries about 250 pounds of compressed air at 3000 psi (3) Due to this air pressure and volume, the throttling effect would tend to ice up everything (like how a spray can goes cold when you hold the nozzle down for a long time). (4) They get around this by admitting a small quantity of burning fuel to the air to heat it up before it reaches the engine. (5) The preheated air and cylinder injected fuel then operates as a diesel exhausting into the crankcase and out the propeller shaft. (6) The pre-burn is started by three blank cartridges that are fired on launch. (7) If the ignition fails, the torpedo can still do about 22 knots just on air pressure for a few hundred yards. When the navy tested the engines on a dynomometer, they would routinely produce about 550 horsepower. Not bad for a tiny radial engine designed in 1926. All that said, the salient point is that you need about 3000 psi air boost to get that performance, so not especially convenient for a motorbike, etc. My reference to tech intel is base on a discovery made in Sydney a couple of years ago. In the mangrove swamps near an ex-ordnance depot, a large complex bronze casting was pulled out of the mud. No one had any idea what it was, but it was kept due to being old and mysterious. It turns out to be a Whitehead designed long stroke 2 cylinder engine from a Japanese submarine torpedo. This was a 21 inch type, but the fabled "Long Lance" Type 93 24 inch torpedo used the same design. BTW, while torpedo engines may seem a bit niche, torpedo gyros have been keenly collected for many years. They are amazing bits of precision kit and span about 120 years - from clockwork, compressed air to electrical methods of spinning them up. The Mk.8 torpedo uses a quick blast of the 3000 psi air supply to bring the rotor from standstill to about 30,000 rpm in a fraction of a second.
  11. Hi Rob, I managed to do the rearranging so managed to get some photos of the completed gun outside the shed for the first time. It is the first pattern with updates to about 1912 standard. This is as the Gallipoli guns left Australia on their way to Egypt in Oct 1914. This particular gun is a MkI made by RGF in 1905. Those interested will notice many detail differences between this gun and those made from about 1914 onwards. Again, will do the final paint job on the gun before it goes out for display I hear that the ranks of the 18 Pr survivors is growing due to other restorations, which is a good thing. Look forward to seeing your pics, ATB Nick
  12. Hi Rob, many thanks for the compliment. The gun is effectively complete, but is blocked in the shed by next project. I will try and do some re-arranging in next couple of days so I can drag the gun up to the limber for some photos. It will be a nice "shazzan" moment to have them back together for the first time in 80 years, all the best, Nick.
  13. Tim, sorry for delay in responding as I have not had a chance to look at the forum for a while. Unfortunately I do not have any spares for the ammunition wagon (rear limber) brake system. I am looking for the axle attachments myself. That said, what I have may become available later. Attached is a photo of the gun limber with draught pole and pole support bar. I am still hunting for leather straps and a WW1 dated shovel in case there are any spares out there. Also looking for cartridge cases, projectiles, fuzes and the cruciform primer protector (aka shell base crosses). Methinks these will have to mainly come from Australia due to import grief. I hope to have some photos of the gun and limber together shortly. Footboards are varnished - I thought I would enjoy the woodgrain for a while before they are painted over. Colour is Service Colour mixed from original recipe in Artificers handbook. This is the prewar / early WW1 colour. It is more like the German Feldgrau than the later strong Brunswick greens etc. All the best, Damien Nicholas...
  14. We used the 60 Pounder guns here after WW1. If the projectile fits reasonably snugly in the hole and it is 5 inches (127mm) in diameter, then 60 Pounder (Long Tom) is likely. I think one of my photos of the limbers rusting away in the creek bed is one of those. cheers, DN
  15. I have a spare box from the hind ammo wagon. It is the same size as the box you are looking for, but it has one large rear door instead of the three smaller doors. Also have some of the sub-frame / chassis as well from the hind wagon I am selling off, but I would think it could be modified. It may be worth considering if you are prepared to build from scratch. If you intend building something exact, the number of rivets is pretty intimidating. Send me an email off line if you are interested and I can send some photos - the cost of freight between UK and Australia would be the main problem I think, cheers, DN
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