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With the notch to the front of the dolly and the chains draped over this would indicate the way to slow down and stop it, could it be part of a design to transport heavy objects across a gully or slope that could not be easly traversed ?

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With the notch to the front of the dolly and the chains draped over this would indicate the way to slow down and stop it,
Yes well done




could it be part of a design to transport heavy objects across a gully or slope that could not be easly traversed ?
Good idea but its not that
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CLIVE the ropeway appears to run over a trench is the cargo suspended below ground level for protection there also seems that a part of this hoist is not shown
I see what you mean Wally. It is actually the end of a long roll of polythene sheet lying on the ground. As you surmise there is some stuff I've not shown on the left. There is also something attached below the trolley thing where I have drawn jagged lines, but no hoist.
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It was Hornet firing Malkara ATGW.


The problem was that the control wire sometimes got burnt by the hot gases from the rocket motor. A fix was provided by clipping a bar across the lower two fins that kept the control wire just clear of the exhaust.


This set-up captured the control wire intact, which could be examined in detail. Normally the wire would snap on reaching the target.



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Even quite late in the development of Malkara problems with wire breaks were apparent. The expense of fitting command break up units & the constraints of firing in the UK prompted the Para Sqn RAC to move the whole Sqn for a month in 1965 to the Trucial Oman States for direct & indirect firing (separation sights). The trials were in the desert near Sharjah Abu Khariban.


Originally a 4-core wire was used on Mk 1 missiles, but by using a common earth a 3-core wire was used in Mk 1A missiles. This saving in weight allowed a much extended range to 4,000 yds with an improved motor.


The wire was enamelled, cotton covered & being made of steel was very strong. Wire breaks were therefore rather surprising. Some wire breaks were actually problems in the plug in the dispensing arm of the Hornet.


The other cause of random breaks was more mystifying, an investigation was undertaken at Compton Vale near Melbourne. It was thought that hot debris from the motor was cutting the wires.


The thick polythene roll 20ft x 200ft was used to verify that a range of particles that had melted through the sheet. But there was no sign of the cotton covering being burnt. Later investigations in the lab showed it was only necessary for red hot metal to pass close enough to the wire for it to snap given the tension in the wire. So the use of a snap-on bar below the lower fins prevented this problem.


So the experimental set up was very effective. This was not a military investigation this was by the contractor, who at this stage was BAC having accepted the design authority from Government Aircraft Factories in that year (1965).


I am grateful to Jim Sommerville who led that BAC team to Australia for sharing many of his experiences with me. Many of the technical events or certainly their details seem not to have been otherwise recorded. Much of this sort of information was to have been included in the story of Malkara by Col Val Cockle, sadly he died before his project could be completed. I was lucky enough to have corresponded with Val on a number of projects not just Malkara but Vigilant & Swingfire. For the latter he formed & commanded 20 Trials Unit that brought Swingfire into service.

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I'd like to Terry & it is an ambition. I think to write a comprehensive book it is something that one would have to wholeheartedly throw all one's free time into for a year or two, but I have so many other things to write about & research.


I did a chapter on The Humber 1600 Series & indeed the whole book needs an update in the light of new information & photos that have come to light. The author has suggested this to me but it is question of time.


I wrote the Malkara chapter for this book last year, which was a great honour.




But earlier period of ATGWs is of interest seeing things from both sides. In many instances I have come across conflicting opinions from users & contractors who see things in a different perspective.


So for the moment I will content myself with articles here & there. I will soon put up on here an article on Rover screened ignition systems that I have been writing for 4 years. It is about 100 pages & includes first hand experiments & measurements that won't be found in EMERs or the internet. It puts right some of the nonsense that appears both in those sources. :-D

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Just as I said it was important to view things from both sides, I have just come across some of the many notes made by the EME responsible for bringing Malkara into service.


He commented that they had reported problems with wire breaks back in the trials of 1961-2 yet the contractor seemed to pay little attention to the problem and were confused that the problem was with Mk 1 missile rather than Mk 1A that had a different motor. It was just one troop that went to Sharjah not the whole Sqn & the plug problem was resolved by a REME solution.


I have large sections annotated 'correct', 'incorrect' or 'not true', but also places marked as 'no comment'. In the latter case I'm not sure if that is agreement but I suspect it is tongue-biting disagreement!

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