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Apologies for the poor quality pic; it’s a photo of a photo hanging in my local pub. Can anybody shed any light on matters such as aircraft type, date, place and what is going on?

At first I thought that the large letters “BA” and the smaller stencilled letters were part of the RAF serial number but further research shows that all the serials in the BA series were Bristol Blenheims.

Upon closer inspection of the stencilled letters, it appears more as if they are the beginning of a word, e.g. “Base”, “Basil” or something longer.

Any thoughts?

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6AF4AC40-29C0-4037-B18D-C959743B6D8D.jpeg

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Yes , it does seem like liquid nitrogen.    Son 2 is the chemist and I know s.f.a.    Obviously some sort of 'field' testing , is it a octane check on the fuel.   Take a 1 gallon sample , note weight and then boil-off the "light-ends"  , check the weight , calculate  ?

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I don't think that it is an octane test.  I think that is done with a special engine that compares the ability of the petrol being tested to resist detonation (pre-ignition).  If the petrol is as good as Octane it is 100 octane petrol.  All of this I think!.

It could be a test to see how well the petrol would evaporate.  On the other hand it does rather look as if the civilian gentleman has a pipe in his mouth!

 

John

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1 hour ago, attleej said:

I don't think that it is an octane test.  I think that is done with a special engine that compares the ability of the petrol being tested to resist detonation (pre-ignition).  If the petrol is as good as Octane it is 100 octane petrol.  All of this I think!.

 

 

John

From memory it's called a Waukesha Knock Engine.

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Looking at the photograph again , possibly he is not pouring something in to the funnel , he may be suction sampling the exhaust coming from the apparatus.  They seem to be holding some sort of bellows  ?

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Thank you for all the replies. 
I will try to obtain a better picture but to me it seems certain that the two men are pouring something from a wicker-enclosed vessel, via a funnel, into a container which sits on a weighing scale. As to what and why, further research is required....

Meanwhile, I have identified the aircraft as a B.A.T. Basilisk, one of only three prototypes built. This positively dates the photo to 1918 or 1919, as the first prototype was completed in 1918 and work on the type ceased in 1919.

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Edited by mtskull
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According to Wikipedia, the second prototype was used for an attempt on the world altitude record (which did not end well).

It would seem likely, then, that the photo shows a cylinder being filled with liquid oxygen. There is something which may be an oxygen mask on the ground near the scale.

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3 hours ago, mtskull said:

According to Wikipedia, the second prototype was used for an attempt on the world altitude record (which did not end well).

It would seem likely, then, that the photo shows a cylinder being filled with liquid oxygen. There is something which may be an oxygen mask on the ground near the scale.

It is possibly a primitive way of final producing of liquid oxygen , small scale process speed up by using nitrogen for cooling.  The vessel ?   bottle does seem within a flat bottomed wicker basket.   If liquid oxygen / nitrogen was around then the fat controller must have been sucking at an empty pipe  !

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