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Escadrille Ecosse

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  1. Nice. If you're not doing this sort of thing every day then it takes time to remember the 'knack'.
  2. Cycanide and cadmium. Really not nice stuff! And perchloroethylene. There's a smell from the past. When I started working as a 'rocket scientist' the site I was was still making small quantities of paper nitrocellulose using the old 19th century displacement process (along with more modern guncotton, nitroglycerine and gun and rocket propellants). Imagine a huge room full of 4 foot square Belfast sinks filled with concentrated nitric and sulphuric acid mix (about 99% acid) in which rolls of paper are being nitrated. The sinks are completey open to the room and the occasional bubble will come to the surface to release a small puff of poisonous brown nitrogen dioxide gas which rises to join the general brown haze floating (hopefully) just above head height. No masks and you are entreated not to cough or rub your eyes as it might encourage the workers in the building to complain about the extract system. Then if this isn't bad enough once the reaction is deemed complete, the acid is 'displaced' by admitting water, very, very slowly below the more dense and highly reactive acid. Too fast and the two will mix with a violent exothermic reaction throwing out hot acid and a cloud of dense nitrous fume. And if you are realy unlucky leading to the rapid and violent decomposition of the 40kg or so of nitrocellulose paper in the vat. So you could be simultaneously poisoned, melted and burned to death! And perhaps a bit of blowing up too. The continuous nitration process was a lot safer but we still had the occasional 'deflagration'. And as the 'professional' grades like me didn't get much in the way of safety equipment beyond anti-static safety boots and safety glasses I was forever having my clothes riddled with holes from acid vapour and the occasional attack of nitrated skin. Like @JohnD says 'and people bemoan the advent of HSE'.
  3. There is perhaps a significant element of self-selection confimation bias with this type of response.
  4. Remember hearing about that one... A friend used to work at Barr and Stroud, the periscope makers in Glasgow. They had a heated tank full of the stuff for cleaning the periscopes before they went out and when they came back for overhaul. About 30 foot long and 3 foot deep. Although he does remember the time the Navy sent a periscope back for 'repair' and they could only get half in at a time owing to it being bent like a banana! I know. Taken all the 'excitement' out of life.
  5. That you off to put the washing machine on a boil wash cycle
  6. Nice video. Big welding. As @egret says for comparing objects with a different albedo a bit of matt black tape is ideal. There is a similar effect with matt and gloss paint on the moisture meters surveyors use for detecting damp.
  7. You are absolutely right Phil. Guess I was thinking that about the Swiss, Finns, etc then forgot. Problem though is that we have got ourselves into a bit of a pickle there as the 'great and the the good' of the UK have spent the last 60 or so years killing off high value employment, thinking aerospace and all the other high end manufacturing, resource extraction, etc even things like building power stations and railways whilst continually 'saving money' by stopping R&D and infrastucture investment to divert it to buy votes with short term revenue spend and tax cuts. Instead we have relied increasingly on finance (in London) so that what employment we do have is either low skilled or in the public sector, or both. Which is a bit of downward spiral. But a large 'middle class' population doing high value adding work is the best way to create wealth. Unlike giving tax beaks to the rich or bringing in cheap low skilled immigrant labour. The nation won't get rich on cheap Just-Eat bike couriers or fat cat tax dodgers
  8. Not so good. Is this the CV shaft conversion? If it does start to unwind again (or even if it doesn't) you might be able to recover things using Loctite 660.
  9. Yeah. We were always doing the jobs that the other test houses said were impossible so regulary pulled the coils apart. Ended up with three spare armatures to allow for reserves and developed our own repair techniques with a local aerospace firm who gave us far better service than Ling. Oh yes! They were mounted on a water cooled track. Lots of heat to dissipate. Plenty of opportunities for failure. Same with the shaker. Ours was in a hardened bunker due to the things tested and to get the necessary headroom it sat in a pit. Came in one morning to find the pit full of a mixture of water and oil that had been flooded out from the scavenge tank. Cleaning that up was unpleasant. Fortunately Genklene still existed in those days
  10. And I also meant to point out that the ONS numbers are based on PPP (purchasing power parity). But that isn't the whole story because it's how much of the overall economy that goes on healthcare that affects taxation (or insurance in the US). For example, the Swiss have a GDP per capita more than twice us $100,000 vs $49,000. But there are a lot more Swiss working than Brits and as a rule those workers do much more productive jobs so the cost is spread a lot more evenly over the population. With others on that list there are different factors skewing the 'need'. Things like average age of the population, and their overall health. Britain has an old, fat and generally unhealthy population. This is a very interesting and useful website on UK spending. Interactive. https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/ And this is also a very interesting graph of NHS spending vs GDP. Which to me shows something is going very wrong indeed give the outcomes we're seeing.
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