Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 12 Jul '14 05:33 / 4 edits
    This science forum gets used for cutting-edge topics, but I'll go against the grain this time by putting up as a topic something that is 70 years old.

    Last year Paul Allen did the kind of thing I would do if I had a billion dollars lying around collecting dust. He purchased a WW II German V-2 rocket. They ain't making any more of 'em!

    The 1940s-era V-2 was a big leap past the German's 1930's A3, which itself was a step up from what Robert Goddard had been doing in the USA.

    Here is a broad, shallow documentary look at the V-2--

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIUxhTYsKBg


    Here are a pair of narrower, deeper looks. The first is on the burner cups at the head of the combustion chamber, and the other is on the guidance gyros--

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0zXznU3Tk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj2QVgfyXik

    Wernher Von Braun and his team of engineers were some really clever people. Even during the war WVB was looking ahead to civilian uses of multi-stage rockets to get people above Earth's atmosphere. (As Mort Sahl used to say in a WVB accent, "I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London." )
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Jul '14 15:12
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
    This science forum gets used for cutting-edge topics, but I'll go against the grain this time by putting up as a topic something that is 70 years old.

    Last year Paul Allen did the kind of thing I would do if I had a billion dollars lying around collecting dust. He purchased a WW II German V-2 rocket. They ain't making any more of 'em!

    The 1940s-e ...[text shortened]... (As Mort Sahl used to say in a WVB accent, "I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London." )
    Do you think he will be aiming at Bill Gates?
  3. 12 Jul '14 21:06
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Do you think he will be aiming at Bill Gates?
    If I were Bill G, I'd be a bit concerned about that purchase.

  4. 12 Jul '14 21:28
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
    This science forum gets used for cutting-edge topics, but I'll go against the grain this time by putting up as a topic something that is 70 years old.

    Last year Paul Allen did the kind of thing I would do if I had a billion dollars lying around collecting dust. He purchased a WW II German V-2 rocket. They ain't making any more of 'em!

    The 1940s-e ...[text shortened]... (As Mort Sahl used to say in a WVB accent, "I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London." )
    The German war effort would have been better off without the V-2 rocket.
    The V-2 rocket programme was an extravagant waste of Germany's resources.
    V-2 rockets also were produced by slave labour with a high rate of mortality.

    "...those of us (on the Allied side) who were seriously engaged in war were
    very grateful to Wernher von Braun. We knew that each V-2 rocket cost as
    much (my note: I think it was more) to produce as a high-performance fighter
    airplane. We knew that German forces on the fighting fronts were in desperate
    need of airplanes and that the V-2 rockets were doing us no military damage.
    From our point of view, the V-2 program was almost as good as if Hitler
    had adopted a policy of universal disarmament."
    --Freeman Dyson (a physicist who was a RAF analyst during the war)

    As a historian, I would like to point out that the worst problem for the Luftwaffe
    was not a shortage of aircraft but a shortage of the fuel required to operate
    its aircraft and to train enough pilots to operate them. Toward the end of
    the war, the Luftwaffe's pilots tended to consist of a few highly experienced
    veterans (who were among the best in the world) and many new pilots who
    had been given little flying time (on account of fuel shortages) in training.
  5. 13 Jul '14 03:33
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The German war effort would have been better off without the V-2 rocket.
    The V-2 rocket programme was an extravagant waste of Germany's resources.
    I've heard it estimated that VE day came six months sooner due to the V-2 program draining resources.

    Certainly it was not cost-effective as a weapon, but it sure greased the skids for the USA and USSR to ramp up toward space exploration in the years immediately following the Second World War.

    "Technically sweet" is the phrase one of my college professors liked to use, and he could have applied it to the V-2 if he had ever gotten onto the topic of rockets.

    As an aside, a liquid propellant rocket has been described as "a turbopump along with some other parts." The V-2's turbopump was powered by catalysis of an "egg" full of concentrated aqueous hydrogen peroxide.
  6. Standard member moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    13 Jul '14 08:22
    Correction: V-2 rockets are still being built. We call them "drones" now. Same thing with 'improved' guidance.
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    13 Jul '14 12:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by moonbus
    Correction: V-2 rockets are still being built. We call them "drones" now. Same thing with 'improved' guidance.
    Not exactly. Drones are flying machines with jet propulsion and stay relatively low in altitude, guided by remote or programs guided by GPS technology.

    V2's reached up way above the atmosphere and re-entered in a ballistic path, powered by a rocket engine with a powered phase of just a few minutes burning fuel at incredible rates.

    Drones can fly for hours because the fuel is burned at a much lower rate.

    It's an airplane, not a rocket.
  8. 13 Jul '14 18:22
    Wernher von Braun flunked physics and maths!
  9. 13 Jul '14 19:17
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
    I've heard it estimated that VE day came six months sooner due to the V-2 program draining resources.

    Certainly it was not cost-effective as a weapon, but it sure greased the skids for the USA and USSR to ramp up toward space exploration in the years immediately following the Second World War.

    "Technically sweet" is the phrase one of my college p ...[text shortened]... s turbopump was powered by catalysis of an "egg" full of concentrated aqueous hydrogen peroxide.
    The V-2 rocket was an extremely expensive way of inaccurately delivering
    a small amount of explosives toward a general target area.

    The Me-163 rocket fighter was powered by an engine that operated upon
    the principle of mixing two dangerous chemicals together, resulting in a
    barely controllable explosion, thus giving thrust.
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Jul '14 03:59
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    The V-2 rocket was an extremely expensive way of inaccurately delivering
    a small amount of explosives toward a general target area.

    The Me-163 rocket fighter was powered by an engine that operated upon
    the principle of mixing two dangerous chemicals together, resulting in a
    barely controllable explosion, thus giving thrust.
    And it was not an effective fighting machine, it could only stay up for a few minutes.
  11. 14 Jul '14 06:24
    In more modern space news, closest approach to Pluto is one year away.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/07/13/330983584/mark-your-calendars-in-a-year-well-arrive-at-pluto
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Jul '14 13:23
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
    In more modern space news, closest approach to Pluto is one year away.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/07/13/330983584/mark-your-calendars-in-a-year-well-arrive-at-pluto
    I thought it was closer than that.