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#226 2022-03-15 19:37:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Chat

Snow has all but vanished but we have mud in places so need to park the car in a different spot until its much less wet.

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#227 2022-03-15 22:34:15

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,653

Re: Chat

Nevah paak the caah at Havahd Yahd.

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#228 2022-03-25 18:53:45

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,878

Re: Chat

This past week I have had COVID for the second time.  Now almost completely recovered.  It made me too ill to work for two days and sapped my productivity for a further two.  My parents and brother had it around the same time.  They are all triple vaccinated, I am the odd one out.  Yet the symptoms were identical, as was the recovery time.  The vaccine doesn't appear to have done much for my family.  Maybe it worked better for some people?


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#229 2022-03-25 19:29:07

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
Website

Re: Chat

Snow was melting, but got cold again. Weather. It's -9°C (16°F) right now. Will be cold this weekend, prediction high -10°C during the day Sat & Sun, low Saturday night -21°C. But will get up to -1°C Monday. Friday next week high of +1°C. Will get warmer the week after that, so snow will start melting again. If you can believe a weather prediction that far ahead. Hmm. Normally most of the snow is gone by the first weekend of April. Sometimes the last snow of the year is the first weekend of April, then melts quickly over the next week. Looks like we'll get a slow melt. Oh well, considering how much snow we have this year, a slow melt would reduce the chance of flood.

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#230 2022-03-26 03:49:22

Terraformer
Member
From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,520
Website

Re: Chat

Calliban,

My brother (double shot) has been stuck here for a week now because he tested positive. Yet neither me (unvaccinated) nor my mother (vaccinated, AZ) nor my father (unvaccinated) have caught it. It seems the immunity from having it last October is still going strong. Some people are getting it repeatedly, but I don't think that's common. Maybe their B-cells just aren't up to snuff.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#231 2022-03-29 16:11:04

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
Website

Re: Chat

There's white stuff falling from the sky! It's March 29, we're supposed to be done with snow. Ack! I said the 'S' word! But to be philosophical, there's often one last snowfall the first weekend of April, then it quickly melts in less than a week. So far it's melting as soon as it hits the ground, and it's light, but if it keeps up it'll cool the ground enough to allow snow to build up. But but but but... I want spring! We all do.

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#232 2022-03-29 17:11:59

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Chat

We have a forecast of snow on higher ground in the UK...

Forget Climate Change, this is the IPMAB effect.

It's Pretty Much As Before.

RobertDyck wrote:

There's white stuff falling from the sky! It's March 29, we're supposed to be done with snow. Ack! I said the 'S' word! But to be philosophical, there's often one last snowfall the first weekend of April, then it quickly melts in less than a week. So far it's melting as soon as it hits the ground, and it's light, but if it keeps up it'll cool the ground enough to allow snow to build up. But but but but... I want spring! We all do.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#233 2022-03-29 17:33:16

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Chat

Same here with it being cold and windy for the past few days as its been spitting snow.

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#234 2022-04-07 15:19:18

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
Website

Re: Chat

Come on, FAA!!
#spacex #faa #spaceflight #humanstomars #returntomoon
278097916_5710289545654025_408528015996928238_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=iHz4mIjpiTQAX_l3BBs&_nc_ht=scontent.fyyc2-1.fna&oh=00_AT-bGfa0Lv0GHzvs2TIzB5TgmjS2C1Bw1rHZhghR6BnIow&oe=6253DA33

Image shows a horse-drawn wagon, with wooden barrel on the side. Boxes in the back, the last labelled "Regulations". The wagon is being drawn by the Starship Enterprise from TOS, with a logo of SpaceX on the side. The wagon drive is says "Awright now, Boy! Giddyup!"

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#235 2022-04-07 20:24:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Chat

Seems the army core of engineers did not get a report that they will require.

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#236 2022-04-08 09:54:32

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,878

Re: Chat

Today I attempted to make crucible steel.  I used a charcoal fuelled furnace with an airbed air pump.  It was a failure.  It appeared to get hot enough, but the steel fragments in the graphite crucible failed to fuse.  Yet the blade I was attempting to case harden melted away to nothing.  I can only imagine that thermal soak time was insufficient.  I will try again at some point, but need to rethink the approach.  The forge eats charcoal like crazy, making this an expensive experiment.  I have made plenty of case hardened blades in the past.  It is not difficult to do.  But Damascus steel is challenging.

Last edited by Calliban (2022-04-08 09:55:08)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#237 2022-04-09 12:33:21

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,653

Re: Chat

If you think FAA approval for Starship is taking more time than it should, then try to imagine the consternation of aircraft pilots and owners to get 100LL AVGAS replaced by a suitable Lead-free alternative.  The latest attempt at getting the Lead out has gone on now for the better part of a decade.  There are candidate Lead-free fuels available from SWIFT and GAMI that have passed all FAA testing with flying colors (chemical testing and characterization, exhaustive materials compatibility, testing with highest-heat / highest-compression engines commonly used - GTSIO-520 / TSIO-550 at the edge of the altitude envelope, to-spec-engine run stand testing with full tear down analysis, you name it and they've done it), yet we're still stuck in FAA paperwork purgatory.

From testing, we have learned that the engine oil looks almost brand new after 100hrs, even though you wouldn't go beyond 25hrs to 50hrs tops with a properly leaned-out engine running 100LL before the engine oil was black as night and utterly destroyed by Lead contamination, and that you can even use a high quality automotive engine oil like Mobil 1 full synthetic after you remove all of the Lead, further increasing the life of the engine parts because it keeps the engine cooler than traditional engine oils that become contaminated with Lead fouling from combustion.  The spark plugs, at $30 a pop (and 8 to 12 plugs per engine) come out clean when you run Lead-free fuel.  Ditto for the intake and exhaust valves, which no longer have sealing issues caused by Lead accumulation.

Thus far, nothing but good things have come from eliminating Lead, but we have to overcome the stick-in-the-mud bureaucratic inertia of the FAA's regulatory processes which appear to prevent both ill-advised and well-devised changes alike from ever coming to fruition.  I understand the hesitancy to move away from something that works when lives are on the line, but only good things will come from this change to aviation gasoline for the piston-powered / spark-ignited fleet of General Aviation aircraft.

There is presently a single-source supplier of 100LL and supplies are dwindling because such a small quantity of 100LL AVGAS is consumed every year (around 4 million barrels), relative to automotive gasoline or even specialty fuels like our Alcohol-based "race gas".  Most of the low-compression naturally aspirated aviation engines can already use 87 or 93 Octane motor gasoline (MOGAS; ethanol-free, not what you get at the pump).  If the move is ever made to liquid-cooled electronic ignition / electronic fuel injection engines, then we can use straight 87 or 93 Octane pump gas (with its "normal" Ethanol content included, as-used by most cars and trucks).  The Ethanol content of pump gas only causes serious issues for composite aircraft with "wet" wings (the skin of the wing forms the fuel tank).  If you use appropriate plastic or metal fuel cell type fuel tanks with stainless steel fuel feed lines, then Ethanol-related corrosion or breakdown issues almost disappear and you get the benefits of running the cheapest mass-produced fuel available.

We can debate the merits or lack thereof, as it relates to putting alcohol in the gasoline supply, but the 10% ethanol fuel is still the cheapest available and ethanol increases the Octane of the gasoline, which is necessary for modern high-compression engines.  Alcohol is an even stronger solvent than gasoline, and from simple observation of high-time engines it seems to keep the intake valves a little cleaner.  It's not a night-and-day difference because it's not pure alcohol, but it's readily apparent from casual observation.  Water contamination in the fuel from ethanol does no part of the fuel delivery system any good, but all types of fuels are degraded by water accumulation.  The best way to contend with that problem is to properly seal the fuel tank, which also reduces emissions from fuel vaporization / release.

If there was any concerted attempt to transition to modern automotive engines, then we could obtain both performance and cost benefits associated with using the latest engine technology that the automotive manufacturers have put so much effort into.  Due to the high costs associated with very low volume boutique engine production, automotive engines are more exhaustively tested than any aviation-specific engine ever will be.  It's almost a given that any high quality / high volume production automotive engines will have at least 10X more engineering and testing into them than aviation-specific engines.  Good examples include the Chevrolet small block, big block, and LS series of engines.  Any given production year of those automotive engines exceeds total production (spanning many decades now) for the most popular Continental and Lycoming aircraft engine models.  To compound the problem, there's been a 10X reduction in airframe and engine production between the 1950s and 2020s due to production costs.  Over the next 10 to 20 years, there may not be enough new build aircraft engines to keep Continental and Lycoming solvent.  Both manufacturers have gone through bankruptcy or buy-out to prevent bankruptcy at least once over the past 20 years, and had to retool using modern CNC machines to lower production and labor costs.  Those are typically signs of a dying industry.

To recap, Lead is neither good for engines nor good for humans.  The sooner the FAA gets the new Lead-free fuels certified, the better.  EI/EFI are more efficient than carbs and magnetos or distributors, and infinitely tunable without physical alteration to the engine.  Automotive engines are produced in quantities wildly beyond those of aviation-specific engines (tens of millions vs several thousands per year), so they're much cheaper and parts are much more readily available.  Modern turbocharged all-Aluminum automotive engines best the old air-cooled beasts in both power-to-weight ratio and total power output in a given volume of space.

There are clearly packaging considerations with automotive engines since there's more going on under the cowl, but suitable engine mounts and gear boxes have already been developed and have been in service for many decades now.  It's inappropriate to hang a much heavier LS type engine off the nose of a Cessna 172, but there are 180hp to 200hp turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engines that are no heavier in practice than the Continental or Lycoming 150hp to 200hp engines they would replace.  Cessna 182s and larger aircraft that were already designed to handle the increased weight would benefit greatly from more efficient and powerful LS type engines that more closely mimic the weight of heavier 6-cylinder engine installations in those airframes, such as the TSIO-550 series.  At 320hp constant output, the LS ($35K) burns 4gph less than a Lycoming IO-540 ($60K to $100K) at 225hp, 8gph less than a Lycoming IO-720 ($135K) at 300hp.  It's pretty easy to see why the engines are so attractive.  They easily match the peak horsepower rating of the IO-720 (without crazy-high rpms) while cruising at the same or better power output with drastically reduced fuel burn.  Junk yard LS engines can be sourced for less money, but this is for a brand new crate engine from GM with all functional accessories and aftermarket aviation-specific engine accessories such as the gearbox and control electronics included.

So...  Why are we still stuck in the Stone Age of piston aircraft engine design?

Bureaucratic inertia from the FAA.

Example:
FAA wants redundant electronic ignition controls because traditional engines have two magnetos and two spark plugs per cylinder.  The reason they have a pair of magnetos and pair of spark plugs per cylinder is to counteract the fouling created by Leaded AVGAS and the general unreliability of magnetos.  The engine computer will fail in some certain number of tens of thousands of operating hours.  The magnetos are all but guaranteed to fail inside of 1,000 hours without refurbishment, thus the requirement for 500 hour inspections where the mags are removed, disassembled, and inspected.  The reason they don't fail more often comes down to maintenance, not because they're intrinsically more reliable.  Worse still, magnetos are so expensive to overhaul that almost nobody does it anymore.  Slick mags are simply thrown away and then you have to buy a new one.  The overhaul cost associated with a pair of magnetos would purchase a brand new engine computer, so if the FAA mandated that you buy a new computer every so often to keep the manufacturers happy, it would cost no more to do than what you're already forced to do.  Magnetos do what they do quite well (provide fixed spark timing for 500 to 1,000 hours of operation), but they also have very limited service lives.

It should be noted that my experience with my modern 2007 Dodge Charger was related to incorrect re-assembly of the engine after a water pump replacement and various mechanical failures of the electronic components.  The fuel injectors were internally clogged and corroded by debris that could not be dislodged with a small pick, so those were all discarded.  The plastic housings or signal pins on the various engine sensors were junk after 15 years of environmental exposure, the water temp sensor was badly corroded, and the engine's original control computer, which I suspected was faulty, turned out to not to be, whereas its intended "refurbished" replacement was faulty.  Some of the aftermarket components, such as the O2 sensors, also provided incorrect voltage readings that the computer didn't like because they didn't heat up fast enough.  Aircraft engines, which do not use catalytic converters, would've saved thousands of dollars in parts and labor and troubleshooting time on my repair bill.  The diagnosis and troubleshooting of the issues with the cats and timing chain were, along with the month of procrastination and price gouging at the stealership, before I'd finally had enough of them and their non-answers to simple questions.

That's the big and small of where we're at right now in the general aviation world.  Too much bureaucracy and too little acceptance of technology that works better than what we have.  With that, it's off to listen to GW's presentation.

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#238 2022-04-12 09:53:40

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,341

Re: Chat

For Calliban re post on forge, and specifically Damascus steel


Calliban wrote:

Today I attempted to make crucible steel.  I used a charcoal fuelled furnace with an airbed air pump.  It was a failure.  It appeared to get hot enough, but the steel fragments in the graphite crucible failed to fuse.  Yet the blade I was attempting to case harden melted away to nothing.  I can only imagine that thermal soak time was insufficient.  I will try again at some point, but need to rethink the approach.  The forge eats charcoal like crazy, making this an expensive experiment.  I have made plenty of case hardened blades in the past.  It is not difficult to do.  But Damascus steel is challenging.

https://www.history.com/shows/forged-in-fire

What little I know about steel making is primarily from watching a fair number of the episodes on the History Channel.

While I'm sure you are aware of them, there may be members of the NewMars forum readership who are not, here is a quick summary.

The Forged in Fire series started in 2015, and it seems to be continuing.  I'm guessing there are enough viewers to justify the considerable investment required to put on a program like this.

Contestants come from all over the United States.  Both men and women take part, although there are more men than women who spend the time and effort necessary to qualify for an appearance on the show.

The setup is a competition between two to five contestants, who are given a fixed period of time (eg, three hours) to start a project from scratch, and, in a series of run-offs, compete for $10,000 (US) as the grand prize.

The judges are characters (first and foremost for the TV series) ** and ** they are highly qualified in one or more aspects of steel making, weapon technology, and other skill sets such as testing.

With all of that as background, here is my question to Calliban:

Since the show uses gas, in order to achieve the 3 hour performance targets, I don't recall ever seeing charcoal used.

However, I understand that the original Syrian developers of Damascus steel must have been using charcoal, or something very similar

I'm make a wild guess that you have attempted to re-create the environment of the Syrian ancestors by using charcoal.  Practically ** anyone ** could make good Damascus steel using gas for heating, but (if I interpret the situation correctly) you have chosen the much more difficult path in order to understand what actually happened all those centuries ago.

(th)

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#239 2022-06-19 15:23:25

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,250
Website

Re: Chat

Hot summer day: +36°C (97°F) right now, bright sunny, 42% humidity.

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#240 2022-06-19 15:43:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Chat

Sure the term summer should sound high heat weather but instead I saw a day that was mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of a few showers later in the day. It feels like 55' F with the wind speed of 9 mpg with gust up to 30 mph, the expected low of 51' F as the humidity approaches 50%.

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