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  1. #21
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    You may have also noticed in the first display cabinet photo, middle / 2nd shelf down, extreme RHS standing vertical is the very rare Spring Pistol mechanism!!!

    This is only the 2nd one I.m aware of.
    Cheers
    D

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    Sprockets (23rd May 2018)

  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sksvlad View Post
    Attachment 141825Attachment 141826

    I had no idea Austria had a Navy!!!!
    An officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy conceived the idea of the modern torpedo and sought assistance from Robert Whitehead who eventually produced a working torpedo. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Luppis

  4. #23
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    It may interest the members of this forum to know that according to Treasury documents I just found in my stash (happens more than you'd think), the British torpedo net cutter variant was patented (no.7854) in 1892 by the head of the Vernon school, Arthur 'Tug' Wilson (noted as Sans Pareil on the paperwork because he'd just been reassigned).
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    Last edited by Ben Turnbull; 17th May 2018 at 09:21 PM.

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  6. #24
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    Hello, Ben,

    Incredible-You have found a Secret Patent-I do not know if drawings are attached, or whether they are separate. I found a Secret patent by Major Sadd, Porton Down, regarding the British Gas Mask Canister used in WW2-Unusual reason for it being secret. Unfortunately, although they were supposed to be printed after a period, this rarely happened. The Bouncing Bomb patent was an exception! see my PM.

  7. #25
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    Hello, Drew,
    I believe you know Denis in Melbourne-he admires your tenacity! I sometimes wonder if the earlier Whitehead Pistols had a blocking safety device, operated from the propellor drive, so that, should a torpedo launched from an Underwater Broadside Tube become partially launched, due to a propulsion failure, then it would remain unarmed. When a Nose Propellor for arming was introduced, without the high drag external connection of the original system, presumably the water operated Locking Flap for the Arming Propellor was expected to take care of this situation, so that water flow transverse to the torpedo would not turn the propellor?

    You show the Jutland Museums Scissor cutter-perhaps Japanese? Also you mention a real rarity-A "Spring Operated" Pistol-Swedish? Do you mean the Duplex Pistol that was used for British WW2 Torp., which, as it swivelled on impact, eliminated the bulky Inertia Pistol used by the States and others! The Jutland Museum items probably came from the most fantastic ordnance collection I have ever seen, which was housed at Christiana, adjacent to the commune. Everything demonstrated, and a curator-EODTIC, who knew every item backwards. When he was forced to retire, it was broken up, nobody knew what had happened and I believe Natter may have tracked down its remains, sadly no longer protected from the elements to an extent. Even had a british Gas mine from WW1, not mentioned in Admiralty history. Congratulations on, I believe, persuding the authorities in Fiume-sorry, Rijeka in Croatia, to look after their rusting exhibits!.

  8. #26
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    Thanks, Lefa,for that most helpful translation covering the Bellemo explosively augmented cutter. Very advanced for its early date-1886, so perhaps anticipating the Admiralty Wilson Cutter-one wonders if it even anticipated the French Scissor type, with cartridges firing bullets at the Scissor jaws, so as to increase the cutting force. Like you, I wonder why the Admiralty felt it to be inferior to their Pioneer-"Not invented here" syndrome, or perhaps because it did occupy quite a portion of the warhead, reducing explosive, and spacing the concussion away from the side of the hull of the target vessel. I wonder what approach the Germans used-I think the Japanese may have invented the Scissor Cutter, but I may well be wrong! Did you get my e-mail regarding the OCR pdf?

  9. #27
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    Hi Sprockets,

    Yes I know Denis - he "persuaded" me to attended the Rijeka Torpedo Conference with him back in 2016

    Yes the first Whitehead Pistol Design incorporated the "Spring-Pistol" mechanism which was connected by an external wire to tooth wheels located on the tail. These in turn were worm-gear to the propeller shaft - so after a set distance the pistol was in the "arm" state. In addition to the arming wire, the early designs also incorporated a second self destruct wire in case the torpedo missed the target. This was removed in the later spring pistol designs, although a similar internal mechanism was incorporated in later years to cut of the compressed air supply.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
    When a Nose Propellor for arming was introduced, without the high drag external connection of the original system, presumably the water operated Locking Flap for the Arming Propellor was expected to take care of this situation, so that water flow transverse to the torpedo would not turn the propellor?
    The water flow would turn the small pistol impeller which in turn armed the torpedo after a set number of revolutions = min safe distance from boat after launch

    To answer your query in more detail, you would need to look at the development of the Whitehead pistol designs from the 1870s up to WW1. Apart from the creative arming mechanisms that were incorporated in the various pistols designs over this period (some of course resulted from accidents / being struct by exploding shells while still in the launch tubes etc), the other key focus was to increase the "angle of bump" i.e. the offset angle from a direct head on target in which the torpedo pistol mechanism would still explode. This led to the introduction of external vanes or better known as "whiskers" and some of the later designs had quite extended whiskers. Interesting enough, the max "angle of bump" that was achievable was only around 30-35 degrees, which was deemed to be insufficient. Development from this point on led to the inertia type mechanisms (Universal Bell\Universal Pendulum) where the pistol no longer had to be situated at the tip of the torpedo (aka the modern type torpedo).

    Cheers
    Drew

  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
    ..
    I sometimes wonder if the earlier Whitehead Pistols had a blocking safety device, operated from the propellor drive, so that, should a torpedo launched from an Underwater Broadside Tube become partially launched, due to a propulsion failure, then it would remain unarmed. When a Nose Propellor for arming was introduced, without the high drag external connection of the original system, presumably the water operated Locking Flap for the Arming Propellor was expected to take care of this situation, so that water flow transverse to the torpedo would not turn the propellor?
    Sorry for the delay.
    This scenario was unlikely, underwater launching tubes were of the push out kind (the tube itself by mean of different technologies pushes the torpedo out, contrary to the swim out tubes where the torpedo leave the tube thanks to its own propulsion) and sometimes inclined negatively in order to help the expulsion with gravity just in case the expulsion system failed, the most common fault was the missed activation of the torpedo propulsion.
    It was the introduction of broadside tubes that lead to the spreading of the propeller safety system – already developed by Whitehead during 1878 and fitted to some batch of weapons sold to the Austro Hungarian Navy - because during trials held in 1897, the French battleship JAUREGUIBERRY at Lorient launched a torpedo that failed to activate its propulsion, causing the weapon to be sucked into the ship’s turbulence and the relative explosion due to impact on the propeller of the air tank.
    The propeller safety system didn’t had any external mechanical parts that could have been damaged due to impact on the launching ship, the maximum safety distance was about 90m translated in roughly 70 complete revolutions as 1 revolution corresponded to 1.3m.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
    ..
    Also you mention a real rarity-A "Spring Operated" Pistol-Swedish?
    Until the development of torpedoes with speeds compatibles with the activation of the firing device by mean of the mass of the weapon impacting the target (1876, att.5), the activation was achieved by mean of a spring mechanism striking the ignition chain; these early models (att.1,2, 3, and 4), produced under some variants and few documented are quite rare now days, especially the one underlined by Drew wich seems the very first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
    which was housed at Christiana, adjacent to the commune
    I love Christiania..

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
    Thanks, Lefa,for that most helpful translation covering the Bellemo explosively augmented cutter. Very advanced for its early date-1886, so perhaps anticipating the Admiralty Wilson Cutter-one wonders if it even anticipated the French Scissor type, with cartridges firing bullets at the Scissor jaws, so as to increase the cutting force. Like you, I wonder why the Admiralty felt it to be inferior to their Pioneer-"Not invented here" syndrome, or perhaps because it did occupy quite a portion of the warhead, reducing explosive, and spacing the concussion away from the side of the hull of the target vessel. I wonder what approach the Germans used-I think the Japanese may have invented the Scissor Cutter, but I may well be wrong! Did you get my e-mail regarding the OCR pdf?
    Bellemo’s net cutting device was an “add on” that was screwed on the nose, it didn’t reduced the amount of explosive contained in the charge, it just stretched the overall length of the weapon.
    I’d like to know more about years and conditions of the comparative trials, hopefully Ben will add more details; unfortunately I don't have any material about the devices produces by France and Japan, likely the collection posted by Drew is not referred to a signle Navy.
    I didn’t received your mail, send me a PM.
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    Last edited by Lefa.; 30th May 2018 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Attachements reorder

  11. #29
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    @ Sprockets

    Now for a "shameless plug" >>> I think you really need a copy of this Amazon Best Seller: (That reminds me - I should really get around to selling them on Amazon one of these days! LOL)

    http://www.bocn.co.uk/vbforum/thread...t=torpedo+book

    As Lefa allured to above, with the increasing speed in torpedo development a parallel development was also taking place with the pistol designs to reflect this.

    (Lucky for you a mutual friend has been organizing a copy for you..................hum may even be one of the last available copies!!!!)

    Cheers
    D

    BTW - The pistols were normally stamped with a serial number - in the case of Whitehead torpedo pistols, that serial number can be crossed reference to the Whitehead Sales ledger which provides information on the type of torpedo /batch and which country purchased it.
    I can't remember what the number the "spring pistol" had on it and will ask Gert for it later. Most likely was manufactured in Fiume for the Danish Navy.
    The same serial number stamping system was adopted by Schwartzkopf.
    Last edited by Dronic69; 31st May 2018 at 02:51 PM.

  12. #30
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    I didn't knew that you've wrote a book about the topic, congratulations! I've seen that you've inserted the material and informations I've posted/sent you some time ago, is there a soft copy available?

    Re serial number: this is a common procedure on integrated systems, not just a WHITHEAD and BMAG use, before s/n are marked the product undergo trials, then accepeted by a factory inspector, hence certified and then marked (every single component, also inside) as proof of quality control, some times when products were delivered to the end user there was a second cycle of acceptance (just like now days, FAT and SAT) and a second marking procedure, usually reporting the name of the customer inspector and the marks of the end user.

    Back on the net cutting devices, I've found a couple of interesting pictures in the archive: a clean close-up of the "cannone" and the nose provided with blades I've quoted before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lefa. View Post
    Hi Sprockets,
    ..Back in 1873, Robert WHITEHEAD and the head of the torpedo workshop of the Royal Italian Navy Arsenal in Venice, capt. TILLING, performed trials with a torpedo fitted with a conical shaped block of blades which gave bad results..
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