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Sturgeon's House


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  1. Is there an annotated image of a KA-52 out there? I'm just wondering where the MAW receivers are.
  2. Oh, I knew they were acquired by UVZ but I didn't know that they were still operating under the Omsk name. Not T-42, T-43, which was developed by KMDB in their time at UVZ... it's kind of weird, I don't know who to credit with it. In any case, the turret of the T-43 was then developed into the T-34-85, which was produced by UVZ in massive numbers. The pattern holds pretty well over most of the Soviet Union's existence. Kharkov develops the T-34, and a few years later UVZ starts churning out T-34-85s en masse. Kharkov develops the T-54, UVZ produces a lot of them, and then develops their own T-55, and produces even more. Kharkov develops the T-64, and then a few years later UVZ comes out with the T-72. In the world of computer hardware development, Intel famously coined the "Tick-Tock" development method, which I think is a pretty fitting allegory here. The "Tick" is a completely new design, and it is always followed by the "Tock", which is a derivative of that "Tick" only with all the teething problems and bugs sorted out. You see this pattern in all sorts of technological development. Of course, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. But..... That was always how it had been. Kharkov had never been able to produce tanks in numbers large enough to equip the Soviet union. I don't think even on day 1 that the top brass was dumb enough to believe that Kharkov was going to produce their new super tank in numbers large enough to equip the whole Union, especially when historically that had not been the case, as in T-54/55 production UVZ had to do most of the actual work in building them in large numbers. I think we're 90% in agreement here anyways so I'm sorry this was so long winded, my goal with all of this was just to show @AssaultPlazmathat having an ecosystem of multiple tank platforms being developed at the same time actually isn't a bad thing for militaries that can afford it, and the legacy of all this rapid development and rivalry between designers during the Soviet era is that Russia has inherited a surprisingly diverse and profitable tank industry, whose ability to keep developing multiple platforms at the same time is a strength, rather than a weakness.
  3. IIRC some T-80Bs and T-80BVs were set aside to be cannibalized for spare parts for the T-80BVMs for the rest of their service life. It's possible spare parts are still being produced somewhere, but I doubt it, wouldn't make much sense to keep factories building parts for 40 year old tanks when it's clear that the army doesn't really care for the T-80 in the first place. Read above, it really isn't any extra burden, and of course there is even parts commonality between designs, i.e. the gun. Is LKZ even involved with the T-80s anymore? I thought UVZ was handling all the work. You're implying that the T-64 was even designed to be a universal tank for the Soviets, when it most likely wasn't. KMDB had entered this sort of rythm where they would design a high tech tank, and then UVZ would spool up production of a derivative of that tank a few years later when the technology had matured. This happened with the T-34, the T-54, and yes the T-64. Really, UVZ wasn't even the first to conceptualize a T-64 with a V-12 diesel, KMDB did make about 10 of those V-12 powered T-64 and T-64A prototypes, Object 436 I think. So, the T-64 was never designed to equip the entire Soviet Union let alone it's client states, it was merely designed to catch up to(and surpass) western designs, since the Soviets had fallen pretty far behind by using nothing more than T-54 derivatives for over a decade. Yes, the T-62 was a good stepping stone, but it wasn't enough to properly scare the west, and that's the role that the T-64 played. As for the reliability problems, understand that it's incredibly common for a new design of tank engine to have some teething problems. The 5TD was a totally novel design, AFAIK it was the first opposed piston tank engine, and certainly the first of it's kind within the USSR. Those early mechanical problems have probably ruined it's legacy, first impressions are always the strongest, but in the end the 5TD did mature into something pretty impressive, especially given it's size. If the T-64B and T-64BV were as unreliable as people claim (based on those bad early experiences with the T-64 and T-64A), it certainly wouldn't be running in practically third world conditions with no maintenance well into the 21st century. It wasn't a great tank on it's own, but if nothing else it can probably be described as the best technology demonstrator the world of tank design has ever seen.
  4. It's quite interesting that the J2M was faster than the Hellcat above 6km, I wonder if it's due to the pressure generated by the engine's inlet fan? The Fw-190 is the only other plane that comes to mind when I think of this sort of inlet fan, so it might have been one of those "super special axis wonderwaffles" that gave these planes an edge at higher altitudes. What's strange to me, though, is that the main production J2Ms (J2M2 and J2M3) didn't even have superchargers AFAIK, which is.... awful, frankly, for a plane that was fighting this late into the war. And yet, even without superchargers, the flight performance seems reasonably competitive even at those higher altitudes. In fact, the F6F did have a two speed supercharger through most of it's variants, so the fact that the J2M was faster at higher altitudes (where superchargers become increasingly important) is doubly paradoxical. To me, and of course this is just a guess, I would have to imagine that Jiro Horikoshi must have predicted that Japan's aircraft industry would be incapable of producing proper modern supercharged radial engines, while still early in the design process of the J2M. This would make sense, as his most famous design, the A6M, was basically built around this idea of making the absolute most out of Japan's terrible aircraft radials. So, rather than building the J2M along the lines of American or European radial powered fighters, he must have seriously spent some time figuring out how to maximize ram air with that huge engine cowling and that large inlet fan. The end result was a fighter that could maintain manifold pressure up to high altitudes better than some planes that had the luxury of turbo/superchargers. I would propose then that while the FW-190s inlet fan was included more for cooling and feeding it's supercharger than anything else, the inlet fan on the J2M was included explicitly to maximize manifold pressure at higher altitudes. It's a shame the Japs burned all their documents after the war, I would be really interested in exactly how fast that fan spins, and how much air pressure there is inside that engine cowling as compared to the outside.
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