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Traction Avant monocoque

Front torsion bar suspension

The Traction Avant, French for "front wheel drive", was designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni in late 1933 / early 1934. While not the first production front wheel drive car – Alvis built the 1928 FWD in the UK, Cord produced the L29 from 1929 to 1932 in the United States and DKW the F1 in 1931 in Germany – it was the world’s first front-wheel drive steel monocoque production car. Along with DKW’s 1930s models, the Traction successfully pioneered front-wheel drive on the European mass car market.

The Traction Avant’s structure was a welded monocoque (unitized body). Most other cars of the era were based on a separate frame (chassis) onto which the non-structural body ("coachwork") was built. Monocoque construction (also called Unit Body or "Unibody" in the US today) results in a lighter vehicle, and is now used for virtually all car construction, although body-on-frame construction remains suitable for larger vehicles such as trucks.
This method of construction was viewed with great suspicion in many quarters, with doubts about its strength. A type of crash test was conceived, taking the form of driving the car off a cliff, to illustrate its great inherent resilience.

The novel design made the car very low-slung relative to its contemporaries – the Traction Avant always possessed a unique look, which went from appearing rakish in 1934 to familiar and somewhat old fashioned by 1955.

The suspension was very advanced for the car’s era. The front wheels were independently sprung, using a torsion bar and wishbone suspension arrangement,[3] where most contemporaries used live axle and cart-type leaf spring designs. The rear suspension was a simple steel beam axle and a Panhard rod, trailing arms and torsion bars attached to a 3-inch (76 mm) steel tube, which in turn was bolted to the monocoque.

Since it was considerably lighter than conventional designs of the era, it was capable of 100 km/h (62 mph), and consumed fuel only at the rate of 10 litres per 100 kilometres (28 mpg-imp; 24 mpg-US).

Variants

Cabriolet

Traction Avant rear

1937 7C Coupe Traction Avant

A French "familiale" 11 F 1954, 6 windows, 9 seats

Citroën 11 Commerciale 5-door

Traction Avant rears. The boot was lengthened and its volume doubled in Autumn 1952.[4]
The original model, which was presented on 18 April 1934, was a small saloon with a 1,303 cc (79.5 cu in) engine. This model was called the 7A, which was succeeded in June 1934 by the 7B with a higher-power engine of 1,529 cc (93.3 cu in). The 7B in turn, was succeeded in October 1934 by the 7C with an even higher-output 1,628 cc (99.3 cu in) engine. Later models were the 11 (launched in November 1934), which had a 1,911 cc (116.6 cu in) four-cylinder engine, and the 15 (launched in 1938), with a 2,867 cc (175.0 cu in) six. The numbers refer to the French fiscal horsepower rating, or CV. The 11 was an 11 CV, but curiously the 15 was actually 16 CV. The 11 was built in two versions, the 11L ("légère", or "light"), which was the same size as the 7 CV, and the normal model 11, which had a longer wheelbase and wider track.

Citroën planned two variants that never entered production, since there was not enough funding available to develop them, except as running prototype vehicles. One was an automatic transmission-equipped model, based on the Sensaud de Lavaud automatic transmission, the other a 22 CV model with a 3.8 liter V8. The transmission (which was actually originally designed for the Citroen) was a "gearless" automatic, using the torque-converter alone to match engine revolutions to the drivetrain revolutions, much like the Dynaflow Transmission introduced later in the USA. The car was supposed to have a less spartan interior than the other Traction Avants and it was to feature Citroën’s own new V8 engine. About twenty prototypes were made, but when the project was canceled in 1935 due to Michelin’s takeover; they were probably all destroyed.[citation needed]

In addition to the 4-door body, the car was also produced as a 2-door coupé with a rumble seat, as a convertible and as an extended length Familial model with three rows of seats. There was even a hatchback-type Commerciale variant, in 1939, well ahead of its time, in which the tailgate was in two halves, the lower of which carried the spare wheel with the upper opening up to roof level. A one-piece top-hinged tailgate was introduced when the Commerciale resumed production in 1954 after being suspended during World War II.
Wartime disruption[edit]

In September 1939 France declared war on Germany and in June 1940 the German army rapidly invaded and occupied Northern France.[1] The war years were characterised by a desperate shortage of raw materials for civilian industry and of petrol,[1] but these factors were not apparent instantly. The Paris Motor Show scheduled for October 1939 was cancelled at short notice, but Citroën’s own planned announcements had involved the forthcoming 2CV model rather than any significant changes to the Traction.[1] For the Traction, the last “normal” year in terms of production levels was 1939, and 8,120 of the 2910mm wheelbase 1628cc engined 7C models were produced.[1] This tumbled to 1,133 in 1940, which was the first year when the plant suffered serious air-raid damage – on this occasion caused by a German attack – on 3 June 1940. Production of the cars was suspended in June 1941, by when a further 154 had been produced in the six-month period just ended. The 7C would continue to appear in Citroën price-lists until March 1944, but production of this smaller engined “7CV” version of the Traction was not resumed after the war.[1] For the more powerful 1911cc engined 11 B-light models, the equivalent figures were 27,473 units produced in 1939, 4,415 in 1940 and 2,032 for 1941, though for this model production in 1941 ended only in November 1941 so the figure for that year represents 11 months of production.[1]

In 1945 production restarted only slowly: the 11 B-light reappeared very little changed from the 1941 cars except that headlight surrounds were now painted rather than finished in chrome. By the end of December 1945 the year’s production had reached 1,525.[1] Currency depreciation is evident from the car’s listed price which had been 26,800 francs in January 1940, and had risen to 110,670 francs in October 1945.[1] In 1945 the car was the only model available from Citroën, and as another sign of the times, customers not able to supply their own tires were charged an additional 9,455 francs for a set of five.[1] In May 1946, presumably reflecting an easing of the war-time tire shortage, the car could at last be purchased with tires at no extra cost, but by now the overall price of an 11 B-light had risen to 121,180 francs.[1]

The 11 B-normal model, differentiated from the 11 B-light by its 3090mm wheelbase, experienced a similar drop off in volumes between 1939 and 1941, with just 341 cars produced during the first seven months of 1941.[1] After the war, a single 11 B-normal was produced in 1946, in time to be presented at the October 1946 Paris Motor Show: production built up during 1947, but during the car’s ten-year post-war period the shorter 11 B-light would, in France, continue to outsell the 11 B-normal.

Initially the French army lacked enthusiasm for the Citroën Traction, believing that it offered insufficient ground-clearance for their needs.[1] Nevertheless, by September 1939 roughly 250 had found their way into military service. With losses of cars at the frontier mounting, Citroën supplied a further 570 to the army between February and May 1940, and subsequent deliveries probably took place before military defeat intervened.[1] During the war many of the cars were reregistered with "WH…" (Wehrmacht Heer/Army command) license plates, having been requisitioned by the German Army.[1] These gave reliable service both in France and further afield, notably in Libya and Stalingrad. Tractions were also favoured by the Resistance, and as occupation gave way to Liberation they turned up all over France with FFI inscribed proudly on their doors. Less gloriously, the cars were known as favourites among gangsters such as the then infamous Pierrot le Fou, and his Traction gang.

UK built cars[edit]

Left-hand drive versions were built in Paris, in Forest, Belgium, in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Scandinavian market, and right-hand drive cars in Slough, England. The Slough version of the 11L was called the Light Fifteen and the long wheelbase 11 was called the Big Fifteen. This confusing terminology referred to the British fiscal tax rating of the time, which was higher than the French, so the 11CV engine was 15HP in England. The 15CV model was called "Big Six" in reference to its 6-cylinder engine. They were equipped with the leather seats and wooden dashboards popular in the UK, had a 12-volt electrical system and were distinguished by a different radiator grille and different bumpers. Some models also had a sliding sunroof.
A 1,911 cc (116.6 cu in) Light Fifteen tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1951 had a top speed of 72.6 mph (116.8 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 29.7 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.2 miles per imperial gallon (11.2 L/100 km; 21.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost GB£812 including taxes.[5]

A 2,866 cc (174.9 cu in) six-cylinder model was tested by the same magazine in 1954 and for this car the top speed found was 81.1 mph (130.5 km/h), acceleration from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) 21.2 seconds and fuel consumption 18.6 miles per imperial gallon (15.2 L/100 km; 15.5 mpg-US). The test car cost GB£1,349 including taxes.[6]
Engineering[edit]

Citroën 11 CV Légère

The Traction Avant used a longitudinal, front-wheel drive layout, with the engine set well within the wheelbase, resulting in a very favourable weight distribution, aiding the car’s advanced handling characteristics. The gearbox was placed at the front of the vehicle with the engine behind it and the differential between them, a layout shared with the later Renault 4 and 16 and first generation Renault 5 but the opposite way round to many longitudinal front-wheel drive cars, such as the Saab 96 and Renault 12 and 18 and most Audi models. The gear change was set in the dashboard, with the lever protruding through a vertical, H-shaped gate.[7] Because this vertical orientation could have resulted in the car dropping out of gear when the lever was in the upper positions (i.e., second or reverse gears), the gear shift mechanism was locked when the mechanical clutch was engaged and released when the clutch pedal was depressed. The result of this layout, along with pendant pedals, umbrella-type handbrake control and front bench seats, was a very spacious interior, with a flat and unobstructed floor. The low-slung arrangement also eliminated the need for running boards to step into or out of the vehicle. These features made them ideal for use as limousines and taxi cabs, and they were quite popular among drivers and passengers alike. Until 1953, black was the only color available.

Impact on Motorsport[edit]

Another technical significance of Tranction Avant was the cast aluminium alloy transaxle, which was pioneered by Hans Ledwinka in the early 1930s for Tatra V570 used in front of the engine located in the rear, but was quite radical at the time.

As well as being a considerable part of the weight savings, the manufacturing facility for this transaxle contributed to the below mentioned financial crisis. But when John Cooper looked for a light transaxle case for Formula One rear engine revolution, Traction Avant unit was about the only candidate, as Volkswagen magnesium alloy transaxle was much smaller and lacking the space needed to house heftier gears needed for Formula One. The Traction Avant transaxle was used on Cooper T43 which won a F1 championship race as the first mid-mounted engine car to do so in 1958, and on its successors Cooper T45, T51 and T53. Cooper T51 won the GP World Championship in 1959.

Unlike the Volkswagen alloy case used by Hewland, the Traction Avant case could not be used up side down, as the input shaft height was much higher in relation to the output shaft axis so that the oil level needed to lubricate the gears would exceed the then-unreliable input shaft oil seal height if used upside down. So the engine needed to sit high above the ground with the oil sump space below, which was not needed by dry-sump racing engines. But the French transaxle was used by several racing car constructors in the late 1950s to 60’s with various levels of success.

In the case of Jack Brabham, who personally visited the ERSA foundry in Paris to discuss a possibility to strengthen the case ,[8] the transaxle became known as "ERSA Knight" with an additional spur-gear set mounted in the bellhousing spacer (engine to transaxle adapter) suggested by Ron Tauranac, named for Jack Knight who designed the modification and made the straight-cut gears. The height offset created by the spur gear set enabled the engine to sit lower, and became the reason why Cooper T53 was called the ‘Lowline’, which not only made Brabham the World Champion in 1960 but also became the precursor to the establishment of Brabham as a Formula One constructor.

Impact on Citroën[edit]

1954 six-cylinder 15CV with hydropneumatic suspension fitted to the rear wheels – in ‘high’ position

Traction Avant as modern wedding car

The development costs of the Traction Avant, combined with the redevelopment of its factory, were very high and Citroën declared bankruptcy in late 1934. The largest creditor was Michelin, who then owned Citroën from 1934 until 1976. Under Michelin, Citroën was run as a research laboratory, a test bed for their radial tires and new automotive technologies.
In 1954 Citroën’s experiments with hydropneumatic technology produced its first result, the "15H" – a variant of the 6-cylinder model 15 with a self-leveling, height-adjustable rear suspension, a field trial for the revolutionary DS released the following year.

Directly after the introduction of the Citroën ID, a simplified and more competitively priced version of the still revolutionary DS, production of the Traction Avant ended in July 1957. Over 23 years, 759,111 had been built, including 26,400 assembled in Slough in England, 31,750 assembled in Forest near Brussels and 1,823 assembled at Cologne in Germany. The total reflects the production stoppage during World War II.

The Traction Avant today[edit]

Big Fifteen sedan

In 2006, the oldest surviving 7A has production number ("coque nr") AZ 00-18, and is displayed in partly dismantled shape (engine and front wheels detached) in the Citroën Museum in Paris. The oldest running 7A is probably number AZ-00-23, which was, until 1 September 2006, in possession of a Dutch owner and is now with a Slovenian owner.
Traction Avants are fairly robust vehicles even by modern standards; however, they are prone to leaking water inside the cabin and care needs to be taken when buying one. Every few years, Traction Avant enthusiasts ship their vehicles to an exotic location for a rally. In 2002, for example, a group of over 30 Traction Avants drove from Los Angeles to New York without incident. [1]

Soviet T-26 Twin-Turret Cavalry Tank. Karelia. Winter War. 1939. Советский двухбашенный легкий танк Т-26″А”. Карелия. Финская война. 1939 год.
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Image by Peer.Gynt
Digitally Composed Image
The original machine is exposed at Poklonnaya Gora WWII Museum. Moscow.
www.flickr.com/photos/peer_gynt/3027235630/

Taken on March 19, 2011.

The T-26 Light Tank was produced in greater numbers than any other pre-war Soviet Tank, and was the most numerous tank in Red Army service in June 1941.The T-26 was based on the British Vickers 6 ton E Light Tank. This came in two versions – the model A, with two side-by-side machine gun turrets, or the model B with a single gun in a larger turret. The first T-26s were licence-built copies of the Vickers “E” model A, but the majority of T-26s would carry a single Soviet-designed turret on the Vickers chassis.

I. A. Khalepsky of the Directorate of the Mechanization of the Red Army purchased the first Vickers E Light Tanks on 28 May 1929, and they reached the Soviet Union during 1930.

Soviet tank designers were then given the chance to produce their own modified versions of the Vickers tank. Two prototypes – the TMM-1 and TMM-2 were built – but neither was as good as the Vickers design, and it was the Vickers E that was put into production.

On 13 February 1931 the Revolutionary War Council decided to put the T-27 tankette (itself based on a British design) and the T-26 into mass production. They were thus contemporaries for the German Panzer I and Panzer II. The T-27 was to carry out battlefield reconnaissance while the T-26 was to provide direct support for the infantry during the breakthrough stage of a battle. The Red Army’s “Deep Battle” plan was very similar to the German Blitzkrieg, and planned for the close support tanks to break the enemy line before the faster exploitation tanks (the BT series) broke out into the enemy’s rear area, causing chaos and confusion.

Responsibility for the production and development of the T-26 was given to a design team created specifically for the purpose at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad (renamed the Zavod Nr.185 (S. M. Kirov) in 1935). This team, the Opytniy konstruktorsko mekhanicheskiy otdel (OKMO) or Experimental Design Mechanical Section, was led by N. Barykov and S. Ginzburg, and had the job of modifying the Vickers design for Soviet production

Variants

T-26 Model 1931

The first version of the T-26 to enter production was based on the twin-turreted Vickers E type “A”. This most unusual looking vehicle was armed with two DT 7.62mm machine guns carried in identical turrets mounted side by side. Each turret could traverse around 265 degrees, giving an overlap of 85 degrees to the front and rear in which both guns could fire, and larger 95 degree areas to either side where only one gun could be brought to bear.

The T-26 Model 1931 was produced in a variety of versions. All carried the 7.62mm gun in the left turret. Some replaced the right hand gun with either a larger machine gun or a 37mm gun, normally used in specific commander’s tanks.

T-26 Model 1933
The biggest change to the design of the T-26 came in 1933, when the twin turrets of the Model 1931 were replaced by a single larger turret, carrying a proper tank gun. At first attempts were made to mount a license-built Rheinmetall 37mm gun in the left hand turret, while the right hand turret was removed, but this arrangement was not a success.

Instead the gun was modified to produce the 45mm Model 1931 anti-tank gun, and the OKMO and KhPZ at Kharkov were ordered to create a turret that could carry the new gun. Their first effort was a straight sided cylindrical turret with a small square rear bustle to balance the gun, and a single hatch in the roof. On production vehicles the front half of the turret remained cylindrical and straight sided, while the rear was extended back and given straight edges. Two turrets were placed in the roof.

Early versions of the Model 1933 carried a single coaxial machine gun in the turret, and were made of largely welded construction. In combat the tank crews discovered that machine gun fire hitting the outside of the rivet could break off the inner half, which would then fly around the inside of the tank at high speed, and so later versions of the turret used all-welded construction. By the end of its production run the Model 1933 two more machine guns had been added to the turret – one in a ball mounting at the rear of the turret and an anti-aircraft gun carried on the turret roof.

T-26S Model 1937

After the failure of the T-46 project S. Ginzburg and his team at OKMO were ordered to modernise the T-26. The resulting T-26S Model 1937 was given 25mm frontal armour and a new turret with thicker sloping armour.

The T-26S Model 1937 is normally said to have been armed with the Model 1938 45mm gun. Some sources refer to a T-26S Model 1938, which may suggest that this new gun was introduced after a number of Model 1937s had been produced.
T-26S Model 1937

After the failure of the T-46 project S. Ginzburg and his team at OKMO were ordered to modernise the T-26. The resulting T-26S Model 1937 was given 25mm frontal armour and a new turret with thicker sloping armour.

The T-26S Model 1937 is normally said to have been armed with the Model 1938 45mm gun. Some sources refer to a T-26S Model 1938, which may suggest that this new gun was introduced after a number of Model 1937s had been produced.
T-26S Model 1939

The final version of the T-26S was given a redesigned wider superstructure with sloped sides. This increased the effectiveness of the side armour, and provided the space for extra fuel and ammunition. The turret was given a drop-forged or cast mantlet, which simplified the manufacturing process. As a result the T-26S Model 1939 looked a far more modern vehicle than the earlier Model 1931 or Model 1933, but in fact was still very vulnerable to anti-tank weapons.
Flame Throwers

The T-26 was used as the basis of a series of flame thrower tanks. First was the OT-26, based on the twin turreted Model 1931. This was followed by the OT-130 and OT-133, based on the Model 1933, and finally by the OT-134, the only version to keep its 45mm gun. These flame thrower tanks were very vulnerable in combat, for they had to get within very close range of their target while carrying a heavy load of fuel for the flame thrower protected only by the thin armour of the T-26.

Combat Record

Spain

The combat debut and heyday of the T-26 came during the Spanish Civil War, where just over 300 T-26 Model 1933s fought on the Republican side. The 45mm gun of the T-26 gave it a distinct edge over the German and Italian tanks supporting Franco’s Nationalists, to such an extent that the Nationalists were willing to pay a bounty for any captured T-26s. Even during this relatively successful combat debut the thin armour of the T-26 proved to be vulnerable to the 37mm anti-tank guns in use in Spain. The T-26S Model 1937 was produced in response, but the chassis of the T-26 could not carry much more weight.

Far East

The situation was not so encouraging during the fighting at Lake Khasan in 1938 or Khalkin Gol in 1939. The 45mm gun of the T-26 was more than capable of defeating the Japanese tanks encountered during these battles, but once against Japanese anti-tank weapons proved capable of inflicting heavy losses on the T-26 formations.

Finland

Worse was to come during the Winter War against Finland. Just before the start of the war in November 1939 the Soviet Armoured Corps had been abolished, and the new weaker Armoured Divisions suffer massive losses during the fighting. At least 1,600 tanks were lost, and given the preponderance of the T-26 in the tank divisions at the end of 1939 a large number of T-26s must have been lost in the fighting. In the aftermath of the Winter War the Armoured Corps were reformed, and lessons learnt in the fighting would have a big impact on future Russian tanks, but for the moment the T-26 had to fight on.

1941
The T-26S is often compared unfavourably to the German tanks it was to face in 1941, and in two crucial aspects it did indeed fall down. All three of the main German tanks of 1941 – the Panzer II, Panzer III and short-gunned Panzer IV were much faster than the T-26, with top speeds of 24-25mph compared to the 17mph of the T-26. All three were also better armoured than the T-26, with 50mm frontal and 30mm side armour standard on the Panzer III and IV and 30-15mm armour on the Panzer II. However these comparisons are not entirely valid. Both the Panzer III and Panzer IV were twice the weight of the T-26. Only the Panzer II was in the same weight class as the T-26, while all three German tanks were newer designs than the T-26. The big strength of the T-26 was its 45mm main gun, which if used properly could have inflicted heavy losses on the invading Germans, who would soon discover that their own tanks were badly under-armoured.

In June 1941 there may have been as many as 11,000 T-26s in service with the Red Army, but the vast majority were lost in the first few weeks of fighting. Mechanical faults probably accounted for half of these losses, with the tanks abandoned as the Red Army was forced back. Poorly trained and badly led Soviet tank crews had little chance against the expert German panzer troops during the fighting of 1941, and even less when forced to fight in the thin-skinned T-26.

Different sources give slightly different production figures for the main variants of the T-26. Somewhere between 1,150 and 1,625 twin-turreted Model 1931s were produced in 1931-33. 5,000-5,500 of the Model 1933 were produced in 1933-1937, making it the most numerous of all versions. Figures for the total number produced vary between 11,000 and 12,000, which leaves room for 4,400-5,300 of the later Model 1937 and Model 1939.

Statistics

T-26 Model 1931
Length: 4.8m/ 15ft 9in
Width: 3.4m
Height: 2.08m
Weight: 8.6 tons
Armour: 6-15mm
Main Gun: 37mm Model 28
Secondary Armament: DT 7.62mm machine gun

T-26 Model 1933
Length: 4.8m/ 15ft 9in
Width: 3.41m
Height: 2.41m
Weight: 9.4 tons
Armour: 15mm front, 6mm side
Main Gun: 45mm Model 32
Secondary Armament: DT 7.62mm machine gun

T-26 Model 1937
Length: 4.8m/ 15ft 9in
Width: 3.41m
Height: 2.41m
Weight: 10.5 tons
Armour: 25mm front, 6mm side
Main Gun: 45mm Model 38
Secondary Armament: DT 7.62mm machine gun

T-26S Model 1939
Length: 4.8m/ 15ft 9in
Width: 2.39m/ 7ft 10in
Height: 2.33m/ 7ft 8in
Weight: 10.3 tons
Armour 25mm (frontal)
Main Gun: 45mm Model 38
Secondary Armament: Two 7.62mm machine guns
Speed: 28 km/hr/ 17mph
Range: 125 miles

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HE LOST MORE WEIGHT!!!! Now he’s 90 grams!!!!
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I don’t get it!!! :'( :'( I’m feeding him 4 ml’s of Critical Care a day (which is roughly 3/4’s a tsp.) plus baby food, plus a lot of oatmeal. So HOW DID HE LOOSE 15grams since Wednesday!!!???
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tea_ball_7Dii3610
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For Macro Mondays theme "brew", this is an extreme closeup of a teaball – a round mesh ball that holds loose tea. The blue blob is the weight that keeps the chain (for lowering and raising the ball out of the tea) from falling into the cup.

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Friday-Love! ~ Bug Eyed Strange Guy Fawkes Edition
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Ooooooh yeah.

Can you feel it?

That feelin’ of Fridayness?

Uh huh.

What a crazy ass week wasn’t it?

I’m startin’ to think that they’re all crazy.

They’ll leave you kinda lookin’ like this guy if you let ’em.

Dude was cool.

He was walking down Milwaukee Avenue carrying a trombone case.

In my experience guys walking down the street carrying trombone cases at midnight are either crazy trombone players or they’re drug dealers carrying a trombone case filled with marijuana.

The devil’s weed.

Sweet Mary Jane.

Packed full in sandwich baggies three fingers thick.

I used to smoke pot in college.

I think the last time I bought it I bought it from a guy carrying a trombone case down the street.

In Honolulu Hawaii.

I was on my way to Bangkok and the plane hadda stop in the islands to get some gas and I decided I’d get off and explore for a couple of days.

Catch the next one.

You could do that in those days because people were cool.

They didn’t fly airplanes into buildings or butt search you when you flew anywhere domestically like they do now.

I rented some crap ass Suzuki Samuri tin foil jeep like thing for twenty nine bucks a day and slept in that piece of junk all over that island.

Kept getting kicked off of pineapple plantations by security guards in the middle of the night after the cops threatened to throw my ass in jail for sleepin’ on the beach.

Honolulu was really kind of boring if you’re not with a hot chick on your honeymoon and I’d heard about this legendary weed called ‘Maui Wowwie’ and figured maybe I could score some there.

Maui wasn’t too far away I thought.

I’m glad I did good in geography class.

Education pays.

I hit all the bad neighborhoods and people tried to sell me every other vice in the world but nobody had any of the sensimilian rasta love herbs I was lookin’ for.

I’d pretty much given up on the whole idea and instead I chartered a boat and went marlin fishing for the day and enjoyed me some of the big blue ocean and since I didn’t catch a marlin I decided to hit some fish joint on the beach where you could grill up your own marlin steak.

It was an epic dinner and when I was walkin’ back to that crap ass Suzuki Samuri I see this guy in a tie dyed Grateful Dead shirt carrying a trombone case walkin’ down the street with a smile on his face and lookin’ like he didn’t have a care in the world.

If you know anything about anything you know THAT guy’s carryin’.

So as I walked by him I whispered ‘weed?’

The guy stopped in his tracks and turned around and said ‘buyin’ or sellin’?’

‘Lookin” I answered.

You know… just in case he was Hawaii 5-0 undercover or somethin’.

Under the barbaric laws of the time they still put people in prison for havin’ that.

Oh wait… they still do.

Dealer man shot back ‘follow me.’

We walked into an alley next to the Honolulu Hilton and he opened that trombone case and holy smokes the thing was filled to capacity with the illegal green budness.

All neatly organized in rows according to weight and grade.

The guy was a professional.

Smelled like the Hienecken factory or a skunk farm right when he opened it I swear.

He was a full service pot dealer… probably specializing in the tourist market and he even had packages of rolling papers for the convenience of his customers.

‘I do a lot of business with the japanese’ he said ‘they’re my biggest customers.’

I picked up a bag of his produce after he extolled it’s virtues, promising me ‘you ain’t never smoked weed this good.’

We sat on the Hilton’s air conditioning unit there in the alley and he insisted on twisting up a fatty with me and we smoked it right there.

Good gahd he was right.

I had never smoked weed like that before and I never have since.

That stuff made me ‘see’ music.

I fell right on my ass off the air conditioning unit and he packed up his trombone case and headed off into the sultry Honolulu night looking for more business.

I found my shitball Suzuki Samuri and headed to the north part of the island where he said the waves were supposed to be killer in the morning.

No one was on the roads and I drove real slow… waiting for stop signs to turn green and everything.

I kept my eyes open for a twenty four hour burrito shack.

It had turned into a beautiful night and the stars were incredible to sleep under.

I slept behind some strip mall and woke up feeling like shit.

A day on the beach cured me of all of that and with that little bag of the ganja I made a whole bunch of new friends.

People could smell that stuff from a mile away.

Everyone was happy and the livin’ was good…

but I hadda catch a 747 to Bangkok late that afternoon and I headed back to the airport in the flimsy little Suzuki Samuri I’d been calling home.

It’s not a good idea to travel internationally with marijuana on your person so I finished off that stuff right before I got to the rental return at the airport…

I flicked the last half of my last happy cigarette carelessly into the breeze and said goodbye to Hawaii and that frickin’ Suzuki Samuri with a smile and some really red eyes.

And a terrible hankering for a bag of Doritos.

You know that joint I flipped outta the car on the way to the airport?

Well…

It never left the car.

It landed in my camera bag and melted itself to the top of it on the inside of the flap where you open and close it.

Where it remained while I went through customs in two countries.

I got a little extra scrutiny when I landed in Tokyo after spendin’ some time in Bankgok.

Dogs were sniffin’ all my stuff and everything.

But they never found that half a joint in my camera bag.

I found it six months later.

Me and a buddy finished it off and reminisced about the United States and then walked around the streets of Osaka feelin’ really good and havin’ a new appreciation for japanese letters in neon.

I’m not sayin’ old boy in this picture’s got anything to do with marijuana dealin’…

He coulda just been walkin’ back from a trombone gig or something.

But he looked like he was really feelin’ the love if you know what I mean.

He sure reminded me of my buddy ‘Budman’ in Honolulu.

I hope you’re feelin’ a different kinda love today.

One that doesn’t bug your eyes out like that.

I hope you got some cush plans for the weekend and you’re feelin’ like a million bucks ’cause you survived that crazy freakin’ week without too much collateral damage to your soul.

We made it to Friday.

The rest of the week can kiss my ass.

Mwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

I’m feelin’ the love you know.

Friday-Love!

Epic Friday-Love!

I hope you have the best weekend.

Marijuanaville

SAM S-75 Dvina. ЗРК С-75 “Двина”
lose weight at home
Image by Peer.Gynt
Saint-Petersburg. Artillery Museum.

The S-75 Dvina (Russian: С-75; NATO reporting name SA-2 Guideline) is a Soviet-designed, high-altitude, command guided, surface-to-air missile (SAM). Since its first deployment in 1957 it has become the most widely-deployed air defense missile in history. It scored the first destruction of an enemy aircraft by a SAM, shooting down a Taiwanese Martin RB-57D Canberra over China, on October 7, 1959 by hitting it with three V-750 (1D) missiles at an altitude of 20 km (65,600 ft). The success was attributed to Chinese fighters at the time in order to keep the S-75 program secret.
This system first gained international fame when an S-75 battery, using the newer, longer-range and higher-altitude V-750VN (13D) missile shot down the U-2 of Francis Gary Powers overflying the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960.[3] The system was also deployed in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, where on October 27, 1962, it shot down the U-2 flown by Rudolf Anderson, almost precipitating nuclear war.[4] North Vietnamese forces used the S-75 extensively during the Vietnam War to defend Hanoi and Haiphong. It has also been locally produced in the People’s Republic of China using the names HQ-1 and HQ-2. Other nations have produced so many local variants combining portions of the S-75 system with both indigenously-developed components or third-party systems that it has become virtually impossible to find a pure S-75 system today,
Development
In the early 1950s, the United States Air Force rapidly accelerated its development of long-range jet bombers carrying nuclear weapons. The USAF program led to the deployment of Boeing B-47 Stratojet supported by aerial refueling aircraft to extend its range deep into the Soviet Union. The USAF quickly followed the B-47 with the development of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, which had greater range and payload than the B-47. The range, speed, and payload of these U.S. bombers posed a significant threat to the Soviet Union in the event of a war between the two countries.
onsequently, the Soviets initiated the development of improved air defense systems. Although the Soviet Air Defence Forces had large numbers of anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), including radar-directed batteries, the limitations of guns versus high-altitude jet bombers was obvious. Therefore, the Soviet Air Defense Forces began the development of missile systems to replace the World War II-vintage gun defenses.
In 1953, KB-2 began the development of what became the S-75 under the direction of Pyotr Grushin. This program focused on producing a missile which could bring down a large, non-maneuvering, high-altitude aircraft. As such it did not need to be highly maneuverable, merely fast and able to resist aircraft counter-measures. For such a pioneering system, development proceeded rapidly, and testing began a few years later. In 1957, the wider public first became aware of the S-75 when the missile was shown at that year’s May Day parade in Moscow.
Initial deployment
Wide-scale deployment started in 1957, with various upgrades following over the next few years. The S-75 was never meant to replace the S-25 Berkut surface-to-air missile sites around Moscow, but it did replace high-altitude anti-aircraft guns, such as the 130 mm KS-30 and 100 mm KS-19. Between mid-1958 and 1964, U.S. intelligence assets located more than 600 S-75 sites in the USSR. These sites tended to cluster around population centers, industrial complexes, and government control centers. A ring of sites was also located around likely bomber routes into the Soviet heartland. By the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union had ended the deployment of the S-75 with perhaps 1,000 operational sites.
In addition to the Soviet Union, several S-75 batteries were deployed during the 1960s in East Germany to protect Soviet forces stationed in that country. Later the system was sold to most Warsaw Pact countries and was provided to China, North Korea, and eventually, North Vietnam.
Employment
While the shooting down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 in 1960 is the first publicized success for the S-75, the first aircraft actually shot down by the S-75 was a Taiwanese Martin RB-57D Canberra high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. In this case, the aircraft was hit by a Chinese-operated S-75 site near Beijing on October 7, 1959. Over the next few years, the Taiwanese ROCAF would lose a number of aircraft to the S-75: both RB-57s and various drones. On May 1, 1960, Gary Powers’s U-2 was shot down while flying over the testing site near Sverdlovsk, although it is thought to have taken 14 missiles to hit his high-flying plane. That action led to the U-2 Crisis of 1960. Additionally, Chinese S-75s downed five ROCAF-piloted U-2s based in Taiwan.[5]
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a U-2 piloted by USAF Major Rudolf Anderson was shot down over Cuba by an S-75 in October 1962.[6]
In 1965, North Vietnam asked for some assistance against American airpower, for their own air-defense system lacked the ability to shoot down aircraft flying at high altitude. After some discussion it was agreed to supply the PAVN with the S-75. The decision was not made lightly, because it greatly increased the chances that one would fall into US hands for study. Site preparation started early in the year, and the US detected the program almost immediately on April 5, 1965. While military planners pressed for the sites to be attacked before they could become operational, their political leaders refused, fearing that Soviet technical staff might be killed.
On July 24, 1965, a USAF F-4C aircraft was shot down by an SA-2.[7] Three days later, the US responded with Operation Iron Hand to attack the other sites before they could become operational. Most of the S-75 were deployed around the Hanoi-Haiphong area and were off-limits to attack (as were local airfields) for political reasons. President Lyndon Johnson announced on public TV that one of the other sites would be attacked the next week. The Vietnamese removed the missiles and replaced them with decoys, while moving every available anti-aircraft gun into the approach routes. The tactic worked, causing heavy American casualties.
The missile system was used widely throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, where Egypt and Syria used them to defend against the Israeli Air Force, with the air defense net accounting for the majority of the downed Israeli aircraft. The last apparent success seems to have occurred during the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993), when Georgian missiles shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter near Gudauta on March 19, 1993.
Countermeasures and counter-countermeasures
Between 1965 and 1966, the US delivered a number of solutions to the S-75 problem. The Navy soon had the Shrike missile in service and mounted their first offensive strike on a site in October 1965. The Air Force responded by fitting B-66 bombers with powerful jammers (that blinded the early warning radars) and by developing smaller jamming pods for fighters (that denied range information to the radars). Later developments included the Wild Weasel aircraft, which were fitted with anti-radiation air-to-surface missile systems made to home in on the radar from the threat. This freed them to shoot the sites with Shrikes of their own.
The Soviets and Vietnamese, however, were able to adapt to some of these tactics. The USSR upgraded the radar several times to improve ECM (electronic counter measure) resistance. They also introduced a passive guidance mode, whereby the missile could lock on the jammer itself. This had an added advantage, because the radar had to be turned off, which prevented Shrikes from being fired. Moreover, some new tactics were developed to combat the Shrike. One of them was to point the radar to the side and then turn it off briefly. Since the Shrike was a relatively primitive anti-radiation missile, it would follow the beam away from the radar and then simply crash when it lost the signal (after the radar was turned off). Another was a "false launch" in which the tracking radar was turned on, but the missiles were not actually fired. This allowed the missile crew to see if the target was equipped with a Shrike. If the aircraft fired one, the Shrike could be neutralized with the side-pointing technique without sacrificing any S-75s.
Despite these advances, the US was able to come up with effective ECM packages for the B-52E models. These planes were able to fly raids against Hanoi with relatively few losses (though still significant enough to cause some concern; see Operation Linebacker II).
Replacement systems
Soviet Air Defence Forces started to replace the S-75 with the vastly superior SA-10 and SA-12 systems in the 1980s. Today only a few hundred, if any, of the 4,600 missiles are still in Russian service, even though they underwent a modernization program as late as 1993.[citation needed]
The S-75 remains in widespread service throughout the world, with some level of operational ability in 35 countries. Vietnam and Egypt are tied for the largest deployments at 280 missiles each, while North Korea has 270, and Poland has 240. The Chinese also deploy the HQ-2, an upgrade of the S-75, in relatively large numbers.
Soviet doctrinal organization
The Soviet Union used a fairly standard organizational structure for S-75 units. Other countries that have employed the S-75 may have modified this structure. Typically, the S-75 is organized into a regimental structure with three subordinate battalions. The regimental headquarters will control the early-warning radars and coordinate battalion actions. The battalions will contain several batteries with their associated acquisition and targeting radars.
Site layout
Each battalion will typically have six, semi-fixed, single-rail launchers for their V-750 missiles positioned approximately 60 to 100 m (200 to 330 ft) apart from each other in a hexagonal "flower" pattern, with radars and guidance systems placed in the center. It was this unique "flower" shape that led to the sites being easily recognizable in reconnaissance photos. Typically another six missiles are stored on tractor-trailers near the center of the site.
An example of a site can be seen here just to the west of the junction to Bosra on the M5 motorway in Syria, south of Damascus. This location covers the borders with both Israel and Jordan, so it is of strategic importance.
Missile
V-750

V-750V 1D missile on a launcher
TypeSurface-to-air missile
Place of origin Soviet Union
Production history
VariantsV-750, V-750V, V-750VK, V-750VN, V-750M, V-750SM, V-750AK
Specifications (V-750[9])
Weight2,300 kg (5,100 lb)
Length10,600 mm (420 in)
Diameter700 mm (28 in)
WarheadFrag-HE
Warhead weight200 kg (440 lb)
Detonation
mechanismCommand
PropellantSolid-fuel booster and a storable liquid-fuel upper stage
Operational
range45 km (28 mi)
Flight altitude20,000 m (66,000 ft)
Boost time5 s boost, then 20 s sustain
SpeedMach 3.5
Guidance
systemRadio control guidance
Accuracy65 m
Launch
platformSingle rail, ground mounted (not mobile)
The V-750 is a two-stage missile consisting of a solid-fuel booster and a storable liquid-fuel upper stage, which burns red fuming nitric acid as the oxidizer and kerosene as the fuel. The booster fires for about 4–5 seconds and the main engine for about 22 seconds, by which time the missile is traveling at about Mach 3. The booster mounts four large, cropped-delta wing fins that have small control surfaces in their trailing edges to control roll. The upper stage has smaller cropped-deltas near the middle of the airframe, with a smaller set of control surfaces at the extreme rear and (in most models) much smaller fins on the nose.
The missiles are guided using radio control signals (sent on one of three channels) from the guidance computers at the site. The earlier S-75 models received their commands via two sets of four small antennas in front of the forward fins, while the D model and later models used four much larger strip antennas running between the forward and middle fins. The guidance system at an S-75 site can handle only one target at a time, but it can direct three missiles against it. Additional missiles could be fired against the same target after one or more missiles of the first salvo had completed their run, freeing the radio channel.
The missile typically mounts a 195 kg (430 lb) fragmentation warhead, with proximity, contact, and command fusing. The warhead has a lethal radius of about 65 m (213 ft) at lower altitudes, but at higher altitudes the thinner atmosphere allows for a wider radius of up to 250 m (820 ft). The missile itself is accurate to about 75 m (246 ft), which explains why two were typically fired in a salvo. One version, the SA-2E, mounted a 295 kg (650 lb) nuclear warhead of an estimated 15 Kiloton yield or a conventional warhead of similar weight.
Typical range for the missile is about 45 km (28 mi), with a maximum altitude around 20,000 m (66,000 ft). The radar and guidance system imposed a fairly long short-range cutoff of about 500 to 1,000 m (1,600 to 3,300 ft), making them fairly safe for engagements at low level.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-75_Dvina