A couple of years ago I realized that there were no good options for weld-on Harley kickstands. The stock HD stand is mechanically awesome, but only seems right if you use the complete forward control system with it. What if you are doing minimalist controls (like I tend to make)? It seems like Matt Hotch, WCC, Exile and the super cheap taiwan knockoffs were the only game in town. Dont get me wrong, the WCC stands are very well made, but they are all a flawed design. Think about it, your bike weighs between 300-600 pounds and you are going to lean it over on a tiny little tab welded to your frame, with a tiny little pivot. How long can you expect that pivot to last? Now factor in that when you kickstart your bike, you are bouncing on it! Well, needless to say, they all break sooner or later, and leave your expensive bike flopped over, sometimes with you on top of it tangled up in the kicker. I find it amazing how many super high-end bikes are posted up on foreign-made rickety kickstands- and they are always fucked up and about to shear off!
Since it is the jarring of the pivot that breaks it (moment when the kickstand hits the ground), I knew I needed to isolate that jarring to make the entire assembly last. The solution is “padding” the landing with a suspension – that’s the purpose of the leaf spring. This way the pivot never experiences the jarring effect. Of course I also made the pivot section about 3 times the size of any other out there, and stainless steel, just to be safe! This is the 4th version of this stand. I have been refining them every time, and this latest version differs from the last by incorporating a heavy-duty internal spring, and a black oxide coating on the leaves. The price is $350, which is a steal considering the quality of this thing. Everything from the materials to the hardware to the manufacturing is 100% USA made. No outsourcing to communist sweatshops on my watch. If you want one call me 203 315 9908- I have 15 on hand now, they will go fast.
The A 10 is an interesting plane. It is known by several names, including the “warthog” and the “tankbuster”. Developed in the early 1970’s by Fairchild-Republic, it is used for close air support (assisting troops on the ground). It’s entire front half is literally built around its main armament, a 30mm General Electric GAU-8 Avenger gatling gun. This gun is an unbelievable piece of machinery, designed originally for anti-tank applications. The thought of being able to destroy a tank with bullets sounds ridiculous, but not when you consider that the rounds are a mix of HEI (high explosive incendiary) and armour-piercing incendiary, have depleted uranium cores, and are over 1 pound each. The gun is so big that the cockpit had to be moved up and over it, because the gun took up too much room in the nose. The gun weighs over 4000 pounds and is 19 feet long. It has 7 barrels, is hydraulic powered, and fires at a rate of 4200 rounds per minute. It can only fire in short bursts to prevent the barrel from melting, and actually slows the plane down when it fires. wow. check her out… this gives a good perspective!
Besides tanks and armoured vehicles, it seems to work pretty well against foot soldiers (gotta be messy), as this aircraft has seen a lot of action in the middle east these days. Here is a video the gun in action:
Here is one of the warthog giving air support to some troops on the ground (watch the whole thing). Remember, the bullets have such a high velocity that you see them hitting the target before you hear the gun firing! Listen for the VVVRRRRRRRPPPP sound…
One more. This was obviously a bit close for comfort, but looks like everyone was ok. Gives you an idea of how big those rounds are!
More coming soon, stay tuned….
I have been making a few new tank bucks for a potential new bike. Not sure what shape I am after, so I just started chiseling. I usually use cedar, because it carves well but isn’t so soft i cant hammer on it. I am going to try a super thick aluminum this time – dead soft 3/16th. Yes you can form material that thick, as long as you don’t need to shrink it. One of my 1/8th thick aluminum tanks made it all the way across the country on Charles “The Nomad”s race bike, including a crash, without leaking. I do like overkill though.
Just finished a new knife for a customer. He wanted a big heavy utility/combat style knife. It is 1/4 thick O1 tool steel, oil hardened, and gun browned.
Here we go, yet another way to turn a propeller. I covered “turboprop” and conventional piston engines, so now on to this. A turboshaft is very similar to a turboprop, just rearranged a bit to make it more versatile. It still uses jet fuel and still uses its power to turn a propeller instead of making direct drive thrust, but there are a few main differences. On a turboprop, the propeller is attached directly to the engine itself. This creates a lot of load on the engine and means that it must be constructed stronger, and theirfore heavier. It also means that (obviously) the engine must be located where you want the prop to be. On a turboshaft, a driveshaft is used to turn gears and/or a transmission to re-direct the power to the prop, wherever it may be. Thus the engine itself does not directly take the load of the prop, and can be located anywhere in the vehicle. A good example of this principle is the lift fan in the f35 lightning 2 (I posted a few days ago-check it out). The lift fan is mounted horizontally in the aircrafts hull and need to pull air straight through it, so the rotors had to be free of any engine obstructions, so the shaft drives the rotors remotely. Heres a general turboshaft diagram…
Heres a funny fact, the first war vehicle to use this engine was a German “Panther” tank in 1944!
that’s it for now, stay tuned.