Quicksilver

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Quicksilver

Post by Renegadenemo »

With Bluebird - it's history. It stays as it was. It's from a time when everything was so much simpler.
If you had to recreate some of Ken Norris' mechanical flights of fancy you'd not be saying that!
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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Touchy subject. I did on at least one occasion try to recreate one of Ken's mechanical flights of fancy.

Gotcha! :D

Nigel

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Re: Quicksilver

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I did on at least one occasion try to recreate one of Ken's mechanical flights of fancy.
Ah but trying and actually having no choice but to go through with it...
Drag Struts.jpg


The tower that joins the sponson to the raised spar is 16swg 316 stainless packed with 'finest spruce' and built to the original drawing, which the ones fitted to the boat weren't (found that out after we'd slavishly followed the drawings then checked the photos later).
The struts are spot on. Inch diameter, 14swg 4130 chromoly tube with stainless inserts in the top tapped to 5/16th BSF and 9swg chromoly pads at the other end.
Just sourcing that shopping list of materials and bringing it all together in those sizes and such small quantities was a pain and that's before we started cutting metal.

Norris has an awful lot to answer for!
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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Thanks for explaining, Bill. Hopefully the few remaining critics can see that there's just a whole lot more to putting Bluebird together properly than first met the eye. Stuff that couldn't possibly have been anticipated. Challenges that just come up out of nowhere, that frustrate the hell out of you, but that you just have to plough on through until it's right.

On a broader front - and fighting my own battles, as is my way - my ears are burning that the old yarn about Quicksilver's spaceframe being bent is doing the rounds again, although only in the strictly very limited circles trodden by the types who peddle this stuff :roll:

All I can say is that it isn't bent, and that this isn't because we have straightened it. It's not bent.

It's taking a long time to build our boat - too long - but there's nothing skew-whiff. There is, however, the lingering niff of spite and pettiness. "They" can't detect it, because their noses aren't working - being out of joint ;)

Nigel

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Re: Quicksilver

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On a broader front - and fighting my own battles, as is my way - my ears are burning that the old yarn about Quicksilver's spaceframe being bent is doing the rounds again, although only in the strictly very limited circles trodden by the types who peddle this stuff :roll:
Sounds like a load of old testicles to me. How bent are we talking here? We've been able to prove in a hundred different ways for many years that K7's frame is half an inch out of true and always was but it made no difference so has The Association of Type III Idiots not been paying attention?

If I were you I'd tell them they're right, that QS' spaceframe is six inches out of true, then they'll not believe you and either shut up or set about trying to prove you're a fibber.

Long experience has taught us that the best way to be rid of them is to set them a task that either silences them or makes them look more stupid than they thought you were in the first place. It's funny too...
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Bluebird's spaceframe was a bit "off", so was ThrustSSC's as a matter of fact. You know how it is. It's not like machining. Welding a mass of tubes together into a large structure, there'll always be scope for a smidge of distortion. So Quicksilver's spaceframe was a bit "off" too.

But bending it - either accidentally or on purpose - isn't a possibility. The heat-treatment process in manufacture sees to that. You couldn't bend our spaceframe, because it would snap first. That's down to the kind of material it's made from. Ken wanted a structure with a lot of strength and stiffness, hence choosing that stuff (BSI T59), but if it's loaded beyond there being more than a small amount of deflection, it will "snap like a carrot" (quoting John Ackroyd).

Ackroyd was not a fan of this material, for that reason. But Ken was keen on it, because he sought its good properties and was willing to live with the down side of it.

I know where the vindictive "It's been bent" story originated. Here in Blighty. But the only person who would start such a story as our spaceframe being accidentally bent after fabrication would be someone who just doesn't understand the material properties. The same character said later that it could be "bent back into shape" - and I knew all about that, as we used to do this all the time when I was racing karts - but Quicksilver's spaceframe was in a slightly different league, and I was way too weary by then to say, "It's not a bloody bike frame!"

Anyway, to close - back to the original slight distortion. We lost that when we chopped the front end of the spaceframe off when we changed the boat configuration, because the slight twist was at the front.

Bent spaceframe record straight.

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Re: Quicksilver

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I remember a great conversation with Glynne Bowsher. I was bitching about the properties of that T60 steel and how you couldn't cut it or drill it or grind it or any of the other necessary tasks when trying to turn it into anything.
He agreed then went on to explain that with SSC they'd used T45 instead. I asked why that was, expecting some wizardry of a reason.

"Because you can drill it and cut it and grind it and..." said Glynne.
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Re: Quicksilver

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Yes! - made me laugh - that's what I'd expect from Glynne, who has an eye for practicality. John Ackroyd, the same. He's not my biggest fan, nor I his, but to his great credit he takes a practical approach to things, and that was seen to massive effect with Thrust 2. In essence, a transonic brick. Very buildable.

Ken, as you have found, leant more towards the theoretical. "Designing to his ideals," is the way I'd put it. But that made it very hard for some to implement his designs and ideas.

I think I have said before on here somewhere - and so have you, I believe - that Ken probably was at his best when his skills were being channelled by pragmatists ... such as Donald and Leo. And, later, by Richard Noble and John Ackroyd. That's not a dig at Ken, because obviously he was an amazing guy - at the top of the tree - if infuriating at times.

By the time I worked with him, something had changed somewhere down the line. Either because I wasn't a strong enough character with him (or for him), or because he had become somewhat set in his way of working. I was talking about this problem a few years ago with someone with no axe to grind either way. He was there almost right from the beginning of me and Ken working together and he reflected, "Yes, Ken did like to keep things to himself" - meaning that there were good engineers, with strong track-records, around us, but he didn't want to particularly let them get too involved, lest they interrupted his thinking processes with matters of practicality.

All grist to the mill. Good gossip. (And I agree that that steel is a bugger to work with. You need good people working with it, otherwise they'll really balls it up. In our case, I'm glad we've got it, because it's got a performance edge over T45.)

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by f1steveuk »

Being up to my waist in Crusader, I wonder how much the Norris' Bros analysis coloured Ken's thoughts on materials, to the point of over engineering?
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Re: Quicksilver

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Being up to my waist in Crusader, I wonder how much the Norris' Bros analysis coloured Ken's thoughts on materials, to the point of over engineering?
I've always been of the opinion that that's exactly what happened. I remember when Ken came to look at the wreckage he was very upset about the fact that the front spar had torn free. he made no allowances for the method by which it came loose, all he could say was, 'I knew that wasn't properly fixed down.' or words to that effect, and no amount of me pointing out that it was smashed off at high speed would console him.
We see it everywhere - exotic materials with over the top properties and specifications heat treated and prepared in all kinds of ways.
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