Nov 212011
 

Caterpillar 797

The Caterpillar 797 is such an amazingly huge vehicle that it is bigger than many peoples’ houses!   In an hour of operation, it uses about 60 gallons of fuel,which more than many peope use in a month in their car!   It can carry up to 360 tons of material in one load, and is designed to keep up with some of the biggest bucket excavators!

 

 

 

 

Caterpillar 797 Side

Caterpillar 797

Manufacturer: Caterpillar-Mining & Construction Equipment Division ( Decatur, Illinois)

Introduction: 1999

Engine:  3,211 hp

Capacity: 360 tons

Length: 47 ft

Width: 30 ft

Height: 23 ft (49 ft raised)

Fuel Tank: 1,000 gallons

MPG : .03 mpg

Top Speed: 40 mph loaded

 

Nov 182011
 

Cierva C30 Autogiro

At some point  in 2001, I was playing a great game on my PC called Crimson Skies.  It was created by a company called Zipper Interactive.  The main character, Nathan Zachary, is a air pirate in an alternate history version of the 1930s.  Instead of a pirate ship, he flew around in a heavily armored and armed Zeppelin.  The airship had a hanger full of an airplanes to modify and fly in game missions.

One of the oddest planes was the Autogiro.  It was like something out of a science fiction story because it combined the body of a normal airplane and the spinning rotors of a helicopter.  Recently, I was very surprised to find out that these planes actually existed!

Patrolling the skies over Wembley Stadium (1935)

One of the autogiros was created by a Spanish civil engineer, pilot and aeronautical engineer named Juan De La Cierva.   De La Cierva, made many aircraft, but in 1933, he built the very unique Cierva C-30 autogrio.  One might look at the C-30 and see an early helicopter,  but his main goal was to create a safer aircraft.  If the engine shuts off, wind resistance will continue to spin the rotors providing lift and the craft will land gently like maple seed pod does.  Autogiro means “self rotation”.

At one point, these aircraft nearly became the first flying car due to their safety and ease of use, but De La Cierva’s sudden death in 1936 ensured that the idea would not catch on.

 

Cierva C-30 Autogyro

Manufacturer: A V Roe & Co Ltd (Avro), Lioré-et-Olivier and Focke-Wulf.

Years Manufactured: 1933-1936

Created by: Juan De La Cierva

Number Built: 148

Crew: 1 +1 passenger

Max Speed: 110 mph

Length: 19 ft

Height :11 ft

Weight 1,800 lbs loaded

Engine: One 7-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 140 hp, drove both the front propellor and the top rotor.