Steamroller

Before diesel.

  • Steamrollers were rollers that flattened roads.
  • Steamrollers were powered by steam, although the term steamroller is still applied to the more modern rollers run by diesel.
  • Steamrollers flattened surfaces due to the mass of the vehicle and the cylindrical like drums, called rolls.
  • Steamrollers typically had three rolls and were controlled by gears.
  • Steamrollers are often seen in action at steam shows.
Steamroller, Old Fashion, Betsy, Steam Motor, Road roller, Flickr, Mr Pbps, Ten Random Facts, Green, Olive
Steamroller
Image courtesy of Mr Pbps/Flickr
  • The most famous steamroller manufacturer was the British company, Aveling and Porter.
  • Britian was the largest steamroller producer and exported many of the machines to other countries.
  • Part of the M1 motorway, the highway from London to Leeds, England, was built by steamrollers.
  • Sometimes stemrollers had scraper bars fitted, that removed foreign material from the surface of the roll.
  • Steamrollers have been popular in movies, music and books, including the Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends series and Bob the Builder episodes.
Bibliography:
Steamroller 27 February 2013 , Wikipedia,  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamroller>

Blimp

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No… It’s a blimp!

  • Blimps are aircraft with no inside framework used for support.
  • Blimps lift due to high pressure and helium pumped in the balloon.
  • The only solid parts of a blimp are the gondola, where the passengers are, and tail fins used for stability.
  • Blimps require propeller motors for steering mobility.
  • Some blimps were used for patrolling purposes for the United States Navy in the World War I period.

Blimp, Blue, Yellow, Side, Stripes, White, Blue Sky, Ten Random Facts, Tom Grinsted, Flickr

Blimp
Image courtesy of Tom Grinsted/Flickr
  • Blimps are commonly used for advertising purposes, and some blimps have 1000s of LED lights on them to shine messages.
  • Blimps are often deflated in transportation processes.
  • The term ‘blimp’ only refers to aircraft that free fly in the air.
  • The term ‘blimp’ is a mix of the original British word for blimp, limp, and the most common type of blimp class, B, thus creating ‘blimp’.
  • In 1925, Goodyear Tire and Rubber created the blimps we now know today.
Bibiliography:
Blimp 28 February 2013 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blimp>
Freudenrich, C N.d., Blimp, How Stuff Works, <http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/blimp.htm>

Assault Amphibious Vehicle

Lets shorten Assault Amphibious Vehicle to AAV.

  • AAVs are used for land and sea military operations, generally around the beach.
  • The marines call AAVs “amtracks”, which is short for amphibious tractor.
  • An AAV was originally known as a “Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel-7” or LVTP-7.
  • AAVs are generally equipped with a grenade launcher, a heavy machine gun, crew radios, and an intercom system.
  • AAVs have the capacity to hold 21 equipped troops, and four crewman – the driver,  commander, gunner, and a rear crewman.

AAV, Amphibious Assualt Vehicle, USA, Three Men, Army, Miltary, Water, Land, Beach, Official US Navy Imagery, Flickr, Ten Random Facts

AAV
Image courtesy of the Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr
  • AAVs were originally LVTD-7s which were first made in 1972 and converted to AAV-7A1s in the 1980s.
  • An AAV-7A1 weighs 29.1 tons (26.4 tonnes), and is 7.94 meters (26 feet) in length, 3.27 meters (10.7 feet) in width and 3.26 meters (10.7 feet) in length.
  • The AAV-7A1 can travel over speeds of 24.32 km per hour (15 mph) off road, 72 km/h (45 mph) on road and 13.2 km/h (8.2 mph) in water.
  • The replacement cost of an AAV is over two million dollars.
  • The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) was due to replace AAVs in 2015, but the plans have been cancelled.
Bibliography:
Assault Amphibious Vehicle 7 February 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_Amphibious_Vehicle>
LVTP7 Landing Vehicle, Tracked AAVP7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle Personnel April 14, 2000 , FAS, <http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/aavp7a1.htm>

Helicopter

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No… It’s a helicopter!

  • Helicopters are aircraft that can fly horizontally, vertically and can hover.
  • Helicopters are a type of rotorcraft, which enables them to land almost anywhere, because the rotor blades allows the copter to fly vertically.
  • Helicopters are also known as choppers, whirlybirds and helos.
  • Helicopters have their origins in children’s flying toys, made from bamboo as early as 400 BC.
  • Many vertical flying ideas have been experimented with over the centuries and the term ‘helicopter’ was coined for a machine, that did not lift off the ground, in 1861.

Helicopters, Two, Above, Bottom View, Army coloured, Military, Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • The first ‘flight’ of a helicopter occurred in 1907, and the first full scale production helicopter was designed by Igo Sikorsky in 1942.
  • Helicopters are used for, but not limited to, transportation, military, health and safety, construction and tourism.
  • Helicopters move slower than most aircraft since the rotor blades’ speed depends on the speed of the copter.
  • If helicopters are unsafely operated, helicopters could go out of control or crash and end in serious consequences.
  • Up until 2012, the deadliest helicopter crash was a shoot down of a Mil Mi 26 over Chechnya, which killed 127 people.
Bibliography:
Helicopter 5 February 2013 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter>

Cement Truck

A cement mixer… on wheels!

  • Cement trucks are also known as concrete trucks.  They have a drum on the top of the truck which holds concrete.
  • Cement trucks mix concrete in the drum with sharp blades to prevent the concrete from turning hard.
  • Cement trucks typically pour concrete down long chutes to the site where it is needed.
  • The drum on cement trucks turn in one direction to mix the concrete, and the opposite direction to pour concrete out of the drum.
  • Long pipes and concrete pumps are used if the cement truck’s chute can’t reach the area that needs to be concreted.

Cement Truck, Mixer, Concrete, Yellow, white, Boral, Australia, Green, Ten Random Facts

  • The first patent application for a cement truck was filed by Stephan Stepanian in 1916.
  • Cement trucks generally weigh between 9,070 – 13, 600 kg (20,000 – 30,000 pounds).
  • Cement trucks carry approximately 18,100 kg (40,200 pounds) of concrete.
  • Most of the time, concrete needs to be delivered from a cement truck 90 minutes after been loaded in the truck.
  • Cement trucks typically have a steel barrel, but some new trucks use fibreglass.
Bibliography:
Concrete Mixer 4 January 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_mixer>
Graham, 2006, On the Building Site , QED Publishing, United Kingdom

Freight Train

They go on forever!

  • Freight trains are also known as goods trains and cargo trains.
  • Freight trains are locomotives that pull special freight cars.
  • Freight trains can be over 7 km (4.3 miles) long.
  • Freight trains are the most energy efficient type of transport for carting large and heavy quantities of goods long distances.`
  • Freight trains with over 100 cars are sometimes required to use more than two locomotives.

Frieght Train, Green, Yellow, Long, Full, Cargo, Goods, Coal, Australia, Copley from Leigh Creek, South Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • In 2001, the BHP Mt Goldsworthy in Western Australia, broke the record for the heaviest and longest freight train and weighed 99,732 tonnes and was over 7.3 kms (4.5 miles) long.
  • It is very important to track freight trains in case of emergency, so satellites are used for this purpose where communication is scarce.
  • Freight train cargo is often loaded into steel boxes for transport.
  • Even though it is illegal, some people purposely board freight trains to get a free ride or to avoid normal means of transport.
  • Freight trains generally pull coal, ore and grains as well as cars, food and other goods.
Bibliography:
 Freight Rail Transport 29 December 2012, Wikipedia, <Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freight_rail_transport>
Graham, 2006, On the Rails , QED Publishing, United Kingdom
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