german racing

The Brandenburg gate preens at the height of Nazi glory. Berlin illuminated at midnight in honor of Hitler’s 50th birthday. April 20, 1939.

6

First Look: The 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid 

Porsche has unveiled the new 919 Hybrid at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (IT). The Le Mans prototype, that delivers a system output of around 900 PS (662 kW), was comprehensively reworked. Porsche aims for a hat-trick with it: Target is to win the Le Mans 24-hours race (June 17/18) as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship titles for Manufacturers and Drivers respectively for the third consecutive time after 2015 and 2016.

The 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid deploys a range of new innovations, particularly in the aerodynamics, the chassis and the combustion engine. Team Principal Andreas Seidl, who continues to serve as acting technical director, reports: “For the 2017 season, 60 to 70 per cent of the vehicle is newly developed. The basic concept of the 919 Hybrid still offers scope to optimize the finer details and further boost efficiency. The monocoque has remained unchanged since 2016, but the optimization potential of all other components was analysed and, in most cases, adjustments made accordingly.” As also in Formula 1, the monocoque is made from a carbon-fiber compound using a sandwich design.

3

The Taubina AG-2 Automatic Grenade Launcher,

An interesting weapon lost to history, the Taubina Automatic Grenade Launcher was the creation of Soviet weapons designer Yakov Taubin. First developed in 1931 and perfected in 1937-1939, the Taubina Automatic Grenade Launcher was a weapon that was several generations ahead of its time.  Invented at a time when most grenade launchers were single shot affairs, typically rifle grenades, the Taubina was the first of it’s kind and it’s concept would become a staple of modern militaries today.  The Taubina Grenade Launcher was designed to fire 40.8mm grenades in either semi automatic or fully automatic modes. Recoil operated, most models utilized a magazine resulting in a rate of fire of 50-60 rounds a minute, however later prototypes utilized a belt feed system which resulted in a rate of 400-450 rounds a minute. It’s maximum range was around 1,200 meters  The launcher could be used in both direct fire and indirect fire modes. It was typically mounted on a light wheeled carriage.

The Taubina was first tested in Soviet trials in 1938, where it performed admirably but had some flaws.  First it had a weak extractor and extraction springs, resulting in a 7% failure rate.  Secondly it was inaccurate at longer ranges.  Taubin went to work fixing these problems, developing improved models which saw limited use during the Winter War against Finland in 1939. Despite rave reports on the Taubina’s performance and the potential whoopass the weapon offered the Red Army, the weapon was doomed by Soviet bureaucracy. Most Soviet officials did not see the need for automatic grenade launchers which could rain hundreds of rounds of high explosives on an enemy position. A shame considering that World War II was just around the corner. Much of the opposition to the weapon came from Chief of Main Artillery Directorate Grigory Kulik, who preferred more traditional light infantry mortars and saw no need for the weapon. In 1939 the Taubina project was ended. 

Yakov Taubin abandoned the Taubina Grenade Launcher and began work on aircraft machine gun and cannon designs.  In 1940 he developed a prototype for an aircraft cannon meant to be used on the IL-2 Sturmovik airplane. However he design was turned down in favor of a competing design, the VYa-23. Shortly afterward, on May 15th, 1941, shortly before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Taubin was arrested by the NKVD on charges of “preserving samples of unfinished weapons and egregiously plotting production of technically unfinished and unsatisfactory weapons systems”. On October 17th, as German forces raced across the Soviet Union, he was executed and buried in a mass grave. The automatic grenade launcher wouldn’t be re-invented until 1966.

ID #47625

Name: Teodor
Age: 16
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

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