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| | |-+  Let's talk torpedo tubes and back hauling them
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Author Topic: Let's talk torpedo tubes and back hauling them  (Read 15929 times)
Darrin
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« on: December 16, 2008, 09:22:36 PM »

Here we go folks,
You Batfish guys may actually be able to back haul your weapons without too much trouble, it took me a while to find the pics that I needed, and after reviewing them it may be worth it to back haul your weapons (at least in the fwd room)..
Granted these pics are a few years old it gives me enough to work off of, pic 1 is the pic of your muzzle door, I didn't realize that you no longer have shutter doors and that makes a BIG difference when trying to make this happen, second is you really don't need a big fork lift for this to happen so NOW I finally understand why you all wanted to do it this way.

Detailed description of pic 1, you will see a bar that is keeping your muzzle door shut, that bar will have to be cut off. There are 2 grease lines (upper and lower) that will need to be taken off and replaced with zerk fittings and you will have to chip all of the paint off around the hinges prior to putting grease to these fittings so that you will be able to accuratly see the grease coming out. Personally I like using tubes 1 or 2 because there is so much more room for people to PULL on the block and tackle, that and using 1 or 2 the chance of leakage won't be as bad in case of flooding. There are 2 rubber snubbers in the right side of the pic, those were for the shutter door to set against when the door was open so it didn't rattle and on the left side of the muzzle door you will see what looks like mounting bracket for a large pin to go through to attach the shutter door and that is exactly what it did.

Detailed description of pic 2.. Pic 2 is a shot of the inside of one of your tubes in the fwd room(tube 2 I think), what you will see is there are 3 pins sticking out that will have to be retracted before you can EVEN think about doing this... They are the stop bolt, depth and angle setting pins (IF I remember correctly). Next you will see on the left side of the tube is the FLOOD port and the VENT port, about half way down the tube you will see the DRAIN port and a set of rollers. Also if you look you will see that there has been water standing inside of this tube with the door shut, and if you look straight up you will see the guide track for the weapon. This track if nothing else will have to be cleaned and greased and verified with a block that this is even true (The block should be the same diameter of the guide shoes and be roughly 1'-2' long to check for binding inside your tubes)

To clean the tubes, warm soapy water tends to do well with a green scrub pad to take the scaling off and once dried you will need to apply a light coat of grease (Heavy mineral oil is recommended) so that there is nothing that can bind your weapon up. Remember that these tubes are gauged at 21.08 inches in diameter (688's are 21.125") and your weapons are 21" in diameter also you have .08 clearance to mess with.

Here is the link for the tubes for those whom would like to look at it... again courtesy of HNSA
http://www.hnsa.org/doc/fleetsub/tubes/index.htm
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JTheotonio
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 10:05:59 AM »

Any reason not to grease down the torpedo before starting this?  Anything to cut down on friction might help.  Undecided

Use caution and go very slow.  This whole thing will depend on the condition of your torpedo.  Old and beat up - this will be difficult.
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Rick
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 10:41:41 AM »

Thank you, This is a great bit of information for us to have. 
This will be a big help

Rick
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Darrin
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 11:15:54 AM »

Forgot to attach the pics, will do that when I get home so you will know what I am talking about in regards to the muzzle door and to the inside of the tubes. John does have a good point in regards to greasing the weapons prior to putting them in the tubes, a very light coat is really all that is needed after you have cleaned and maintained your tubes. It would be a good idea for you to put a decent amount of grease at the muzzle door area and at the back of the weapon where it goes to it's full 21" diameter and on the guide rails.

Another problem with back hauling your weapons is on the guide rail, it from what I remember does not have a taper to it on the end of the tube. On the breech door side there is a taper allowing the weapon to rotate just a little if needed, so that means that you will have to have a way to rotate your weapon right or left (pushing or pulling so that it aligns up correctly with the guide rail) Please be carefull if you think that you can use the warhead and the mounting bracket for the nose cone, IF your weapon has been on display for a number of years without too much maintenance at all you can break that portion of the weapon off. A few years ago there was a weapon on display who's warhead had fallen off due to the mounting bracket rotting out completely, sadly I don't remember which boat had that problem now and now that weapon's only real use is to have the after body sticking out of a tube for display.
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Darrin
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 11:43:08 AM »

Here's the pics, sorry about that folks


* muzzle door uss_batfish.jpg (133.62 KB, 744x558 - viewed 449 times.)

* Batfish water in tube.jpg (143.75 KB, 744x558 - viewed 565 times.)

* batfish3.jpg (23.57 KB, 576x432 - viewed 484 times.)
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Darrin
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2008, 08:24:26 AM »

After looking at the pics of the muzzle/shutter door area again and again there isn't really any good way for you to be able to back haul your weapons without a crane and even then it will be tough. Reason behind it is the small clearances of the upper and lower part of your shutter door area and the lack of space to allow rollers or something along that lines to help you with loading those weapons.

What do you think JT and John???
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AVGWarhawk
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 02:28:16 PM »

Looking at the pictures I can say a fork lift to get the torpedoes on the small shelf type area. But, some type of roller contraption would have to be made and also measured to the exact height of the muzzle. Once on the rollers, push the torpedo into the tube.  Lube the tube of course.  The roller set up would not have to be an engineering marvel really. Still, this is a heavy weapon and caution needs to be taken.   
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Rick
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2008, 02:40:40 PM »

Keep the information comming.  This is all good.  I do not want you all to think I am not taking this load seriously, but there are a lot of considerations to be taken into play here.   You have pointed out a lot of the issues that I have been working on in my head.

Rick
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AVGWarhawk
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2008, 04:43:28 PM »

Well, if the USS Seal got their torpedo back in the tube when it was mistakenly fired while in Pearl, I think it can happen for the USS Batfish.  Just need to think out a good plan. As a side note, the USS Seal removed the warhead.  Because, it was loaded with TNT or torpex and it lighten the load. Yours has no explosives but taking off some items to lighten the load would be helpful.  Food for thought!   
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 04:45:24 PM by AVGWarhawk » Logged

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Darrin
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2008, 07:20:23 PM »

Food for thought with your Mk 14 and how much it really weighs

Diameter  21
Length, over all, with war head or exercise head  246
Length of war head or exercise head, from end of nose piece to joint line  47.28 Mk 16
Length of air flask, from joint line to joint line  116.16
Length of afterbody, from joint, line to joint line  63.38
Length of tail, from joint line to end  19.19
Weights (pounds)
Explosive charge  66.6 TPX(16-1)
 600 TPX(16-4)
War head, empty, without attachments  264
War head, loaded, with attachments, ready for firing, or exercise head ready for firing  1057(16-4)
 843(30-1)
 1053(16-l, 30-4)
Exercise head, empty  429(30-1), 503(30-4)


Torpedo, empty, without war head or exercise head (and attachments) 1838 ± 20
Torpedo, with war head or exercise head, (30-4), ready for war shot or exercise shot 3282±20 (16-1, 16-4, 30-4)
 3073 (30-1)

 
While I can only hope that yours weighs the 1838 lbs I would bet it weighs closer to the 3074 lbs. The Mk 14 warhead had 660 lbs of TORPEX, depending on the mod number is, granted your TORPEX has long since been removed it is just food for thought because the Navy liked to fill the warhead area back up with concrete and even plaster of paris from what I have seen/heard, so the weight of your warhead and the weapon is truly an unknown until you put it on a scale.
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JTheotonio
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2008, 09:59:15 PM »

There are practice torpedos that do not match normal weights.  Most surplus torpedos left today are not really a torpedo that has had the Torpex removed.
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Darrin
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2008, 12:19:44 AM »

OK Batfish crew, John and I are having the same problem with the weight of these weapons.... before we really go any farther they need to be weighed and giving the book answer doesn't help because IF one of these weapons break loose while loading them IF you are lucky the only thing that will happen is that it will get scratched along with the hull and a few bends here and there on both and if you are unlucky and a crewmember is inbetween it and a hard object Embarrassed

Both of us agree that they need to be loaded using a crane and the next best option is using the A frame, following that?? IF you can't get a crane due to the sand and the bowl that your boat is setting in then who knows.. I am here in Va and I can't give much guidance other then looking at pics of the boat and trying to figure out how to help you.

There is one more option that we haven't explored which is getting USSVI involved and seeing IF there are some local TM's or Seabee's who are willing to come out and have a look at it and give you the best way to go with this.
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JTheotonio
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2008, 06:11:14 AM »

Backloading is a challenge (didn't I already say that?).  I would sugguest that you figure a way to practice this on dry land first.  You can rid a second torpedo skid and practice pulling the torpedo from one skid to another and then back.  At least you will get some idea of what is involved and how to place all of your ropes.

To backhaul you may need to run lines through the torpedo tubes and you will need to fashion something for a nose cradle.

I sure wish I knew the weight of your torpedo.  You will need a some idea.
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JTheotonio
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2008, 06:56:43 AM »

 Smiley  I had one of those moments and came up with another idea.  What you need is something to practice with that is almost as heavy as the torpedo and about the same length and shape.  So go ask your local electric utility if they have an old power pole that you can have and tell them what you plan on doing.  Once you have the power pole you can practice all you need to sharpen your skills in moving around a large heavy weapon.

My other idea comes from a story about something I did for my cousin’s father-in-law.  This old guy (now gone) was once a pilot with the Flying Tigers and flew with them in China.  So he had lots of stories.  Well he was a Ham radio operator and one day asked me if I could get him an old power pole.  At the time I worked for a big electric utility.  So I asked one of our line foreman and he said he would keep an eye out for one.

Well one day this line foreman called me and asked for the address so he could deliver the old guy his power pole.  It was close to one of our service yards and off he went.  I knew nothing about it from that point on.  Well that night I get a call from the old guy just gushing with thanks.  I said no problem.  Well the old guy would have none of that – he told me that the line crew with big rig showed up with a brand new 100’ pole.  The foreman then asked him where he wanted the pole.  The old guy said just put it in the back and some day he get help putting it up,  No, no said the foreman, where do you want us to set the pole.  The old guy showed him the spot.  The line crew dug a hole (using the big rig takes just s few minutes), swung the pole up and put it into the hole, set the pole and then installed a few guy wires for safety.  To the day that man died I never heard the end of this story.  He was so happy and could only think that I was some sort of big shot!

So my other idea is to have the utility company help you.  You do not want to go down to the business office.  Go to the service yard and see if you can talk to the yard foreman or manager. Then tell him what you want to do and if there is a way that he can help.  The rigs they use to set power poles would be ideal for you.  They are large and capable of moving poles that are well over 100’ long and setting them in the ground.  This rig can pick up a pole that is lying flat on a skid and raising it up to set it in the ground.  The utility guys are also expert riggers.

I think what you want to do is get the torpedo onto a loading skid (you may need to craft one) that is positioned in front of your tube.  The pole setting rig should be able to lift your torpedo and move it over to the loading rig.  After that all you need to do is pull the fish into the tube.  But the worst part would be done.

Utilities are big on helping out in communities, so I think they just might help. And it’s for free! smitten
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2008, 10:37:48 AM »

Don't you guys have that pipe company across the street from you?  Perhaps a stop by and explaining your plan and their input (plus equipment) is in order.  They have a forklift correct?   
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