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Thread: Can you identify this rocket/missile/bomb for me?

  1. #31
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    I see two possibilities: a external fuel tank modified after the fact to simulate a bomb, or a training device used on the ground only. I dont see any attachment points for pylon mounting on a wing or fuselage.

  2. #32
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    How about a model rocket? It could probably fly with one or two big engines. Can you determine if the tail contains an exhaust nozzle or similar? Or maybe room for the aforementioned model rocket motors?

  3. #33
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    I'd expect a model rocket to be from lighter materials.

    I have asked the owner information about it's rear end, but he hasn't replied so far. He stated the internals were empty in the ad. This makes me think that it must be open on the bottom, how else would he know. No info about a nozzle, but maybe this thing had a removable engine.

    A friend of mine who was in the military said that exercise ammunition had to be painted in colors and patterns that made them visually very "standing out in the crowd", to make very clear it was exercise muntion and no real ammunition. So the owner's claim that it was a practice something is in line with its paint job. Furthermore, the painting of the exercise munition usually was done by a soldier with whatever paint available, and didn't have to be a given scheme. This is in line with the strange paint job, and the three colours used.

    So it is quite likely training ammunition. Which excludes an external fuel thank, I'd assume. And training bombs usually are concrete. So that leaves a rocket/missile. So the question is now: was this an air-to-air or ground launched training version of a missile? There seem to be no hard points on the sides, so it doesn't seem like it could be wing mounted.

    And what was the functionality of this training device? Could it be launched or not?

    The shape of the thing would place it in the early cold war for me, but that is more a guess than a fact.

  4. #34
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    This is likely irrelevant, but if the top is steel, that would put the center of mass forward making it more stable if it were to be launched as a rocket. Whether it was actually meant to be launched and had a rocket engine is the question. Hard to tell.

    If you bought some large rocket engines and installed them in it so that you could launch the thing, that would be so awesome.

  5. #35
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    I tried searching for it on ORDATA Online without luck, but that site may not be comprehensive.

    Some reusable practice bombs do have a metal casing filled with concrete, water, or sand, so it's not impossible that it's a training bomb. The (possibly) open base doesn't rule that out either, as some parachute-retarded bombs have an aerodynamic cap that fits over the aft end and is ejected to release the parachute. For example, this photo shows an F-16 dropping a BDU-38 practice bomb (a simulated B61 nuclear weapon).

    Actually, that looks a lot like a cut-down BDU-38. Someone may have taken the hollow nose and tail sections and welded or bolted them together, eliminating the cylindrical center section (which is not only the part with the aircraft mounting lugs, it's also the only part that would be filled with concrete). The odd paint job was probably added afterward.

  6. #36
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    You go for the fridge GeorgeLeRoy!

    It looks like a BDU-38 practice bomb. The AIR FORCE MIL-B-38977 Bomb, Practice BDU-38/B.(not rare, production run 15000+) without the center section indeed. Paint job aside, I think we've nailed it. So it's real but incomplete. And no rocket but an unproppeled nuke. The coolness factor (hmmm...) would then be in having a nuke in your house, not a rocket. And you'd have to spray it white to make it more realistic. Would solve the rust issue of course.

    The "it's incomplete" is of course a good argument to lower the asking price a lot.

  7. #37
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    So, daylight savings time got me.

    Two correction on my previous post:

    Those 15000 weren't all BDU-38's.

    All BDU-38's are practice bombs, as you said GLRTB.

    Looking at this pic: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...sGulf_B-61.jpg

    If the structure of the BDU-38 is the same as this B61, I think that the one on my pic is missing both the short and long centre section.

  8. #38
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    Well, the unit in question has it's bottom side squared off, not rounded like the B61 appears to be. Maybe that's another missing part, though.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  9. #39
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    That's unique to the B61; the BDU-38 doesn't seem to have it. Or it's maybe part of the chute system.

  10. #40
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    I'm jealous. I have no idea what it really is Nicolas, but I want one too! With a new paint job that would look great on my patio!
    Last edited by Tucson_Tim; 2009-Mar-29 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Correct misspelling of name

  11. #41
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    I haven't bought it yet. Maybe I should just give phone the seller tonight, tell him what it is, how much I want to give for it and why.

    And what it is is more than likely the bottom and top of a BDU-38 practice bomb (of the B61 nuke), put on top of each other and repainted. I'd respray it to original white.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    ...

    And you'd have to spray it white to make it more realistic. Would solve the rust issue of course.

    ...
    Hmmmm, I knew I saw that somewhere.


    Jim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #43
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    Soooo there IS a "nuclear rocket to the moon"!

    I'll mail the guy, if he doesn't respond I'll phone him later this week.

    Buying a second hand nuke from the internet...welcome to 2009.

  14. #44
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    The weathering and slight color differences on the nose section do seem to suggest that it was assembled from the sections of at least two different units.

  15. #45
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    You might try other forums, like this one:

    http://www.war44.com/forum/
    http://www.war44.com/forum/german-heavy-weapons/

    Register and post your picture. (Now I can't vouche for the above forum.)

  16. #46
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    Sorry I'm took some time off from posting.

    Recognised the thing right off the bat. I've seen those in the flesh before, only painted a weird matt silver, like the "silver" that was used for model airplane painting. I just can't say when and where. That looks like an after market paint job to me. (And why is the book "The Sum of All Fears" coming to mind?)
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eoanthropus Dawsoni View Post
    The weathering and slight color differences on the nose section do seem to suggest that it was assembled from the sections of at least two different units.
    I think the colour difference is due to the top being steel and rusted, and the bottom being aluminum and hence not rusted.

    @Tucson_Tim: thanks, but it's already identified as an incomplete bdu-38.

    @Bigdon: on pics I've seen the real one as bare metal, and the bdu-38 trainer as seemingly white. Have you ever seen them in white? The rest of the paint job certainly is after-market.

    But I won't buy it, as I'm not willing to spend more than 100 on it (I'd need to pick it up and buy a load of white spray paint on top of it...) and he won't sell for less than 300...

  18. #48
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    It might make a nice prop in case any movie makers are out there.

  19. #49
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    Nicolas' law of the internet: epic thread necromancy requires epic update.

    As you may remember, or as you may just have read in the previous posts, more than 3 years ago I saw a strange rocket like thing on a second hand site. It turned out to be the tail and nose cone of a BDU-38 training bomb of the B61 nuke. The seller asked more than I wanted to give, so I let it go.

    Yesterday I was looking on a second hand site, and suddely I saw our good old Frankenstein rocket listed! Different location, different owner, "don't know what it is" description and...under reservation. My experience with potential buyers on the internet is that their word is worth less than a politician's. So I mailed the guy to tell him I was interested in case the other guy wouldn't turn up. Well he didn't turn up. I could buy Franky for much less than the 2009 price. It had changed a few owners since, none of them knowing what it was exactly. So today I picked him up, and now I have a nuke in my garage which I bought off the internet! To the national security guy reading along: there is no warhead in Franky, never was, never will. I won't get anything even remotely fissile or explosive in my house, and I'm rather pacifist. I just love rarities, and your own private nuke sure is a rarity! Well, since it's a BDU-38 trainer version, it's more like a sewage pipe with a fancy shape.

    My plans with Franky:
    1) -disassemble
    2) -strip everything from paint (will have to be done with sand paper, as aluminum would otherwise be contaminated) and restore.
    3) -add as much parts as I can to get a complete visual.
    4) -create a horizontal static display for it in B61 colours (=bare metal with some details)

    Details:

    3) I won't bother with the internals, because you can't find them. As far as the external goes, I'm missing the small and large center section. I'm still looking into financially achievable options. Maybe I can let a workshop roll me a sheet of aluminum in the correct diameter. The parachute cone is impossible to recreate, unless you want to spend big money, really big time or have a large diameter wood lathe available. So I've got an alternative. This thing should use a rather huge kevlar ribbon chute in its most modern variant. I don't have huge kevlar ribbon chutes laying around, but I do happen to have a large military ribbon chute laying around. so I'll use that one as part of the display. If not identical to what was used in earlier years, it certainly could pass for it.
    4) I'm thinking of a disassembled display, with some space between the parts (think of the Saturn 5 display). I'll place them on low wooden supports or something.
    2) There's some dents and a bent fin. I think I can bend the fin back in shape. I'll see in what state I can get the bare metal. If not pretty enough, I'll paint it silver metallic (B61) or white (BDU-38).
    1) I'm currently at the disassembly stage. 2 problems. The Allen key bolts for the fins are between a metric 5 and 6. I guess the US uses imperial units on their Allen bolts? If so, no problem, my father-in-law has quite some imperial units stuff and I hope that includes Allen keys. Bigger problem: the nose cone and tail section don't belong together yet they are mated on Franky. What they apparently have done is cut the tail and nose halfway through their bolt holes (because -I assume- they didn't fit further down the road due to same rather than reverse taper), placed them on top of each other, and somehow connected them. I'd have to look inside with a flashlight some time because there might be an added steel ring in there. But I think they glued them together; at least I don't see any bolts or welds on the outside. What I do see though, is white cement much like 2 component car filler. Maybe that's what they used to hold them together? I removed as much cement as possible from the seam and cleared all holes (half-on-half holes that is) from cement, but still no motion between the top and bottom... I hope I won't have to cut through. It's bad enough as it is with the last 2 cm of both parts missing.

    Anyway, I've got something very unique and when finished, it will make a great display. Literally great: almost 4 meters worth of nuke, plus a huge chute.

  20. #50
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    Good news. I've further investigated and attacked Franky. It turns out that the nose cone is complete. The tail section is cut somewhere below the original rivet holes, but it can't be too far down as it's still a large section of seemingly very close to the original length. Anyway, what the previous redneck erm owner did, was bend small pieces of the aluminum tail into the holes of the steel cone to connect the two. I'm now opening up these holes, and the cone is starting to give way. Tomorrow, Franky may be no more and I'll have 2 parts of a BDU-38. Then the next phase of the restauration can begin.

    It's a strange sensation to be sitting on a nuke as if it were a horse, while hitting it with a hammer.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    It's a strange sensation to be sitting on a nuke as if it were a horse, while hitting it with a hammer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcW_Ygs6hm0

  22. #52
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    Actually, this image came to mind.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  23. #53
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    I had the same things going through my mind while doing that. Well, apart from trying to figure out the technicalities of "how to dismantle an atomic bomb".

  24. #54
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    I have nothing to add, except I make this funny noise when jealous of someone else's toys.

    That is an awesome rocket/bomb.
    Solfe

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams.

  25. #55
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    When finished, it should look something like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NukesGulf_B-61.jpg 
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  26. #56
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    I bet you could fabricate something that looked like the components of a nuclear weapon. There are images at nuclearweaponarchive.org that show what some of the parts look like.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  27. #57
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    A gas bottlle of the right dimensions could pass as the warhead. But let me start with the externals.

  28. #58
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    Sounds like a fun job to photograph every stage, every part of your work. And just imagine the fun to be had with nosy neighbors!

    "What is that!?" .... "A bomb."... "No way! A BOMB!?".. "Yup, no worries, it's just a nuclear bomb." ... "WHaaaaaaaat!?" ... "Yep, a B61, google it!" ... [pale faces.. shuffling feet.. sounds of dialling cellphones..]
    ____________
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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    (will have to be done with sand paper, as aluminum
    would otherwise be contaminated)
    Would you explain that for me please?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

  30. #60
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    After you're done laughing.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

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