Friday, November 5, 2010

San Diego - USS Midway Museum


Having left the mission, I went for a bit of a cruise through the Mission Bay area (see point C on the map linked in the title). As it turned out, the most interesting parts were navigating the freeway system and catching a small glimpse of the SD Sea World complex. Wetlands I'm aware are genuine natural reserves, but in this case stretches of green-brown around water dulled by the cloudy sky and criss-crossed by freeways didn't feel super photogenic. That and the difficulties of vantage points mainly being freeway bridges precluded much in the way of pictures.

Next stop however was the USS Midway Museum - aboard the retired USS Midway aircraft carrier. In contrast I've spent quite a bit of time thinning out photos from here. From the outside - it's difficult to get the scale of it into the pictures (the wiki article linked does have some good aerial shots though). Additionally the wide-angle lens tends to make things look a little shorter (both vertically and horizontally) but here it is...

In the wiki pictures the 3 configurations for the deck are pretty clear:
  • 1945 Straight deck with 18 5-inch 54 calibre guns + light defense
  • 1957 Angled deck (2.8 acres), 10 guns only, new steam catapults
  • 1970 Angled deck (4 acres), light defense only

First up is the crew quarters - in particular a comparison of enlisted and junior officer fit-outs:

Next up is the anchor room. There were more than a few factoids about weight of links in the chain, weight of anchors etc. The fact I remember is that at any time the vessel was at sea, sweeps would develop over what time/date the ship would next drop anchor(s). So the first thing pretty much all the crew members would do when they heard the chain rattle through the hawsepipe was to check their watches.

I also thought it prudent to take a happy snap of the cable trays. Sadly (for the crew's electricians) it seems that fireproofing and colour-coding are incompatible.

Viciously chopped for readability and filesize - the USS Midway "Plan of the Day":

The next general area was the flight command and preparation rooms:

The Briefing Room (or Ready Room as the sign indicates)

Maintenance Manager

Evolution of Armament
Now onto engineering, starting with a with a couple of aircraft power plants. As you can imagine, not a lot of light so excuse any camera shake.

T58 Engine: The T58 was the first jet helicopter engine developed in the United States. Although weighing just 250 lbs, it produced over 1,000 shaft horsepower. This remarkable power-to-weight ratio made naval helicopters more powerful, reliable and versatile. Three of the Navy's primary helicopters (the SH-2 Seasprite, the SH-3 Sea King and the CH-46 Sea Knight) were powered by the T-58. (from sign) Produced 1955-1984.

Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp

Some various auxiliary areas:

A Flight Comms Centre

Dedicated A/C For Radios (Fermi?)

Liquid O2 facility. The green spheres remind me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "Heart of Gold" and associated landing craft.

Got valve? (One site of many.)

The engine room. The Midway was powered by steam turbine, and according to the FAS burned 100,000 gallons of oil each day at sea and was accordingly refueled every 3 days. As a side note, I later met a guy in a Yosemite National Park campground whose wife is proponent of nuclear power in the short to medium term. Relevance here being that (apparently) on 10 or 100s (I forget) of pounds of nuclear fuel a US aircraft carrier can circumnavigate the globe 2 or 3 times. And even then most of the energy goes into desalination so the crew (and some mechanical systems) can survive. But back to the midway:

System Diagram -suggestions for the symbol missing bot-left?

Anyone remember the gearbox assignment?
 Hangar and Deck to come soon (this post will be updated).

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