Browsing: Vehicles

A Brief History On January 7, 1960 the United States first successfully test launched the Polaris Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) from their launching facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  The Polaris would be the first missile deployed in the world that could be launched from a submerged submarine and carry a nuclear warhead, changing the game of nuclear brinkmanship forever. Digging Deeper In July of 1960 the first successful launch of a Polaris missile from a submerged USS Washington missile submarine led to the arming of 41 US submarines with 16 Polaris missiles each, with each missile carrying a single…

A Brief History On December 29, 1860, the first British oceangoing ironclad warship, the HMS Warrior, was launched, but she was not the first such ship in World History. Digging Deeper Contrary to popular misconception that the US Navy USS Monitor and the Confederate States Navy CS Virginia (rebuilt from the Union wooden ship, USS Merrimac) were the first ironclad warships, iron armored floating batteries had already seen combat during the Crimean War, and the French ship, the Gloire, in service since 1859 was the world’s first ocean going warship.  In fact, the Monitor and Virginia were actually designed for…

A Brief History On December 27, 1922, the Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned the first aircraft carrier in the world that was designed and built as an aircraft carrier, the Hōshō. Digging Deeper Prior to the Hōshō, some ships such as the USS Langley CV-1 were converted (in 1920) to aircraft carriers from other warships or merchant ships.  The Royal Navy (British) Ark Royal is probably the first of what we would recognize as a more or less modern carrier, commissioned as a carrier in 1914 after being converted from a freighter that was in the process of being built in…

A Brief History On December 21, 1936,  the Nazi German concept of a “schnellbomber” (fast bomber) that could outrun most fighter planes took to the air when the prototype Junkers Ju-88 made its first flight, achieving a remarkable (for the time) speed of 360 mph. Digging Deeper Modifications to the requirement for the Ju-88 centered on the insistence of the Nazi regime that the plane be capable of dive bombing instead of merely acting as a level bomber, thereby necessitating greatly strengthening the wings and structure, adding weight to the plane.  The crew was increased to 4, further increasing weight…

A Brief History On December 18, 1898, French race car driver Gaston de Chassaloup-Laubat set the first recognized World Record for Land Speed at an unimpressive 63.13 kilometers per hour (39.25 mph).  (Note: For Land Speed Record we are referring to human steered vehicles powered by a motor of some type, and not considering bicycles or horseback riding.) Digging Deeper Gaston was driving a Jeantaud electric car for his record run, and at that time when automobiles were in their infancy it was not yet clear which means of propulsion would become preeminent, whether gasoline, electric, steam or diesel powered…

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