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Collings Foundation- Littlefield's armor?

Old 06-05-2016, 06:55 PM
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Tanque
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Default Collings Foundation- Littlefield's armor?

Don't see any updates as to the display of Littlefield's armor collection by the Foundation;
the photos are old ones taken at Pony Tracks.

Any news of the new museum wing? The only news on their site is regarding aircraft( doesn't surprise me;
they are a aircraft - focused museum). The only reference I've found was buried in an article regarding Paul Allen's lawsuit over the Pz Kw IV he thought he bought- that article said the new Collings display will open in 2018.

I'd hoped 2 years out they'd have more tangible updates on their own site. There's very little that will ever convince me sanding the core of that collection to Collings was anything other than a grave, shortsighted mistake. Do I still have bitterness against that decision? You betcha, poor decision by people who should have done better. Yes it's water under the bridge but it's rough, turbulent water not come to be restful...

Jerry
Old 06-06-2016, 01:59 AM
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HabuBlue
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The last that I had heard there was an issue with the town letting the museum expand.
Old 06-06-2016, 06:18 AM
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Hey Jerry, Saw your friend Rich Upton on Saturday, and met his brother who lives just about 3 miles away from me.
were going to have another tanker here in San Diego.

I agree with you on the Littlefield collection. It went off to hide away.
Old 06-07-2016, 07:46 AM
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There is a posting on the George Bradford tank site (the real AFVs). It has a recent posting about the Littlefield collection.


Google Com-Central.net


Click on AFV news discussion forum

rex
Old 06-07-2016, 08:48 AM
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Tanque
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Originally Posted by Rex Ross View Post
There is a posting on the George Bradford tank site (the real AFVs). It has a recent posting about the Littlefield collection.


Google Com-Central.net


Click on AFV news discussion forum

rex
Doesn't exactly jump out at you on that page..

jerry
Old 06-07-2016, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanque View Post
Doesn't exactly jump out at you on that page..

jerry
Works for me, but here is the posting I thought would be of interest ---- disposition of some items in answer to "where did they go"?
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[TD]Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Post Littlefield Auction project.[/TD]
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[TD="colspan: 2"][HR][/HR] I left business cards in just about every vehicle before they were shipped out. I heard back from less than 10% of the buyers. Here's what I have from those who contacted me, seen online, or have actually visited in person.

1001 BTR-152: The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum(?)
1004 M62 Wrecker: Private collector, Woodland, California
1006 FMC Lynx pilot: Panzer Fabrik, Colorado
1013 Saracen APC: American Armory Museum, Fairfield, California
1023 Praga VZ 53/59: The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum
1025 Australian 2pdr Carrier: Private collector, Pescadero, California(?)
1030 M32B3: Private collector, Italy
1033 M55: The Flying Heritage Collection, Washington
1034 17pdr ATG: The Flying Heritage Collection, Washington
1040 Israeli M50: was supposed to have gone to Florida. Heard buyer got his money back after lawsuit.
1041 Mack NO 7-ton: American Armory Museum, Fairfield, California
1043 M1A1 Abrams demo turret: The Flying Heritage Collection, Washington
1046 M4A3(75)Early: John W. Rich Auto Museum, Reading, Pennslyvania(thx Marc Sehring for the info)
1047 M48A2 AVLB: original buyer unknown, resold on eBay Spring 2016, new buyer not known.
1068 FV433 Abbot: American Armory Museum, Fairfield, California
1070 Churchill AVRE: The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum
1071 M113 FSV: The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum
1080 Tracked Rapier: Idaho Motor Pool, Fruitland, Idaho
1081: Conqueror: Jordan
1083: M5 Half-track: American Armory Museum, Fairfield, California
5002: SdKfz 7: The Flying Heritage Collection, Washington

_________________
Chris "toadman" Hughes
www.toadmanstankpictures.com
www.cafepress.com/toad...ksandstuff [/TD]
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:49 AM
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I believe they have the re-enactment on columbus day every year. I bet they wil use the jumbo and panther they bought. Not sure if they settled the suit over the PZ4 they sold sold then backed out on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3wHfxOjTpc

The year I went
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-p2cl18VaE

Last edited by Rustytrax; 06-09-2016 at 06:36 AM.
Old 06-09-2016, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rustytrax View Post
I bet they wil use the jumbo and panther they bought.
Bought? They didn't "buy " anything, Littlefield's collection was 'donated' to Collings.

If they use the Panther in a 'reenactment', a rare piece that cost Littlefield a fortune to restore( I'd heard 2.5 million) that in my mind would be demonstrable proof that the collection went into the wrong hands.

Jerry

Last edited by Tanque; 06-09-2016 at 07:27 AM.
Old 06-09-2016, 07:49 AM
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I had herd that the towns people are giving them a hard time with future displaying the armor!
Old 06-09-2016, 08:12 AM
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I guess I humbly disagree. I worked at the Fort Snelling Military Museum in Minneapolis helping restore the tanks as a volunteer before they shut it down and distributed the collection throughout the country. It was an all volunteer operation. We restored the vehicles back to working condition. There were some rare vehicles in the collection like one of the Sgt. York AA gun prototypes. The vehicles we restored participated in all different kinds of events from parades to demonstration days at the museum. Crushing cars was one of the fun things we did, but we used the M60 tanks for that and not the WWII vehicles. The WWII vehicles did get driven regularly to keep everything in working order. Spending as much time as we did on the restorations, driving them for the public was the reward for all the hard work we did. It also helped drum up donations for upkeep. To me spending $2.5M on a restore to full running condition only to shove it in a museum to never be driven again is a waste IMO. The machine was built for war...a simple re-enactment shouldn't be a big deal. I didn't see anyone complaints here about the Bovington Tiger I being used in the movie Fury... They run that Tiger at least once a year at their annual show. I'm sure that isn't the only time they run it. At the museum we would spin up all the vehicles we would use at our annual open house at least a week before the show to verify they all ran. There are only like 7 Tigers known to exist today. There are at least 30 Panthers left. Both are rare, but they aren't made of egg shells. And yes there are parts that cannot be reproduced easily or cheaply, but with enough money today you can fix or replicate any part. And if you can't you just might end up with a static tank in a museum, but at least a whole new generation of people would have seen it actually run.
Old 06-09-2016, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tankme View Post
they aren't made of egg shells. And yes there are parts that cannot be reproduced easily or cheaply, but with enough money today you can fix or replicate any part.
You've never seen the Maybach engine close up then, I've never seen an engine of that displacement that had such wafer thin walls between cylinders. A failure or improper assembly destroyed the first Maybach of the Bovington Tiger. And the final drive of the Panther is generally accepted as under or improperly engineered for the purpose. Littlefield personally told us of the computer model study he commissioned that proved the final drive of the Panther would suffer complete failure after just 30 minutes of full power.

Running the Samur Tiger II / Panther?whatever and Bovington's Tiger one around a flat track under perfect conditions doesn't really tax the machine that much. To run Bovinton's Tiger I in the extremely limited way they did in Fury is laughable; they made concrete pads with dirt on top to basically roll in back and forth; other shots( with the Shermans as well) were accomplshed using fiberglass upper bodies mounted on modern vehicles with video running shots of the appropriate vehicles superimposed over the running gear.

Littlefield and his team specialized in armor, he had the turret re-manufactured with help from ship building firms in Alameda to bend the armor plates into the correct shape. He have bearings custom made, and other parts. Littlefield and his team were one in a million. Collings is an aircraft museum they don't have the depth of experience with and dedication to an armor collection - if they had they would have amassed one decades before Littlefield's demise. That Jacques admired Collings' approach to their collection is (IMHO) more a comment of acknowledgement of their excellent approach to aircraft. If he'd wanted them to assume his collection upon his passing he would have made it so in legal instruments; the decision was made by his family.

It's largely a moot point they were given the machines; they can do whatever they want; if they are smart they'll fire them up once in a while but leave them largely as museum artifacts.


Jerry
Old 06-09-2016, 05:27 PM
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I don't believe that Collins has the Jumbo. M4a3E2 Sherman
I found the auction for it on line. I believe it was sold for 800k to a private collector.
Old 06-10-2016, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tanque View Post
You've never seen the Maybach engine close up then, I've never seen an engine of that displacement that had such wafer thin walls between cylinders.
Jerry
I'll just point out that the latest and greatest MTU tank motor (The 883) is not much all that much bigger than the 230HL (27litre Diesel vs 23 litre petrol) yet produces nearly 3 times the horsepower - yes some of that is down to modern design, but a lot of that is also due to modern materials - throw enough money at the problem and a company like the one I work for will happily design you an engine and transmission that will do the same job as the original engine, and pretty much last forever. All you need is several million euros to pay for the design, analysis and manufacture...

I know where you are coming from with the inter-bore region concerns - but its a wet liner engine, so its not the peak firing pressure on the cylinder walls that is the issue, but the sealing of the bores from the water jacket on the head gasket. And while it does look kinda thin, its not unusual.

Also on a large Vee engine you normally have crankcase stiffness challenges, but the deep skirt design of the Maybach is not so bad overall. The design of the crankshaft is very poor from a cost perspective (lots of machining), but the use of roller bearings allows for very low friction cranktrain design - something that was still being copied by companies like Paxman long after the war, and could possibly come back into fashion again for passenger cars under the right circumstances.

I'll agree with you on the final drive - the reason the Panther was never as good as a Sherman (as I'm sure you know) was that the German supply chain never had the right machine tools to manufacture the gearbox it needed (and later on the right materials). Remove that constraint and I'm sure its possible that the Panther would have been a more reliable machine.
Old 06-10-2016, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker View Post
I'll just point out that the latest and greatest MTU tank motor (The 883) is not much all that much bigger than the 230HL (27litre Diesel vs 23 litre petrol) yet produces nearly 3 times the horsepower - yes some of that is down to modern design, but a lot of that is also due to modern materials - throw enough money at the problem and a company like the one I work for will happily design you an engine and transmission that will do the same job as the original engine, and pretty much last forever. All you need is several million euros to pay for the design, analysis and manufacture...

I know where you are coming from with the inter-bore region concerns - but its a wet liner engine, so its not the peak firing pressure on the cylinder walls that is the issue, but the sealing of the bores from the water jacket on the head gasket. And while it does look kinda thin, its not unusual.

Also on a large Vee engine you normally have crankcase stiffness challenges, but the deep skirt design of the Maybach is not so bad overall. The design of the crankshaft is very poor from a cost perspective (lots of machining), but the use of roller bearings allows for very low friction cranktrain design - something that was still being copied by companies like Paxman long after the war, and could possibly come back into fashion again for passenger cars under the right circumstances.

I'll agree with you on the final drive - the reason the Panther was never as good as a Sherman (as I'm sure you know) was that the German supply chain never had the right machine tools to manufacture the gearbox it needed (and later on the right materials). Remove that constraint and I'm sure its possible that the Panther would have been a more reliable machine.

Yep, yep, yep and yep... I also agree with what you wrote. I'm sure if the
Maybach was that bad they wouldn't have used it. Even faced with few choices...

When I looked at the component parts of Littlefield's when they had it in pieces the
crankcase walls just struck but it fairness that was with the liners removed. The other component
that struck me were the heads: all along the perimeter of the top of the head were tell tale signs of cooling
issues when the castings were made. Shrinkage pulling( not cracks as I previously wrote) along that edge as the differential thicknesses of metal cooled.
I never brought it up, I'm sure everyone who worked that engine saw them; I imagined that under wartime conditions this was
acceptable. I don't imagine they interfered with function but they sure looked evil.

The Germans may not have had the right tools available but they more or less got away with the complex design of Tigers
and Panthers as they were never too far away to send their tanks back home to mama for major refits. Earlier tanks, notably the pz III
were a little less so. Of course we all know that Shermans and T-34 tanks were less prone to mechanical failures and in the case
of the Sherman possible to be fixed by country farm boys..

If the Germans had the materials and time to properly design a planetary or epicyclic final drive it would have held up better.I've read.

Lucky for the allies they didn't...

jerry

Last edited by Tanque; 06-10-2016 at 08:52 PM.
Old 05-04-2017, 07:15 PM
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Tanque
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Every so often I go a'huntin for updates to Jacque's former collection or rather the elements of it that Collins deigned to keep.
Haven't done an exhaustive search as with each passing year, to me anyway, it becomes less and less relevant but still I'd love to hear it has been put in a display
where many more people could enjoy it, wasn't that one of the reasons for the behest to Collins?? Seems to me for all the reclusive nature claimed about Littlefield's
Pony Tracks venue a hell of a lot more people were able to see his collection than do now...

So far I can't seem to find a peep about it. So I won't seem to be the old curmudgeon I won't grumble out loud... but...

Jerry
Old 05-05-2017, 06:32 AM
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Whenever I hear the name Jacques Littlefield, I am happy that I got to meet him and see his collection a few times. At the same time I am sad that he and his AFVs are just a memory now.
rex
Old 05-05-2017, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tanque View Post
Littlefield personally told us of the computer model study he commissioned that proved the final drive of the Panther would suffer complete failure after just 30 minutes of full power.
Was there any publishing of the results of this study? This would be fantastic information
Old 05-05-2017, 06:29 PM
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Jerry, any idea if that study was done on the reconstructed final drive he had made or the original on his that he thought could have been sabotaged? Thought I heard from him or read somewhere that the original final didn't look right when they did the first break down of it.

Last edited by TheBennyB; 05-05-2017 at 06:31 PM.
Old 05-05-2017, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBennyB View Post
Jerry, any idea if that study was done on the reconstructed final drive he had made or the original on his that he thought could have been sabotaged? Thought I heard from him or read somewhere that the original final didn't look right when they did the first break down of it.
In order to answer this and the previous post I only know of this from a conversation one afternoon with Jacques while we were standing next to the Panther while in his shop.
He didn't point to any particular parts or examples of parts.As far as I know the study wasn't officially published at least I'm unaware of it. I got the gist was that the design
itself just wouldn't stand up; hard to imagine in light of how many people view the technical prowess of German engineering. Don't get me wrong I think it's the cat's meow
in the machine world... however even that is tempered by recent personal experience with the now nefarious Porsche IMS scandal- that little design flaw in the Porsche flat
6 that could lead to catastrophic engine failure due a relatively small supporting roller bearing failure; affecting model years 1997 -2005...If you don't believe me look up Porsche IMS
failure...I know as I had one of the affected models( happily mine didn't fail before I sold it)!

Jerry
Old 05-05-2017, 09:11 PM
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I have seen pistons and trans dogs from my motorcycle racing days that you would swear came from one of the blown up motors. Those parts often came from engines that were running great but were being rebuilt due to hours. Makes you wonder just how long they were like that and how long they would have lasted.
Then there are the parts from builds that had very little wear and did actually come apart violently. You just never know and can only shake your head and ponder the what ifs.

Bret, I also heard the Littlefield panther had a sabotaged drive. I saw it on the tank resto vid log they did of the two panther builds.
How hard do they run they Jagd? it looks like full throttle up to 3-4 gear in one video. Not sure how often they do that and I'm sure it's not at combat weight.

Last year at the airfield reenactment they ran a stug. I don't know where it came from. They didn't have it before the littlfield auctions. Maybe they are running these in rotation for special events.
Old 05-06-2017, 05:56 PM
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Tanque
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According to the accounts of how the Panther that eventually came to be JL's, the machine fell through the ice while attempting to cross a river in Poland( I believe).
The crew abandoned it after setting off demo charges. There was no mention of the drive failing but it's certainly possible. I'd imagine if it had been sabotaged in some way
it should have failed before that incident. The only variable is how long the crew had to drive it before the event that caused the abandonment; perhaps there wasn't enough driving
to make it fail. In all the conversations we'd had about it I believe Jacques would have mentioned sabotage. He was pretty candid about other challenges they encountered during
the restoration. I was looking in my photos and I thought I'd actually taken a photo of the left or right drive unit while it was dismounted during the resto but I can't find it.

Jerry
Old 05-06-2017, 06:36 PM
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At 35 minutes JL says no sabo
tage. The other panther in the vid did have things done to it though.
Old 05-08-2017, 06:54 AM
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I guess I'm with the "run the tank" bunch.

Not running it for fear of breaking it, as opposed to running it till you can't fix it and putting it on static display seems pretty much the same outcome? Of course, with the former, it'd make loud noises and a lot of smoke without going anywhere, while the latter would have gotten a few good years (or more) with careful preparation and maintenance, to the benefit of visitors.

Fifi, the B-29 is one such example where it was flown till it can't be flown anymore. Edit: it appears the Commemorative Air Force cobbled enough money to re-engine her and she's airworthy again.

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