Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1825776
GAFlyer4Fun wrote:The bit I dont get is why have a launch site so far from the equator? :?
There is a reason NASA chose Florida for space launches and not a remote part of Alaska. (latitude not temperature)


Well the obvious answer is that we don’t have a bit substantially nearer the equator to make it worthwhile.

But the technical answer is that there are some orbits that are better suited to polar insertion so to speak.... and the are less people with backyards to shout NIM...

Edited to add... it seems my browser hadn’t fully updated when I hit reply and you already have a page full of better answers :lol:
#1825785
Rjk983 wrote:.. we don’t have a bit substantially nearer the equator to make it worthwhile.

..


[if 'we' is UK ..] .. but Ascension Island is pretty close, at ~8 deg S :) .. runway a bit longer than Unst's, too, and surrounded by lots of sea :thumright:
#1825809
kanga wrote:
Rjk983 wrote:.. we don’t have a bit substantially nearer the equator to make it worthwhile.

..


[if 'we' is UK ..] .. but Ascension Island is pretty close, at ~8 deg S :) .. runway a bit longer than Unst's, too, and surrounded by lots of sea :thumright:


Indeed, but the US may have something to say about that.

And the runway is out of action at present.

And the lack of a useful deep harbour may preclude unloading of delicate rocket parts.

But apart from that, it’s a lovely place. Particularly liked the run up green mountain from two boats or travellers hill.
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#1825841
Morten wrote:Apocryphal but apposite to this thread: https://papersourceonline.com/roman-hor ... -shuttles/


Apocryphal-ish.

The "using the same tooling" thing I wouldn't have thought would be quite right, but the actual reason why "standard gauge" is between 4.5 and 5ft is that for a couple of hundred years before steam railways, rail trucks had been pulled by horses, and thus had the same requirement as the Roman wagons and subsequent road vehicles, that the pulling bits were made to fit around a cart horse.

GWR tried to get away from this "horse gauge" but their wide gauge was eventually dropped in favour of the original Stephenson one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard-gauge_railway
#1825868
Paul_Sengupta wrote:..

GWR tried to get away from this "horse gauge" but their wide gauge was eventually dropped in favour of the original Stephenson one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard-gauge_railway


.. but the Russian railway pioneers adopted British broad gauge, and never reformed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_ft_and_ ... e_railways

<further fun drift :oops: >

Russian sometimes also adopted, often by straight transliteration, British railway terminology, of which the most famous example is probably вокзал, vokzal, which is the standard word for a railway (or riverboat) station; it comes from Vauxhall, whose station building design was copied faithfully in early Russian examples. Conveniently, the second syllable ('зал', zal) is a Russian word meaning 'hall'.

An analogous British English wholesale borrowing of the terminology of an emerging technology is aviation vocabulary of French origin: fuselage, aileron, chassis (early term for 'undercarriage'), hangar (actually Breton not French), ..

</language geek>
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By kanga
#1825901
Bill McCarthy wrote:NZ - 3ft6”.


several different ones in Australia. They prevented transcontinental E-W through service in same passenger carriages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_gauge_in_Australia
#1825948
Paul_Sengupta wrote:The GWR gauge was 7ft (and 1/4", to allow trains to go round corners).


Back in the 1980s, the Iron Duke replica was running in Hyde Park. The 7' gauge was not really designed to go round corners - like the TGV it would have gone as straight as possible, so OK on the London to Bristol route - but hopeless in Devon.

Add to that the almost doubling of the track beds, the companies would have had to buy up a shedload of land.

Brunel was a great engineering innovator, but he often left his backers with great losses
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#1826005
Iceman wrote:Can we get this thread back on ‘track’ :lol:


Difficult as there isn't a railway on Unst, or anywhere else on the Shetland Isles as far as I know :-). So in a [vain] attempt to drag the thread back on topic here are a couple of pictures of Unst airfield taken in 2019. They aren't that good as I had to take them from ground level as the trip didn't involve any flying :(

Apron and 'Terminal' building


View of the runway from the South


Brooklands
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