Sunday, September 16, 2007

Picture Post, Sunday September 16, 2007

On Sunday August 26, I posted a few photos from a tour of Delta Airlines's facilities in Atlanta in 1989. I thought I would post a few more this Sunday.

I mentioned that week that Delta had the capability to create any part on any plane or engine that they needed, on-site in the Atlanta hangar complex.

This first photo coming up is related to that. For example, each of the many fan blades within a jet engine are individually made for that particular spot within that particular set of blades. Sounded crazy to me, but true; we saw men meticulously shaping and numbering jet engine fan blades.

Once fan blades, or any metal part is fashioned the way they want it to be, the items need to be cooked in ovens to temper. The working of metal causes weaknesses in the areas bent and hammered, and the cooking in the ovens allows the metal's molecules to realign into their strongest positions in relation to one another.

All of that is a lead-up to this first photo. Guess what it is? Wow! Y'all are SO SMART! Yes, it's an oven. (Pause for look at gratuitous oven photo.) On our tour, they filed the 8 or so of us into this big room where the temperature of the room was about 125 degrees F. Then the oven in the photo below started to open and all of us instinctively took a step back. I myself took two steps back. (I used to be TERRIFIED of ovens, and wouldn't even reach into our home oven to get something out until I was 18 or so.) When this door slid up and I saw those heating elements glowing orange like that I almost bolted from the room. I finally squashed the urge to flee in a screaming fit and remembered the camera around my neck and stepped in front of the rest of the group to take this photo. I took a total of two photos in this room, and this was the better of the two.They pulled that big kettle out onto the metal rails you see coming into the photo from the left. They said they had to let it cool a couple of days before they could even open the kettle, but they had another one from a few days before that they had just opened, and they had put stuff inside on the bottom, put a metal shelf above that, put in more items needing to be cooked, and then another shelf until the whole kettle was full.

They had four of these ovens in that room, and one other one was in operation that day. They said in busy times when they had to run all four ovens simultaneously, that sometimes Georgia Power would cal them and ask them to turn off one or more of them. They sucked so much current from the power system that on high demand days for the power company, they couldn't handle Delta running these ovens. They would operate them up to 2000 degrees F.

Anyway, it was scary and fascinating at the same time.

This next photo is of a jet engine being overhauled. Those two things on metal arms above and below the engine are part of the reverse thrust system that jet engines have. You know how loud the plane gets when you are on one that first touches down on landing? It's like the engines get really loud for several seconds? These big "flaps" open away from the engine as you see in this photo, and they actually come all the way around and behind the engine until their ends touch one another. Then the engines are revved really high like for takeoff, except that these flaps are now directing the engine's thrust up and down and slightly forward, which slows the plane down really quickly. That's what all the noise is when you first touch down, and why you're slung forward into your seat. It isn't that the engine actually can reverse it's thrust, it's just redirected forward against the momentum of the plane to help slow it down. Cool, huh?

This next photo is one of the pilot testing stations in one of the buildings across the street from Delta's main headquarters. It's away from the hangars but near the Atlanta airport. The lower part of the building houses all of the flight simulators for the various aircraft that Delta operates, while the upper floors has training and testing areas.In a mock up of a cockpit like in the photo is where pilots sit and are tested by FAA personnel. They simulate problems, normal flights, and whatnot to allow them to be observed and tested by the FAA to keep up their certifications.

This final photo is of the front end of the same old crop duster that I showed before. I put this photo here because you can see a bit of the room and the flight attendant's uniforms used throughout the years, models of all the different aircraft that Delta has used over the years, and on the walls you can see various incarnations of the Delta logo as it has been used over the years as well. Neat stuff to see. Looking at this photo is kind of like looking at old family Christmas photos; looking at all the other stuff in the room in the photos is just as fun as seeing our families at earlier times.As I said, I took this tour in the late 1980s and I still remember being in this room and thinking of how far powered flight had come in the then 85 years or so since Orville and Wilbur Wright had made their famous first successful flights.

If you like planes and jets, you should go see this old post of mine where I posted some photos of British Airways's Concorde on one of it's visits to DFW Airport in the late 1980s as well.

Today on my other blog, I posted my first ever panoramic photo. I stitched together a series of nine or so photographs that I took of the beach yesterday. So the photo is super fresh.

Be sure and click on it to enlarge it.

1 comment:

Scribbit said...

I'll have to peak at that--panoramics are so interesting I think.