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Memphis Belle was the nickname of a B-17F Flying Fortress during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film: Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and a 1990 Hollywood feature film: Memphis Belle. The plane was named for pilot Robert K. Morgan's sweetheart, Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. Morgan originally intended to call the plane Little One, after his pet name for her, but after Morgan and his copilot, Jim Verinis, saw the movie Lady for a Night, in which the leading character owns a riverboat named the Memphis Belle, he proposed that name to his crew. In May 1943 it became the first U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions. The plane and crew then returned to the United States to sell war bonds. The original airplane is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH. The Museum has placed restoration of Memphis Belle near the top of its priorities. In the magazine Friends Journal of the museum's foundation, Major General Charles D. Metcalf (USAF-Ret.), the director of the museum, stated that it might take 8–10 years to fully restore the aircraft. Memphis Belle during refurbishment in 2003.By the Spring of 2009, considerable preparatory work had been accomplished, but the fuselage and wings were still disassembled. After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. During the plane's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark on this war-time hero. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



A rubber band gun, often abbreviated to RBG, is a toy gun used to fire one or more rubber bands (or "elastic bands"). RBGs are often used in live-action games such as Assassins, in which they are common, popular and effective toy weapons. They are also common in offices and classrooms. Rubber band guns can be made from ice-cream sticks. The individual sticks are held together by either rubber bands, tape or glue. They can also be cut or carved to the required shape. It is generally limited to pistols and sniper rifles, as only one or two shots can be loaded on most guns, but semi-automatic ice-cream stick guns have been made by determined amateurs. They can also be adapted to fire arrows or other small objects with the rubber bands. In some guns, the handle doubles as a trigger, but using triggers provide much better accuracy. This is the simplest form of rubber band gun. Its firing mechanism consists solely of a clothespin. The gun may have more than one clothespin, thereby allowing more than one band to be fired. The repeater (or revolver) RBG is capable of firing 10 or more rubber bands, semi-automatically. Repeater RBGs are available in a variety of semi-realistic shapes, such as Luger style pistols, rifles, and Tommy guns. The repeater RBG is usually made of wood, and has a plastic firing mechanism, consisting of a toothed wheel onto which the bands are hooked, and a sprung trigger/escapement that releases the wheel by one notch, releasing a rubber band every time the trigger is pulled. A rubber band Gatling gun consists of between 3 and 12 repeater RBGs arranged on a cylindrical "rotor". The rotor rotates and each individual barrel is fired as it reaches the top of its locus. The original, patented (by Surefire Products), tripod-mounted rubber band Gatling gun was featured on the Gadget Show on UK television in March 2007. A twelve-barrel Gatling gun using twelve-shot repeater mechanisms can fire 144 rubber bands automatically. It is fired by manually rotating a crank handle and pulling a firing trigger. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





A 3-D (three-dimensional) film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. Derived from stereoscopic photography, a regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspectives (or computer-generated imagery generates the two perspectives in post-production), and special projection hardware and/or eyewear are used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film. 3-D films are not limited to feature film theatrical releases; television broadcasts and direct-to-video films have also incorporated similar methods, primarily for marketing purposes. 3-D films have existed in some form since the 1950s, but had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and '90s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3-D films became more and more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of 3-D presentations of Avatar in December 2009 and January 2010. Stereoscopic motion pictures can be produced through a variety of different methods. Over the years the popularity of systems being widely employed in movie theaters has waxed and waned. Though anaglyph was sometimes used prior to 1948, during the early "Golden Era" of 3-D cinematography of the 1950s the polarization system was used for every single feature length movie in the United states, and all but one short film. In the 21st century, polarization 3-D systems have continued to dominate the scene, though during the 60s and 70s some classic films which were converted to anaglyph for theaters not equipped for polarization, and were even shown in 3-D on TV. In the years following the mid 80s, some movies were made with short segments in anaglyph 3D. The following are some of the technical details and methodologies employed in some of the more notable 3-D movie systems that have been developed. In the case of RealD a circularly polarizing liquid crystal filter which can switch polarity 144 times per second is placed in front of the projector lens. Only one projector is needed, as the left and right eye images are displayed alternately. Sony features a new system called RealD XLS, which shows both circular polarized images simultaneously: a single 4K projector (4096×2160 resolution) displays both 2K images (2048×858 resolution) on top of each other at the same time, a special lens attachment polarizes and projects the images. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The Caterpillar 797 is an off-highway, ultra class, two axle, mechanical powertrain haul truck developed and manufactured in the United States by Caterpillar Inc. specifically for high production mining and heavy-duty construction applications world-wide. The 797 is Caterpillar’s largest, highest capacity haul truck. The latest version, the 797F, offers one of the largest haul truck payload capacities in the world, up to 400 short tons (363 t). The Caterpillar 797 series trucks employ mechanical drive powertrains in contrast to the diesel-electric powertrains of similar haul trucks offered by competitors. During initial development in 1997, a diesel-electric powertrain was considered for the 797, but this powertrain configuration was not developed because Caterpillar considered a mechanical drive powertrain more appropriate for market conditions at that time. A gross 4,000 hp (2,983 kW) Cat C175-20 ACERT single block, 20-cylinder, electronic common rail injection, quad turbocharged, air-to-air aftercooled, four-stroke diesel engine powers the 797F. The 797 series haul trucks are equipped with a rear axle mounted, computer controlled, seven speed planetary transmission with an integral lock-up torque converter. The Caterpillar 797 series haul trucks run on the largest tire in the world, the 13.2 ft tall, 11,680 lb Michelin 59/80R63 XDR. This radial tire was developed by Michelin in conjunction with Caterpillar specifically for the 797. Six tires are required per truck at a cost of approximately $42,500 per tire. Large components are manufactured at various Caterpillar and supplier facilities, then shipped to the customer site for final assembly by Caterpillar field engineers. The 3524B engine is made in Lafayette, Indiana and the largest frame component is cast in Amite City, Louisiana. These components are shipped to the Decatur, Illinois assembly plant where they are joined with the rear differential. These items alone require six to seven semi-trailer truck loads. The cab is made in Joliet, Illinois. The dump body requires four semi-trailer truck loads, while the six tires require two semi-trailer truck loads. In total, one 797 requires 12 to 13 semi-trailer truck loads that originate at various manufacturing facilities and deliver to the customer site. If a 797 must be moved from one job site to another for any reason, it can not be driven on public roads due to its exceptional size and weight. Moving a 797 requires dis-assembly, loading onto semi-trailer trucks, transport and re-assembly at the new location. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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