Blimey. The big "C" word isn't far away now. Get your calendars out and get ready to start munching on some chocolate. Anyway, for now I can't dazzle you with brilliance so I'm going to baffle you with some bullsh... yeah. Videos and links that caught my eye recently.
First off, the Indian Navy recently commissioned the INS Tarkash into service. The Tarkash is the first ship of a second batch of Talwar-class frigates, and as such includes a number of upgrades and modifications such as the ability to carry Brahmos anti-shipping missiles in a vertical silo.
She recently visited Portsmouth naval base where a member of the public managed to get some video of her coming into port (on a typically calm and sunny November day in Southern England!) and also did the tour on a public open day, getting some great, close up video of the ships weapon systems.
Next up, just a random .pdf document I stumbled across on my travels around the inter web. I quite enjoy reading old WW2 field manuals when I get the chance, not least because of the comparisons you see when you look at the often lighter toned and yet business like approach of these old manuals, compared to the more stale and formal layout and approach of modern military field manuals.
The manual in question is US army field manual FM17-33, which is the armoured force field manual covering the operation and employment of light and medium armoured battalions, issued in September of 1942. Worth a read if you have some spare time to kill, not just for historical purposes but also because it reminds us civilians of just how complex the operation of such a force can be.
Including the brief introduction and index, the manual is 142 pages long, and covers everything from command and control, to the organisation of marches, onto attack and defense (with an "S"). A wealth of knowledge and interest to be found; link here.
Next, back to the videos and to sum this next video up I'll simply quote directly from the videos description; "I can't speak Italian but this documentary covers the AW 139 production line in it's entirety. From start to finish and everything thing in between this is one of the most comprehensive documentary's relating to helicopter construction that I have seen yet".
So yes, an interesting video from the Italian National Geographic channel, following production of the AgustaWestland AW-139 at the companies facility in Italy. In Italian. Generally you cant get the gist of what they're saying just from the pictures though.
And to end this weeks video round up, something I came across by pure chance while following a link to something completely different. I just happened to catch sight of an article about a Chinese company that's planning to build a massive skyscraper.... in just three months?
Intrigued I delved a little deeper and came across the Broad Sustainable Building Company, a Chinese building firm that is revolutionising the construction of large buildings in China (and they believe - hopefully - around the world). Their goal is to minimise the time, cost and environmental impact of such large construction projects by using prefabricated sections that are built in factories, with pipes and wiring already installed, and are delivered to the building site on lorries with all the additional components needed to install them laid on top.
Essentially the sections then only need to be lifted into place by crane and connected up. Et voila, one large building constructed in a matter of days or weeks.
I bring this up if only because a) it's awesome and b) it's a superb demonstration of modern innovation. Not only does this building method reduce cost, but the buildings themselves are energy efficient and designed with earthquake resistance in mind.
Anytime somebody assures me that the era of great innovation is over, I'll be sure to point them back to this and remind them that there are always problems that need solving, and there will always be smart people willing to solve them.
It's just a shame because looking at it, this is precisely the sort of innovation the current UK government (and I suspect any UK government) would love to see being developed over here.
I've found three time elapse videos for you to have a look at, some of which include clips from the factory where you can see the sections being manufactured. I just find it remarkable, truly remarkable to watch. This is the sort of clever engineering that I really admire.
And if you really must insist on there being a military twist to it, check out these two links for Nissen Huts and Quonset Huts, both of which were prefabricated buildings used in WW2.
I guess it does make you wonder to a degree. Just how quickly could you, for example, put up a temporary headquarters building on operations? Or build an additional accommodation block on an airbase for troops while they wait to be rotated in or out of an operational theatre?
Maybe this is the solution to the governments woes about building better accommodation on current bases for service personnel? Or going beyond the military... affordable housing targets?
Obviously it's not quite as quick as demonstrated in the videos, because you still need to survey and prepare the ground, and the fabricated modules need to be built in advance. But impressive and intriguing none the less.