Does anybody know what this metal hardware is ?

MuckSavage

Explorer
Apr 1, 2005
450
71
28
51
Turnersville
So call the thread officially hijacked! I had a buddy that also worked on the catapult systems, I won't post his full name but his name was Jim & had a monster Bronco (but rode responsibly) & an Eagle twin-turbo (think Dodge Stealth) ....perhaps you guys know him?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,365
2,036
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
So call the thread officially hijacked! I had a buddy that also worked on the catapult systems, I won't post his full name but his name was Jim & had a monster Bronco (but rode responsibly) & an Eagle twin-turbo (think Dodge Stealth) ....perhaps you guys know him?
Why not just say his name? Did he work at Lakehurst? That's where I worked.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,365
2,036
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
Jim Oxley
Vaguely familiar, but I can't be sure. I left the test site where they have test cats and arresting gear in the late 1970's. I moved to the shop area and worked a very short time in the machine shop, then became a mechanical inspector. After 6 years I became a supervisor in various capacities before working in project management. I retired in 2014. The final 10 years were agonizing and stressful. I was team lead for the project that digitized the testing of helicopter engines outside of the air frame (H-60 and H-53 models with turbo-shaft engines). My team was a group of outstanding people that did all the technical, logistics, and contract work, and they were (and are) much smarter than me. Imagine creating algorithms in software to test those engines while they are running outside your test cab at 20,000 rpm (1,900 lbs shaft horse power). I was responsible for team direction, schedule planning, funding attainment, interface with the contractor, and quarterly status updates with the Project Manager at Naval Air Systems Command.

I'm glad it's over. I'd rather be exploring the pines.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
520
247
43
Waterford Twp
Very cool Joe. I've been to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Virginia), Charleston Naval Shipyard, and Pugent Sound (Bremerton) Washington. Was it at any of those yards? I also was the mechanical inspector for the Navy on the new catapult installations at Newport News Virginia for CVN-70 and CVN 71. I went out on sea trials too, and also did investigative work on CVN-69.
Bob I have been to all of those places, we also worked on any type of steam driven equipment, such as bilge turbines, compressors etc. Also worked on the Gulf Stream in the bay, which at the time was the sister ship to the Valdez (sp?) quite an ominous site to pull up next to her on a tug and scramble up a ladder and over the side! I've been on sea trials on the Dale (FFG) and the Serrabachi munitions supply ship, forget the designation. I was on one of the carriers and me and another guy were carrying a toolbox, we were way down inside and lost all of the lighting in the ship, everything just stops until its lit up again due to the fact many deck plates are removed as you probably are aware. Very dark in there when that happens!
Oddly also, my company worked at a Naval jet engine facility near the Scudder Falls Bridge in PA, the name and exact location escape me now, but they tested jet engines outside the air frame there. The testing included 2 buildings we were primarily involved in, one was a 2 story building with about 8 huge air pumps and ducting that went to the 2nd building, a quonset hut where the engine testing was done. The air pumps would simulate altitude in the building while running the engine!
 
Last edited:

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,365
2,036
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
Bob I have been to all of those places, we also worked on any type of steam driven equipment, such as bilge turbines, compressors etc. Also worked on the Gulf Stream in the bay, which at the time was the sister ship to the Valdez (sp?) quite an ominous site to pull up next to her on a tug and scramble up a ladder and over the side! I've been on sea trials on the Dale (FFG) and the Serrabachi munitions supply ship, forget the designation. I was on one of the carriers and me and another guy were carrying a toolbox, we were way down inside and lost all of the lighting in the ship, everything just stops until its lit up again due to the fact many deck plates are removed as you probably are aware. Very dark in there when that happens!
Oddly also, my company worked at a Naval jet engine facility near the Scudder Falls Bridge in PA, the name and exact location escape me now, but they tested jet engines outside the air frame there. The testing included 2 buildings we were primarily involved in, one was a 2 story building with about 8 huge air pumps and ducting that went to the 2nd building, a quonset hut where the engine testing was done. The air pumps would simulate altitude in the building while running the engine!
Very cool work you were involved in Joe! I was in my early 20's when I had to work at Charleston when NATF was short on funds. I was helping crews overhaul valves, pumps, and turbines from submarines. That was SUBSAFE work, with very exacting work standards to ensure no subs were lost through poor quality. One of the most interesting jobs I had was in 1983(?) when the Navy was testing a ski-jump concept at Patuxent River Naval Test Station in Maryland. Lakehurst had constructed the first ramp, which was fabricated forms of steel bolted together to form a ramp that was about 9 feet above the runway. They wanted to see if it would help get the planes up in the air quicker, so maybe build smaller carriers or shorter cats. They had an F-14 and test pilot and instrumentation. My job was to inspect the ramp welds after every jump. I was certified in magnetic particle and dye penetrant inspection in addition to ultrasonic and some radiography of welds and metal. Watching that F-14 in afterburner hit that ramp, teeter a bit, then straighten out at a high angle of attack and shoot up at almost 45 degrees was one of the most exciting things I have ever seen.

Did you get involved in peening the catapult launching cylinders in order to bring them back into proper size? What an art form that was.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: MuckSavage

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
520
247
43
Waterford Twp
Very cool work you were involved in Joe! I was in my early 20's when I had to work at Charleston when NATF was short on funds. I was helping crews overhaul valves, pumps, and turbines from submarines. That was SUBSAFE work, with very exacting work standards to ensure no subs were lost through poor quality. One of the most interesting jobs I had was in 1983(?) when the Navy was testing a ski-jump concept at Patuxent River Naval Test Station in Maryland. Lakehurst had constructed the first ramp, which was fabricated forms of steel bolted together to form a ramp that was about 9 feet above the runway. They wanted to see if it would help get the planes up in the air quicker, so maybe build smaller carriers or shorter cats. They had an F-14 and test pilot and instrumentation. My job was to inspect the ramp welds after every jump. I was certified in magnetic particle and dye penetrant inspection in addition to ulrtrasonic and some radiography of welds and metal. Watching that F-14 in afterburner hit that ramp, teeter a bit, then straighten out at a high angle of attack and shoot up at almost 45 degrees was one of the most exciting things I have ever seen.

Did you get involved in peening the catapult launching cylinders in order to bring them back into proper size? What an art form that was.
Our company specialized in all of the above and in place machining, x-ray technology for pump/turbine or any kind of driven shafts steam or otherwise, I was in my early 20s also, my crew did all the mechanical tear down, rebuild and reassembly. We would assemble the equipment and the machinists would come in and do their thing, we would then tear down their machining equipment and reassemble whatever we were working on at the time. I also have experience with spray welding, mag dye and xray technology, checking for stress cracks in cases, wheels and shafts. albeit ancient knowledge. The ski jump/plane launch sounds interesting! would have liked to have seen that!
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
266
153
43
Bass River State Forest
Update: That bridge on the Mullica River Trail in Wharton SF is done and open for hikers. I think it was finished about a month ago. I take back what I said about ugliness. It's OK, and the section of the Mullica River Trail that it opens up for access (without getting your feet wet now) is really a very nice hike.

mrt-bridge.jpg
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,287
1,781
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
266
153
43
Bass River State Forest
yes, that looks like the spot
Nope. Same trail, different bridge. The one seen under the red balloon in that URL (in Zach's post) crosses the Mullica River on the Yellow (Mullica River) Trail and Orange (Tom's Pond) Trail. It's a wooden bridge and has been up for a long time. The one they just rebuilt crosses a waterway known as either Mechescatauxin Creek or Sleeper Branch, where the Yellow Trail branches off from the Orange Trail. Only Yellow crosses that bridge.

Here are some Lat/Lon for you, in decimal because I'm too lazy to convert.
Bridge #1 (over Mullica River): 39.643419 -74.658176
Bridge #2 (over Mechescatauxin Creek): 39.646839 -74.660848