[Diy_efi] Another dyno-room story, FMC/Bradley

Ernest Buckler ebuckler
Wed Sep 12 21:25:01 UTC 2007

I heard this story when I worked at FMC in San Jose on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle prototype program:

There was a requirement for this 25 ton fast (55mph) armored vehicle to make water crossings deeper than hull depth, so one thought was to make the engine capable of runnig underwater.  Snorkel was the obvious solution but some bright fellows decided that running the 500 hp compound-turbo-supercharged Cummins V-12 diesel with decomposed H202 (high-purity hydrogen peroxide) would provide adequate oxidizer if it were sprayed through a catalyst consisting of a silver screen in the intake plumbing. (This is how the one-man ultra-light helos work)   When it exploded in the all-steel-walled dyno cell (fortunately a bldg set up for just this purpose off by itself), all four walls were completely flattened, and the Cummins block was fractured totally in half.    Really wish I had been there (having recently come from Edwards AFB Rocket Test Base, thus was accustomed to big booms and exploding test cells, heh.  Flourine and Boron makes a REAL big bang, for one example.).  In the end they settled on canvas side panels rigged above the hull to give minimal freeboard; with careful weight management, the Bradley FV would pass the water crossing test  - tho one test driver proved that any kind of rough water was lethal, by dying in a pond test gone bad on FMC property. And of course the canvas sides were rigged outside, totally vulnerable to shrapnel and small-arms fire.  Might as well mention too that the other smart move made in that project was to delete the gasoline-fueled dirt bike that initially was standard equipment inside the Cavalry Recon version - somebody finally figured out that a 4 gal. gas tank was nothing more than an internal fire-bomb, should they take a penetrating hit.  There was some minimal effort to come up with a diesel-powered replacement for the bike, but the diesel KX650 did not exist at the time.

Ernest B.

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