23 Jun 2012

Deutsche Museum -Munich

Maybe it's the many hours I spent playing with Meccano in my childhood but I am fascinated by mechanical things-mechanical clocks/watches,mechanical cameras,even mechanical cars as opposed to electronically assisted cars and mechanical aircraft as opposed to fly by wire, glass cockpit aircraft.I still cannot resist the temptation to take mechanical things apart and fix them if they are not working .I'll take gears,chains,drive belts,cams and springs over a black box full of microchips any day.
So whilst in Munich a visit to the Deutsche Museum is a must for me.I could spend all day there--in fact I did three weeks ago .It is not a"wow' museum like the BMW,Porsche or Mercedes-Benz museums.The displays are pretty pedestrian by today's standards and it is housed in an old building but it is stuffed with fascinating things.The automotive and railway exhibits have outgrown the main building and are now in an out of town location.

Some glimpses of exhibits -- a jet engine turbine and the valve gear of an early Benz racing engine.Look at those exposed valve springs and the open camshaft drive and the "beefy" welds--no thoughts of weight saving there.

And a look into an ex-Lufthansa Boeing 707 cockpit -all levers and analogue dials--although a few seem to have gone AWOL in this cockpit - and with more in common with a WW2 bomber than with today's glass cockpits in a Boeing 777,787 or Airbus.I remember flying on Boeing 707's in the 70's including flying to Australia from Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific 707 in 1977.Next saturday I fly Sydney to Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific 777-a world and 35 years away from that 707.

Finally a wonderful ,sectioned Wankel rotary engine-such a promising idea which did win Le Mans in a Mazda in 1991 but never really achieved widespread commercial acceptance due to its high fuel consumption.

The Deutsche Museum isn't just old stuff -they had a fascinating exhibition of nanotechnology on in May(not easily photographed)and the photography collection is excellent -more on this in another post .
Leica X1 photos.

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