Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Burstyn Tank (Again)


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Burstyn Tank (Again)
Permalink   


In the Landships article it says that the rear arms of the vehicle were to be powered to aid in traction, the forward arms being used for steering. However I do not believe this was the case.

I believe for us non-german speakers, there is a fair lot of misinformation about Burstyn's tank.

I went to this website:
http://www.doppeladler.com/kuk/burstyn.htm

And used the www.altavista.com Babelfish Translation on the website. I read it carefully and re-wrote a more concise version using the information provided. I focused only on the vehicle itself. Feel free to read the original website yourself and criticise my synopsis.
-------
The Burstyn Tank had sprung suspension, elevatable and lowerable road wheels for travel on roads, and long arms to aid in traversing over obstacles.



In the front left seat was the gunner, the front right the commander. The driver faced rearward in the engine compartment, either driving by the commanders instructions of perhapse using a periscope (this is not mentioned in the patents however). Burstyn planned on using new types of tracks for the vehicle, rather than using those found on available tractors. Later drafts of his design showed improvements to the chassis over earlier drafts.

The vehicle would be fit with two pairs of elevated and lowerable wheels, for faster road travel. The rear wheels would be been powered, the front wheels used for steering. It is unclear whether the wheels would be attached inside or outside of the vehicle. They were illustrated on no design drawings.



The four arms with rollers could be lowered or raised using the engine, with the help of mechanical clutches in the compartments. With these arms various obstacles could be overcome such as trenches and parapets. The arms could also be used to jack up the vehicle for maintenance.

The armament of the vheicle was to consist of a 37mm rapid-fire cannon in a swivelling turret. Two 7mm machine guns are often noted as secondary armament, but these appeared in no drawings.

The lowerable wheels for fast road travel, and the powered arms for obstacle crossing were complicated affairs, whose technical feasability without a prototype could not be proven. It is worth noting that the vehicle would have been an outstanding craft for its time even without the road wheels and arms.


Draft - Guenther Burstyn, 1911
Length - 3.5 m (without arms)
Width - 1.9 m
Height - 1.9 m
Combat weight - about 7 t
Drive - Truck petrol engine with 45 HP
Speed - On Road - 28,8 km/h
Speed - Off Road - 8 km/h
Armoring:
Front: 8 mm
Tail and side tank 4 mm
The combat area additionally: 3 mm

Armament - 1x 37 mm of rapid-fire cannon; 2x 7 mm of machine guns (?)
Crew 3 men (commander/loader; Gunner; Driver)
----

You will begin to notice that while the shape and abilities of the vehicle were ironed out, virtually no attention had been paid to how you would actually build the thing. The lowerable road wheels were never even drawn. The mechanical clutches to power the arms via the engine are not explained. How you would steer the vehicle on its tracks is not explained. How the driver was supposed to control the vehicle when facing backwards is not explained. How the tracks would be made is not explained. Remember, it took the Landships committee a long time to develop tracks that were durable enough for an armored fighting vehicle.

Basically, Burstyn said he wanted his vehicle to be able to do "This, this, and this!", and that it should look like "This!", and that was it. Lancelot DeMole, in comparison, actually worked out how his vehicle could be built and how it could be steered, in addition to the general shape and dimensions of it.

What do you think? Was Burstyns idea really the unaccepted wonder-weapon of its time, as some people would have you believe?

---Vil.



-- Edited by Vilkata at 01:20, 2006-10-17

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1306
Date:
Permalink   

Vilkata wrote:


Basically, Burstyn said he wanted his vehicle to be able to do "This, this, and this!", and that it should look like "This!", and that was it. Lancelot DeMole, in comparison, actually worked out how his vehicle could be built and how it could be steered, in addition to the general shape and dimensions of it.



You've hit the nail on the head there. In my opinion, Burstyn's design is overrated, and was not the missed opportunity wonder weapon some would have us believe. Don't get me wrong - I do not deny his brilliance and ingenuity in coming up with such an innovative concept. I do not deny that the design could have formed the basis for far more effective later vehicles, had it been built and tested. It might have had an influence out of all proportion to its intrinsic effectiveness and thus been hugely important. However, judging the design purely on its own merits, for that is all we can do, I do not believe it would have been terribly successful without modification.


The main reason, I believe, that it is so highly regarded is because, apart from the strange arms and date of design, it looks like a tank should look - that is, it has low slung tracks, a suspension, and a rotating turret with gun. By contrast, the British tanks are always regarded as curiosities, dead-ends because they don't look like a tank should look (and let's not forget that Little Willie was designed with a turret, which was deleted for reasons of stability). But the British tanks were designed that way, as we all know, for the conditions of the Western Front. All-around tracks to cope with wide trenches, shell craters and obstacles. Those high profile tracks, in turn, dictated the side sponsons, to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. Fitting a turret to them would have been folly.


Burstyn's tank is too small to cope with trenches. It's less than half the length of the British tanks. And as for those arms... Very ingenious, in an over-complicated inventor's way, but totally impracticable. A nasty slip to the side and one or more would probably twist off. Barbed wire would get tangled in them. If any were powered, how would the transmission to the rear wheels cope if the arms bent? No, far too complex and vulnerable.


Mind you, take the arms off and you would probably actually have quite a decent light tank, after the fashion of the Renault FT-17. If it could have been mass-produced like the FT-17 then I'd be more impressed.


Then there's the question of the tracks. One of the main factors behind the success of the British tanks was that Trittion and Wilson designed a very simple, durable, effective track. That factor cannot be over-emphasised. It doesn't matter how great your tank design is, if the tracks keep falling off or breaking then the whole thing is useless, and there's no indication that Burstyn resolved that.


Now, people will probably say, 'Ah, but, he never got any support. Who knows how it might have been developed had it been built?' I accept that, but it wasn't built, and it wasn't developed - we can only assess it on its own terms. As it is, it's one of those brilliantly prescient concepts, but as a working design it leaves much to be desired.



__________________


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Permalink   

Ah Roger, you said:

"And as for those arms... Very ingenious, in an over-complicated inventor's way, but totally impracticable. A nasty slip to the side and one or more would probably twist off. Barbed wire would get tangled in them. If any were powered, how would the transmission to the rear wheels cope if the arms bent? No, far too complex and vulnerable."

The wheels that were to be powered for faster movement on roads were not the wheels on the arms. They were additional wheels, either fitted internally or externally, able to be lowered and raised and then powered - just like the many Wheel & Track tanks countries toyed with in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. Burstyn wanted his vehicle to run on its tracks off road, and wheels on road. However, he never mentions how these 4 roadwheels were to be mounted or even drew them, merely that the rear pair should be powered, with the foreward pair providing steering. The arms were a different gimmick entirely.

Burstyn seemed to muddle up the concept of a light effective tracked fighting vehicle (that could have been much like an earlier FT-17 as you mention) with a whole mess of over complicated gimmicks that would have been extremely hard to implement.

---Vil.

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1306
Date:
Permalink   

Ah, I stand corrected! I didn't realise that the arms-with-wheels were separate from another, unspecified, set of powered roadwheels! However, that just amplifies my point - talk about over-complicating something! As you say, gimmicky (but original, and ahead of his time - great ideas man, Burstyn - even if he anticipated things that were later tried and rejected anyway!).


The more I ponder it, the more I feel that he should have concentrated on developing good tracks, ditched the arms, and produced an advanced light tank, a la Renault FT-17, which it had the potential to be.



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 2341
Date:
Permalink   

Roger


I think you're spot on re the tracks. (BTW congrats on the Elephant article). Its worth pointing out that deMole not only came up with a practical solution (as one might expect from a mining engineer) but one that actually anticipated post WW1 developments (in the form of steering by bowing the tracks) and 'proved' the concept by building a working model.


Burstyn's concept rather reminds me of a particular 1930's camera (designed by a Brit, made in Switzerland) that tried to incorporate everything in as small a body as possible (interchageable lenses, exposure meter, range finder, multiple film size options, filters etc etc). The result was a very advanced camera that almost nobody bought because it was so complex (by the time all the right combinations had been chosen and set the subject had either moved to another continent or died of old age) and spent much of its time in the repair shop because something had gone clonk or needed adjusting again. (Its a collectors item today but not to use). Burstyn seems to have thought of everything except practicality. I suspect that if built his tank would have failed the test imposed by a certain REME birgadier I once worked with "is it soldier proof?" Ie can it be used by harrassed soldiers in the field, under the rush of combat conditions without them breaking it or setting something wrong?



__________________
aka Robert Robinson Always mistrust captions


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Permalink   

In regards to Lancelot deMole, did he ever come up with a track design that could have actually worked? I know the large model worked, but were the tracks presented on the model to be scaled up and used on a full sized vehicle? Or were new tracks to be developed?

As you both say, the tracks themselves would have been extremely important - as much as the rest of the vehicle.

It is a testament to the British WWI tanks, that seldom do you hear of them shedding tracks under non-combat situations. Even in combat the only time you see them without tracks is if they've been blown off. To this day most modern tanks have problems with track shedding even in non-combat situations, however rare the occurence is.

I wonder if deMole had thought up tracks as good as what the British settled with?

---Vil.

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 2341
Date:
Permalink   

Vilkata wrote:


It is a testament to the British WWI tanks, that seldom do you hear of them shedding tracks under non-combat situations. Even in combat the only time you see them without tracks is if they've been blown off.


Unfortunately

Attachments
detracked.jpg (105.9 kb)
__________________
aka Robert Robinson Always mistrust captions


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Permalink   

Very good photo! You at least partly prove me wrong.

But this is one of the only photos I have seen of a WWI british tank shedding tracks while not in combat.

Then again, I am not a foremost expert on the subject.

---Vil.

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1306
Date:
Permalink   

Centurion wrote:


Unfortunately



Oops...! Well, there's always one! On the whole, however, the British tracks tended not to come off (exceptions granted! ), owing to the way the track links had flanges which engaged with rails on the inside faces of the track frames (which precluded a sprung suspension). Anyway, that's another story...


You've both made very good points about De Mole's design - I especially like the story about the camera, Centurion (BTW, glad you liked the FE article)! Your point about De Mole's engineering background is especially germane, I feel. He certainly seems to have appreciated the need to make his design 'soldier-proof'; it's not over-complicated.


I don't know the exact details of the construction of De Mole's tracks, but to judge from the model, they were pretty substantial and look pretty robust. If you look at the photos of the model Centurion posted, you'll see that the links are very thick, and all the road wheels and upper wheels have wide flanges which cover the links, serving to stop them sliding off.


The more I ponder it, of all the pre-war 'proto-tank' designs and schemes (and, in fact, of all the designs pre-Tritton/Wilson), De Mole's was the most practicable. Okay, so he made no indication as to armament or engine. But, the machine was to have been large - longer than a Mark VIII - so fitting guns would have been no problem. In many ways it was superior to the tanks that were built, something appreciated, IIRC, by the Commission on Awards in 1919/20. It was crtainly superior to Macfie's design, rather making a mockery of Macfie's strenuous efforts to portray himself as the thwarted inventor of the tank...



__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 2341
Date:
Permalink   

Somewhere I have read that the British WW1 tracks were fine on soft to firm going but tended to be vunerable to breakage on hard surfaces (like paved roads or stoney surfaces). This might  be because of the hammering they would take with unsprung rollers. It would probably have been a difficult task to build a track system suitable for all types of going and in most circumstances soft to firmish would be fine.

__________________
aka Robert Robinson Always mistrust captions


Lieutenant

Status: Offline
Posts: 68
Date:
Permalink   

Hello Specialists!

The original description for the Burstyn Motor-Geschütz says that the rear wheels
on the extension arms should be driven while the front wheels should have
steering device. The maker of the Doppeladler-website doubts the practicability of
said construction due to the complexity of construction.

Best regards,

Pody

__________________
"Ein Volk, das keine Waffen traegt, wird Ketten tragen!" (Carl von Clausewitz)


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Permalink   

Hmmm. Are you sure?

In all of the patent work there are no drawings indicating that the rear arm rollers were to be powered, or that the front arm rollers should be steerable. Quite frankly it sounds absurd, the rollers would have been solid metal, and very small. Trying to power then and drive on roads would have been futile.

I think there must be a misunderstanding somewhere.

I still believe the "road wheels" were a second device involving larger roadwheels that could belowered down and powered by the engine - DIFFERENT wheels than the rollers on the arms. The information on the website I mentioned seemed to indicate this in some detail.

But then again, I don't read German!

Anyone ever come across a correct full translation of Burstyns patents or anything of the sort?

---Vil.

__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1306
Date:
Permalink   

Vilkata wrote:


Anyone ever come across a correct full translation of Burstyns patents or anything of the sort? ---Vil.


Not a translation, but I've attached a pdf file (try saying that in a hurry) of the actual patent, in German...

-- Edited by Roger Todd at 21:48, 2006-10-18

Attachments
__________________


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 2341
Date:
Permalink   

No indication of a third set of road wheels in the diagrams - it looks as if the wheels on the outriggers are it. If there were tracks, out riggers and road wheels just imagine the risk of some harrassed tank driver in the middle of no mans land pulling the wrong lever at a critical time! Too complicated.

__________________
aka Robert Robinson Always mistrust captions


Brigadier

Status: Offline
Posts: 278
Date:
Permalink   

Centurion, the website, translated from German via the Altavista Babelfish translation indicated that Burstyn wanted an entire different setup of wheels for road use - But that these wheels were never shown on any patent drawings.

The website goes on to state that Burstyn never elaborated on how these two extra pairs of wheels were to be mounted, and it is unknown whether they would be mounted internally, or externally.

Yes... The vehicle was far too complicated. Not only did Burstyn never think up a way to implement all of his ideas like the Arms, he never even drew parts of it like the road wheel arrangement.

All the website says in reference to the vehicles ability to run faster on roads is this:

"heb- und senkbare Räder: Das Motorgeschütz sollte zwei heb- und senkbare Räderpaare für die schnelle Straßenfahrt aufweisen. Die Räder der hinteren Räder wären angetrieben worden, die vorderen sollten lenkbar sein. Unklar ist, ob die Räder innerhalb oder außerhalb des Fahrzeuges angebracht werden sollten. Für interne Räder spricht, dass sie auf keiner Zeichnung abgebildet wurden. Für externe Räderpaare spricht die spätere Umsetzung einer solchen Konstruktion (Austro-Daimler, Saurer)."

Which, through really funky Babelfish translation reads,

" elevated and lowerable wheels: The engine cannon should exhibit two elevated and lowerable pairs of wheels for the fast road travel. The wheels of the rear wheels would have been propelled, the front should be guidable. It is unclear whether the wheels should be attached within or outside of the vehicle. For internal wheels it speaks that they were illustrated on no design. For external pairs of wheels the later conversion of such a construction (Austro Daimler, sour) speaks."

Would someone care to either translate that German paragraph, or fumble through the English translation?

The website lists the vehicles capabilities as Bullet Points. And, the Elevated And Lowerable Wheels are a different Bullet Point than the Arms, which is called a "device for motor vehicles for the exceeding of obstacles". Combine that with the text in the translated paragraph, and it seems implied without a reasonable doubt that the ideas were seperate. And yes, the road wheels are not on any patent drawings, as the translated paragraph states.

I am still acceptant of being proven wrong! Again, I cant read German. Perhaps the translation ran foul, I am interpreting it wrong.

---Vil.

-- Edited by Vilkata at 22:47, 2006-10-18

__________________
taz


Lieutenant

Status: Offline
Posts: 52
Date:
Permalink   

Vil,

after reading through your translation post and the original article, i would tend to agree with you.

heb- und senkbare Räder, would be wheels raised or lowered for fast road travel. The rear ones being powered and the front ones for steering.
These are seperate from the "Vorrichtung für Motorfahrzeuge zum Überschreiten von Hindernissen" shown on the patent.

Regards Eddie

-- Edited by taz at 12:38, 2008-09-21

__________________
"From Mud, Through Blood, to the Green Fields Beyond."


Commander in Chief

Status: Offline
Posts: 679
Date:
Permalink   

So, let me see if I've got this straight;

Burstyn sent a non-working scale(?) model and some sketch plans to the A-H army. The A-H army were not impressed enough and rejected it. Next, Burstyn took his idea to the Germans and they rejected it as well.

His plans do not include an engine or power plant, and there is no method shown or given for controlling the lowerable trench crossing wheels/paraphernalia.

In short, it was never built, had no means of propulsion and the amazing trench crossing gear probably wouldn't have worked.

So what is remarkable? That it had tracks? Lots of vehicles had tracks. That it had a turret? Lots of vehicles had those, too. That it could cross trenches? It never did and probably never would have.

I don't get it.

H G Wells's design for a land ironclad is just as 'flimsy' and was drawn and described in just as much detail.



__________________
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1555
Date:
Permalink   


The HG wells tank uses pedrail I do believe rather then tracks...

"feet! They were thick, stumpy feet, between knobs and buttons in shape flat, broad things, reminding one of the feet of elephants or the legs of caterpillars; and then, as the skirt rose higher, the war correspondent, scrutinizing the thing through his glasses again, saw that these feet hung, as it were, on the rims of wheels. His thought whirled back to Victoria Street, Westminster, and he saw himself in the piping times of peace, seeking matter for an interview.

'Mr Mr Diplock,' he said; 'and he called them Pedrails. . . . Fancy meeting them here!'"

From HG Wells The land Ironclads...see link below for model and story

http://www.currell.net/models/ironclad.htm

http://www.zeitcom.com/majgen/60w-1_landironclads.html

Cheerssmile



__________________

The more you know, the more you know you don't know... until eventually you discover you know so little about what you'd like too know, that you know practically nothing at allwinkbiggrin



Commander in Chief

Status: Offline
Posts: 679
Date:
Permalink   

But the fictitious trench crossing ability of the Land Ironclad was far superior to the fictitious trench crossing ability of the Burstyn Tank.


__________________
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.


Legend

Status: Offline
Posts: 1555
Date:
Permalink   

"But the fictitious trench crossing ability of the Land Ironclad was far superior to the fictitious trench crossing ability of the Burstyn Tank."

Hi PDA I would agree, the pedrail principal was at least built in prototype whether it was ever tested across trenches I dont know, Burstyns tank seems to have problems with internal space and I think its probarble that had a prototype been built the design would have changed radically, the running gear also I think would not prove to be very practical, vulnerable too...
A more practical proposition may have been to convert a Charron AC or similar to tracks.... 

Cheerssmile

__________________

The more you know, the more you know you don't know... until eventually you discover you know so little about what you'd like too know, that you know practically nothing at allwinkbiggrin



Commander in Chief

Status: Offline
Posts: 679
Date:
Permalink   

Also, the fictitious Land Ironclad had a fictitious power plant and transmission, whereas the fictitious Burstyn did not have either.

There were a few pre-war vehicles that could have been a more suitable basis for the first tracked, armoured and turreted vehicle; the 1905 Austro-Daimler armoured car, for example:



As it is, weren't the British first with their armoured, tracked and turreted Killen-Straight-Delaunay-Belleville hybrid?



(Some Cockney has nicked the turret in this photo; that's what the crewmen are looking for! I'm sure it turned up in time for the demonstration, and everybody laughed about it in years to come.)

Whatever! The Burstyn never got built, so can't be a contender! Interesting idea, but so too was da Vinci's helicopter (and parachute, and tank, and robot, and car).




-- Edited by philthydirtyanimal on Thursday 29th of April 2010 02:51:01 PM

-- Edited by philthydirtyanimal on Thursday 29th of April 2010 02:52:54 PM

__________________
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us