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Old February 6 2013, 01:09 AM   #3
Warped9
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Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: A parade of spaceships...

Fixed the box fins and added the access hatch. Also gave it a touch of colour.



The design is a variant of Hermann Oberth's Modell E Rocket design depicted in one of his books from the 1920s. There might be an explanation for the box style fins in the book but nothing I read in the Spaceship Handbook mentions the thinking behind the them. They do serve as supports for the ship's take-off, but what isn't apparent here is how this all works in the film. In the film the ship is standing in water for take-off, which is supposed to protect the ship from acoustic shock from its own take-off. Apparently it is somewhat similar to what is done with modern rockets prior to take-off (they're hosed down I understand) and that's where all that billowing smoke (actually steam) comes from.

The ship is a multistage rocket just like modern rockets, and Oberth had all this worked out years before the film. Indeed it's why Fritz Lang contracted Oberth to a be the film's technical advisor. In the film, while the ship's crew and passengers lack any specialized flight suits, the film correctly depicts the effects of acceleration and zero gravity. I think a lot of the film silly except for the depiction of the rocket and its flight---those parts are fascinating not only in how it's shown, but in how essentially right so much of it is. And this was at a time when space travel was considered pure fantasy.

Apparently a number of people have built working scale models of the Friede and flown them successfully. I understand it's also available as a resin kit from Fantastic Plastic.
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Last edited by Warped9; February 6 2013 at 06:32 AM.
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