Monday, February 15, 2010

Day Four

Friday, February 13th, 2010

from Cyril Kosik
Moonbuggy Team Russia 2011
translated by Regina Peldszus, London

Today is Friday. It could be a short day of work, as there is a German saying "From Friday 1pm, everyone's doing their own thing". We still have a lot to do, though, and hope we don't have to stop earlier. Yevgeny (Svyatenko) carries on drilling holes with a subland twist drill in a rectangular hollow section. I fettle the remaining pipes at the ends so they can be welded there. Then I make a fastening plate for the front gear box. First I drill a hole with a drill press, then remove the superfluous material with a chisel, and file the outlines of the part. There is still a little bump in the outer corner, but I'll see to that on Monday.

Then Ralf brings the freshly welded new Bike-Shaft from the welding workshop. I work on the welds with an angle grinder on the bench vise. Then we place the positions for the weight-saving drill holes. The whole assembly needs to be lighter yet. Then we all took the hollow sections to the welder's. It's very clean and tidy there. There are modern Argon and Co2 welding machines everywhere in small chambers. After a small induction with colleagues from the welding workshop, Ralf and the others left. I stayed in order to assist the welder by joining parts and making them stay put. The welder then fixed and welded them in place. It was my responsibility to do it in the right order. One of the welders spoke Russan. His name was Ilya and he was from Alma Ata. When my help wasn't needed anymore, I waited for Ralf to take the welded axle back. I spent the time talking to Ilya about life in Germany and Russia. It was pleasant to speak to someone from Russia so far away from home.

When we got back, several students were already working on our Moonbuggy. Ronny turns hulls for the frame. Robert mills weight-saving holes and intersections for the pipes. Master Müller himself turns axles on the lathe. The whole workshop is in a Moonbuggy fever.

Friday turned out not to be so short afterall, we only left the workshop at 3pm to visit another company. With Ronny Hessel (Günther Jakob turnery) we inspect the first 5 differential gears. They also mill a turning circle in the Bike-Shaft with a CNC machine. Ronny's company has good, interesting and expensive machines, as well as loads of good precision tools.

Shortly afterwards it's getting dark already and Ralf takes us sightseeing. There's the old trade fair built in the early 20th century. The Russian pavillion from Soviet times is still there with a golden spire and red star. Even the letters USSR are still next to it. Then it's on to the Monument of the Battle of the Nations. The monument was opened in 1913, on the centenniary of the battle of Austria, Prussia and Russia against the army of Napoleon. The battle cost 130,000 lives. The monument is 91m high and has a viewing platform on top. We weren't able to get in, though, as it was already closed. The monument was supposed to be demolished twice, first by the US army and then by the Red Army. According to the calculations of the shot firer, however, in both cases the blast turned out to be too costly and wouldn't be of any use. Thus the Monument of the Battle of the Nations was conserved.

Then we're off to the New Year's reception of the BVMW. The day today was really interesting and insightful.

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