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Some interesting stuff on Armor Board, XR311, "Twister", etc
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:46 am
Post subject: Some interesting stuff on Armor Board, XR311, "Twister", etc

Some interesting bits from the bio/eulogy of the late LTC Burton S. Boudinot, who I came to know via the Armor Board & again 30+ years later as a friend. Dontos (Don Moriarty) may recall my introducing him at Ft. Knox, Memorial Day, 2006. Boudinot had a senior position at the Board when I served there.
The document from which this is quoted was written by a combination of himself and fellow officers, which is why it is in Third Person and refers to him as "Burt". His father was the namesake of Boudinot Hall at Ft. Knox.


The Armor & Engineer Board
Burt reported to the President of the Armor and Engineer Board, Colonel Hislop, on 5 January 1971. He was a crusty old goat but Burt liked him. He made Burt Chief of the Methodology and Operations Division; Burt didn't know what that meant, but it sounded important. The Armor & Engineer Board was responsible for testing all equipment for the Armor and Engineer branches before it was put into production, and then again after it was in production. For Armor, this would include tanks, personnel carriers, scout vehicles, trucks, jeeps, helmets, goggles, and on and on. For the Engineers, this would include, road graders, dump trucks, combat bridging, land mines, etc. This was big business.

COL Hislop's favorite expression was, "tell so and so I want that report tomorrow or I will cut his god-damn head off!'' When he sent for someone there was always a side comment like "don't lose your head." When Hislop retired about six months after Burt joined the Board, the machinist from the Logistics Division made a scale model of a guillotine that would cut a wooden pencil in half. It was a beautiful piece of work and it was easy to see that the colonel was pleased when it was presented to him. LTC Bart Fileseta was then the Secretary of Armor at the Armor Center. He and Burt worked together to generate interest in the XR-311 and they finally got approval to bring it to Fort Knox. Burt called John MacRostie in California and set up a date to truck it to Knox. The demonstration went very well and everyone was impressed by the XR-311's capabilities. As a result of its visit to several commands, FMC gave John's "skunk works" $500,000 to continue developing the 311. Burt was very pleased. The Board was doing a feasibility test on a Lockeed concept called the "Twister." It was an articulated eight-wheel vehicle with two Chrysler 440 cubic inch engines and was a fascinating thing to look at, and to ride in. There wasn't a road on Fort Knox long enough for it to reach a top speed for the 'top speed' test, so Burt got permission from the state police to use a flat section of the Bluegrass Parkway between 0200 and 0400 hours on a certain date. As the story goes, while the "Twister" was building up speed a lone state patrolman was cruising along about 50 miles per hour, probably bored. He noticed two small headlights in his rear view mirror and the lights were so far apart, he later said he thought two motorcycles were closing on him fast. As he started to accelerate, the "Twister" was on him and gone; it passed him at 108 miles per hour. The patrolman (who had not been informed of the test" did not know whether to s--t or go blind. Later, he told the test officer at the stop point that the high pitched hum when it passed him, made him think of a space ship. What he heard was the sound of eight deep treaded tires on concrete going over 100 miles per hour and, of course, two 440 cubic inch engines running at red line. No further development was made on the "Twister" but Lockheed did enter the Armored Scout Vehicle Program with a six wheel, non-articulated, single engine vehicle. When the Scout Vehicle Program was cancelled, a great disservice was done to the armored force. Armor has still not recovered from that blunder."
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