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FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved
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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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:51 pm
Post subject: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Last night I received an e-mail from Ed Heasley saying they were planning on moving the Elephant this morning. After some soul searching and 'Telecommuting' into work very early this morning to make sure I could afford to take off I decided to take at least the morning off and drive up to Aberdeen to watch and document the effort.

The tow truck arrives


First we push


Then we pull


The HETT arrives


Hooking up the cables


The first tug


Almost there!


Loaded up


We got us a convoy!!


There was one casualty of the move. There was a 4-5' black snake that insisted on climbing onto the tracks and drive sproket. is now 2 1' snakes, 1 2' snake, and a lot of goo!


They left the Elephant on the HETT tonight in the motorpool and will drop it at the Refurb center in the morning.

Two final notes - Ed asked me to let everyone know that I already gave him copies of all the pictures I took today so there is no need to send him any! And I would have had his out an hour ago but Firefox decided to update itself just before I hit submit and I lost the entire message!

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 9:06 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Great pics Bob!

I take it the tracks "rolled" okay? Otherwise I'd have worried about the tracks ripping off, like the Mile of Tanks ones... Didnt they try to use TWO M88s last time they tried to move it for just that reason? Seems like they did it rather easily this time...

Neil
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 9:23 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

The background to the sudden change in the elephant's status

As I understand it the Commanding General asked at her staff meting why 'the old tank' was still sitting at the railhead. Dr Atwater explained the long history about not being able to get it moved. Then she asked something to the staff like 'You mean we can't move a tank?' After the meeting the Colnel called the recovery section chief and asked something like 'Chief why can't we move a tank?' The Chief ( a Chief Warrant Officer) said 'Sir we haven't been asked, of course we can move a tank'. In all fairness this has gone on so long the folks involved now are not the ones who had problems years ago.

Anyway The ball got rolling quickly. The Warrants and NCOs checked things like weight and balance, got clearances for a heavy move across base and arranged a base police escort. They were surprised that the Elephant uses an electric transmission (The comment was they had hybred drive 50 years ago? I told them there is at least one other similar vehicle (The T23) in the museums possecion. Rolling Eyes )

This was obviously a well qualified group. There were several Warrants, and most of the rest were E6s and E7s with a few civilians. Several sported Senior Instructor badges on their uniforms. They quickly layed out the planned operation, had an alternative prepared if they had trouble loading like they did last time. While waiting for the HETT to arrive they pulled the Elephant forward and back about 100yards to loosen up the track. The pictures were taken from so far back while they were winching it up because they insisted that everyone not actively involved be further away from the action than the cable was long (just in case Shocked ) Everything went very smoothly, if not as quickly as some thought it could.

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Hellfish6
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 11:25 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Great pics, great story. I can't wait to see this monster restored.
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piney
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:22 am
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Thanks for the pictures Bob

Jeff Lewis
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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:39 am
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Really great news !! I'm happy to see this and really hope that this very rare tank will be now better preserved !!

P-O

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jcneel
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:00 am
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Are they actually going to work on restoring this one, or did they just wanted to have it moved?

Where did it get moved to? Is is now over by the warehouse or did they just put it in one of the yards?

Great set of photos.

I, too would love to see this one restored.

Any more news on when the Tiger I is coming back??

Thanks for the update.

Chris Neel
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:31 am
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

- jcneel
Are they actually going to work on restoring this one, or did they just wanted to have it moved?


Well they have wanted it moved for years Rolling Eyes It does not have a 'slot' in the refurb schedule at the moment. Right now refurb is working on the Vickers Mk 6 light tank, the Mae West, and the Firefly. The Firefly got it's first primer coat this week so it is occupying the Paint Booth for a while.


Where did it get moved to? Is is now over by the warehouse or did they just put it in one of the yards?


Well by now (He looks at the clock) it should be unloaded outside the refurb shop. It will sit on the concrete pad outside the paint booth (next to the 'Vigilant' SP gatling gun) until they decide to put it in the paint booth.


Any more news on when the Tiger I is coming back??


No update on the Tiger. I am hoping that the 'notification system' that Ed used for the Elephant was a dry run for how I will find out about the Tiger (although I am hoping for a little more lead time). Rest assured as soon as I have any news I can pass on I will let everyone know. But there may be a 'News Embargo' when the Tiger comes back. That will probably be a much higher profile event and there is talk about the Air Force and Ordnance Public Affairs folks wanting to control the announcements. I just hope I don't get completely frozen out of things when the time comes.

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:41 am
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Well the good news is it's an open post (for the most part). All you need is to get the heads up and anyone can come on post that day Wink - that is assuming you get the heads up...

Neil
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:39 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

- Neil_Baumgardner
Well the good news is it's an open post (for the most part). All you need is to get the heads up and anyone can come on post that day Wink - that is assuming you get the heads up...

Neil


If it comes in it will come in to the Airfield, which is a restricted area I'm pretty sure. I've told them I still have my GI drivers license stamped 'Flightline Authorized' if Dr Atwater needs someone to drive up to the plane Wink

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:42 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

Good point, depends on whether they leave it in the "behind the fence" area... Since its already been refurbed thanks to Mr Wheatcroft, I wouldnt think it would need to go through the refurb facility... So what do they plan to do with it anyway? Park it outside the museum?

Neil
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Garry_Redmon
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:05 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

- bsmart
- Neil_Baumgardner
Well the good news is it's an open post (for the most part). All you need is to get the heads up and anyone can come on post that day Wink - that is assuming you get the heads up...

Neil


If it comes in it will come in to the Airfield, which is a restricted area I'm pretty sure. I've told them I still have my GI drivers license stamped 'Flightline Authorized' if Dr Atwater needs someone to drive up to the plane Wink


Is coming in by air transport a sure thing? Is there a possibility it could be sent over by container ship? That was one problem when the museum acquired the JagdPanzer IV from the UK. It was shipped over and spent a long time sitting on the dock. During that time the persiscopes and other equipment were stolen. I do hope they fly it directly to APG to avoid that from happening.

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:43 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

I think there are several problems with Sea transport

1) This won't fit inside a standard 8' wide container. That means it has be shipped in a non container ship. Most of thoise today are RO-ROs. But most commercial RO-ROs are set up for consumer vehicles and don't have deck height needed or decks that will handle the concentrated loading. On top of that I doubt the shipping line would want it to be towed across their decks with the steel tracks Smile

2) Liability The combination of large (heavy) cargo and the value of the cargo makes it something that most shippers don't want to touch. I was talking with someone who handles liability for a shipping company and he said that his management would avoid that job like a plague. He said some 'weird loads' like that are done for the PR value (UPS or FedEx shipping animals or museum exhibits for example). He said the North Atlantic is especially troublesome for heavy delicate loads. (If you look at the 'plimsol markings' that all cargo vessels have to show how much freeboard they have 'Winter North Atlantic' requires the most freeboard which equates to the most reserve bouancy because of the rough conditions)

3) Tracking and security - you covered this pretty well

As I said a while back it was already sceduled to be transported on a C-5. The plane that crashed at Dover a while back was supposed to have brought it on the return flight of that trip to deliver equipment overseas. That crash and the subsequent fleet grounding until the cause was determined totally screwed up C-5 flight schedules for the forseeable future so it is a wait and see situation.

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SHAWN
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:22 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

hey bob,
who was surprised to find that the elephant had an electric trans??
the army (among other initials) has/have studied that exact elephant time on and time off for years. you would think that we, not just the u.s., would have developed such a "hybrid" by now. ya, es ist eine Porsche!
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bsmart
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Location: Central Maryland
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:55 pm
Post subject: Re: FLASH UPDATE -- The Abedeen Elephant has been moved

I have found tht most troops involved in day to day operations don't relly understand the history behind their profession. There are of course exceptions. The studies and evaluations were archived long ago and the current generation unerstands Diesels as old technology and turbines as new technology, but think of electric generators and motors as used in locomotives

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Bob Smart ([email protected])
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