John Cobb- Crusader/Railton Special

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Pullman99
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John Cobb- Crusader/Railton Special

Post by Pullman99 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:51 am

I am sure that many readers of this Forum will know that today - 29th DSeptember - marks the 58th anniversary of John Cobb's fatal accident with Crusader at Loch Ness in 1952. Amongst many other links with more recent record breaking, John Cobb was the inspiration for a young Richard Noble to pursue an ongoing quest to achieve ever greater successes for Britain. I have visited the memorial a number of time since I was about 10 and have been fascinated by Cobb's story for many years. The re-discovery of Crusader a few years ago has, perhaps, prompted a resurgance of interest in the achievements of someone who, like the Campbells, did much for Britain's prestige over many years but who never claimed the recognition of his contemporaries. Perhaps the 60th annoiversary in 2012 may be an opportunity to redress the balance.

This website may be of interest in relation to Crusader:

http://www.lochnessproject.org/loch_nes ... _found.htm

Details of the John Cobb Memorial at Drumnadrochit.

http://www.ness-scape.co.uk/cobb/cobb2.html
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Renegadenemo
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by Renegadenemo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:56 am

I've heard about the 'discovery' of Crusader a few times but never seen a sonar image or video still from the site. Wonder why?
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mtskull
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by mtskull » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:33 pm

It'll fix.....
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by f1steveuk » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:41 pm

I've been working with Reid Railton's daughter, on a book project for some time about Cobb and Crusader, mainly in response to the, er somewhat biased and inaccurate "The Last Crusader". I was staggered to be asked by Adrian Shine, if I had any charts or reports about the accident, that he could use to locate the "wreck". Staggered, because much was recovered, as being mainly wood, there was a mass of debris on the surface after the accident. This was burnt. I did lend Adrian both Vosper's and Railton's maps and charts, and he located the Ghost engine and part of one of the shoe support arm rings, but nothing else, there's not much to find!

From what I have read, in correspondence between Railton and Cobb, they had a very firm friendship, and Crusader as a craft was as advanced as she could have been, given the materials. Just a shame Vospers didn't translate the concept into drawings that were up to the job.
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klingon
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by klingon » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:04 am

I've dived Loch Ness almost right above that site and it's a dodgy one-other than the depth,extreme cold and currents,the viz is zero and it's literally a cliff dive,the shoreline dropping dramatically very close to the shore-I was attempting to recover a couple of traction engines dumped in the loch in the late 1930's when the lochside road actually ran along the shore-it's now 400 yards up a steep hill from there so no access by road to the site.Any recovery effort on Crusader will have to be totally water located and the recovered remains landed at the slip in Drumnadrochit. :)
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Pullman99
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by Pullman99 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:10 am

Renegadenemo wrote:...never seen a sonar image or video still from the site. Wonder why?
This is the BBC News item links but I think that this image has appeared a few times and a colour version is on one of the Loch Ness tourism sites.

BBC Scotland 12th July 2002:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2124397.stm

Loch Ness holiday info:

http://www.lochnessholiday.info/this_is ... usader.htm
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Mike Bull
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by Mike Bull » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:13 am

Steve, 'Last Crusader' is the only thing I've ever read on the subject and I know no different; in what way was the book inaccurate?

Excelsior2007
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by Excelsior2007 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:10 am

Just had a look at the picture of the wreck of Crusader. There doesn't seem to be much left of her. Is that the main hull of the boat, just out of curiosity?

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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by f1steveuk » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:04 pm

Mike, my report to Sally Joslin on "The Last Crusader" runs to thirty one pages, so I wont post it here. Some is picky stuff (Rolls Royce without the hyphen etc) but much is to do with how Vospers put Railton's concept on to paper, and how even those drawings missed crucial problem areas, which although Railton constantly begged Du Cane to resolve, both he and Vospers failed to do so. The letters between RAR and PdC just about the the V ing of the shoes goes into the hundreds of pages, and when these are used in conjunction with the internal memos, it is quite obvious that there was a lot of "we know better than Railton" and worse still, simple cost cutting. RAR expalained at great length the need to V the point sufaces, Du Cane and Vospers choose to ignore this, yet in The Last Crusader it is made to appear to be Railton's fault/problem. This had amassive influence on the outcome of September 29th, as did a monumental peice of cost cutting/arrogance on the part of Du Cane.

The underwater picture I believe, is a piece of sponson shroud, about 24 inches long, and apart from the engine and the mounting hoops, probably the size of the biggest bits. I have seen one picture of the engine, which isn't even in it's mounts, it's just loose on the bottom. I think you'd get more up using a net! No sign of the hoops at all.

As a taster

Image


That is all plywood, so at 200 into water, not many big bits left. Please don't copy this image, I would be in a lot of trouble!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

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Mike Bull
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Re: John Cobb and Crusader

Post by Mike Bull » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:35 pm

Thanks Steve- interesting stuff for a total numpty on the subject!

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