Service Arm #3 - S-II AFT
- LUT model
Yes, the LUT becomes more and more similar to the original, here together with the real thing - the perspective is not quite right, but it is sufficient for a rough comparison.
Service Arm 3 - S-II AFT
Accordingly, it was kept rather simple, apart from its upper service platform, which seems to have been designed in fever madness. Even back in the sixties, NASA was urged to be economical, and when the function of the arm was redefined because of the now 2 meter shorter second stage, the existing platform was knitted quite crude, instead of completely redesigning it. The result is - depending on the mood - between breathtaking and horrible.
Stage II connected to the LUT - view from below
The lower platform led to the access door in the Interstage, as can be seen here, and allowed last-minute adjustments to the J-2 engines. As you can see, Service Arm #2 - S-Ic FWD - is already well advanced. Actually, it should have been finished long ago, but fate put another heavy test on my LUT-troubled shoulders.
It started quite harmlessly with a note right on a fragile line of the plan for Service Arm 2 - T STA 1391,000 Bottom of Chord. Vis a vis, at the left end of the line I read V STA 1398.750 Bottom of Chord. Well - I'm not a technician, I'm just a stupid physician, which is why I didn't understand instantly. STA means Surface To Air - the height above the reference level. And T means ... Tower ... and V ... Vehicle. Maybe you know the feeling, when you slowly start to realize what's going on and suddenly an abyss opens in front of you that makes you shiver. As a non-technician, I should be forgiven for assuming that the elevation data for Tower and Saturn V refer to the same reference level.
How unbelievable naive. Any technician would have intuitively known that this would definitely not be the case. And as you can easily calculate for yourself now, the reference level of Saturn is 7.75 inches lower. 7.75 inch, about 20cm. Small enough not to attract attention in the model - though I had already felt that the platform workers must have been tall people, as all connections were a little high - yet completely unacceptable for a precision model. And that meant - re-calibrating all pipe and cable lines, both on the LUT and on all swing arms, re-calibrating the connector on the top swing arm to the Apollo capsule, adjusting the access platforms for the swing arms, and so on. If I hadn't been so far away, I would have just dropped the project. On that occasion I also discovered that some access platforms deviated roughly from the plans - so I fixed it.
But now we really head into the final round ;) - there are still a lot of details and equipment missing in the levels 100-140, as well as on the MLP. Then I'll review the main spars for their lights and fuzzy stuff. And finally the parts have to be defined and named, and brought into two-dimensional sheets, before I finish the Saturn V.