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Rosie the Riveter

I sometimes do photography at Castle Air Museum as a volunteer. In one of the restoration hangars is a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engine. Eight of these engines powered Howard Hughes' H-1 Hercules aka "The Spruce Goose." Six were used on the B-36 bomber along with four turbojet engines. The engine has 28 cylinders and weighs 3,870 lbs (1,755 kg). Variants of this engine developed up to 3,800 hp (2,834 kW).

I thought it would be an interesting vintage photo shoot to dress the Wee Red Vixen in coveralls, give her a wrench (or "spanner" as she would call it) and have her act as if she was working on this massive engine. Obviously a riveter's job was assembling pieces of aircraft or ships with rivets. Women also built and performed maintenance on engines. I thought it would be fun to use this amazing artefact in the shoot. She actually got dirt and oil on her arms, so she got an idea of what it was like.

Here is a YouTube video of one of these engines in operation. Note that an engine on a test stand cannot be run much above idle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDCxgCyy16w ‚Äč

A scene from "Strategic Air Command" with a B-36 that used six of these engines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGjyH2ulsCk

Fellow aviation enthusiasts might enjoy this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_%26_Whitney_R-4360_Wasp_Major

Rosie the Riveter article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosie_the_Riveter

One of my photos on display at the Castle Air Museum Restoration Hangar

"We Can Do It!" by J. Howard Miller was made as an inspirational image to boost worker morale. - Wikipedia

Pratt & Whitney R-4360 engine



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