It is the start of Summer vacations, and for many, planting season too. But that doesn't mean you can't shoot your airgun! And you'd best, unless you want to lose your touch for the Fall hunting seasons, which will be upon us before we know it!

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Started by Alan, April 03, 2022, 11:59:21 AM

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Recently, I stumbled onto this YouTube video, and it brought back memories from literally yesteryear!

Kansas City, where I grew up, had several defense plants operating during WWII. One of those was North American Aviation. My mother worked there, typing instruction manuals, and for good reason (I'll tell that story some day soon). NAA made the B25 in their plant colocated with Fairfax Field, in lower downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

My father worked for Pratt-Whitney, as plant manager during the same time. They produced several different models of their radial "Wasp" engines, some of which went into the B25s made across town.

Due in part to the war effort, there was always a lot of what we now know as war surplus, along with the stores which sold the material. The movie covers one such item I remember seeing at one of the surplus stores—a Cornelius, three stage, 1,500 PSI compressor. These were intended to produce the air used to raise and lower the landing gear on several models of WWII aircraft.

As the movies's author states, these units were used as the first compressors for what we now know as SCUBA. Popular Science (et. el.) had articles about building your own SCUBA unit, replete with modified WWII oxygen masks. But SCUBA wasn't the only use for the surplus items.

A few enterprising, and admittedly old timers, used these same 24 VDC compressor to power their elementary PCP airguns. Unfortunately, these early pioneers didn't have the video hardware to easily document their development in what is now, to us, standard fair!

With this little bit of background, I'd bet a few of our members actually used, or at least knew of these compressors?

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).


Of course, I've never used one bit I remember seeing them when I was a kid.  The fire dept. in Houston used them for onsite air when they first started using air back in the late fifties. My dad was a fireman for 38 years.

I wonder if they were ever adapted for higher pressures by some sort of modification.


That is just neat :-)
The youtube vid is super.

Just goes to show what lack of $$$ and ingenuity can do.