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Old December 1st 2019, 09:45 AM
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Exclamation 606

So Dave is known to have said "606" came from a dream, and/or how it was just a number that seemed to come up all the time.

He's also well known for having had a life-long fascination with space stuff, and flying saucers in particular. We know that's fact of course, since he named the band after Allied Air Forces reference to unidentifiable aircraft, and Roswell Records after the famous 1947 crash landing of what may or may not have been a UFO. Seems nothing has changed as "Roswell Films" was then used as the name for production of 2013's Sound City, then Sonic Highway etc.

He also of course got himself (and his then wife) into the 23 Feb 1996 X-Files episode "Pusher", later saying to Gillian Anderson on "The One Show" (BBC) "I was obsessed with The X-Files, I donít want to scare you, but I was an obsessive fan.Ē

There are other not so well known old facts I've gleaned from Tim Gabor, who shared the same obsession. They had a lot of discussions over the subject just as "nerds" re films and so on. Dave even gave Tim a desk lamp the same as one seen in the back of his early Foo promo videos.

So anyway... I've been doing a bit of research on a few things. And forgive me if this might seem a bit boring to some (and even way off topic til the end) but follow me here as I think some might find this QI (quite interesting) lol...

In 1945 a Canadian company was started called Avro Canada. It was closed in 1962. In 1958 it is confirmed to have had 50,000 employees.

It made planes. Ho hum you'd rightly say.

Only by Oct 1957 it made flying prototypes of a plane US and UK experts described as hands down the best fighter plane in the world - the Avro CF-105 Arrow (Mark 1 and 2).

It was constructed using magnesium and titanium, metals very hard to work with at the time, used a delta wing design, had the first ever fly by wire design. Weapons were stored in an interchangeable weapons bay pod, allowing for switching from missiles to other weapons.

Only the Mark 1 model (with lower-powered US engines) flew. The Mark2 had new Iroquois engines that were much more powerful. That engine was a redesign of the Orenda engine, already ahead (in its time) to Rolls Royce and GE.

A total of 5 Mark 1 aircraft were completed, and a few of the 29 intended Mark 2 models were nearly complete.
The Mark 1 went supersonic on its third flight and broke 1,000 mph at 50,000 ft on it's 7th while climbing. A top speed of Mach 1.98 was achieved, and this was not even at its limits. - all with the lower powered engines.

Arrow Mark3
Even before the Arrow first flew, Avro was designing a future version, the Mark 3. Designed for Mach 2.5, later revised to Mach 3 with a combat ceiling of 70,500 feet.
Use of CNC machining, carbon steel, titanium, high-temperature aluminum alloys to withstand airframe heating. Also proposed was a heat shield made from carbon fibre. later used on NASA's Mercury and Gemini programs. The engine was to be the Iroquois Mk3, estimated to provide a massive 40,000 lbs of thrust. Redesigned fuselage to swallow the supersonic shock wave to reduce drag and increase thrust. Capability for "probe and drogue" aerial refueling made possible by the Arrow's revolutionary flight stability systems.

Now read all that Mk3 stuff again and keep saying 1959, 1959, 1959...

AND THEN:
* On 20 February 1959 the Canadian government COMPLETELY cancelled the project by personal announcement from the Prime Minister.
* Within two months of the project cancellation, all aircraft, engines, production tooling and technical data were ordered scrapped. Officially, the reason given for the destruction order from Canadian cabinet and the chiefs of staff was to destroy classified and "secret" materials used in the Arrow and Iroquois (engine) programs.
* Numerous engineering and technical staff left Avro Canada primarily for the United Kingdom and the United States in a rapid "brain drain".

What's not well known:
Avro Canada had built the biggest titanium metal fabrication and manipulation plant in the world for the project. It's arguably still one of the biggest ever made.

IN 1969:
* On 2nd March, the Concorde had it's test flight. People were stunned that a commercial jet could fly twice the speed of sound, and that military jets could not keep up with it in their escort. That was the same speed as the slow version - ten years later.

NOW TODAY 2019:
* The F-35 is the latest US fighter jet. It first flew in 2006. It wasn't let loose until 2015. It does a bunch of stealth and other things like vertical take off but it's still plagued with problems and has cost over 1.5 TRILLION dollars.
* It has a top speed of Mach 1.60.
* It's replacing the older F-22 Raptor which has a top speed of Mach 2.25.
* It has LESS maneuverability than the older F-22 in dogfight scenarios.

SO QUICK RECAP:
* In 1959 there was a Canadian company making the most advanced aircraft in the world, AND their engines (because they tried the best US ones and they just sucked in comparison).
* It was made of materials that became known as funky new space age metals AFTER the Apollo program in the 1970's. Materials classified "secret" in 1959 when all Arrows were destroyed.
* It handled better than anything in the sky.
* Mark 1 literally flew as fast as the Concorde a decade earlier. Mark 2 wasn't allowed to fly, and the Mark 3 design was locked in that should fly three times the speed of sound.
* The company is at it's height of tech advancement - and it gets shut down basically overnight.
* The US can't (or wont) make planes as fast today.

More Hilarious:
In 2010, in the context of ongoing controversy surrounding the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Canadian procurement, as an alternative to continued support of the troubled F-35, a group of individuals began lobbying Ottawa to consider domestic production of an updated version of the Avro Arrow, using modern materials and engines but keeping the Arrow's proven "basic design". The group felt a modernized Arrow would out-perform the F-35 in speed, range and maximum altitude, among other aspects, while admitting that the Arrow lacks the F-35's stealth characteristics. In 2012 the Harper government publicly rejected the bid, saying the redesigned Arrow program was risky, would take too long to develop, and would be too expensive.

OK so in 2010 the best alternate idea instead of the current F-35 fighter was to rebuild the old one... like the NINETEEN FIFTY-NINE old one. WTF??

BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE (Steak knives with serrated edges right?)

Avro STAT (SST) - Space Threshold Vehicle:
Developed by the AVRO Advanced Projects Group, a June 1958 report by Avro's Engineering Department described a Space Threshold Vehicle intended to "get a man into the threshold of space and recover him, flying back through the corridor", where winged flight was possible between maximum altitude that could sustain lift from a winged vehicle and maximum tolerable structural temperature. This was estimated to be an altitude of between 150,000 and 200,000 feet. The STV would have had capability for in-flight refueling, and an expected speed of 6,000 mph (Mach 8.5+). Avro's computer capacities provided capability in developing theories and methods similar to modern three-dimensional modeling of fluid dynamics. Avro envisioned a delta-shaped vehicle with downward winglets, varying engine nacelle positions, titanium skin, and the first flight of a research vehicle in 1962.

Many engineers involved in this and similar Avro designs were later heavily involved in NASA Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.

So OK... 1962 projected first flight... that's like what... only a year or two before the 1981 launch of the Space Shuttle? LOL

So by now it's just all a bit kooky right... when you lay it all out on a timeline it's just not right.
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Old December 1st 2019, 09:47 AM
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Part 2 - The really Funky Bit...

AVRO (Supersonic Avrodynes Dept) Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar:
In 1952, Avro Chief Designer John Frost selected a group of eight engineers and draftsmen to create the Avro Special Projects Group. In its intense exploration of radical aeronautical design ideas and development of new technology, as well as security, the SPG resembled Lockheed's "Skunk Works". Initial Project Y included research and development work on a series of "flying saucer"-like vehicles (known as Spade and Omega).

Project Y2:
In mid-1954, Frost proposed "Project Y-2: Flat Vertical Take-Off Gyroplane" in response to requests by the US Air Force and US Navy for "vertical rising point-defense fighters". In late 1954, the USAF purchased the development rights to this saucer-shaped VTOL vehicle powered by more conventional engines than (and designed to avoid many of the problems with) the Y-1. The USAF designated it Project MX-1794, and studies of the Avro saucer designs as Project Silver Bug. Through 1958, Avro spent $2.5 million and the USAF $5.4 million funding the project. Numerous models were constructed and wind-tunnel testing was undertaken at MIT and Wright Patterson Air Force Base (where Roswell UFO studies were reportedly undertaken).

In 1957, the USAF provided additional funding to extend the project. Over 1,000 hours of wind-tunnel tests were performed. Drawings developed by Avro show aircraft that variously appear as a merging of flying saucer with more conventional fuselage shapes; in other words a tailless aircraft with circular wings (when viewed from above or below).

Contracts were stuck and millions of dollars paid. Just as the first working test models were being manufactured, disaster struck. The Canadian government cancelled the Avro CF-105 Arrow program (above). The result was the lay-off of almost all Avro Canada employees, then 3 days later many of the Special Projects employees were rehired. And company "brass" became more involved in the group's operations.

The USAF Project Office (previously devoted to the Avro projects) recommended that all related work be cancelled. Frost made a case for continuation of U.S. funding. Late in May 1959, the USAF authorized Avro to continue the "flying saucer" program.

The US army progressed it but just basically wanted a hover jeep. The air force got back in and agreed to work together to save money and maybe get to where they'd go back to the full orig supersonic plan over time. Various faltering versions got some way, but the only design that materialized beyond mock-up was the VZ-9-AV Avrocar.

Before more modifications could be agreed and progressed, funding ran out in March 1961. Frost's proposals for a modified design were not accepted, and the Avrocar and related supersonic VTOL programs were officially cancelled in December 1961 by the U.S. military. Avro company executives hunted for additional VTOL research projects, exploring new configurations married to a disk platform and even a "lift jet" version, but no further interest resulted from Canadian or other sources. Kinda harly surprising when they'd lost their famous planes.

The only design that materialized beyond mock-up was the VZ-9-AV Avrocar, funded entirely by the U.S. military from 1956.

You can see a nice segment on it all on You Tube

And a guy that worked on the Avro Projects

So how is it all linked? Is any of it linked? There is no absolute definitive answer. But all the above are facts.

If it was kooky before the Avrocar was added into the mix, it's just plain silly afterwards. All that tech disappeared, then seems to have partially reappeared in various bits of NASA, years and even DECADES later.

A 50,000 strong company at the absolute height of tech evolution was basically killed overnight. Today that would (kinda) be like telling Apple stop everything you are doing and destroy everything - all of everything... you have a week to scrap every plan and factory and device. Only Apple's working on something so secret nobody can know it happened.

But in context we fly planes slower now than the CF-105 Arrow in 1958. Half the speed of the one they were equally sure was coming in 2 years by 1961.

We killed the Concorde, and nobody can bring it back even those that want to.

We spent 50 years not going back to the moon and 40 not even trying to better the Saturn 5 rocket (until Space X - which still hasn't).

You'd almost be forgiven for thinking someone didnt want humans flying randomly through the air very very fast.

You'd absolutely be forgiven for thinking capitalistic greed bought the Canadians off, and then capitalistic stupidity failed monumentally to use the advancements to make immediate returns from them. That or it's more sinister, and there were reasons nobody should be achieving what they were doing.

Either way, the Avro VZ-9 Avrocar (literally) barely got off the ground. Dead in the water before they got to try any new designs that might have made it look better than a hovering paddling pool.

I always thought it was all just a "joke" of a project thing that was thought up by people with no real clue of what they were trying to do or how to do it. But in fact they included some of the best minds in the world. Who had already mastered supersonic flight. A few more years and who knows... and that was 60 years ago. That's pretty frustrating when you were born in the 60's.

It was highly classified for years, and still seems like it's not highlighted anywhere at all:

The only actual "working" US Flying Saucer ever made had an overall US military Project designation of (Weapon System) WS-606A.

So yeah I guess there's that. Bound to just be a coincidence LOL
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Old December 2nd 2019, 04:13 AM
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Eek! Re: 606

My brain is fried 🤯 from all the info but I love the ending. 😍
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Old December 2nd 2019, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: 606

Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyBum View Post
My brain is fried 🤯 from all the info but I love the ending. 😍
Yes, definitely information overload. I could just say "Hey I think 606 poss (or even prob) came from the US "flying saucer" ". Then everyone would go OK why? So I just laid it out in full once.

IF it is just a coincidence, then it's one of the most bizarre Foo related things I've ever found. Because pure coincidence would mean Dave did NOT know it. And that bit seems highly unlikely from what I've seen.
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Old December 3rd 2019, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: 606

I don't know the exact interview but he said that it was a number that kept popping up since he was a kid (clocks, licence plates) so he attached some serendipitous meaning to it.
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Old December 3rd 2019, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: 606

"It's just one of those numbers that's everywhere," Grohl says by way of explanation. "like when you wake up in the middle of the night and it's 6:06, or you see a license plate that says 606."

http://www.fooarchive.com/features/rocksound05.htm
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Old December 3rd 2019, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: 606

Knew you'd come through for me
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Old December 4th 2019, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: 606

Wow, I used to work in aviation so that was a lot of interesting info!

Itís funny but since becoming a FF fan 606 does pop up more often or maybe I just notice it more! Anyway just got a new no plate for my car and incorporated 606 into it!
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Old December 4th 2019, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: 606

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjonze View Post
"It's just one of those numbers that's everywhere," Grohl says by way of explanation. "like when you wake up in the middle of the night and it's 6:06, or you see a license plate that says 606."

http://www.fooarchive.com/features/rocksound05.htm
Yes I was paraphrasing the intent of that in the first line. Seen that a ton of times and was just working it from memory.

"So Dave is known to have said "606" came from a dream, and/or how it was just a number that seemed to come up all the time."

I believe there's another quote somewhere/sometime about a dream.

Anyway, like I hope was clear - I'm not at all trying to say Dave was definitely lying. 606 or any number can seem to come up more often if you suddenly decide you are "looking for them" just because you register them more.

But if he's seen this stuff...

Would now be one of my top in person questions - so what do you know about WS606A?
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Old December 4th 2019, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: 606

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala Foo View Post
Wow, I used to work in aviation so that was a lot of interesting info!

It’s funny but since becoming a FF fan 606 does pop up more often or maybe I just notice it more! Anyway just got a new no plate for my car and incorporated 606 into it!
Cool - nice to know someone else got something from nothing (before the end) lol

The more I looked into it and read / hunted down some very old docos etc - the more nuts it got - without any Dave stuff at the end.

You had a plane that flew mach 2 super stably in 1959. Developed in under 5 years total. Probably mach 3 by 1962 - perhaps with a bunch of issues to be solved for sure. Could have taken another 5 years - and they might even then have said no OK cant be done because of xyz.

But 2019-1962 = 57 years.

Where should we be at given we think we are so massively advanced now vs 1962?

Mach 10? 5?... Nah lets go back to 1.5
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Old December 4th 2019, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: 606

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjonze View Post
"like when you wake up in the middle of the night and it's 6:06, or you see a license plate that says 606."

"night"
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Old December 4th 2019, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo. View Post

"night"


Now I've REPO MAN in my head.

"plate of shrimp"
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Old December 5th 2019, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: 606

It is interesting FooZealand that some aviation advances have kind of ground to a halt, even the A380 has ceased production and that was going to solve a lot of things when it was announced. Itís a as I find it very comfy and rides the bumps well!

I remember talk of a flying wing concept for civil aviation about 20 years ago but didnít really go any further on the basis that pax wouldnít like not being able to see outside, even though it was a better design for efficiency. Havenít seen anything about Hypersonic planes for ages as they were going to be the next big thing, until they all crashed. So I guess itís load up the iPad and watch Foo gigs on the long trek from dowunder to Europe!
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