Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The Slinger Ring
Now what is a slinger-ring and what does it have to do with an airplane. It sounds like a lubrication impliment we use in Industrial Hydraulics to keep a component free of burning up from fluid cavitation. I think I remember my dad calling out a slinger ring on an automobile engine crankshaft also serving as a lubrication device. Nope, not in this case.
Have a look above the cockpit on the DC-1 photo above. Yep, thats the slinger-ring the TWA radio department referred to as an auxiliary anti-static antenna to eliminate radio static caused from rain, snow and dust. It was first installed on top of the fuselage later to be repositioned below decks out of the prop wash as shown below. The device could also be rotated from the cockpit to obtain the best radio signal.
Click link for a photo of Tommy Tomlinson and Frank Busch standing next to the Northrop GAMMA "Overweather Experimental Laboratory" showing the multidirectional loop antenna aft of the propeller.
Another little known fact about TWA's pioneering equipment development that effected other airlines industry wide. And Jack Frye was the big thrust behind pushing communications into the forefront of safe operations for his flight crews, and passengers.
As a sidenote, Jack Frye was an innovative inventor holding many US Patents. One of them is an Anti-Static device patented in 1954. I cant help but think the slinger-ring anti-static antenna had an influence. Another thought - Before cable reception, do you remember your old B&W or color TV having to utilize rabbit ears or that cumbersome circle shaped antenna that had a rotating feature you could point towards the tower to obtain a better picture even how grainey it still was? Those very well could have required the companies that produced them to pay royalties to Jack for this invention... Just a thought.
Images courtesy WHMCKC