Henry P. Szostek (hps@shore.net) wrote:
: Outlandish projects with old aero engines reminded me of one I 
: saw in 1966 in Saint Louis Mo. I had gone there to interview with 
: the Sunnen co. The taxi from the motel to the plant took me past 
: an industrial building. I dont know what they made but it 
This is right across Manchester Avenue from Sunnen (the makers of the best honing machines in the world). It is Cupples Products, which makes the facades for buildings of what are called 'glass-curtain wall' construction. That means any 'skyscraper' or office building with an essentially all-glass exterior. They make custom designs for each building, and then test the glass and seals for simulated hurricane conditions. That's where the Corsair comes in. They set up a section of wall, sometimes a flat section, sometimes a corner, usually with 3 windows in it, on a tubular space frame they have out back. The corsair is wheeled into position and chained down. When all is ready, the corsair is cranked up and set to a fast idle (perhaps 1200-1500 crank RPM) and two guys stand next to it, just in front of the prop, spraying fire hoses into the prop wash! Instant simulated hurricane! Several guys stand behind the wall, inspecting for air leaks and water seeping through. The corsair is often run for 3-4 hours at a stretch, perhaps 3 days one week during a test, and then shut down for a month or more. I used to live about 2 miles from that location, and it was easily heard from inside my house. I would then take a detour past Cupples on the way to work to catch a glimpse of the work in progress. They later moved the setup back a few hundred feet from the street, which made it a little harder to see what was going on.