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1957 B-66 cockpit recording

Started by Bob Hudson , Mar 22 2010 09:59 PM

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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 09:59 PM

Since last year I have had a cartridge used for recording in the MX-1330/ANH-2 sound recorder used to record cockpit and radio communications on the B-66 and B-57 bombers. These were wire - not tape - recorders and these magazines popped in just like a video or audio tape cassette. Today I finally was able to pull some of the 50-year-old audio off it and put it online as an MP3.

This particular recording was made during a circa-1960 simulated bombing practice by the 84th Bomb Squadron, flying the B-66 Destroyer out of RAF Sculthorpe in England.

I have posted the mp3 and more info here: http://www.hudsonmil...ockpit-recorder

Posted Image

#2 Teamski

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:32 AM

Cool! Well done on the save!

-Ski

#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:05 AM

Cool! Well done on the save!

-Ski

Thanks: It was pretty my day's work Monday getting that audio digitized: the big problem was that the wire used in those military recorders is very, very thin, so that they can record several hours per spool: once you take it out of the magazine to play it on a normal wire recorder/player, it tangles at the bat of an eye. Plus it played back backwards and at a different speed than normal wire recorders (so they can record longer) so I had to find software to reverse the audio and change the pitch to make it not sound like Minnie Mouse. The wire recorder I used for playback has an output jack that has two slots (like an electrical outlet) so to connect it to my Mac I had to make up a pair of wire with alligator plugs on one end. Those connected to a stereo mini-plug cable plugged into my MacBook and the bare wire at the other was stuck into the slots. I've done a lot of audio, video and film conversions, but I must say that this one was a real kludge, and I was surprised at how well it came out and that I was able to capture these Cold Warriors at work (and you just gotta love the non-chalant way they say "bombs away").

Here's the type of machine I used for playback (there is a machine designed to playback the military cockpit recorder magazines, but I'd imagine they are nearly impossible to find).

wire.jpg

#4 Cobrahistorian

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:06 AM

Bob, that's an incredible recording!

#5 Teamski

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:10 AM

Did you take any pictures of the "guts?" Where did you get your technical knowhow? That isn't something that you just pick up.

-Ski

#6 Bob Hudson

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:29 AM

Did you take any pictures of the "guts?" Where did you get your technical knowhow? That isn't something that you just pick up.

-Ski


I will take some photos of the inside of the magazine/cartridge. I spent 30 years in radio and also I had my own video production/editing business, so I've been working with all sorts of recording media for a long time. Luckily I happened to have a wire recorder/player around: I bought it a few years ago to sell on ebay and never got around to it and it was "lost" until I was cleaning up a storage area Saturday and found it in a box beneath several others.

The magazine came with a large grouping I picked up last summer: http://www.usmilitar...showtopic=54226 I had sold most of the grouping to a forum member but kept voice recorder magazine because I wanted to see if I could retrieve anything from it: I had no idea if it was blank or what.

At one point in the recording you hear someone reference "Bob." I am certain that is Robert Conroy, the guy whose grouping it was: he had over 1,000 hours in the B-66 and as I think about it, it may be that the reason he kept this particular magazine is because it was his last flight in a B-66. The magazine has a 1957 inspection sticker and the squadron returned to the US in early 1961. After that he started flying transports.

Here's a photo of him as a young officer:

Posted Image

I will send the buyer of a grouping a copy of the recording and the magazine itself. I will keep the wire reels in hopes of salvaging some audio. I would imagine that most of it is more of the same, but there might be some interesting tidbit hidden in there.

#7 Brandon

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 01:11 PM

Wow, too cool!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Brandon

#8 Bob Hudson

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 04:15 PM

Here's what the inside of the recorder magazine looks like (minus the two reels: one for the wire, the other a takeup reel):

inside.jpg


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