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Old 04-02-2005, 03:01   #1 (permalink)
Ian Rawlings
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Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

Hello peeps, something I've wondered for a while and was just reminded
about in another post is the following question; other than them just
being interesting, what's the point of a half-track? They're slower
than a wheeled vehicle and less manoeverable than a full-track and
don't have the climbing ability either. I can only think of a few
advantages;

* make use of an available platform, e.g. take a defender and whack
some tracks on the back half, but would this save a significant
amount over just designing a full-track in the first place?
Especially considering the large amount of changes that would be
required to the back half (entire new chassis most likely).

* high-speed stability, it can't have been easy to get a tracked
vehicle to turn at high-ish speeds using braked tracks, or at least
it could have been rather dangerous trying to steer at high speeds
using brake levers. Relatively easy to solve in other ways though
surely..

* errr....

* um....

Any more? What's the point of them?

Cheers all, off to Sodbury now!

--
For every expert, there is an equal but opposite expert
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Old 04-02-2005, 04:01   #2 (permalink)
JD
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

Ian Rawlings wrote:

> Hello peeps, something I've wondered for a while and was just reminded
> about in another post is the following question; other than them just
> being interesting, what's the point of a half-track? They're slower
> than a wheeled vehicle and less manoeverable than a full-track and
> don't have the climbing ability either. I can only think of a few
> advantages;
>
> * make use of an available platform, e.g. take a defender and whack
> some tracks on the back half, but would this save a significant
> amount over just designing a full-track in the first place?
> Especially considering the large amount of changes that would be
> required to the back half (entire new chassis most likely).
>
> * high-speed stability, it can't have been easy to get a tracked
> vehicle to turn at high-ish speeds using braked tracks, or at least
> it could have been rather dangerous trying to steer at high speeds
> using brake levers. Relatively easy to solve in other ways though
> surely..
>
> * errr....
>
> * um....
>
> Any more? What's the point of them?
>
> Cheers all, off to Sodbury now!
>


The only point there has ever been for half tracks is that they use an
existing platform to provide a vehicle with low ground pressure and good
traction. For a given ability on soft ground this will generally give a
vastly cheaper solution than a fully tracked vehicle would, but the
compromises are such that successful half tracks are extremely rare - how
many can you think of?
JD
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:01   #3 (permalink)
Dave Liquorice
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

On Sat, 2 Apr 2005 09:24:38 +0100, Ian Rawlings wrote:

> Any more? What's the point of them?


The only thing I can think of is that the tracks will have a lower
ground pressure so perhaps you can carry heavier loads over softer
ground than you could with a wheeled vehicle. As you have also said
they are more stable so may make a good platform for launchers or
radar.

--
Cheers new5pam@howhill.com
Dave. pam is missing e-mail



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Old 04-02-2005, 10:02   #4 (permalink)
Ian Rawlings
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

On 2005-04-02, JD <jjd@SPAMLESS.com.au> wrote:

> compromises are such that successful half tracks are extremely rare
> - how many can you think of?


That's what I thought, you might save a few bob but it didn't seem
worth it, you might as well modify an existing tracked platform or go
the extra mile and custom-build a new vehicle.

So no other reasons then?

--
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:03   #5 (permalink)
Nige
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

Ian Rawlings wrote:
> On 2005-04-02, JD <jjd@SPAMLESS.com.au> wrote:
>
>> compromises are such that successful half tracks are extremely rare
>> - how many can you think of?

>
> That's what I thought, you might save a few bob but it didn't seem
> worth it, you might as well modify an existing tracked platform or go
> the extra mile and custom-build a new vehicle.
>
> So no other reasons then?


The way I see it that fully tracked vehicles are primarily intended to for troop carrying & fighting.
They are very expensive to build/maintain & are very heavy due to the role they play in the battlefield.

Half tracks where used by the armies in WW2 for a variety of uses. Massive prime movers for hugging
massive weapons/other Tanks etc about the battlefield. They can go where a wheeled vehicle cant go due to
lower ground pressure. Due to the very light or noin-existant armour they are lighter & easier to
maintain. Also, much cheaper to build.

You wouldn't want to tow an 88mm gun into battle with a Tiger Tank at 56 tons would you? Total waste of
resources & not the job it was intended for.

You might see it different, but that's what the military use them for. Civvie street cant be much
different, just different applications!

Nige


--
Subaru WRX (The Bitch)

Series 3 Landrover 88" (Albert)

"Christ's fat cock"


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Old 04-02-2005, 12:03   #6 (permalink)
Andy Luker
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?

Ian Rawlings wrote:
> On 2005-04-02, JD <jjd@SPAMLESS.com.au> wrote:
>
>
>>compromises are such that successful half tracks are extremely rare
>>- how many can you think of?

>
>
> That's what I thought, you might save a few bob but it didn't seem
> worth it, you might as well modify an existing tracked platform or go
> the extra mile and custom-build a new vehicle.
>
> So no other reasons then?
>


Possibly a get-around for the Treaty of Versailles banning, among other
things, post WWI Germany from having tanks. The 1/2 track enabling them
to develop tactics & a track-making industrial base.

Extremely common during WWII as an infantry carrier & prime mover since
the compromise was worth while, developments in fully tracked & 4x4, 8x8
etc technology enhancing the on-road performance of tanks and the off
road performance of wheels rendering them obsolescent.

Andy
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Old 04-02-2005, 13:01   #7 (permalink)
Hirsty's
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Re: Centaur/Half Tracks in general: Why?


After the total to.......r I met tonight, who decided that as I was on his
side of the road he would make the point by entering the single lane formed
by parked cars at the junction start and blocking my way. This despite the
fact that after about 15 car lentghs I had only 1 car length to go to get
out of his way.

I can see a very usefull application for the half track end of the vehicle
!!!

I did point out to him that I fully supported testing for the over 70's to
see if they were still sane :-)). ( Hope my Dad is'nt listening up there
!! )

John H


> You might see it different, but that's what the military use them for.

Civvie street cant be much
> different, just different applications!



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