peter w. carpi | opsail 2012 | boston


Sara and I took our bikes along the waterfront on Saturday June 30th
to see the 2012 OpSail event and tour the ships. We ended up only touring
the USS Wasp, which was amazing, but the whole trip was blast.

USCG Barque Eagle in the mouth of the harbor in the background and the Cisne Branco from Brazil in the foreground.

Guayas from Ecuador approaches the docked USS Wasp.

Cisne Branco of Brazil pulls into port in front of the docked USS Wasp, with the Guayas from Ecuador on the left and the US Coast Guard Barque Eagle in the background.

A closer shot of the Barque Eagle entering Boston Harbor.

The Colombian Gloria enters the Boston harbor with the docked USS Wasp in the background.

The British flight training ship Argus docked at the Black Falcon terminal in Bosotn.

The bow of the Argus has a few cool things.  First, it's flat, but I'm sure it's not underwater.  Second, it's got a helicopter hanging off the edge.  Third, not only does it have a machine gun, but check out the gatling gun in the front!

Professor Carpi explains the physics of the rotors of this MH-60R Seahawk aboard a US destroyer, also at the Black Falcon terminal in Boston.

I admit it; I am a child and there is something really cool about the phalanx anti-missile gatling gun system.

The next stop on our bike tour was the USS Wasp. This was really cool.
This bad boy is an amphibious assualt ship, which carriers aircraft and
a host of marines and their equipment and it is all open to the public.
While the following photos look like they are indoors they are just inside
the Wasp on various decks, including lastly the flight deck.

USS Wasp in Boston Harbor

A cross between a jeep and a heavily armored golf cart.  My guess is that it's narrow in order to fit in the Osprey and other transport vehicles.  This guy tows the mortar system below.

The towable mortar that fits neatly into the back of the Osprey sitting above us.  I believe this marine told us it takes about two minutes to deploy this system once they hit land.

Sara gets a lesson on the different types of doom the marines can drop with their mortar tubes.

A marine demonstrates adjusting the pitch of the portable mortor.

Sara kicking the tires, making sure this thing is up to snuf.

This looks like an ACOG scope from Call of Duty where I waste countless hours disciplining 10 year olds.  Unfortunately, my literacy failed me and I didnt read the signs so I dont even know what the gun was.  I did notice one kid wearing a Modern Warefare t-shirt and I was tempted to talk trash to him.  That's how manly I am!

I'm going to guess this is a heavy machine gun, maybe a .50 caliber.  It is pretty cool that kids could get hands on with the weapons.

This was the view towards the back of the deck on which the public entered the Wasp.  What you see is a ramp leading down to an assortment of vehicles that the Wasp might carry.  In the front left is an LAV next to an MRAP in the front right.  Behind them is an amphibious assualt vehicle and behind that, although it just looks like a ramp, is a hovercraft with a humvee loaded on it.  Everything was open to the public - you could open any door, sit in any seat.

Blatantly obvious, this is the LAV-25A2, which is an amphibious reconnaissance vehicle.

This was one of the more powerful sights of the day.

The inside of an LAV-25A2.  Marines apparently have small butts and no knees.

One of many designs of MRAPs - mine resistant ambush protected troop carriers.  If I understand correctly, the underside of these trucks are designed like a blast shield to redirect explosions from road mines out towards the wheels rather than up into the troops it holds.

The backside of an AAVP-7A1 amphibious assualt vehicle.

Sabe making sure this thing is in good shape - she wants our troops to make it back, not just there.

The front of an amphibious assualt vehicle, the AAVP-7A1.

Imagine a relaxing day at the beach when suddenly this thing rolls up out of the water at you!  Apparently a .50 caliber isnt sufficient to scare my boards shorts off me, you need the grenade launcher too.

We made it up to the flight deck of the Wasp.

This is the reverse angle from the second photo on this page, which was taken from the right of the two identical towers just under the rotors in the distance.  This is an MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of the USS Wasp.

While far roomier than the other vehicles we saw on the Wasp, this strikes me as a wee bit convoluted, not to mention a fire hazzard.  Does anyone actually know what all those wires do?

Radar sensors on the back side of the Osprey

The cockpit of the Osprey

The Osprey seems to be covered with radar sensors; here's another one in the front

Sabe on the deck of the Wasp

I believe this was an SH-60 SeaHawk, the Navy version of the Blackhawk

An AH-1W Cobra on the deck of the USS Wasp in Boston

Staring down the gatling gun on the business end of a SuperCobra

The front seat of an AH-1W SuperCobra on the deck of the USS Wasp

The aft seat of an AH-1W

UH-1N Huey on the USS Wasp

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June 30th, 2012

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