Captive Column . Com

arrow1.gif (893 bytes) Time Line - 1971: U.S. Navy Refueling Boom...
Flexible Components Man Holds Beam The Neighborhood Piles On Close Up Of Fittings
Made Of Flexible Components (69k) Lightweight Beam
The Neighborhood Piles On
Close Up Of Fittings

The U.S. Navy purchased these Captive Columns for use in refueling ships under way at sea. The Navy claimed that it needed an 80-foot corrosion resistant beam that was also light enough to be extended from the side of a ship without causing problems. Mr. Bosch solved their dilemma by building a Captive Column made entirely of fiberglass. Made in two 40-foot sections (pictured above), each piece weighed 200 pounds and had a cross section of 16 inches. The beams were made in the inventor's San Jose California backyard, while the steel fittings used to join the sections were subcontracted to a crane company.

These beams were ordered from Mr. Bosch on a simple purchase order (U.S. Navy Purchase Order Number N00217-71-M-0567, dated January 14, 1971). The Navy took delivery of the structures and loaded them beyond the design specifications until the fittings failed. Navy officials then claimed the test was a failure and tried to return the beams to Mr. Bosch without payment. Mr. Bosch told them that if they tried to drop them off he would call the police, so they relented.

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Copyright 1998-2004 by Lawrence R. Bosch.