DVIDS – News – Popular science and technology YouTuber visits Yuma Proving Ground
Science and technology YouTuber Calum Gillies visited YPG earlier this week to produce a segment on the TC-497 LeTourneau Overland Train tested at the proving ground in 1962.
The overland train’s control car survives as a static display at the post’s Howard Cantonment Area.
Gillies’ visit was the culmination of nearly a decade of study he has done into the platform’s history.
“If you are into machinery, cars, or experimental stuff, I don’t think there is anything more unusual than this,” he said. “All little kids love monster trucks, tanks, and military stuff, and this ticks all of those boxes.”
Built for a crew of six, the 572-foot long, 13-unit overland train could haul 150 tons of cargo, from personnel carriers and jeeps to construction equipment and cargo containers.
At the time, the 54-wheel drive welded aluminum beast was the longest rubber-tired vehicle in the world. The result of logistical support problems encountered in World War II in areas without adequate highway and rail networks, the land train performed well during testing, but was rendered obsolete by heavy lift helicopters like the S-64 Skycrane before it could be fielded.
The overland train was sold for scrap in 1968, but the control car was spared. It served as a unique advertising piece for a local Yuma RV dealership before returning to the proving ground in the late 1990s.
“The LeTourneau vehicles have always captivated my audience,” Gillies said. “I think people love the idea of travel and adventure, and this sums it up.”
The control car’s interior was camera-ready thanks to the large hearts and indefatigable elbows of several committed volunteers who winter in YPG’s Travel Camp. Led by retired Army NCO Mark Sandercock, travel camp residents Lyle Becht, Jim Stockford, Mary Stockford, Patricia Gustafson and Gerald Sanders in 2019 lent a hand to clean and paint the interior of the land train over the course of several weeks, restoring it to near new condition.
Gillies’ video segment will be released on https://youtube.com/@CalumRaasay in the near future.
|Date Posted:||01.26.2023 09:57|
|Location:||YUMA PROVING GROUND, AZ, US|
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