Saturday, 8 November 2014
"On October 14th, 1939, as a part of testing program approved by the chief engineer of factory #174, trials of experimental engine grilles were performed to test the permeation of flame and incendiary fluid into the engine compartment.
Trials were conducted on a T-26 tank with the engine working at 2000 RPM. Gasoline in bottles was used as an incendiary fluid, which were thrown at the engine grille, and ignited by open flame near the grille openings.
Trials showed that despite a large amount of gasoline (13 bottles), no burning fluid seeped into the engine compartment. Flames sucked in by the cooling system scorched the insulation on high voltage wiring. As the wiring was burned out, the engine reduced its revolutions, and stopped completely after some wires crossed. As well as the insulation, the rubber lining by the turret platform was burned by the flame. The flame did not affect the gasoline tank.
Based on aforementioned trials, it can be stated that the experimental grille can protect the engine compartment from penetration by burning fluids. Observations after the engine stopped showed that the gasoline fully evaporated from the carburettor."
V. Lehn Collection