Jump to content


Driving the Leopard 1


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

PA60Pilot #1 Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:36 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

On the final day of our 2018 Spring Break adventure, we flew the PA60 into a private airport at Ox Ranch, which is near Uvalde, Texas...almost as far as you can get from anything resembling civilization.  Ox Ranch is the home of www.drivetanks.com, which offers a number of options for driving tanks, shooting tank guns, artillery, and machine guns.  Our mission was to drive a Leopard 1.  We didn't shoot any of the machine guns or artillery, as I really wasn't interested in that.  They have a M4e8 and a T-34 that you can both drive and shoot, but shooting the cannon is accomplished by standing outside the tank and pulling a string, which seemed a bit disconnected to me.  They don't offer firing the cannon of the Leopard 1's they have.  They also have a Chieftain you can crush a car with.

 

On a side note, I set a new personal best in the PA60, achieving a ground speed of 383 miles per hour while cruising at 21,000 feet.  :)

Spoiler

 

All of these automatic weapons are functional, and available for rental.

Spoiler

 

Anyhow, enough of the little guns...They have at least four Leopard 1's there.  This is the one I drove:

Spoiler

 

T-34

Spoiler

 

M4e8

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

Anyhow, back to the Leopard 1 drive.  This one is a Leopard 1a5, which can be identified as such because it has a cast turret, rather than a fabricated/welded one the 1a4 has.  It has a ten cylinder diesel engine, that can be removed and replaced by two mechanics in 20 minutes.  They were in the process of pulling an engine on one of their Leo's while I was there, and I got to observe a little of it.

 

The Leopard was surprisingly easy to drive (poorly).  I think a driver should be no taller than about 5'4", as I had to splay my legs out wide to fit in the driver's compartment and access the pedals.  There's no way at 6'2" that I could drive with the driver's hatch closed.

 

Steering is accomplished by using a yoke not unlike what you'd find in an airplane.  The yoke turns easily about 20º off center either left or right, before it hits a "soft stop".  If you continue beyond this stop, the tank turns much more aggressively.  There's a steering lock control at the top of the steering column, and a horn button towards the bottom.

 

Spoiler

 

There is no clutch pedal.  The accelerator pedal is about a foot high, and about six inches wide.  The brake pedal is similar.  Layout of the pedals is just like you'd find in a passenger car.  The transmission appears to be a hydraulic shuttle shift type, with 4 forward gears, no reverse that I observed, neutral, and a position for pivoting the tank 360º in place...which drivetanks.com doesn't allow.  To select a gear, a short lever on the right is moved forward or backwards to the desired gear.  The movement is smooth and effortless.  Once underway, the next higher or lower gear can be selected by easing off the accelerator just a little, then flicking the lever to the desired position.

 

The diesel engine has a redline at 2,200 r.p.m.  The instructor told me to limit the r.p.m. to less than 1,700, though once I got up to 2,000 r.p.m. briefly.  The tank actually has an ignition key, which surprised me.  There's a simple 3-step starting procedure, and you're off.

 

Driver's instrument panel:

Spoiler

 

I never used much more than half throttle, but the tank accelerated surprisingly well.  It felt like a Cadillac, floating over the terrain.  I drove mostly in third gear, and probably reached a top speed of 30 mph.  There's no speedometer in the tank (who cares about speed limits when you're driving a tank?).

 

I was amazed with how comfortable the ride was.  At one point the instructor had me intentionally hit a 2' deep pothole, and the tank barely shuddered.

 

The drive lasted a total of about fifteen minutes, and it was a blast!  I'm sure the tank would be more difficult to drive outside of a controlled environment like this one, or in an environment where people are shooting at you, but I left simply stunned with how easy it had been to operate.

 

I'd highly recommend drivetanks.com to anyone who would like to experience a small taste of what real-life tanking is.  Here's a video of my noob driving:


Edited by PA60Pilot, 15 April 2018 - 06:12 PM.

"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


Azula__ #2 Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:45 PM

    #1 Reroll NA

  • Players
  • 28338 battles
  • 4,744
  • [_STR8]
  • Member since:
    10-02-2016
That is really cool.  :)

I am now the #1 ranked E75 on the NA server!

 

 

 

 


slayer_____ #3 Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:03 PM

    Spray and Pray

  • Players
  • 36682 battles
  • 2,775
  • [ATA2D]
  • Member since:
    07-10-2014
Great stuff, thanks for posting. 

Zuke76 #4 Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:22 PM

    Zuke le grand

  • Players
  • 15950 battles
  • 2,168
  • [SR-71]
  • Member since:
    06-25-2017
very cool, its gun looks a little bent :D

 

 

A Part of the Training Room Police Department(TRPD) thanks to __Seal__


PA60Pilot #5 Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:33 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

It's the fisheye effect of the GoPro that makes it look bent

.


"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


Modern_Neanderthal #6 Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:58 PM

    Sedentary Nomad

  • Players
  • 38560 battles
  • 532
  • [BOWL]
  • Member since:
    11-02-2014
I guess I know now where I am going if I ever hit the lottery.... after I go to Islay in Scotland (for the Scotch!)

acrisis #7 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:00 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 20250 battles
  • 9,797
  • [III-X]
  • Member since:
    12-27-2014

Great post !!!

 

Certainly something for the wish list :)


 

  (+) Be Positive  (+)       (-) Not Negative (-)  
 
Blitz Community Coalition
 |  Looney Tooners | Triarii
Blitz University | Basic Training  | Mentor

2.8 Blitz EconomyGot lag? =>  Pingplotter thread 


someguyfromPitt #8 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:06 PM

    Jeez Louise that one bounced

  • Players
  • 46369 battles
  • 4,268
  • [III-C]
  • Member since:
    07-12-2014
This is great. Thank you for sharing. 

Tier 10's: FV 183, T110E3, T110E4, T110E5, T57, M48, IS-4, IS-7, T-62a, Obj 140, Grille, BätChät 

 

There is only one TD and 183 is her name. 

I drive Joseph Stallon (IS) tanks for the win.


minitel_NA #9 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:21 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 454 battles
  • 3,974
  • [EUREF]
  • Member since:
    12-19-2015
Any reason why all the markings are in French ?

Minitelrose visiting from EU, occasional player/forumer in the NA

 


tanker070 #10 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:33 PM

    The Nitwit

  • Players
  • 48778 battles
  • 930
  • [SRT-A]
  • Member since:
    07-11-2014

Adventures like these I wish to have in future .

Great great pictures man, thanks for documenting this for us. 

Unreal how one can go about doing all this... Really good story and a trip to remember for times to come   

Gg


.....

ahredstealth said: "while money can't buy happiness, it can rent it."


PA60Pilot #11 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:36 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

View Postminitel_NA, on 15 April 2018 - 11:21 AM, said:

Any reason why all the markings are in French ?

 

I don't know.  Perhaps the tank spent time there.  The hobbs meter showed the tank had 28,000 hours on it.  It sure seemed in great shape for that much use.

 


"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


PA60Pilot #12 Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:38 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

Commander's station on the Leo:

Spoiler

 

Gun breech with partial ammo rack visible below left:

Spoiler

 

I guess I was incorrect.  There is a reverse position on the gearshift...so the transmission looks like it would have 4 reverse gears.  "V" is forward, "N" is neutral, "R" is self-explanatory, and "W" is the position for traversing in place.  This lever is placed in V for forward, then the lever above with the round knob is used to select gears 1-4.

Spoiler

 


Edited by PA60Pilot, 15 April 2018 - 04:52 PM.

"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


hornedbear #13 Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:09 PM

    Lance-corporal

  • Players
  • 35776 battles
  • 42
  • [DEPT]
  • Member since:
    11-28-2014
Outstanding. Glad u shared.

PA60Pilot #14 Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:17 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

Thanks all.

 

Here's a photo of the ten-cylinder turbodiesel in one of the Leopard 1's.  An hour later, one mechanic had it out of the tank to replace the starter.

Spoiler

 


"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


olddatsunfan #15 Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:59 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 34001 battles
  • 2,622
  • [-CFR-]
  • Member since:
    06-02-2015
That's a great experience!  Thanks for sharing!  Perhaps the tank is ex-Canadian?  That may explain the French ...

PA60Pilot #16 Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:09 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014
Could be.  One of their mechanics who specializes in Leopards, was Canadian.

"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


reluctanttheist #17 Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:33 PM

    Canuck Didactics

  • Players
  • 23160 battles
  • 6,042
  • [III-H]
  • Member since:
    01-12-2015
Wow!  What a great holiday!  So how much of their business comes from WoT players? :B

Tanks:  _X: T110E5, T110E3, FV215b(183), IS-7, Obj.140  _IX: M103, T-54  _VIII: IS-6, T34, Lowe, T-44, IS-6, IS-3D  _VII: T-43, Comet, E25, AT-15A, SU-122-44
Usually on in the evenings Pacific time.  Intake Contact for Triarii Clan (PM for details)
Be a better player  |  Click here if you have lag  |  Graphics Settings for iOS  |  Check your ping with Pingplotter  |  Get good: watch Bushka!  |  Check out tanks on Tank Compare  and  BlitzHangar


SchnauzerKampfwagenIV #18 Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:49 PM

    If injured in battle please call Dr. S. Paul Abpraller III DVM E

  • Players
  • 33370 battles
  • 1,961
  • [ISSAH]
  • Member since:
    05-08-2015
Awesome rundown. Sounds like a blast!

PA60Pilot #19 Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:56 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 31549 battles
  • 2,273
  • [TITAN]
  • Member since:
    10-26-2014

View Postreluctanttheist, on 15 April 2018 - 01:33 PM, said:

Wow!  What a great holiday!  So how much of their business comes from WoT players? :B

 

IDK, but I think a lot of us would enjoy the experience.  They did a great job.

"Now they're gonna come for us" - Anonymous Spawn Camping M6 - after rest of team destroyed

 


minitel_NA #20 Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:23 PM

    First Sergeant

  • Players
  • 454 battles
  • 3,974
  • [EUREF]
  • Member since:
    12-19-2015

View PostPA60Pilot, on 15 April 2018 - 04:36 PM, said:

 

I don't know.  Perhaps the tank spent time there.  The hobbs meter showed the tank had 28,000 hours on it.  It sure seemed in great shape for that much use.

 

 

Obvjously these tanks are bought after they are retired from service from somewhere.

 

I think Canada and Belgium had some leopard. Both have French speaking population.

But I'm surprised that in both case the other national language is missing.

Maybe there are other countries ?

 

I'm not really a military buff as one can see, but my curiosity is triggered.


Minitelrose visiting from EU, occasional player/forumer in the NA

 





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users