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Thread: "balls to the wall"

  1. #1

    Default "balls to the wall"

    Early aircraft throttles had a ball on the end of it, in order to go full throttle the pilot had to push the throttle all the way forward into the wall of the instrument panel. Hence "balls to the wall" for going very fast. And now you know the rest of the story.

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    During WWII, U.S. Airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, I gave them the whole nine yards, meaning they used up all of their ammunition.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    I didn't know that, thanx.

    Aboard the old sailing ships armed with cannons, the iron cannon balls were stacked in pyramid fashion, and held in place with a triangular shaped brass base. In cold weather, and because of the difference in the coefficient of linear expansion between the two metals, the brass bases would shrink, but the cannon balls would not. These iron balls would tumble to the deck, thus the observation that it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

  3. #3


    Thanks for sharing, interesting stuff. My J-3 has balls but it still doesn't go very fast. Maybe I need to install bigger balls


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