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北极探险:为一艘飞艇而建的巨型机库

更新时间:2018-10-7 9:16:29 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

The giant hangar built for an Arctic airship
北极探险:为一艘飞艇而建的巨型机库

In the photo, a huge silver airship floats over a large snowfield. On the sides of the airship are stamped in black capital letters, one word: ITALIA.

照片中,一艘银色的巨型飞艇悬浮在一大片雪地上。飞艇的侧面印着黑色的大写字母,它们组成了一个单词:ITALIA(意大利)。

The machine itself is dwarfed by the snow-covered mountains that surround it on three sides. Their glaciers glisten in the spring sunshine. In front of it is the sea, full of floating chunks of ice.

飞艇一面朝海,三面环山。白雪皑皑的山峰把飞艇映衬得分外渺小,雪峰中的冰川在春日的阳光下闪闪发光,海面上到处是巨大的浮冰。

Cables hang down from the sides of the craft like the antenna of an insect. A multitude of tiny stick-like figures await their orders below.

缆绳从飞艇的侧面垂下,犹如昆虫的触角。一大群像细木棍一样的人在下面等着下达给他们的命令。

In front of the dirigible is a very large, strange-looking construction. It has no roof, but two sides that look like the giant wooden trestle bridges that you see in Westerns movies. It is clad in green canvas.

飞艇的前面是一处巨大无比,看上去很奇怪的建筑。没有屋顶,但两边有墙,看起来像西方电影里那种巨型木栈桥。建筑的外面覆盖着绿色的帆布。

But what exactly is it?

但这究竟是什么东西呢?

It is 6 May 1928. The location is Kings Bay in the north of Svalbard, a group of islands known as the gateway to the North Pole. The Norwegian archipelago, formerly known as Spitsbergen, is about halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

时间回溯到1928年5月6日,地点是位于斯瓦尔巴北部的金斯湾。这片岛屿被称作北极的门户。挪威群岛,以前叫斯匹次卑尔根,大致处在挪威和北极中间的海域。

The airship Italia, under the command of its designer Arctic aviator and engineer Colonel Umberto Nobile, has just arrived at Kings Bay having completed the final leg of its flight from Rome. Nobile’s mission is to explore the last big blank space on the globe: the Arctic. The aviator thinks there is still an area about half the size of Canada where few – if any –humans have ever set foot.

在意大利设计师、北极飞行员、工程师诺比莱(Umberto Nobile)上校的驾驶下,从罗马飞过来的“意大利号”飞艇刚刚结束飞行的最后一程,抵达金斯湾。诺比莱的任务是探索地球上最后一片大型空白区:北极。这位飞行员认为,还有一片面积大约相当于加拿大一半的区域,却几乎没有人踏足过。

The alien-like building is the airship hangar at Kings Bay. Without the shelter from Arctic storms it provides, the expedition would be impossible.

金斯湾这座造型奇特的建筑是为飞艇修建的机库。如果没有它为飞艇遮挡北极的暴风雪,探险就不可能完成。

The need to construct hangars large enough to house these goliaths led to some of the most striking architecture of the 20th Century. Constructions on a monumental scale, such as Hangar One at Moffett Field, California, the hangars at RAF Cardington in England and the CargoLifter hangar in Brandenburg, Germany.

正是因为要修建大得能容纳下这些庞然大物的机库,才产生20世纪这些最引人注目的建筑。类似的超大型建筑有加利福尼亚州莫菲特机场的一号机库、英格兰卡丁顿皇家空军的机库和德国勃兰登堡的货运机库。

The hangar at Kings Bay was no exception. It was one of the largest structures of its kind in the world at that time. At 110m long (361ft), 34m wide (112ft) and 30m (98ft) high the hangar was narrower than an Airbus A380 but about one third longer and taller too. About 27kms of wooden beams were used to build it. It took Norwegian engineer Joh Höver around seven days to even find a site large enough for it. Even then, the Italia could only just squeeze into it.

金斯湾这座机库也不例外。它是当时世界上最大的同类型建筑之一。机库长110米,宽34米,高38米,比空客A380窄,但比它长大约三分之一,也比它高。修建机库使用的木梁连起来大约27公里长。挪威工程师赫弗尔(Joh Höver)花了七天左右的时间,才找到这处足够大的地方以安装机库。即便如此,“意大利号”也只是勉强能挤进去。

Even more remarkably, it was built in one of the most extreme environments on the planet in a race against the clock.

更值得注意的是,它是在地球上最极端的环境下争分夺秒修建而成的。

The builders had less than two months to ship material from as far away as Rome to within spitting distance of the North Pole before the Arctic winter set in. It then had to be built by only 32 workers during the winter months – during which the islands would be cut off by ice from the rest of the world, with 24-hour darkness.

在北极的冬天来临之前,建筑商只有不到两个月的时间把建材从遥远的罗马运送到与北极咫尺之隔的这里。然后,在接下来的冬季里,只有32名工人参与机库的建造。在此期间,冰雪让这些岛屿与世隔绝,而且一天24小时都处在黑暗之中。

The hangar had to be ready for the spring when flights could restart.

机库必须在春天恢复飞行时建好。

Explorers at the time likened it to the wonders of the world. “All who have seen the hangar at Kings Bay have been impressed and astonished,” wrote explorer Roald Amundsen, who beat Scott to the South Pole in December 1911. “It is a great work accomplished under more difficult conditions than such a building was ever erected under.”

当时的探险家把它比作世界奇迹。曾在1911年12月打败斯科特(Scott),登上南极点的挪威探险家阿蒙森(Roald Amundsen)写道,“所有看到金斯湾这座机库的人都会感到震撼。这是一项伟大的成就,这里的条件比在任何地方修建这样一栋建筑都更困难。”

Eighty years later, engineers agree with Amundsen’s assessment. “Building in the Arctic is challenging even today,” says Hannele Zubeck, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage and a specialist in Arctic construction. “The construction of this hangar was an incredible undertaking for the 1920s.”

八十年后的今天,多名工程师都同意阿蒙森的看法。阿拉斯加大学安克雷奇分校(University of Alaska Anchorage)土木工程教授、北极施工专家楚贝克(Hannele Zubeck)说,“即便是在今天,在北极修建房屋也是一项挑战。对20世纪20年代来说,建成这座飞机库是一项了不起的事情。”

“Many things were impressive about the hangar,” adds Olav Gynnild, senior curator at the Norwegian Aviation Museum. “The size. The systems they needed in place to build it. It was one of the largest buildings of its kind in the world and certainly the largest building in the Arctic.”

挪威航空博物馆(Norwegian Aviation Museum)高级策展人金尼尔德(Olav Gynnild)补充说,“机库的很多方面都令人震撼,比如建筑的大小,以及修机库时需要准备好的系统。这是当时世界上最大的同类型建筑之一,当然也是北极地区最大的建筑。”

The story of the hangar actually began three years before Nobile’s arrival at Kings Bay. On 1 September 1925, Benito Mussolini, the leader of Fascist Italy, and Amundsen representing the Norwegian Aero Club, signed a contract. The Italians would provide the sister ship to the Italia called the Norge, and build the hangar and airship masts necessary for what would become known as the Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile Expedition.

其实,机库的故事在诺比莱抵达金斯湾的三年前就开始了。1925年9月1日,意大利法西斯领导人墨索里尼(Benito Mussolini)和代表挪威航空俱乐部的阿蒙森签署了一份合同。意大利负责提供“意大利号”的姐妹飞艇“诺奇号”(Norge),并修建机库和飞艇拴柱,这一切是后来被称作阿蒙森-埃尔斯沃斯-诺比莱探险(Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile Expedition)所必需的。

The expedition was a joint Norwegian, American and Italian attempt to fly the first aircraft from one side of the Arctic Ocean to the other via the North Pole.

这次探险是挪威、美国和意大利的三国联合行动。探险队员要乘坐“意大利号”从北冰洋的一边,经由北极极点飞到另一边。

Despite the fact the contract was signed only on 1 September, the Sorland arrived at Kings Bay on 17 October with cement, steel poles and huge steel bolts for the airship mast – and engineer Joh Höver. He was given the task of scouting out the best location for the hangar in temperatures that were already dropping to below -20C (-4F).

尽管9月1日才签合同,但索兰德号船(the Sorland)10月17日就带着修建飞艇拴柱所需的水泥、钢杆、大钢螺栓和工程师赫弗尔(Joh Höver)到达金斯湾。赫弗尔的任务是为机库选址。当时的气温已降至零下20摄氏度以下。

The Alekto cut it fine, arriving six days later on 23 October with about 600 cubic metres of timber, 50 tonnes of iron and equipment, tools and provision for over 30 workers for the winter. The ship's cargo included a warming 230 litres of brandy. Three days later the sun disappeared. The 10,000 square-metres of French sail-like hangarcloth needed to cover the hangar arrived early in the New Year after the ice that imprisoned the island had started to break up.

六天后的10月23日,阿勒克托号( the Alekto)也紧跟着运来600立方米木材、50吨铁和设备、工具以及供30多名工人过冬的供给赶到了。船上的货物中还有230升能让人感到热乎乎的白兰地。三天后,太阳消失。用来盖住机库的10000平米法国帆状机库布,在元旦那天一早送达。彼时,让小岛与世隔绝的冰已经开始破裂了。

Luckily for master carpenter Ferdinand Arild and his workers, the Kings Bay Mining Company had built a narrow-gauge railway to help carry coal from the mine’s entrance to the ramshackle quay. The line was then extended about 400m (1,320ft) to reach the hangar site. The horses that once pulled wagons full of coal from the mine were then put to work pulling wagon loads of equipment from the quay up to the building site.

对木匠师傅阿里尔德(Ferdinand Arild)和他的工人们来说,幸运的是在那之前,金斯湾矿业公司(Kings Bay Mining Company)修了一条窄轨铁路,以把煤炭从煤矿入口处运送到摇摇欲坠的码头。后来,那条铁路被延长了大约400米,一直延伸到机库所在的工地。然后,那些以前把满车的煤炭从矿上拉到码头的马匹,又把一车又一车设备从码头拉到工地。

A rather gothic photograph shows the hangar lit up in the darkness by a handful of lights. At a time when most homes still relied on gaslight, the mining company had a power plant that could provide them with faint electricity when the Sun went down. The builders slept in two warm barracks built to house the miners.

在一张哥特气息十足的照片上,机库里的几盏灯照亮了黑暗。在大多数家庭还依赖煤气灯的那个时代,这家矿业公司有一个发电厂,能够在太阳下山时为他们提供微弱的电量。工人们睡在两间温暖的营房里,那原本是为矿工修建的。

“Timber was used to build the hangar because it was cheaper, easier and quicker to use than steel,” says Gynnild, “and because the hangar was not meant to be a permanent construction.

金吉尔德说,“用木材建机库是因为比钢材便宜,建起来也更容易,更快,还因为机库并不打算永久性使用。”

“Sometimes the temperature got right down to below -20C (-4F) . Then on other days it was only -5C (23F) and heavy snow covered the tools, materials and even the first levels of the hangar. At still other times strong winds made work dangerous, as did the slippery surfaces, covered in ice.

“有时候温度直接降到零下20 摄氏度以下。有时候只有零下5摄氏度,工具、材料甚至机库的地面都被大雪覆盖了。还有些时候,大风会让工作变得危险,地面结冰变滑也会让工作变得危险万分。”

“Despite these conditions, they were working 30m (100ft) off the ground and no-one got injured.”

“尽管条件如此恶劣,工人一直在离地面30米高的地方工作,并且没有人受伤。”

Most of the work had to be done manually as well. “The men did have an electric drill and saw, but other than that they used handsaws to cut up the wood,” adds Gynnild. “It was lucky for them that the mine was there to provide electricity and houses.”

金吉尔德补充说,大部分工作还必须手动完成,“这些人的确有电钻和电锯,但他们没有用那些,而是用手锯锯木头,幸好煤矿给他们提供了电力和住的地方。”

Despite these challenges the hangar was finished on time. On 15 February 1926 the structure of the hangar was complete and the Norwegians flew the flag of Norway in celebration. “The innovations the builders employed to get the job done shouldn’t be forgotten,” says Zubeck. “Concreting in freezing temperatures is yet another challenge. But they used warm water heated by coal from the Kings Bay Coal Mining Company to make it possible.

尽管存在这些挑战,机库仍按时完工。1926年2月15日,机库框架完成,挪威人升上挪威国旗进行庆祝。楚贝克说,“不应忘记建筑工人为了完成任务而进行的创新。他们在滴水成冰的环境下浇筑混凝土是另一个挑战。但他们用金斯湾煤矿公司的煤把水烧热,让这件事成为了可能。”

“Wooden trestles were fitted together to make up the 30m-high hangar walls. The trestles were cleverly covered with sailcloth, reducing the weight of the structure itself, and also the need for lumber and time nailing boards in the dark and cold.

“木头支架被组装在一起,构成了30米高的机库墙壁。支架外面巧妙地盖上了帆布,减轻了结构本身的重量,也减少了在黑暗和寒冷的环境下钉木板需要的木材和时间。”

“The hangar doors were pyramidally shaped and were draped to the ground to reduce the stress on the structure.”

“机库的门呈金字塔形,一直垂到地面,以便减少对整个结构的压力。”

Unfortunately, the design of the hangar was not a complete success. When the wind blew it was hard to manoeuvre the huge airship into such a tight space. The lack of a roof also meant that snow could easily build up on the top of the airship.

遗憾的是,机库的设计并不是完全成功。刮风时,很难将巨型飞艇驶入这么狭小的空间。没有屋顶也意味着飞艇顶部容易积雪。

After the flight of the Norge, the hangar was stripped of its canvas cover. It was then renovated for the Italians in 1928 by master carpenter Arild. It was then covered with new canvas fastened by around 11,000 iron pins.

在“诺奇号”的那次飞行之后,盖在机库外面的帆布被取下。1928年,为了供意大利人使用,木匠师傅阿里尔德又对机库进行了翻修。然后,机库又盖上了新帆布,帆布用11000个左右铁钉固定住。

“The hangar had weathered above all expectations during the two years that had gone by,” wrote Arild. “The foundation was just as even and firm as when we left it, there was no need to straighten it out in anyway. The moraine base was just as good as cement.”

阿里尔德写道,“在两年时间里,机库经受住了一切期望。地基还像我们走的时候那么平整、牢固,无论何时都不用处理。冰碛底部和水泥一样坚固。”

Additionally, Nobile ordered that the walls of the hangar should be stuffed with straw to prevent the airship being damaged when it was being pulled in and out.

此外,诺比莱下令在机库的墙里塞入秸秆,防止飞艇进出时受损。

“The legacy of the hangar today is inspirational,” says Zubeck. “How they solved the challenges in logistics, design and the schedule of the project will continue to inspire future generations.

楚贝克说,“今天,这个机库的遗产仍很有启示性。他们解决物流、设计和项目进度困难的方式,会继续激励子孙后代。”

“The fact that the hangar could be reused again in 1928 for the flight of the Italia was the final proof of what master carpenter Arild had achieved.”

“1928年,机库可以再次用来停放'意大利号'这一点,是木匠师傅阿里尔德技艺高超的最终证明。”

“Was building this hangar the equivalent of landing a man on the moon?” asks Steinar Aas of Nord University and Norway’s leading specialist on Umberto Nobile. “In a way it was worse than landing on the Moon. The astronauts were protected from the cold of space. These men weren’t. They were working with almost their bare hands”

诺德大学(Nord University)的阿斯(Steinar Aas)是挪威顶级的诺比莱研究专家。他问道,“当时建飞艇机库是不是就相当于后来的人类登月?在某种程度上比登月还难。登月的宇航员有保护措施,不会遭遇到太空中的酷寒。但机库的工人则毫无保护,他们几乎是在赤手工作。”

In the 1930s, the hangar finally succumbed to the elements and collapsed. Wood is scarce on Svalbard. Its timbers quickly found a new use in buildings across the islands. A bridge for the narrow-gauge railway made from the hangar’s wood still stands today.

20世纪30年代,飞艇机库最终在饱经冰雪寒风后倒塌。斯瓦尔巴群岛木材稀缺,机库的木材很快被重新用在了各岛的建筑中。一座用机库的木头为那条窄轨铁路搭建的桥至今仍屹立不倒。

The concrete foundations of the hangar and some rope attachment points can still be seen each year when the snow has melted.

每年冰雪融化后,还能看见机库的混凝土地基和一些绳子固定点。

Unfortunately, the wider legacy of the hangar is more bittersweet. It is hard to separate the fate of the flights of the Norge and Italia from that of the hangar itself.

遗憾的是,这座机库留下的整体回忆苦乐参半。很难把“诺奇号”和“意大利号”的命运和机库自己的命运分开。

“The flight of the Norge helped to pioneer the route over the North Pole that many airlines use today,” says Aas. But few people today know about the actual record-breaking flight, one widely considered one of the great feats of its day.

阿斯说,“‘诺奇号’的那趟飞行帮助开辟了一条北极航线,如今很多航空公司飞越北极时都采用这条航路,”但今天鲜有人知道那次破纪录的飞行,而在当时被普遍认为是那个时代人类的重大成就之一。

The Italia is better remembered, but perversely for the wrong reasons. It crashed onto the ice during its third Arctic flight for reasons that are disputed 80 years later. Six of the 16 crew floated away in the remains of the airship, never to be seen again. Another crew member died on impact. An eighth was suspected of being the victim of cannibalism. The rest had to survive on the ice for another two months before they were rescued.

相比之下,人们对“意大利号”的回忆更多一些,不过却是因为不幸的原因。“意大利号”第三次飞越北极时,坠毁在冰面上,坠机原因80年后仍有争议。坠机后16名机组成员中的六人随飞艇的残骸一起飘走,之后再也没有人看到他们。另一名机组成员遭受撞击死亡。还有一人被怀疑成为了同类相食的牺牲品。其余的人在冰面上坚持了两个月,最终获救。

Umberto Nobile’s reputation never recovered from the crash and his subsequent decision to abandon his crew on the ice after he was rescued. A huge rescue mission to find the Italia ended in tragedy; Amundsen’s seaplane disappeared on the way to join the rescue effort. “Nobile has been deliberately forgotten in Norway,” says Aas.

因为坠机,还因为获救后决定抛弃冰面上的机组成员,诺比莱的声誉因此受损。搜救"意大利号"的大型行动也以悲剧告终:阿蒙森驾驶的水上飞机在加入救援行动的途中失踪。阿斯说,“在挪威,人们故意忘记诺比莱。”

The airship mast still stands at Kings Bay for tourists to gawp at. But few of them will know about the nearby hangar, the huge craft it once sheltered and the workers who battled against the Arctic conditions to build it.

飞艇停泊的拴柱仍屹立在金斯湾,供游客参观。但很少有人知道旁边曾有座巨型机库、以及它为之遮风挡雨的那架大型飞艇和那些在北极的恶劣条件下修建机库的工人们。

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