Sorta… Lee Hutchison at Ars Technica has two new articles on efforts to resurrect and/or evolve the F-1 engine:
The former details the efforts by Pratt & Whitney and Dynetics to evolve the F-1/F-1A designs into the F-1B: a new engine derived from the old, using modern manufacturing methods and control systems where beneficial. It’s especially interesting because I’ve long thought calls by laypeople and Congressmen and the like to bring the Saturn V into production would (if heeded) lead to exactly this…by the time you take advantage of the cost-saving technological improvements (and the loss of certain outmoded manufacturing capabilities) since 1960, you may end up with a machine that looks and performs much as the original, but shares only a partial pedigree with it. The temptation/opportunity to make it better is too great, and one would be foolish not to do so. Efforts on the F-1B are an impressive example of this.
The latter is an example of something I think we need a lot more of: hands-on experience for younger engineers. Building something new or reverse-engineering something old, doesn’t matter, it’s a great opportunity for learning that simply making CAD models and PowerPoints of “paper rockets” will never get you.
And check out those welds – wow.