M2A

Discussion in 'Military' started by idahostoveguy, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. idahostoveguy

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    This is one massive piece of equipment. It is a U.S. military M2A burner unit for field cooking. I believe this one was made in the 1980s.

    From what I've been able to discover from U.S. Army documentation and user blogs, this was made to cook very large amounts of food or boil large amounts of water. It was made to cook food for 50 personnel out in the field. It is sometimes built into a carrier or trailer with field pots and pans and other utilities to do a wide range of cooking.

    Apparently, there is a field rack that this goes into, and then pots, pans or whatever goes above that. I don't think this is something that you would be able to fit into a backpack :D , although, it only weighs 42 pounds (19-Kg) empty. I was able to heft it around the house fairly easily with the very sturdy framework that wraps around it. It easily fits in the trunk of my vehicle, which is a compact.

    Some other aspects of the burner include the ability to burn regular, unleaded or white gas (Coleman Fuel). It has an output of 50,000 BTU and burns at 2 pints an hour from the single burner.

    According to one source for the predecessor of this unit, the M59:

    Here's the link to that quote. You'll have to load a few pages to get to it. The link also instructs the user on different uses and logistics. Quite interesting.

    According to this page , the unit was originally designed and built by Coleman, but I haven't been able to find another source to vet that claim. However, I would have to lean that way since the pre-heater is of Model 520 design, along with the cleaning lever and the main valve and knob setup.

    Other links to blogs and forums say that the unit is dangerous so some are converting it to burn with propane. Aren't all the stoves we play around with dangerous? :shock: I suppose I'll have to handle this one with extra care since it can be filled with so much fuel.

    Here are the pics...


    The bar running across the top is called a generator, according to the docs, as is found on most stoves presented here at CCS. This one is quite large - the largest I've ever seen. It's about eighteen inches long and about about 1.5 inches in diameter. There are two more generators attached to the sides for backup.

    1252824021-m2a-1.jpg

    This is the underside showing the U-shaped fuel tank, which can hold 2.8 gallons of fuel.
    1252824030-m2a-2.jpg

    These are the controls at the front of the unit. Notice the 520 burner pitched at a 45 degree angle and the pressure gauges. According to the docs, it is suggested that a person be assigned to watch the pressure to make sure that they don't go over 30 pounds per square inch (PSI). If the unit does go over, the unit's heat is to be lowered. If the pressure does not subside, then it is to be shut off and let cooled. Other documentation says it is supposed to be tested at 65 PSI and checked for leaks. (How would one do that?) Newer versions, according to more documentation, have a safety release valve that will release pressure back down to normal operating pressure. I'm not sure this one has one, since this one is marked M2A and not M2A with Safety Device.
    1252824038-m2a-3.jpg 1252824046-m2a-4.jpg 1252824056-m2a-5.jpg 1252824069-m2a-6.jpg 1252824091-m2a-7.jpg

    Here is the 520 burner that we've talked about that is used to pre-heat the unit. I don't think I've ever seen one of those burners unused before.
    1252824106-m2a-8.jpg 1252824120-m2a-9.jpg 1252824138-m2a-10.jpg

    Here is the massive filler cap, which is about 2-inches across and sports a massive O-ring to seal things off. It's weight is probably near 1 pound (454 grams).
    1252824148-m2a-11.jpg

    Here is a manufacturer stamp. SMP manufactured the M-1950 style stoves in the 1980s and some cookware. Apparently, they manufactured this massive unit.
    1252824160-m2a-12.jpg

    Maintenance instructions on one side of the tank.
    1252824184-m2a-14.jpg

    Operating instructions on the other side of the tank.
    1252824224-m2a-15.jpg

    Here is the flame control knob attached to a chain, which is the usual design for military. I asked my father, who was in the U.S. military for 38 years, about that. He said they would have lost half the caps and knobs had they not been on chains. When you are at war, and you have to move, you don't have time to fiddle with putting a knob back on, especially with someone shooting at you.
    1252824237-m2a-16.jpg

    Finally, this is a shot to show size perspective. I have my Primus 71 parked on top of the unit.
    1252824172-m2a-13.jpg

    sam
     
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  2. threedots New Zealand

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    What a nice looking unit.
    Does the fuel tank have to be filled while the unit is standing upright(fuel cap up),and if so, have a needed natural air space develope for pressurising, because of the shape of the fuel tank?

    What would the aperture size of the jet in the preheater burner be and what is its' nipple approx physical size ie ...like an Optimus 8R self pricking burner jet?

    The reason I ask is because I have NOS nipples that I can't identify, that are hexagonal headed with deep recesses, in which there is an approx sized 0.5mm aperture.
    Thanks, John
     
  3. Doug Eisemann

    Doug Eisemann Subscriber

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    What a great stove, and thanks for the great detail shots of it's workings.

    I should probably post some photos of my MBU V3 (Modern Burner Unit) , which is the Military's current-issue drop in replacement for the M2A.

    It uses Kero/Diesel?JP8 as fuel rather than gasoline, and features a non-pressurized fuel tank, microprocessor controlled burner and a lot of high-tech doohickeys. Unfortunately, you need 24V DC power to run it, and somehow I am not sure if all those electronics are going to be functioning in 60 years, like the older designs easily can handle.

    I have been afraid to post it, since it is huge, high tech, and certainly not a "camp" stove in the proper sense.

    Regards
    Doug E.
     
  4. rik_uk3

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    Its a beast of a cooker:)
     
  5. hydro451

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    Darn the pre-heat burner is a stove by iteself on this monster

    Tom
     
  6. RonPH

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    WOW! Thats a massive stove! Whats the dry weight of the unit? Curious me.

    Ron
     
  7. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, I have just done the sums for the M2A stove.
    Assuming a tank holds 2.2 US Gallons (8.33 Litres), and lasts between 4 and 6 hours depending on power setting, this equates to a fuel consumption of between 1.39 and 2.08 litres per hour.
    If I take the density of gasoline as 0.72 grams per litre, and the heat of combustion as 45000 joules per gram...

    The theoretical power output of the M2A stove is between 12.6kW (43,000 BTU/hr) and 18.75kW (63,840BTU/hr.)

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  8. idahostoveguy

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    threedots wrote:
    To answer the first question, yes, the fuel tank has to be filled in the upright position, according to documentation. Once filled, the tank is put back in the horizontal. I'm not sure about the air pressure on the other side of the tank or if the tank has a larger capacity to make up for the air space. The documentation does say that the tank should not be filled to more than 2.8 gallons. It might be for this reason. I suppose the valves in the pre-heater could be opened to allow the air to escape while filling... :-k

    As for the second question, the generator with jet and cleaning needle look like what Knight84 posted here: Link It looks like the Model 520 burner, and later 523 sterilization burners, with the flame spreader attached to a shield that wraps around the burner and generator. I haven't taken that piece apart to see what exactly it contains.

    Doug Eisemann wrote:
    Doug, I would love to see the next generation of this beast. I was afraid to post this thing too. I debated for quite a while because of it's size and if it even could be used camping, but after thinking about the qualifications for a camp stove, I thought better of it and posted. What qualifications did I use? - my own personal qualifications:

    1. Must be able to be used while camping. In this case, I would need 49 other people to join me as I cook up 20 gallons of soup or some hot drink.

    2. Must be usable independent of fixed sources, like attached to your house via gas lines, or the power-grid.

    3. Should be portable by hand carrying it. Without fuel it's 42 pounds. Adding two gallons of gas puts that thing at greater than 60 pounds. I think I can still carry it. Sacks of potatoes go up to 100 pounds and I can still carry those.

    4. Since CCS members like pressure, I thought that could be another requirement but only for this unit (There are other units that don't require pressure, but this is only a general rule that I follow for me).

    5. It has a generator or vaporizer similar to older Colemans. In this case, this one has a huge generator that requires at least 3 minutes of pre-heating.

    So with the above, I convinced myself that these were enough to post the beast.

    sam
     
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  9. idahostoveguy

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    Hi Ron,

    Yeah, 42 pounds dry weight. It's not too bad.

    Hi Kerophile,

    Thanks for running the numbers. Even at the low end of the range, that's still too high to simmer a small cuppa' something...
     
  10. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    What a beast!! :shock:

    I have seen photos of one of these before, but I can't remember where.
    You should bring it over the big pond next year and come to Newark. You could then cook for everyone!! :D :D
     
  11. Knight84

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    Wow!!! wow wow
    :shock:
    Thank you Sam for sharing.

    A very impressive stove/reactor.

    I love how you need a 5000 B.T.U. burner to get it going. No meths here. :lol:

    Cheers,
    Jeff
     
  12. idahostoveguy

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    It is quite the beast! I wonder if I could bring it on the plane as a carry-on? O:)
     
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  13. idahostoveguy

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    Isn't that wild? 5000 B.T.U. burner just to pre-heat. You would have to use a pint of meths to pre-heat this thing!! I'll have to get brave and light'er up one day...
     
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  14. Knight84

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    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I love how you need to preheat the preheater too. The military knows now to make stoves. or spend money. :lol:

    Just don't light it up when any helicopters are flying over looking for grow ops. I imagine this thing would look like turn their heads. :lol:

    Jeff
     
  15. idahostoveguy

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    "pre-heat the pre-heater" that made me laugh too. :lol:

    I'm sure the military knows how to do both. ;) I'm glad in a weird sorta way since I was able to get a behemoth like this. Of course, in another way, I paid for the design and manufacture of this thing with my hard earned paycheck. [-X
     
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  16. bajabum

    bajabum R.I.P.

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  17. idahostoveguy

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    Yes. Very dangerous. Explosive.

    Handling with great care...not filling with fuel.

    sam
     
  18. bajabum

    bajabum R.I.P.

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    No problem, just have someone else... expendable ... fill it :mrgreen:
     
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  19. RonPH

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    Actually, I have seen something similar on Ebay UK also for the British army but the burners were parallel to the preheating tube and read from the sellers description that there was an adapter for converting it to propane. It was also beastly looking and perhaps someone over the side of the pond may have seen it on eBay. Yup, you will need to feed 50 people with that kind of stove and have a special mount on an SUV or truck. I'd say the aluminum cups for making coffee will warp while boiling water on that one :)

    Ron
     
  20. idahostoveguy

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    Here's a link to a site that actually did a conversion of an earlier version of the burner to propane: http://www.seabeecook.com/equipment/field/M1937_fire_unit_conversion.htm

    I would have to agree. Anything used on this would have to be heavy and thick. Thin or cheaply made cookware won't last long. The 'aluminum cup' might even melt down to a little drop. ;)
     
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