Dirk, the monster is probably mis-assembled. Chances are that the outer meniscii are reversed, they should probably be convex outwards.

I was reminded of Brian Caldwell's existence today. I don't have a copy of his database Lensview -- too expensive, not needed for taking pictures -- but at this moment wish I did. The design might be in it. Suggest you track him down and ask his opinion.

Re the holes, I've seen a fair number of aerial camera lenses in the metal and glass and in catalogs. No Swiss cheese there. I've also seen stepper lenses as used in chip fabrication, no Swiss cheese there either. Yes, I have some of both and no Emmenthaler in the house. Other cheeses, yes, Emmenthaler, no.

Aerial camera lenses sometimes have heating tape around the middle or a grid of resistance wires in front, both to chase the dew. I don't know whether lenses that flew in self-heating aircraft such as the SR-71/A-11 were cooled. I used to work with an ex-SR-71 pilot, lost track of him years ago so can't ask him.

The thing gives the impression of being an, um, poisoned gift. It has at least that in common with many aerial camera lenses.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan