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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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 Post subject: Mechanics C-97 or ?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:19 am 
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Are there any old time C-97 mechanics here? Would like to hear some good stories about operations in cold climates, and other general information about the power plants.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:41 pm 
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Location: Irving, Texas
Two stories, not mine.

An old friend of mine was a crew chief on KC-97s and was based in Thule for a while. They did scramble take-offs in about three minutes. I asked, "What about oil temps?" "We didn't worry about getting any oil temp before take-off, and changed a lot of engines."

My wife was with the Texas ANG while they still had KC-97Ls and worked in operations dispatching them. They had one on it's way to Goose Bay and were over Canada when the airplane shuddered a bit. The spare engineer in the back looked out and watched one of the jet engines fall into a lake up there. he ran to the cockpit and said "You just lost J-1!". "We know, see the dead gages." "NO, YOU JUST LOST J-1, IT'S GONE!". Everyone in the cockpit looked out the window and were amazed at the empty engine mount.

My wife also stated that Goose Bay was a automatic cylinder change or engine change on at least one KC-97.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:51 pm 
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I'd like to know if someone ever figured out how to remove an engine oil screen on a C-97 without dumping a quart of oil on their head.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Our guys cut three holes in a plastic garbage bag and wore that to keep SOME of the oil off. But they didn't have plastic garbage bags back in your days did they Chief! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:32 pm 
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I just wear a rain hat....

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Kevin Kearney
Vice President
Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation

C-54/R5D "Spirit of Freedom" 44-9144 BuNo 90414
C-97 "Angel of Deliverance" 52-2718 (painted as YC-97A 45-59595)

http://www.spiritoffreedom.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:37 pm 
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No plastic garbage bags. Changing oil screens was a job left to the lowest ranking guy on the crew. I fortunately was the chief.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:17 pm 
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That was about like trying to thrust your arm up a cow's rear end and not get poop on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:17 pm 
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We had one crew chief who was called "Pig Pen" because he could walk 10 feet away from a 97 and still be covered in oil.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Heck, I can't get within 20 feet of a radial engine without getting oily....

Image

This pic was taken at CGAS Borinquen by Col. Gail Halvorsen in March 2007

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Kevin Kearney
Vice President
Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation

C-54/R5D "Spirit of Freedom" 44-9144 BuNo 90414
C-97 "Angel of Deliverance" 52-2718 (painted as YC-97A 45-59595)

http://www.spiritoffreedom.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Don't stand behind the engine during start-up! Let it clear itself first. I learned the hard way too.... DOH!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:46 pm 
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I purposely park my truck about 50 feet behind any radial that is going to be started when I can. Automatic bug screen & "shine" job. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Well if you are lucky enough to have the QEC high enough you could simply reach from the LH side at arms length and open the drain for the screen, then use a small pan for the rest of the job.

So what were most of the failures? Cylinders? Bearings?

Kevin you need some nice coveralls.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:58 am 
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I have coveralls for the winter, but it was quite hot in Puerto Rico when that pic was taken. We were changing the #8 cylinder on one of the C-54 R-2000's. Not a fun job.

Also, they may start out nice, but anyone who has worked on these things, yourself included, should know they don't stay that way!

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Kevin Kearney
Vice President
Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation

C-54/R5D "Spirit of Freedom" 44-9144 BuNo 90414
C-97 "Angel of Deliverance" 52-2718 (painted as YC-97A 45-59595)

http://www.spiritoffreedom.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Engguy,
Most of our R4360 engine replacements were due to time, not failures. The scheduled "Time Change" for a R4360, when I first started in 1957 was about 800 hours. Through good engine conditioning programs we gradually increased the scheduled time between overhauls. By the time we transfered them to the Guard and Reserves, 1965-1966, we were up to 1300 hours.

Hours on our engines accumulated fairly quickly. A flight from Dover to Saigon and return would put a little over 100 hours on my plane. In the early 1960's during the Vietnam built up, with a round trip every two weeks or so, the hours added up pretty quick.

We had a few internal failures also. (found metal in those nasty oil screens). We just changed the engine and went on. The failed engine was sent to overhaul and we never knew whether it was a bearing or something else internal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Since I'm sure C-97's made it into the far north and maybe even the south pole. What kinda fun was that with 60 weight oil? Its really cold here, I can imagine what turning a wrench on an aircraft in the far north would be like.


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