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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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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:33 am 
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every part id plate on my parts is steel


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:44 pm 
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FYI,
I have seen aircraft parts plates (and data plates) out of steel, aluminum, phenolic sheet, lucite, micarta, clear plexiglass, brass, bronze, wood, and pressed paper. I do not have examples on hand of every one of these but have handled all of them at one time. They seemed to use more non-aluminum as the war went on, using steel, lucite, and phenolic sheet most of all.

I can't tell from the photos, but the tombstone shaped Bell plates look like lucite to me. Lucite has a kind of "glow" to it, standing out a little brighter than painting for some reason. If any of them have deformed, as in look like they were heated, shrunk, and then cooled again, they are definitely lucite- it has that property. Lucite was used on many applications in WWII, including data plates, gunsight covers and shields, and flight computers.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:13 am 
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Forgotten Field wrote:
FYI,
They seemed to use more non-aluminum as the war went on, using steel, lucite, and phenolic sheet most of all.




all of these are early C/D/F


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:07 pm 
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Image
Here's a P-39 landing gear switch with a Lucite placard and guard. The P-39 also used similar switch for flaps. Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:09 am 
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what about travel indicators?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Here's more P-39 placards, the magnet is showing everything is non metallic. BobImage


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:43 am 
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I'd like to add my $.02…

This discussion is not talking apples to apples. You guys are both right:

• Yes, all of the sub-assemblies made by contractors other than Bell will have metal data plates. Those parts, wing panels, horizontals, flaps, etc., were made in various plants then shipped to the Bell factory for integration into the finished aircraft. It should be noted that some sub-assembly makers used micarta/Mycarta for their parts, for example the vertical tail on the PB4Y-2 has a micarta/Mycarta part number plate inside one of the access panels near the junction with the fuselage. It should be noted that some sub-assemblies had the part number and serial number stamped into the part. See this link on B-29 tail gunner's compartment sub-assemblies for more information:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=54798&hilit=Big+Time+Operator#p543653

• In my experience, the manufacturer's serial number plate for the P-39 -- the plate installed by Bell Aircraft that identifies the entire aircraft by the customer's serial number (the AAF serial) -- is micarta/Mycarta. What is interesting is that later in the war Bell went to metal manufacturer's serial number plates. I can testify that the P-59 Airacomet's manufacturer's serial number plate is metal.

Also many of the early P-51 manufacturer's serial number plates were micarta/Mycarta and the serial numbers were hand-written in ink.

That's my $.02. Thanks for letting me express my opinion free from flames.
Nick


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:45 am 
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spencerat6 wrote:
Image
Here's a P-39 landing gear switch with a Lucite placard and guard. The P-39 also used similar switch for flaps. Bob



lucite? thats funny...bell says alloy sheet

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:25 am 
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Hey fiftycal you think that's funny? Take your drawing and glue it on a P-39 see if it will operate the flaps. Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:59 am 
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spencerat6 wrote:
Hey fiftycal you think that's funny? Take your drawing and glue it on a P-39 see if it will operate the flaps. Bob


why would i do that spencer? they are easy enough to remake, you have show us that pop2


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:11 pm 
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fiftycal and others,
There are a few things you may know but you should know if you don't. First, the whole drawing nomenclature box is not visible on what you posted, which would show a date of the drawing's entry into the program. That would tell a lot. Second, drawings were revised constantly throughout the war. Third, when flying production changes were made, it didn't always make it into the drawings. The fact that the switches and plates exist is some testimony that they may have been excess to a contract, or were overage when a contract was cancelled. Fourth, some things were changed in production because the AAF production board did some testing to ensure a material was safe for an application, then a letter would be put out to manufacturers (not just major airframe manufacturers, sometimes just jobbers with parts) stating that a certain material was acceptable as a substitute. Boxes and boxes of these letters were thrown out by the manufacturers, and boxes and boxes of these were thrown out by the USAF when it closed down the AAF. So it doesn't always show up in documentation. Last thing, when sets of these drawings were preserved, the different agencies which had them may not have been in possession of all the drawing revisions which covered a certain airframe. You may have a drawing which was neverused in actual production of an aircraft, because the actual production drawing never made it into the set of drawings which exists today.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:25 pm 
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What he said.

I have a set of more or less complete 'official' drawings for my airplane. Comparing what was actually built to what was called out means reverse-engineering is often to only way to figure out what's what. The differences in details and materials in only a production run of 150 (two contracts and no outside subcontracting) are huge, let alone 9500 of them in a dozen major variants, three national acceptance boards and numerous subcontractors each making their own bits.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Hey fiftycal your post of the flap placard says raised lettering dull finish. My photo of the landing gear switch does not have raised lettering or dull finish. So show me a photo of your flap switch. If you do that I will post a photo of my complete prewired panel, guns,cannon,gunsight, etc,etc. Just the way it was on the assembly line with paper tags. I'm not talking about a photo from a book or drawing. Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:51 pm 
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Not a data plate but lots of lettering P-39 left panel wing guns,fuselage guns, cannon, gun camera, gunsight includes landing gear lights, map light, landing gear switch. Prewired just the way it went down the assembly line in 1944.Image


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:47 am 
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have plenty of them, there were lots left over nos


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