Can anyone identify a possible Spitfire wheel - or indeed what it is?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Norton500, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Norton500

    Norton500 New Member

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    Around 45 years ago, my Dad came home one night with what he had been told was the rear wheel off a Spitfire. Now that my Dad has passed away, this wheel has landed with me. My dad found it in an old cupboard at work and it was wrapped up carefully in greaseproof paper and had never been used (the place where he worked [Townsons - now defunked] I believe used to supply parts to the aircraft industry during the war). My dad finally found a use for it by knocking a shaft through it and making a roller wheel for my mother to 'get her figure back' after she had me! I'm not interested in selling it, merely to find out what it is. I have now taken some photos so if you know anyone that can positively idenfiy it - as to what it is and whether it indeed does come off a plane - that would be great. The tyre is not of the inflateable type - it is hard rubber and the whole wheel weighs aroun d 5.6kg (12 llb's). There are three lots of markings on it which are: "L4", "854" and "9144BC". P2100026.JPG P2100027.JPG P2100028.JPG P2100029.JPG P2100030.JPG P2100031.JPG
    Not sure if I've attached the photos correctly?

    Thanks in advance.

    Michael
     
  2. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's a Spitfire rear wheel, one pictured on the link

    Rear wheel
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I don't think the wheel is of Spitfire. The tyre is of different shape and the rim too. These should look like the one in pictures below

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    In my opinion , the wheel looks like the one of the F8F Bearcat or F6F Hellcat plane

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Was just going to say the same Wojtek. I think you're right there.
     
  5. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Very informative Wurger
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    THX Mates. :)
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I don't believe its an aircraft tire
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I don't think it is either. It looks like a wheel and tyre off a fork-lift truck, or maybe some type of trolley.
     
  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    It's possible as well.
     
  10. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Definitely not a Spitfire.

    Counting the screws, there are 14 on yours and 13 and 18 in various Hellcat tailwheel pics.

    Joe and Terry, are yas certain it isn't aviation related? On this site: WWII Aircraft Parts Chance Vought Corsair, Grumman F6F Hellcat Boeing B17, P51 Mustang parts, L19 Bird Dog, Piper Cub, Vultee BT13 Lockheed P38 Vought Kingfisher, B25 Mitchell, Airframe parts, Vintage aircraft rebuilder supplies there is a comment in relation to an original Corsair tail wheel fork that 'Grizzly tail wheels available in near future'.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Now I can't be too certain. I was attempting to match the tire portion by size and found no reference to that size and manufacturer (Grizzly) in any publications. I do know that F4Us, F6Fs and F8Fs used a solid rubber tail wheel in certain applications but again I haven't been able to match that size and manufacturer to these aircraft. Anyone else?
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hmm. Found in Britain - anywhere near a former (or still current) Fleet Air Arm base (known as a Naval Air Station)?
    Unlikely to be a Martlett, but could be a spare for a FAA Corsair perhaps? Definitely not a Spitfire anyway.
     
  13. Rocketeer

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    I have a Corsair tail wheel and it does not look like that......My bet would be Naval US type, though not seen a grizzly tyre before!
    For info, the top picture posted by Wurger is not Spitfire (it is a Mk1 Hurricane).....the link posted by Herman1RG is not spitfire either (looks like Mk2 Hurricane to me). I have part numbers if anyone is interested (as well as pix). One of my spit tailwheels shown below: I dont frequent this part of the forum often so holler if you need anything!
     

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  14. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    #14 Night Fighter Nut, Feb 24, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
    It looks to me to be a return roller wheel to a tank. Not sure which one though.
     
  15. Night Fighter Nut

    Night Fighter Nut Well-Known Member

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    It kind of looks something like this...
     

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  16. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Now thats an interesting point, you could be onto something there!

    Tony, great score! That would be the type I'm familiar with too, though found a pic on the net of a (restored) Corsair with a Grizzly tail wheel - admittedly this had 18 bolts, so may be ex-F6F.
     
  17. T-6

    T-6 Member

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    Hi,
    Your question was forwarded to me by a friend and, although it is a naval aircraft tyre, I couldn't figure out which one. Then I found this: Findaplane.com - Aircraft For Sale
    I love the internet!! I know that the FAA never operated the SB2C although some were built in Canada before their Lordships rejected it as unsuitable. But who knows how it got to where it was found and who's to say it wasn't off something else?
    We ought to award a prize to the guy who suggested a tank wheel. Awesome!!
     
  18. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    ..and a prize to yourself! Great find mate!
     
  19. Norton500

    Norton500 New Member

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    Hello chaps again. Thanks for all your constructive comments. I can tell you that some of you are right and some of you are wrong. You are right in that it is definately not a Spitfire wheel. Some of you are wrong when you say it is not an aircraft wheel. As for being part of a tank track. Well..... For those of you who mentioned the Bearcat, this was a strke of genius, as by searching photos for Bearcat made me bump into the 3 guys named below. Many thanks for this.

    After a lot of emails, 3 x guys from the States (David E Baker, John Deakin Alan Gaynor) have positively ID'd it as coming from a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. His email to me is here "Michael, "Grizzly" did make aircraft tailwheels and if you look at the attached photos you can see the fitting instructions stuck to the tread - For a SB2C Helldiver dive bomber of the US Navy in WW2. As to how your father manged to get hold of it in England will always remain a mystery I presume. Anyway, hope this helps! If you Google "SB2C Helldiver" and then go to "photos" there's one entitled walk around and it shows your tailwheel quite clearly.

    I am indebted to my friend Alan Gaynor for doing a lot of the leg work in this enjoyable little exercise.

    Cheers

    David

    He also sent me a couple of photos. The first photo is of my wheel, the second and third photos are of original Grizzly SBS2C tail wheels, with the third one still having the original instructions on it. The fourth picture is of the tailwheel fitted to the last flying Helldiver.

    I think what through people was the weight and make up of the wheel is significantly different to a 'normal' tailwheel of this period due to the fact that it was a Navy Divebomber and therefore had to land again on a Carrier. I'm guessing that due to the 'pancaking' effect of landing on a Carrier, the designer felt that brute strength was more important than aero prowess...

    Thanks again for all your help in this matter.

    Michael
    P3050105.JPG SB2C Wheel.png SB2C Wheel Instructions.png maam_2010_944.jpg
     

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  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Excellent! Glad you found out what it was at last.
     
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