Couple of O-47 Pics

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #1 GregP, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    My project right now is both the Bell YP-59A and a North American O-47.

    Here is a shot of the starboard stub wing on the O-47.

    O47_Right_Side.JPG

    My partner (John Peterson) and I made the entire trailing edge, the top center skin and are now working on a piece of leading edge shown below. We were ready to start riveting the center skin a year and a half ago, and decided to do an inspection of the rest of the wing before we did. Good thing we did!

    We found so much wrong we spent the last year and a half getting the rest of the starboard wing structure completed. Below is the leading edge we are in the middle of right now.

    O47_Leading_Edge_New.JPG

    This is a real challenge and we are making decent progress every Saturday. When we are finished, I think there will be only about another 15 years to go! Ah well, Rome wasn't built ina day, either.

    The black circle around a few rivet holes are oversize holes and we have to either replace the metal there or go to the next biggest rivet size. So far, we replace the metal along the entire leading edge of all 3 ribs , a couple of other tabs, and three of the 5 stringers due to oversize holes. It's tough to convince people to go EASY with a drill, and remove ONLY the rivet, not any other metal! The people who pay the price are the ones who fabricate and assemble the parts into a complete assembly later. If YOU mess it up, someone else has to do a lot of otherwise unnecessary work.

    You can see the rivets along the leading edge of the first rib where we cut away the tabs, replaced the metal and had to rivet it to the rib. Along the back (in the pic) of the first rib, you can see another tab we cut away, repalced, and rivited it to the rib. You can also see standard aircraft practice ... prime or paint any surface that joins another one. So we painted the inside of the skin, but not the outside.

    There is one hidden "short rib" in the middle.

    The mixed copper and black clecos are where earlier generations of volunteers overdrilled the holes and we decided to simply use the next bigger rivet. There is enough edge distance, but it also isn't easy to frive a number 5 rivet into 0.032" skin without any mistakes resulting in skin marks! So ... at SOME point, we'll see how good we are at not making mistakes on the leading edge with the rivet gun.
     
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  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! It'll fly ... not sure when ...

    This one sat in a swamp for 60 years and we had to replace everything below the leading edge of the wing. Youy can see we replaced the leading edge of the vertical stab, too. Lot's of oportunity to study surface, intergranular, and exfoliation corrosion!
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Awesome work Greg. The O-47 is such a cool looking plane!
     
  5. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Greg,

    Very cool shots and thanks for sharing! Is there a link by chance for "the rest of the story" on the O-47?

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  6. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Does it have belly windows?
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    There isn't a story on it as far as I know, but I will ask. If you look under the stub wing you see an opening. These are windows. The observer(s) could sit in the fuselage and look out both side for U-boats.

    These planes gave yeoman service during WWII but were never deployed overseas. They patrolled the costlines looking for U-Boats and, if they found one, would attack it with bombs and depth charges. They samk quite a few in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coast. Not enough, but they DID get some of them.

    Believe it or not, they are somehwat aerodynamic becuase on modest power they can cruise at 200+ mph! It's a great plane for the museum or as a warbird because you can fly it with 5 people in it if you want to. It flys fine with just a pilot, too, so it's quite flexible as a warbird.
     
  8. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Ah Greg, the O-47 was in Panama with the 39th Observation Squadron based at France Field.

    I can find no references that say the O-47 carried bombs/depth charges.
     
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  9. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #9 GregP, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    I forgot about the Canal Zome entirely. Technically, Mexico is foreign, but I'm not sure it qualifies as overseas. Ditto the Canal Zone ... it certainly is deployed outside the U.S.A., but is it overseas? I suppose it is if you fly direct. Actually I weas thinking of ETO and PTO and forgetting entirely about the Canal Zone. Technically, I'm not sure what theater it falls into ... in my aerial victories file I have ETO, PTO, MTO, CBI, Alaska, Central Pacific, Southwest Pacific, North Pacific, and Iceland. Now that I think of it, I believe there is a theater definition entitled "Other Overseas Areas," and the Canal Zone may fit into that category. I'll check next time I am looking at werial victories for some reason.

    We have had speakers on this subject describe attacking U-boats with bombs. We have not started yet on any hardpoints ... if there are any, in fact, we are just starting to take apart the starboard outer wing, but there would really be little use for a u-boat spotter that was unarmed. I KNOW it has at least 2 MG and the former crew says they dropped small bombs on u-boats and straffed. Maybe there were local modifications for small ordnance? I am working on airframe and have not even looked at the etire set of blueprints. Basically I examine the bluprints of what I am working on in order to get the material and fastener specs. We use them for measuremnts when required, but mostly use origianl existing parts for sheet metal duplication.

    Let's say it definitely has at least 2 MG (one fixed and one flex) and there are war stories of dropping bombs and depth charges ... but I would not state that external ordnance was standard from North American. I cannot recall any harpoints at this time, but I also wasn't looking for any, either. I see Wiki doesn't say it had any external ordnance. Maybe you are correct.

    If so, I fail to see that a 30-cal MG and a flex MG could cause a U-Boat to have much difficulty. It certainly might make it dive and run, though.

    Here is a pic of an O-47. Check out the huge ADF loop on top! We have the original for our aircraft.:

    NAO-47.jpg

    Here is a pic of a depth bomb being unloaded from the wingtip of an SOC Seagull.

    SOC_Seagull_1.jpg

    That isn't exactly a stock item, either, but it got used. We have had people describe that, too. I found this pic awhile back and was never sure until I did find it that the stories were true. Perhaps local mods were made allowing attack from an O-47 other than by MG but, failing to have any proof of same, I can only say we have heard it and will restore this O-47 per prints. If I find any hardpoints going forward, I'll update this thread, but we probably have a couple of years to go on just the stub wings.

    We discovered the port stub wing, which was done by earlier generations of volunteers, needs some things reworked, so this could be a long-term project.
     
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