Fixing bullet holes

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by zetland76, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. zetland76

    zetland76 New Member

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    If a fighter returned from a Battle of Britain dogfight and it had 3 or 4 clean bullet holes but no damage to vital parts how was the aluminium skin patched up. When would it receive a more permanent repair and how would this be done?
    Was it the same procedure for German and British machines?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    don't know for sure with the Brits, but I do know some Germans painted
    a small roundel beside the bullet hole of the country that put it there.
     
  3. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, is there any photographic evidence of this?
     
  4. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    good question. it may have been referenced in the book Augsburgs Last Eagles. I can't really remember. It was in my notes for a Bf 109G-10.
     
  5. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    Wrong part of the world, but when the Smithsonian (I think) was doing a Zero, they found a bullet rattling around in the structure.
    The B29 the Russkies used for a pattern when they built their copies had some square patches rivetted on. The legend sez they even replicated the patches on the first copy, due to Comrade Joe's insistence that it be an exact duplicate!
     
  6. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    I recall a movie (hopefully accurate) where a new pilot (BoB) mentioned something like, "they're fixing bullet holes on the runway" so my guess would be a piece of Al riveted in place. Without special equipment Al cannot be welded
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Depends on which aircraft you are talking about. The Spitfire was all Aluminum (fabric control surfaces) while the Hurricane had a fabric covered fuselage with aluminum wings (at least in the later marks). Fixing both required different technical abilities.

    Fabric, I think, was just sew a patch on it, dope it, and paint it. Not sure how aluminum is done.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Many manufacturers come up with a "Standard Repair Manual" (SRM) that will provide repair schemes. When an aircraft is subjected to damage outside the parameters of the SRM, usually an engineer is called in to develop a more in-depth repair.

    Simple bullet holes that pass through structures are usually repaired with a simple scab patch. The puncture is cleaned up of any torn material that my crack in the future and a patch is placed over the hole from the exterior and riveted into place. If the damaged area is a critical aerodynamic area, a flush patch may have to be installed which is a bit more complicated repair. There is a book put out bu the US Government printing office called AC 43.13 which is a basic manual for acceptable methods of repairing and altering small aircraft aircraft. Although this is a "modern" publication, the sheet metal repairs shown within this publication haven't changed much in 70 years.

    As far as fabric - for the most part you can place a doped patch over the damaged area but the size of the damage and the location will determine whether it will be repaired by stitching or even installing a new fabric panel. Again 43.13 would cover many of these basic repairs.
     
  9. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    heres a fabric dope patch over aluminum skin.. circa 1942ish.
     

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  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    That was a quick and simple way of repairing small holes in aluminum structurebut seems more like a temp. repair. Today "100 MPH" tape does the same thing.
     
  11. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    yep. that was a cannon hit (you can see the depression in the middle of it)
    on a RAF P-40. I guess if the planes had the advantage of a depot nearby,
    they'd get proper repairs. like during the BoB.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Was that what the photo caption stated or your own assessment because I can tell you many times straight punctures into aluminum will not necessarily reveal what type of round was fire through it. I've seen .22 rounds that caught structure in such a way you have thought a 40mm cannon was fired at it.
     
  13. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    ...and if that was a cannon hit, the plane must have been on the ground. For most assuredly if it was in the air, that indicated small deflection angle would have killed the pilot and crashed the plane. :shock:
     
  14. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    #14 P-40K-5, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
    it stated in the book:

    "repaired cannon fire damage from a Bf 109F who was engaged in a dogfight
    with Sgt 'Eddie' Edwards near Gasr el Arid, Libya."

    there's also a bunch of pics with German 12.7mm(?) mg hits that look like the
    typical bullet holes one would see. theres also another pic of a flak hit where
    it ripped a good size hole right behind the cockpit breaking the spine of the
    P-40.. the pilot could almost crawl inside it. it did land safely however.
     

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  15. aircro

    aircro Member

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    I read somewhere that Wildcats of Cactus AF was doing the same thing. Or I saw photo:confused:?
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No, you probably read (or saw) correctly.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great photo, despite the caption, still hard to assess "what did what" but the flack damage is pretty evident. Somthing like that would involve a lot of structural work and with the case of the fuselage, possibly would have to go back into a jig.
     
  18. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    heres another "cannon damage" pic. what do you think?
     

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  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hard to say but based on the way the damage is "sliced" but then expands, either the round tumbled or exploded as it was hitting the structure. Be interesting to see it it passed through (damage on the other side) or what you have there was the extent of the damage.

    The basic skin in that area is not very thick from what could remember the last time I saw a P-40 up close, maybe .030 - .040.
     
  20. P-40K-5

    P-40K-5 Banned

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    it also said that the radio transmitter was completely destroyed. and judging
    by where that sits relative to the hole, the shot came from 90 degrees to it
    and slightly above. those transmitters were built like tanks!
     
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