ID needed for hatch

Discussion in 'Technical Requests' started by muggs, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. muggs

    muggs Member

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    Hello all, a friend of mine bought the hatch from a peasant who lives near a former B-24 crash site in Romania and claimed it was belonging to that aircraft, we are not able though to positively match it to a B-24 one, so maybe it is of German origin, any ideas ?

    10839945_998231040193239_718251943_o.jpg 10839876_998230590193284_1943583085_o.jpg 10834495_998230970193246_1822728573_o.jpg 10834357_998230480193295_1775973223_o.jpg 10821860_998230660193277_1628114375_o.jpg 10849198_998230873526589_925405477_o.jpg 10849347_998230956859914_554386138_o.jpg 10853751_998230976859912_1187614169_o.jpg 10854019_998232923526384_1620748426_o.jpg
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hard to tell, but it looks similar to the upper escape hatch on a B-24, the one behind the cockpit, and in front of the top turret, on the port side. The B-24 hatch had more 'rounded' corners, but I see some missing areas which have rotted away on your item.
    If Gary (Geedee) sees this, he may be able to help, as he's spent a few weeks working as Flight Engineer on the Collings Foundation B-24.
     
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  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Agreed.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The rivets on the clip, 6th photo down are clearly identifiable as AN430ADs, US hardware. Can you see any numbers on the door?
     
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  5. muggs

    muggs Member

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    #5 muggs, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    Thank you very much for your feedback guys, Flyboy we weren't able too see any kind of numbering in or outside the door so far.

    PS: It should be this one right ?

    Screenshot.png
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #6 GrauGeist, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    Photos #2, #4 and #8 are showing that the hatch has more in the way of squared corners and it also appears to have an external access to the latch?

    Edit* I just looked at some photos of the B-24's hatch and it (along with the the exterior latch) access do look a little bit different...
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree, which is why I mentioned the rotted areas. It appears to have some curve to the corners though, but without some measurements, it's hard to pin it down. I'm not sure about the external access - photos of the exterior of the hatch in the closed position are not very common - open, yes, but not closed.

    Muggs - no, that's a small access panel. The escape hatch was on the opposite side, the port, or left side, on the top of the fuselage, and was situated in the radio compartment, immediately behind the pilot's seat, and in front of the top turret.
    The interior photo below shows the hatch in the open position, hinged down from the roof. Note the red placard, which i suspect indicates the hinged cover over the internal handle.
     

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  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    What led me to the possibility of squared corners, is the #4 photo of the inside of the hatch. Note the squared nature of the framework? This would be more indicative of a square shape, I believe.

    Also, in looking at the latch release viewed from the interior side, leaves with the impression that this hatch isn't very large..
     
  9. muggs

    muggs Member

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    The approximate dimensions are 63 x 63 cm or 25 x 25 inches, sadly nothing else can be picked up from it, no markings whatsoever.

    One more thing, the inside handle seems to be from an fireproof material of sorts.
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #10 Airframes, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    I think you could be right Dave. Just taking a guess from the size of the handle and its access aperture, I would estimate the size to be around 12 to possibly 14 inches (30 to 35cm).
    As it has an 'internal' flange, it would be inward opening, and if it's not the B-24 escape hatch, then it's bugging me, as I'm sure I've seen that shape and latch cover somewhere before !
    EDIT: crossed posts - missed Muggs's reply. With those dimensions, then it could be the escape hatch cover. Yes, the frame is squared-off, but there is evidence of the remains of rounded corners, where the alloy has rotted, togther with the internal flange.
     
  11. muggs

    muggs Member

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    #11 muggs, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
    Airframes do you happen to have a larger res photo from post #7 ? Or do you know which B-24 it is so I can look up further ? Thank you


    LE: found it : http://home.comcast.net/~bzee1b/bombers/P1490419.jpg

    The closing mechanism seems slightly different, on the other hand the hatch is too "thin" to have been placed on another part of the airframe, it could not be stepped on and it is clearly too thin for a side hatch. It is also possible that the pictured B-24 is of another variant, or that the hatch has been modified in time.
     
  12. MiTasol

    MiTasol Active Member

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    #12 MiTasol, Dec 14, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
    Unfortunately Flyboy the British AGS round head rivets are the same shape and I have no doubt the French and Germans had almost identical rivets

    Of more interest in the same photo are the other rivet tails (see yellow arrow) and these MAY be a good pointer to the country of origin.
    Clipboard01.jpg

    While I have only been riveting aircraft parts since 1962 I have NEVER seen rivet tails like these tho they may be something like the American Dupont explosive rivets - highly unlikely but those were designed to be used in blind locations like this hatch would be once the inner skin went on. They could also be something similar to the English Chobert rivets (predecessor to the pop rivet where all the rivets were strung on a mandrel, inserted one at a time, and then the mandrel hole filled with a plug.

    Also note that every second rivet hole appears to have been coin dimpled (red arrow) and Consolidated are not likely to have done that - the B-24 aircraft was designed for mass production by people with the minimum of training in the minimum of time so coining only every second hole is an unnecessary complication which could easily lead to errors. Given there are no rivet tails in these coined holes, this may also indicate a modification from the original design between when the individual components were made and the door assembled.

    I last worked on a B-24 in 1972 so I cannot remember the handle shapes but I note that the mystery hatch handle is nothing like the one in Muggs excellent photo link and I would expect all B-24 hatches to use the same latch wherever possible - it minimises costs and maximises production.

    Structurally the B24 hatch in Muggs photo has a hydroformed outer frame and the mystery one is very much a fabricated frame. As a part of achieving low production man-hours with almost total component interchangeability, most US manufacturers used hydroforming wherever possible - one whack in the press and the outer frame is fully formed, complete with tool holes (and often trimmed as well in the same whack). Mucking around making many parts and multiple jigs and then all the man-hours just to assemble the outer frame was just too inefficient. Lots of little fiddly bits and wasteful labour practices is more usually found in British/European/Japanese aircraft.

    So my guess is not B-24 but something rarer. As Flyboy says - any part numbers (or partials) help because they make life much easier.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good info. So, I wonder what it's from, and which country? That exterior latch cover is still bugging me though, as I'm sure I've seen it before somewhere.
     
  14. muggs

    muggs Member

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    Thank you very much MiTasol for your extensive explanation !

    It is very possible that the seller lied to us, although we also bought from him two oxygen tanks which he claims that were recovered by his father from the same crash location during WW2.

    I am attaching photos with one of them, although I doubt that it will help much, another thing that we are considering is that this hatch was recovered from one of the nearby airfields, Targsorul Nou, which was used by the germans, romanians, and russians after 23.08.1944...so that will extend the search further.



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  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #15 FLYBOYJ, Dec 15, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
    But were they dimpled identifying the type of rivet? I believe this was only found on US rivets. The dimple identifies the rivet material (2117-T4) The rivet you're questioninig are very early examples of Hi-loks and what you see is the collar. I believe those were installed as part of the assembly process, I've seen this done on other doors.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Those were used on B-24s and could have been used on other US aircraft

    https:[email protected]
     
  17. MiTasol

    MiTasol Active Member

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    Hi Muggs
    Good clear photos. These are standard US military Type F-1 low pressure O2 bottles and used on a wide range of aircraft including A-20, C-47, P-40 as well as B-24s so most likely have come from your local B-24

    Hi Flyboy
    I discounted Hiloks (as well as considering Hucks and Jobolts, etc) real early for a number of reasons, the primary ones being that the height of the tails and the shape of the head is not consistent, Hiloks are consistent, and the height of the tail of the centre one is also only a little thicker than the thickness of the frame material.
    My guess is the frame is made of material around .75 to 1mm or .032 to .040" thick and the thinnest of the Hiloks I have installed is around 6mm or 1/4 inch. Having a Hilok around only 1.5mm/.063" high definitely does not provide sufficient thread to provide adequate clamping. Additionally the first one has no plug and no visible thread plus both the US military and civil standard for nuts and Hiloks in the 30's to 50's required three full threads through the nut.
    All these items as well as the absence of the hex in the pin for preventing the Hilok bolt turning during assembly strongly indicate these are not Hiloks.

    Clipboard01.jpg

    Because the head shape is inconsistent I lean strongly towards the British Chobert rivet OR SOMETHING SIMILAR where driving the plug/pin in completes the head formation. You will see that the first two from the right have almost parallel sides and the third has a distinct taper as would happen if the plug/pin was not fully set. It is possible they are Dupont or other explosive rivets and that the one on the right did not fully form but my gut feeling is that this is not correct.

    While I agree that the dimpled head indicates the rivet would be AD if it was American and that the British did not use dimples in rivet for head marking the material, many rivets on the Bristol Bolingbrokes I worked on years ago did have dimples for some reason (the non-dimpled ones and inconsistency I cursed as centring the drill is much easier with the dimple). I have no experience on French or German aircraft. For Russian aircraft I have only worked on MiG15, MiG17 and Su25 (and they did not require any metalwork so I did not pay any attention to their rivet heads).

    Hopefully Airframes is going to remember what the aircraft was soon and put us all out of our misery:D.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I wish I could! It's the design and shape of that handle access flap that I know I've seen somewhere .... but where? Thinking, thinking ..... my brain hurts !!
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great Info and discussion! We might also consider that these fasteners might be specific to the manufacturer (as we're leaning towards a B-24, Consolidated). I know manufacturers do make "unique" hardware (Lockheed Tri-bit screws for example) perhaps these fasteners may fall into this category.

    Part numbers would help on the ID - also check the structure to see if you could see the raw material markings, I guess it would say "24T"
     
  20. muggs

    muggs Member

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    Thanks for your input guys, I will ask my friends to maybe clean it a bit with hot water inside out to see if something extra comes up, as you can imagine we are struggling too to find out what we actually bought :)

    And also provide better pics of the rivets
     
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