Lancaster lower wing panel with flack damage

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Cookie bomb, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    Hi All
    This is my first thread on this forum I hope it's in the correct place.
    wing 016.JPG
    I have recently acquired this section of a Lancaster lower wing, it's a barn find from Lossiemouth. It was part of a much larger section however only this part was saved as it has several
    interesting built holes in it. I know it is part of an under panel as some of the original black paint has survived.
    My plan is to make a display of it, so I am trying to identify the exact wing position and what type of German gun made the 20mm holes. Should be easy then.
    Can you help please?
    wing 012.JPG wing 013.JPG Lancaster Wing cut.jpg
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Not sure about the longer panel, but the large panel in the last picture looks similar to a Lancaster (or Lincoln) lower wing surface fuel tank panel, with the blisters which cover the pumps. One thing though, it could be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine what caused those holes - and when.
    First, they look a little too regular and closely spaced to be from a burst 'aimed in anger', although if used for range practice, a similar pattern might be seen.
    Second, I would guess that, if they are indeed bullet holes, then possibly something in the .50 cal /13mm group of weapons - I think a 20mm, even ball, would make a larger exit hole.
     
  3. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    #3 Cookie bomb, Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
    I should have pointed out that the long panel was actually part of the large panel in the farm picture, you can see the similarities at the top left. I agree with you about the grouping it would have been a tremendous shot at a passing plane, especial down the wing and not across . Staff at RAF Waddington insist the holes are gun fire and age related to the item.
    I know nothing about bullet holes I just know a 22mm rod slips through, so I suppose the round would be considerably smaller. Did Germany have a 13mm anti-aircraft gun?

    Sorry I take that back (down the wing and not across) I have compared the picture with a line diagram and the holes go front to back, so perhaps not so unbelievable.
    I suppose it is what it is, a Lancaster part with bullet holes in it.
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Could well be holes from rounds, but I really do think the panel was propped up and shot at on the ground, possibly single, semi-aimed shots, although of course this is by no means certain.
    A single hit from a 20mm shell would tear a hole around two to four inches across, just from impact, in soft alloy. If it exploded on impact or immediately after penetration, there certainly wouldn't be a neat row of holes, just one bl**dy big one where the first round hit!
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Terry. The holes being round indicates to me that the projectiles entered and exited perpendicular to the surface - unlikely if caused by a fighter and flak damage would be a lot more widespread methinks.
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Not flak holes. They would be more uneven and have less of a "pattern" to them. It does look a bit like someone propped it up and shot at it, unless the attack was from directly below, at a 90 degree angle, which seems highly unlikely.
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you, the picture screams fake. Thought it must be said that I'm about as expert in these things as i am about ancient Sumarian baby rattles.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The part looks like it could be authentic, but the bullet holes look like they were after the fact. Parts like that were most likely plentiful during the 1940s from aircraft limping home with battle damage or just maintenance flights. As time goes on, parts that are just slightly damaged don't generate a lot of interest. Add some "battle damage" and the value seems to go up. There may have even been a story to go along with it. I used to work in an air museum and I used to see things like this from time to time. Some people went as far as to fabricate a part, "age" it and add some damage. Amazing what people will do to spin a yarn.
     
  9. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    I acquired this part from a trusted serving member of the RAF. He saved it from being scrapped whilst he was based at RAF Lossiemouth. (Recently).
    Around 1945 Lancasters were being cut up for scrap at Lossiemouth, this part was put on one side I perhaps because of the damage. Although I have no total proof I am verbally lead to believe that this is how it came off the plane. Would the RAF base allow staff to shoot random shots at old parts?
    If it was to boost the value of the item the person that did it is probably dead by now as it has only just surfaced recently.
    I believe this is totally genuine, this is the first time it has been made available to anyone outside of the RAF. It was passed on to me from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. It is destined to go on display in a Lincolnshire aviation museum at some time, this is why I am looking for more details, good or bad.
    I assume it has little of no actual monetary value, perhaps it will always be just a curiosity.
    RAF Lossiemouth (6) 1945.JPG
    RAF Lossiemouth 1945. Planes waiting to be cut up. Has the third one on the top right got some holes in it?
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It's still an interesting piece, it's just that what really happened to it has been lost in time. It you do a google image search for "Flak Damage" you will see that the photos you see on the search don't look like the holes in the piece you have. They do look like bullet holes, but it is more likely that the holes came from someone on the ground. All soldiers get bored. I am guessing (disclaimer: just speculation on my part), since the aircraft was gonna be scrapped anyway, a bored RAF person figured what the heck and put a few bullet holes in the airplane. Bored soldiers do stupid things. I know, I was one once.
     
  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    The ancient Sumerians had baby rattles? :D

    No one's doubting the panels' provenance but I think Eric's right.

    flak damage - Google Search
     
  12. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Actually, a little known fact, they invented the Bumbo.
     
  13. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    Clearly its not flak damage, could it be light automatic gun fire? the spacings are between 5 and 7 in. Also could perhaps be in groups of two. The holes are 20 to 22mm.
    Thanks for your help with this guys.
     
  14. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    Thanks 'Airframes' for the useful information. I will use this in the description.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're welcome. The holes could possibly be from 9mm - it's surprising the size of the hole a 9mm Parabellum, fired from a Browning HP pistol, can make in soft alloy. It's possible the panel was already removed, and standing upright, and perhaps some person just took shots at it, maybe deliberately - we'll never know.
    What I do know is that 'scrap' aircraft and vehicles were, and still are, placed on 'battle' ranges, to provide a 'real' target, as opposed to plywood sheets or steel plates, and this might be the reason for the holes, although the pattern still looks to me to be a little too regular for a normal strike pattern, as opposed to deliberately aimed, careful, placed shots.
    Whatever the story behind the holes (and there is a slight possibility they could be from enemy action, although repairs would normally have been carried out before despatch to the MU, even for scrapping), it appears that you have a lower wing panel from a Lancaster, which is the main thing.
     
  16. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    Do you know what this is? could it be a repair? I am sorry to ask so many questions, however I have to display things correctly especially in Lincolnshire as every one is an expert on the Lancaster. 001.JPG 002.JPG
    The pictures show each side.
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Looks like a cover over an installation point, rather than an access hatch. You could try contacting the Avro Heritage Centre. I'm afraid I don't have their actual full address, as they have temporary 'accommodation' in what used to be the rest room or similar, at the now closed BAe factory at Woodford. However, they do meet there, so a letter should reach them. I can try to get more details from a friend who knows the secretary of the association, but can't promise.
    The address below should at least reach the resident security staff, as there is still a very small 'enclave' looking after the close down finals.
    Ensure you try to describe where on the panel the 'hatch' is located.
    Avro Heritage Association,
    BAe Systems,
    Woodford Aerodrome,
    Woodford,
    Cheshire.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    #18 Cookie bomb, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
    Thank you I will try and make contact with them.

    008.JPG 009.JPG

    Do you know what this stamp is please?
     
  19. Cookie bomb

    Cookie bomb Member

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    #19 Cookie bomb, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    Its a quality inspectors stamp possibly from the Avro Woodford factory, unfortunately all the records were lost in a fire.
    I got this information from Harry at the Heritage Group. Thank You for the help.
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good to know the guys at the Heritage Group could help, and glad to be of assistance in some small way.
     
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