Left and right vertical stabilizers on B-24 interchangeable?

Discussion in 'Technical Requests' started by seesul, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hello to all,

    were the vertical stabilizers on B-24 (left and right) interchangeable, perhaps after any modification?

    A friend of mine asked this question because of some pics of B-24s with insignias on the inner side of their stabilizers...

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

    Thx.
     
  2. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    no one knows?
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Still looking Seesul. So far I've only found serial numbers and RAF flashes on the inside of the fins. Might the dark squares be painted over RAF flashes?

    Geo
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    From looking at pics, I don't think they were. There are no detachable skins on the exterior of the vertical stabilizerthat would make a field "swap" possible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    #5 Capt. Vick, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
    Seesul,

    If I remember correctly, the top half and bottom half of the rudders were "scalloped" (if you will) on alternating sides (port or starboard for either top or bottom) so it should just be a matter of closely examining some well detailed pictures to determine if the rudders were handed (meaning they couldn't be swapped) or the same. If they are the same then that would at least lend some weight to them being easily(?) interchangable. However, if they are handed, then I would say the stabilizers are as well.

    Humbly, Jim

    Ah! I see our friend has posted the pictures you need! They are not handed, but as he says there is no "covering" plate. But who knows what those sheet metal wizards did back then.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    As far as I know, they weren't interchangeable. Markings on the inner faces of the fins, whether tactical or Group/Division markings, were sometimes carried, I think particularly by 15th AF units, although I'd need to check this.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    An interchangeable component, especially as one as large as a vertical stabilizer would most of the time be designed so you would not have to take apart any riveted structure to utilize it on the reverse size. Every time you drill out a rivet you run the risk of over sizing the hole and then you would have to go to the next oversize. Depending on the aircraft and the area being taken apart, you can only have so many oversized holes before the component will be scrapped. By having to drill apart large skin surfaces to make a component interchangeable is not really making it “interchangeable,” and you run the risk of damaging it during the modification.

    There may be information on this in the B-24 structural repair manual.

    It does look like however the rudders are interchangeable.
     
  8. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    thx guys for your replies, I´ll be waiting yet if someone would dig out this definitive info from a repair manual.
     
  9. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    just to get this thread back to life...did anyone find anything in manuals?

    Thank you
     
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