Materials the aircraft were made from.

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by helmitsmit, Nov 9, 2005.

?

Which was better

  1. Spitfire

    33.3%
  2. Mosquito

    50.0%
  3. Lancaster

    16.7%
  1. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    I am requesting some info about the materials used for the airframes of the Spitfire, Mosquito and Lancaster.

    As a side shoot which one was better?

    If you could go into more detail e.g. Type of Aliminium. That would be a great help.

    I am doing all this for my Physics coursework study. That is why I need the materials. If you could have you email addresses down so I can create a biography.

    thanks
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I'm not going to claim to be an expert on Spitfire and Lancaster construction, but I could tell you both aircraft were probably made from 24T aluminum Which basically means it's an aluminum alloyed with a percentage of copper. Skin material was usually solution heat treated then cold worked and items like frames, stringers bulkheads were fabricated from thicker sheet, formed in a drop hammer die and then solution heat treated. Where wings and landing gear were attached use of aluminum forgings that were 75T (7075) may have been used. These were alloyed with zinc.

    Although heavy and dissimilar with aluminum, steels may have used as attach fittings as well.

    As far as the Mossie - I understand it was made from a laminated molded plywood. In the mold were placed strips of spruce plywood, and then saturated with glue. Once the strips were in position, the mold was covered with a rubber bag and then a cover was bolted to the bottom mold. The rubber bag inside was inflated and pressure was maintained. This produced a fuselage half that was again glued together. What i am describing here is very generic and others may have additional information on the Mossie's construction.

    here's some more info...

    "The split fuselage scheme allowed many critical systems to be installed before the two halves were bonded together. This reduced the need for workers to crawl around in the fuselage and sped up assembly, though getting the halves to fit was something of a chore for early prototypes. However, work crews claimed that modifying the airframe was not difficult, the only tool required being a saw. Once fitted together, the fuselage was covered with fabric and painted. The fuselage was sawed out to allow fit of the wing, with part of the sawed-out piece replaced after wing installation. Holes for doors were also sawed out of the fuselage.

    The glue and wood construction not only led to light weight, elegant lines, and reduced demand for strategic materials, but also minimized demands on production tooling, meaning that sub assemblies could be and were built by such firms as furniture and piano manufacturers. The modular design of the machine also helped support distributed production, with various subcontractors providing sub assemblies that could be integrated in the factory.

    There were potential drawbacks. The casein glues were strong, but there were worries that they weren't up to high temperature, high humidity tropical conditions found in South Asia, and that Mosquitos sent there might come "unglued". There were in fact some structural failures of Mosquitos in the Far East, but it is possible they were blamed on the glues partially because nobody in charge wanted to suggest to aircrew that they were riding in badly-manufactured machines. In any case, the casein glues were completely replaced by synthetics, and the problem was declared solved.

    Except for the flaps, which were made of fabric over wood frames, the framework for the flight control surfaces was made of light alloy, with metal skinning on the ailerons, fabric on the tail surface, and wood on the flaps."


    Personally I believe the aluminum construction was better. In time Mosquitoes did rot and come apart (like any other wood aircraft). Wood repairs are also critical and usually you needed a clean surrounding to make these repairs. Aluminum, while being somewhat time consuming doesn't require the skill level like wood structures.

    Hope this helps....
     
  3. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    :D Thanks that is great info!

    As the mossie was unusual with the materials used do you know of any other aircraft, that are quite well known, which were made from unusual matrials other than Plywood?
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    We have one of the 2 surviving original Yak-3s in our museum. Neither of the 2 fly as they are also made of plywood. What's really interesting about the Yak is that when we move it around on the museum floor, it creaks like an old boat.
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I have two Questions for you fellas, and before I get the "god doesnt he know that everyone else does" treatment I admit to being an un-informed plonker, Ok?.
    1. During the war there was a massive scrap metal drive and the big thing was aluminium pots and pans, the claim being that they could be used to produce aircraft. Now I have heard one chap from the RAF being interviewed (World at War) saying it was bollocks and just a propergander exercise to get everyone pulling in the same direction as you cant make a Spitfire out of pots pans. How true is this?

    And 2.
    Why do nearly all WW2 aircraft although many built out of the latest alloys ect retain doped control surfaces.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Depending what the pots and pans were made from, they were probably used for something. Radio Racks, tubing, ducting might of been made from tin or "soft aluminum" (6061). You also had a lot of secondary components (rudder pedals, control cable pulleys, antennas, nav. and landing light housings) that could of used any alloy.

    As far as the control surfaces - the initial belief was the fabric covering made them lighter and easier to balance. As the war progressed advanced manufacturing techniques along with better alloys allowed for the use of sheet metal control surfaces. Also you had a condition called "ballooning" when the fabric was starting to wear out.
     
  7. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Cheers FBJ now I'm only a slight plonker :rolleyes:
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    :lol:

    As far as sustaining battle damage - although a damaged Lanc may look like it could take more punishment, I'd put my money on the Spit. A typical WW2 bomber was probably designed to take +3.5 -1.5 Gs. I would suspect the Spit was probably stressed for at least +5 -3. Now of course with the Lanc being bigger, it will be able to sustain a 5 foot hole in it's wing, where a Spit might not fare that well, you have to put the size factor into perspective. I have a Spitfire and Lancaster pilot's notes on CD, I'll have to look to see if there is anything stating what they are stressed for....
     
  9. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Personally I would have thought the Wellington with its geodetic design would have absorbed more punishment than a Lanc.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Yep - you're probably right! Wallis considered that in the design. His design, although a bit time consuming to build was excellent in absorbing damage and stresses...
     
  11. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    nice, so thats why ive seen a pic of a half-skeleton of a wellington come back (almost half the plane's covering was ripped off and u can c the criss-crossing things)
     
  12. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    yes that accounts for it's very strong construction, the stirling wasn't built in the same way but she was the most damage tollerant of all the british bombers............
     
  13. ollieholmes

    ollieholmes Member

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    My understanding was the Mossie was built out of a balsa and ply laminate. Your best bet if you whant accurute infomation is to contact an organisation that owns one and explain why you are enquiring. Alot of these places would be more than happy to help you.
     
  14. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    I have finish my presentation. Here it is although it is a bit out of my original context
     
  15. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    Here it is!

    You need Microsoft powerpoint to view it
     

    Attached Files:

  16. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i've just noticed the poll at the top there, isn't that a bit of stupid question given they all had such different roles??

    and it's the lanc ;)
     
  17. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    Sorry better as in most effective during WW2.
     
  18. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    The Hurricane was made very similar to Biplane fighters with doped cloth stretched over the frame. Not sure how they prevented fires. The Spitfire however, was made entirely of metal. The Spitfire was said to have been more vulnerable to damage than the Hurricane in terms of critical downing damage...
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Fireproof dope....
     
  20. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    Okay Fireproof dope but fireproofed with what? Also the Hurricane seems to be shown in a lot of footage burning quite profusely suggesting that the fire-proofing dope may not have been totally effective.
     
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