new guy with a mystery..

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by shazzam, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. shazzam

    shazzam New Member

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    Okay, just found this site. Pretty interesting and a great resource.

    I have a mystery that I could use some help solving.
    My uncle has a panel from an wrecked airplane, it is aluminum with zinc chromate paint, and has the following holes (not sure if they held switches or indicator lamps) in this order - left to right:

    Recognition Lights
    Gunsight
    Emergency fuel pump (above) Oil Dilution (below)
    Pitot
    Radio
    Radio
    Remote compass

    I assume this was a fighter (gunsight) and supercharged (oil dilution). I am not sure if any of these features narrows down the era of this plane.

    This panel was found in the Mojave desert, not too far from Mojave Air Base (WW2 ?Marine? air field - not sure when it closed) and also not too far from Edwards AFB.
    I know there are a bunch of wrecks out there from training accidents, but might also be some type of drone for target practice?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Hey Shazzam, welcome!

    Is there any way you could post a photograph of the panel?
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that pic may be worth a thousand words.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hi shazzam;

    There's several F4Us and F4F wrecks east of Mojave air port - I used to work there - do you have photos?
     
  5. shazzam

    shazzam New Member

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    Sure thing.. should have done that first.:oops:
    I can post a picture in the next day or two...
    There is another piece he has... it says "Bendix" and has a # on it.
    Stay tuned...

    and thanks for the quick replies!
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Bendix - a brake or magneto. Looking forward for the pics!
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Joe is your most likely source for ID on these. If I rattled off any series of numbers, he would probably tell me what part on an airplane it is. ;) But I have seen the fruits of his labor and have flown once with him. He knows his stuff.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Eric, you got to fly with Joe? How cool.

    Joe, if you ever make it to Dallas and wanna take a board member up, let me know. :)
     
  9. shazzam

    shazzam New Member

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    Okay, here are some pics:

    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck001.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck002.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck003.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck004.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck005.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/wreck006.jpg

    There were found together... can anybody ID the aircraft?
    The words in the original post correspond to the holes in the panel:

    Recognition Lights
    Gunsight
    Emergency fuel pump (above) Oil Dilution (below)
    Pitot
    Radio
    Radio
    Remote compass

    BTW, what is the "s" shaped thingee in the last pic?

    Thanks!
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hey folks -

    Eric, thanks for the kind words.

    Thorn - If you're ever in Colorado or if I'm in Texas I'd love to fly with you. BTW in 2003 I spent a month in Grand Prairie. I flew out of there a bit.

    Shazzam - I think the Bendix item is a cover that might go on an electrical device or magneto. As far as the instrument panel - are there any numbers on the reverse side? It is from a single engine recip aircraft that required oil dilution - radial engine, probably large.

    How far from Mojave air port did you find this? Was it directly east? Again I know there were numerous wrecks of F4Fs and F4Us around the airport and there were also some from out of Muroc (Edwards). If I knew where you found it I might be able to match it up to a crash locator index I have somewhere.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Shazzam, the plot thickens...

    While I wasn't able to ID the panels, I was able to get a hit on the first pic you posted (http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/e...a/wreck001.jpg) that has Bendix assy. 54835 on it...

    The inspection stamp that shows the anchor and US is a "customer inspection" stamp, usually associated with USMC and USN aircraft.

    The inspection stamp, seen upside down (HT/23) is being a little more difficult...

    I've used aviation archaeology a number of times with great results, but this time around, I'm coming up empty!

    Perhaps someone else has a better resource than I do :|
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great work Grau - the HT is probably a "Heat Treat" stamp. BTW I forgot to mention - the last photo, that rusted s shaped item is the retaining part of a Dzus fastener.

    I get most of my info from that site as well.
     
  14. shazzam

    shazzam New Member

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    Great info - so the anchor indicates Navy/Marines. I didn't even realize it was an anchor!
    I thought the big piece was most important, but I see the #'s are key.
    Apparently there are no #'s on back of large piece.

    However, here are some other small pieces that do (this is all there is):
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1725.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1726.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1727.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1728.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1729.jpg
    http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee74/mich_427_cobra/IMG_1730.jpg

    The first item is some sort of dial or wheel, with markings from 0 -100.

    The second item is heavy (cast?) aluminum. Back side has markings: "alcoa 25419-4290".

    Wreck is 8 miles due east of Mojave, and 3 miles north of highway 58.

    Does the gunsight switch/indicator give any clues? I would assume they were not on early aircraft?

    Thanks for all of the help!
     
  15. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    I believe the "s" shaped thingey is a compression spring.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Thanks FlyboyJ, I agree, the HT seems most consistant with the Heat Treat test/inspection marks.

    "Does the gunsight switch/indicator give any clues? I would assume they were not on early aircraft?"

    I had first thought the panel's paint had worn off, as most panels had a matt or non-glare finish, but I see what looks to be the apple-green zinc chromate paint on parts of it, and no remains of any switches or perhaps indicator lamps in the holes...that struck me as odd...
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    12/21/44 Corsair crashed 10 miles east of Mojave MCAS.

    Aircraft Wrecks
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It's part of a DZUS fastener...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. shazzam

    shazzam New Member

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    Okay, I will spend some time tomorrow looking for cockpit photos/switch layouts for Corsairs. Hopefully I will find one with the same panel.

    Is there any sort of "standardized location" (left/right side) where these switches/indicators would have been?

    Any clues from the second set of photos?
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    A guess but I think its from an F4U. I circled the area where I think it came from. Anyone have any other Corsair cockpit photos that are real detailed and close up?
     

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