Wooden Aircraft Wheels

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by GrauGeist, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Ran across this photograph a while back, thought it was real interesting.

    Aparently, they were using wheels made of wood to move the P-51s around the North American facility in Inglewood while the aircraft was being assembled.

    When the aircraft was ready for tests, the regular wheels tires were installed.

    This appears to be an early model P-51...
     

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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting, but it does remind me of the Flintstones.
     
  3. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    You just need Fred's feet coming through the bottom to get it moving. :lol:


    Wheels
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Makes sense though. I would imagine with metal shavings, rivets and other pieces that may find their way to the floor, using a wooden tire would keep the rubber ones from getting punctured. Rubber was an essential war material in those days.
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Good idea, wasn't it ? .... I'm glad I thought of it ... :evil4:

    Charles
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Certainly a good idea but a very interesting one at that!
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Now Ii never knew that, thanks Dave. Wood you think they wheely wood work??!! OK, I'll get me coat....
     
  8. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Are they BF Woodriches?


    I'll see myself out...
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Judging by the grain, I think they're Woodyear....ok, I get the message....
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    They kinda look like Tree-lleborg tires to me.

    Thank you, thank you. I'm here all night guys.....
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Very correct , I'm aware of an attempt to save rubber was made by an RCAF unit during WW2 whereby they attached beercaps to the tires to save on wear and tear and prolong the life of the tires . They flew the Harvard with the caps and when they retracted the tires they failed to consider the Xtra diameter of the tires so the tire made a hell of a racket as they retracted the pilots applied the brakes to stop the wheels and hence the racket . Tho only problem was they failed to release the brakes which caused the Harvard to nose over on landing.
     
  12. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    Could it be a branch of Woodstone tyres?
    Oh my, it's hard to get to the root of things here...Sry...*ducks and runs* :lol:

    Fascinating find, though. ;)
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Ok...sooooo...

    Then wooden tires really can't be "Fire Stones" then could they?

    Honestly, seeing these wheels makes me wonder just how many innovations were used that never got documented, or passed by the wayside after the war wound down. Unique things that you wouldn't give a second glance to with it sitting in a junk heap, but at some point was a very important component in the war production.
     
  14. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Great post GG :) Really makes you think...

    MM
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It is a good post, and an intersting shot of a A36/P51A , with cannon, in RAF colours - fairly rare.
    As for other innovations, I vaguley recall my Dad telling me about the Italians using wooden bullets in North Africa. Now I'm sure this is throwing things wide open to such quips as 'splinter wounds', but apparently they were very effective, if not wholly accurate, and caused horrific wounds, due, no doubt, to their breakin-up partially on impact, a sort of 'frangible round'. I had read a little of these since being told, many, many years ago, and apparently they were 'ilegal' under the various International conventions of the time, being classed the same as the so called 'Dum Dum' rounds.
    So, from wooden wheels to a 'plastic' Spitfire (yes, there was one!), are there any other interesting pics like this?
     
  16. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    #16 BikerBabe, Aug 20, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2009
    Hmmm, won't the wooden bullet burn up in the barrel of the rifle/gun?
    And if it does escapes the barrel, my guess is that you'd have to shoot someone at point blank to do just a minimum of damage.
    As far as I remember, wooden bullets are usually used as blanks, you know, at ceremonies that cemands a salute, or as training blanks, or for firing grenades.
    Compared with metal, wood is incredibly light, so compared with a metal bullet, there isn't much energy/velocity/mass, if the wood bullet manages to get out of the barrel.
    And how does the wooden bullet affect the barrel of the rifle?
    If it splinters in the barrel, my guess is that the barrel won't last nearly as long as it does with a metal bullet.
    It doesn't sound very cost effective to me, if you compare the possible damage to the rifle/gun, compared with the average metal bullet. That is, if we're talking about a non-jacketed bullet made of wood. ;)
    I don't know how the bullet would react to being fired if a cabot was used (I don't even know when the cabot was invented back then...), but again I find it hard to believe that such an invention was used back then, due to the extra time and effort it would cost to implement such ammunition.
    But I'm definitely curious. :)
    Dang, now you've got me seriously pondering writing an e-mail to a forensic firearm expert I know...! :lol:
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Terry, wouldn't it be an awesome project to put together a reference that had all the obscure things involved in World War II, like the wooden wheels or the bottlecaps like pb mentioned?

    I think that this many years after WWII would make it a very tough challenge, but I bet there's still enough people out there that might remember things like that!

    BB, wooden bullets were alot sturdier than you might think. I've heard that the Japanese used wooden bullets in the Pacific. Supposedly, the reason was that thier concern for "overshoot" in confined engagements may lead to friendly fire, and used the wooden bullets knowing they were only lethal to 50 - 60 yards. I'm not sure how true that is, but many other nations (except the U.S.) used wooden bullets as training rounds for the most part.

    Wooden bullets shouldn't harm the barrel of the rifle, as with any use of the weapon, clean it thoroughly after each use! :)

    Most of your blanks are made of a light charge capped with a paper or light cardboard wad. Some just use nothing more than the primer in a short casing to make a report.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Dave, you answered more or less as I was going to - saved me the job!
    Maria, blanks used in training, i.e. on military exrecises, are normally what is known as a 'bulleted blank', meaning the cartridge case length is extended to form the bullet shape, so that chambering in auto, or semi-auto weapons can be effected without causing a stoppage. This 'extension' is simply crimped at the end, to close rhe casing. The charge, and the wadding, are enough to cause quite serious injury at close range, and there is never any form of bullet, wooden, paper or otherwise, used in this type of round. Ammunition used to launch rifle grenades is mostly of the ballastite cartridge type, which is a blank, as described above, but with a much more powerful charge - and a kick like an angry mule! However, with some smaller calibre infantry weapons, including that heap of c**p, the British L85 5.56mm, a live round can be used to launch the grenade (!!), which strikes a 'striker plate' within the launch tube of the grenade. The thinking behind this being that it saves carrying two types of ammunition on 'ops', and the possible problems associated with this.
    Wooden rifle ammunition was once used in training by some armies, and it was effective out to about 150 to 200 metres, with an initial M.V. of around 2,500 f.p.s. depending on calibre/weapon, although this dropped off rapidly, hence the short range. I believe the bullets were of a hard wood, ebony or mahogany, both of which are dense enough to maintain balistics in flight.
     
  19. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    GG and Airframes, I've heard the opposite, that's why I pondered asking someone who has got the possibility to test the wooden bullet kind of ammo. ;)
    And about the paper/cardboard variety - that's what's being used today, but what about back then?
    What I'm looking for is a forensic expert report online on wooden bullets - links, anyone?
     
  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, Sir Sidney Smith did some type of study of wooden bullets or bullets with wood in them used in Egypt. I think he felt they were just as effective as regular ammo. I have his biography somewhere, I'll see if I can dig it up for more info.
     
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