WW1 Bomber Wings Found in Garage

Discussion in 'World War I' started by vikingBerserker, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    from WW1 Bomber Wings Found in Garage

    The unique remains of a First World War Handley Page O/400 bomber aircraft have been saved by a team from the RAF Museum.

    Members of the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the RAF Museum Cosford, have succeeded in rescuing a number of wing sections from a 95 year old bi-plane bomber which had been used to support a garage roof in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. The 25 foot long wooden wing sections included four examples of the lower starboard wing and one lower port wing.

    The RAF Museum was first alerted to the existence of the wings in April this year when an email was received suggesting that the roof of a building, which was due for demolition, had been constructed using wing components from a Second World War Wellington bomber. However, the Museum’s curatorial staff instantly recognised that the wings were from a much earlier aircraft.




    Senior Curator Al McLean:
    “A visit to the site revealed that these were wooden wings with a type of construction known as box spars. This suggested that the aircraft dated from the latter part of the First World War and given the size of them, there were only a few aircraft types they could have originated from. The Handley Page O/400 was the obvious candidate and after a brief look at a manual we were fairly positive that that was what we were looking at.”

    The RAF Museum discussed the identity of the wings with the site owner, Mr Alan Sullivan, and explained that they were even rarer than first thought. Mr Sullivan kindly allowed the Museum to remove the wings while the site was being cleared for development.

    The Handley Page O/400
    Originally ordered as an improved version of the Royal Naval Air Service’s O/100, the O/400 became the Royal Air Force’s standard heavy bomber during the closing months of the First World War. The giant twin engined aircraft had a wing span of 100 feet and could attack targets up to 350 miles away with a payload of 16 112lb bombs or a single 1650lb bomb. From October 1918 O/400s undertook night raids against targets in Germany as part of the RAF’s Independent Air Force. After the war, O/400s continued in Squadron service as communication and transport aircraft until 1921 with the last RAF example retiring in 1923. Converted O/400s were also used by Handley Page Transport Ltd in their pioneering passenger service between London and Paris during the early 1920s.

    RAF Museum Curator, Ewen Cameron said
    “The Handley Page O/400 is a vitally important aircraft in the history of the RAF. One of the main reasons the Royal Air Force was established in 1918 was so that it could operate as an independent arm of the military, capable of striking deep into the heart of enemy territory undermining that enemy’s strategic base and it was largely the O/400 which offered the RAF this capability”.

    The O/400 wings were retrieved in October 2013 and moved into the Museum’s storage facility at RAF Stafford. Here the Museum houses other O/400 parts consisting of an outer panel from the upper wing, a number of interplane struts and a set of elevators, all believed to be the only known examples in the world.
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Nice find, David!
    It's a fantastic story.
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Great story David. All I ever found was spiders in my garage.

    Geo
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Cool story!

    .
    Handley Page O-400 airliner.jpg Handley-Page_1919.jpg
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #5 vikingBerserker, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
    Thanks for posting the pics!

    IIRC this was the first true bomber that was produced in the US (licensed from Handley Page). It beat out an Italian design.
     
  6. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Terrific information. Thanks for posting.

    The bottom picture, Njaco is a Handley Page V/1500, not an O/400. The former was bigger overall and was four engined, the other two being pushers. You can tell by the slightly swept back main wings of the V/1500 and the smaller lower wing and aileron and elevator horns on the O/400. The V/1500 was a true strategic bomber with the ability to carry a bomb load from the UK to Germany and return to bases in the UK, but only a small number had been delivered by the end of WW1.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Makes you wonder how they got thier hands on these parts to make the roof. And also makes you wonder where the rest of the aircraft went...
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Amazing story.


    Wheels
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  10. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, great story and you never know where you find historic parts.
    We're still hoping that some day some parts of a G-1 will emerge from someone's shed. While it is a remote possibillity, this story proves that it can still happen :)
     
  11. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    May be they should have a look at the nearest henhouses or pigsties. However I would check on a nearby inn.
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff. It's amazing what's found in use as greenhouses, chicken coops and farm-yard fences in the UK. All I had in my 250+ year old cottage was a tree trunk as the main roof timber - oh, and a huge wasp's nest (thankfully 'dead') probably as old as the cottage.
     
  13. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Very cool story David. Looking around I found this pic of the wings in the garage.
     

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