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Dana Bell

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About Dana Bell

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  1. Hi Kevin, While the USAF abandoned the attack designation, the Navy continued to use it. When the joint designation system was introduced in October 1962, the A4D became the A-4, and the A6F became the A-6. (The AD became the A-1, too.) I'm not certain the A-7 was ever designated the A7V (I suspect not). The A-10 continued the new attack designations in the early 1970s. Cheers, Dana
  2. In June 1948 the USAF dropped the entire "attack" category of aircraft. All of the remaining attack aircraft were redesignated - since there were no longer any Marauders in service, the A-26 could become the B-26. During the Vietnam war, there was political pressure about stationing bombers in South-East Asia, the B-26 suddenly became the A-26 again. Note that the few A-24s still in USAF service (in 1948) became F-24s, the A-42 became the B-42. Several other attack aircraft then under development received entirely new bomber designations. Cheers,
  3. HI Tolga, It was changed from black to Insignia Blue (for camouflaged aircraft only) with the introduction of Spec 24114 in October 1940. A handful of A-20s and all P-40-CUs delivered before that time still used black, but all subsequent production seems to have switched to Insignia Blue. Cheers, Dana
  4. Sue Parish was a sweetee. I first met her at the USAF Still Photo Depository in 1977. She wore an airplane lapel pin - when I asked why she had a Citation on her jacket, she knew she had another airplane nut to talk with. Later, discussing her pink Warhawk, she confessed that she knew the color was jazzed up a bit from the actual camouflage specs but (with a twinkle in her eye) she enjoyed torquing up some of the good ole boys at the air shows. Hard to believe she's been gone a decade now... Cheers, Dana
  5. Hi Boyd, There are still two schools of thought of the desert island camouflage. The "pink" school would go for Corps of Engineers Desert Sand, slightly darker than 30279. The "beige" school believes Corps of Engineers Sand, which was a bit lighter than 33448. I opt for the beige, but I really can't prove I'm right... Cheers, Dana
  6. The title confused me for a moment -- I thought he flew in a VC-25... Cheers, Dana
  7. Hi folks, I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this - I’m afraid my records were scattered over a far-wider part of the office than I realized. On top of that, my memory of a critical document was flawed. As others have noted, the strut pressure was NOT adjustable in flight - I had mis-read Bulletin 438 of 19 April 1944. During the 1943 carrier qualification tests, VF-17 solved their bounce problems by increasing strut pressure from 40 psi to 60 psi and by adding anti-bounce cylinders and valves to the struts - the final report noted that the Corsair was
  8. Damian, Everything above is true for early Corsairs, but a main gear inflation system was added in late 1944/early 1945. I'll try to dig out the details tomorrow. (IIRC the inflation helped reduce the bounce that developed on carrier landings in mid-1944 and probably won't affect the modeling issues for your earlier Corsairs.) Cheers, Dana
  9. Hi Richard, The galvanic dissimilar metal corrosion was handled by a coat or two of zinc chromate primer. The primer could be sprayed on the interior surfaces of the skin, rolled onto the faying surfaces of the structure, or both. Some companies dipped the structure or skin in primer for a more complete coating. Some companies got into trouble for skipping the coating. Some surfaces were insulated with a thin strip of leather. At one time Curtiss assembled the structure, then sprayed primer over the completed assembly, somehow missing the whole purpose.
  10. Excellent! So the answer to your original question - the "natural metal finish" was very common in the US before the war, less common during the war, and more common again postwar - though there's no way to put a number on just how many. For example, pre-war B-17s, P-36s, A-17s, and C-33s were unpainted Alclad for all the metal skin panels. (Fabric, of course, was doped and coated with aluminized dope or enamel.) When Hap Arnold tried to convince the Materiel Division to apply permanent camouflage finishes to his combat planes, Wright Field protested, going as far as to claim th
  11. Hi Richard, It's all simply a question of which metal is covering the aircraft. Aluminum (Alumium/Aluminium) alloy can be strong and light, but is subject to intergranular corrosion, hence the need for some sort of surface finish coat. Pure aluminum needs no surface coat, but has no strength when rolled into sheet form. In the late 1920s the Aluminum Corporation of America (Alcoa) created a method to coat aluminum alloy sheet with pure aluminum creating a product they called Alclad. Free oxygen would bond with the outer surface, but wouldn't migrate into the alloy core to damag
  12. Hi Ian, You chose a highly respectable source, one that can be relied on for a variety of facts. However, the serial assignments in most published sources are not correct. I spent two years researching the -1 variants of the Corsairs, so I can promise that my data is correct. I intend no disrespect of Sturtivant, Burrow, or you - I simply had the advantage of newer files opening for public research when I started my dig. Cheers, Dana
  13. Hi iang, I'll have to disagree on this. David Morris' Time Capsule Fighter book believed that the aircraft was an FG-1A. My own search of the BuAer records confirms Morris' opinion. KD431 was constructor's number 1871, BuNo 14862. The first FG-1D was constructor's number 2002, BuNo 76140. The defining difference between the FG-1A and FG-1D was the presence of the twin pylons with piping for fuel on both pylons - KD431 did not have the pylons and still carried the outboard wing tanks. Cheers, Dana
  14. Hi Anthony, I've seen that decal artwork on the P-40 drawing microfilms at the National Air and Space Museum. Running short of cash, I didn't copy the image (or the similar images for "Tomahawk" and "Warhawk") - but I remember them as including no color information. This was more than a decade ago, but at the time I suspected that the original drawings were in color, copied onto B&W microfilm. There's a possibility that there are original drawings at the (US) National Archives, which are closed for some time to come. This would likely be a long-duration search wi
  15. Hi Paul, At the time the BF2C was first operational, the Bureau of Aeronautics was dead set against finishes of pigmented lacquers or dopes -- all finish coats were to be pigmented enamels. Since aluminum-pigmented enamels adhered poorly to metal primers, BuAer ordered the use of Aircraft Gray enamel on metal surfaces. (The Orange-Yellow enamels were doing just fine on metal and fabric surfaces.) So, your answer should be Aircraft Gray on all metal surfaces and aluminum enamel on fabric surfaces. That said, all the 1935 photos of BF2Cs seem to show more of a glow on
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