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P-40 flush rivet head diameter and spacing?


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I have been searching Google for a while, and am trying to get an answer on the rivets and spacing on the Curtiss P-40.  Would anyone know the diameter of the rivet head, and what the spacing between the rivets is?  Not sure if different areas of the airframe have different diameters/spacing, but I am looking mostly in the forward fuselage area.

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Curtiss drawing 75-21-001 titled "Fuselage Skeleton Assembly" gives an overview of the entire fuselage, and in the bill of materials on this drawing lists the individual part numbers for each skin section, which would have details about the rivet spacing on each piece. Also on listed drawing 75-21-001, is the types of rivets use in each skin, and where each one was used. 

This original factory engineering drawing, and almost 16,000 more, are available for the P-40 via AirCorps Library.

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The diameters of rivets are driven (no pun intended) by the amount of stresses that they must handle. The area around the cockpit, wing roots, stabilizer roots, sparline, etc. will be the locations where they tend to get larger. Metal thicknesses tend to follow the same type of logic, getting thinner as you move away from the "core" of the aircraft.

 

Regarding the spacing (also known as rivet pitch by us sheet metal folks), pitch is typically a range based on the DIAMETER of the rivet shank (not the size of the rivet head). Typical spacing is normally somewhere between 4D-10D, with D being the diameter of the shank. So a rivet shank that is 1/8" in diameter would have a spacing somewhere between .5"-1.25". Again, the pitch is also driven by stresses, so the rivets will tend to be closer together on structures that handle higher stress loads.

 

HTH,

 

Brian

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As said above, rivets used are a mixture of sizes and spacing. If you used a basic 1" pitch, you'd not be wrong for *most* of the spacing. 

 

If youre going to the length of measuring specific rivet pitch and diameter, note that you'll need to represent the rivets as rings, as opposed to the divots left by rivet wheels etc. 

 

R/H fuselage side, under side window. (Thats the opened canopy at the top of the picture)

20220120_153534

 

R/H wing, just forward of the Aileron L/E

20220120_153607

 

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12 hours ago, RadBaron said:

As said above, rivets used are a mixture of sizes and spacing. If you used a basic 1" pitch, you'd not be wrong for *most* of the spacing. 

 

If youre going to the length of measuring specific rivet pitch and diameter, note that you'll need to represent the rivets as rings, as opposed to the divots left by rivet wheels etc. 

 

 

Thank you so much for that!  That is exactly what I was looking for.  

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15 hours ago, RadBaron said:

As said above, rivets used are a mixture of sizes and spacing. If you used a basic 1" pitch, you'd not be wrong for *most* of the spacing. 

 

If youre going to the length of measuring specific rivet pitch and diameter, note that you'll need to represent the rivets as rings, as opposed to the divots left by rivet wheels etc. 

 

R/H fuselage side, under side window. (Thats the opened canopy at the top of the picture)

20220120_153534

 

R/H wing, just forward of the Aileron L/E

20220120_153607

 

Fascinating that these photos were taken from more than a foot away…and there they are.

plain as day.

 

Nice job RB jumping in there with helpful information.

 

P

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