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Snake45

Where Belly Tankers Come From

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Cool, and you want to put a flathead in one, and try to go 200 mph,,  must have a lot of toothpicks when you crash one,,,,,,

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11 minutes ago, rel14 said:

Cool, and you want to put a flathead in one, and try to go 200 mph,,  must have a lot of toothpicks when you crash one,,,,,,

I believe the wood is just the molds/forms. These were made of aluminum. 

There were 108 gallon drop tanks made of paper. But they were one-use-only. Fill 'em up, use 'em, and don't even THINK about bringing 'em back. 

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Very interesting link and photos, but those are all laminated wooden tanks. The "molds / forms" would have been large steel press tools.

The 315 gallon P-38 tanks that are the most often seen lakester bodies are made from aluminum pressings, with riveted in ribs / bulkheads, and the two halves are bolted together.

Image result for P-38 drop tank

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I believe you're right. Guess I didn't look at the pics closely. I thought the wooden ones were forms. 

I'll bet these were also "one use only." 

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1 minute ago, Snake45 said:

I believe you're right. Guess I didn't look at the pics closely. I thought the wooden ones were forms. 

I'll bet these were also "one use only." 

You never know. That's a lot of effort to put into making something for one use. The spiral wrapping of the lamination plies particularly looks like overkill for a one-use unit.

Great photos though, and now you have me going off on another search...  :D

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The Baby Albatross sailplane used a similar but not as cool laminating procedure to make its fuselage. If I remember correctly, the forms for this little guy were made from concrete. That's a Staggerwing wing hanging on the wall, by the way. The hangar is in Tehachapi, Ca.

Image result for baby bowlus sailplane

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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1 hour ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

You never know. That's a lot of effort to put into making something for one use.

Well, most of the WWII drop tanks were intended for one use. 

The map in the pics tells the story: These were used for the transatlantic ferry mission. I've never seen these tanks used operationally on any 8AF or 9AF P-47, and I've looked at thousands of such pictures. Maybe they were built to last for the several legs of the over-Atlantic trip, and then were done. 

I do think I've seen P-47s in the Pacific or CBI with the big tanks, but I've always assumed they were the aluminum P-38 tanks. But who knows. Next time I run across one of those pics, I'll take a closer look. 

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also remember that the guys driving them were not large football players.  Heck I probably couldn't get in one when I was in the 10th grade.  Size matters. :) 

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1 hour ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

The Baby Albatross sailplane used a similar but not as cool laminating procedure to make its fuselage. If I remember correctly, the forms for this little guy were made from concrete. That's a Staggerwing wing hanging on the wall, by the way. The hangar is in Tehachapi, Ca.

Lockheed used that process as well on several of its aircraft, including the Lockheed Vega.  They used an inflatable rubber bag to press the wood into the mould.

Lockheed-Vega-Factory-Fuselage-Press.jpg

Edited by Richard Bartrop

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I think I read somewhere that the DeHavilland Mosquito wood was formed on concrete molds, but I could be wrong. 

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Image result for wwII paper belly tanks

Paper P-51 drop tanks. Developed to prevent the enemy from obtaining a source of sheet aluminum. We were bombing the German war industry into submission and gave no quarter. We were getting spread thin as well. Definitely one time only. 

G

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6 hours ago, Agent G said:

Image result for wwII paper belly tanks

Paper P-51 drop tanks. Developed to prevent the enemy from obtaining a source of sheet aluminum. We were bombing the German war industry into submission and gave no quarter. We were getting spread thin as well. Definitely one time only. 

G

Yup, those are the 108 papers (there was a very similar 108 aluminum, too). I believe these might have been manufactured in England. I've never seen them on Pacific/CBI airplanes, or even Stateside. I'm pretty sure I've never even seen them on Med based airplanes, either (12AF or 15AF). Pretty sure they were an "England thing" (8AF and 9AF). 

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13 hours ago, Snake45 said:

No, the stork didn't bring them. Here's a great set of pics I'll bet you've never seen before showing the entire conception and birth process: 

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66266

No matter what you say Snake. And what evidence you may try to show me. I know in my heart, that the stork did bring them. I refuse to allow the facts to water down my beliefs. 😝 

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17 hours ago, Snake45 said:

I think I read somewhere that the DeHavilland Mosquito wood was formed on concrete molds, but I could be wrong. 

This is very true Snake. My uncle Ray built Mosquito's at the DeHavilland plant in Downsview Ontario during the war. The fuselage moulds were destroyed after the war and buried on the DeHavilland property and a runway was built over the spot. Their still there to this day.  

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