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Yellow leading edges?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Northeast WA State
Yellow leading edges?
Posted by armornut on Friday, August 11, 2017 6:08 PM

So a friend of mine at work who builds large scale aircraft and armor, asked me why most if not all British aircraft from WWII have yellow leading edges? I undstand the tape over the gun muzzles, to determine if that gun fired, but really no clue about the leading edges. Any thoughts, facts, or ideas?

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, August 11, 2017 6:20 PM

It's an ID marking just like the Sky spinner and fuselage band on RAF day fighters for most of the war in the ETO. For leading edge angles.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

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  • Member since
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  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:08 PM

The Japanese had colored leading edges on many of their aircraft, a yellow/orange I think it was, and we used a white leading edge and sometimes a partial white tail too.  t could have been used to identify a wing or squadron or just to help make aircraft ID easier. 

  • Member since
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Posted by GMorrison on Friday, August 11, 2017 9:14 PM

The "tape" over the gun openings was not to see if the gun fired. Plenty of other ways to know that. It was to keep the muzzle from icing over.

It was a piece of fabric like the same used on control surfaces, doped onto the wing leading edge.

Usually the guy who did it was called "Dopey".

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, August 11, 2017 10:07 PM

GMorrison

The "tape" over the gun openings was not to see if the gun fired. Plenty of other ways to know that. It was to keep the muzzle from icing over.

It was a piece of fabric like the same used on control surfaces, doped onto the wing leading edge.

Usually the guy who did it was called "Dopey".

 

I don't know about "Dopey", but the basic tape reason is icing. But not of the bore. I was just reading about this. The Browning .30's used in the early Spitfire and Hurricanes fired from an open bolt and the operating mechanism would freeze up at alititude. The gun bores were taped over and ducting added in the wings to draw heated air from the wing mounted coolers to eliminate the problem. The later 20mm cannon had no such problems.

Back to the subject of ID markings, most countries used one form or another during WWII. The most famous probably being the D-Day "Invasion Stripes". But colors and placement depended very much upon theater and time. In the MTO, Allied aircraft started with a red spinner and the tri color tail flash. Later yellow bands were added to the wings. At the same place and time the Axis used white spinners, wingtips and tail bands. 

Eastern and Western Europe had different colors and markings for Axis and Allied aircraft.Yellow was used by the Germans in Europe on the under wingtip surfaces and lower cowl for ID purposes, as were the later spiral spinners.

The Pacific and CBI theaters saw lots of white used by the Allies on wing leading edges, stripes, or tail surfaces, while the Japanese used the orange yellow wing leading edges previously mentioned. Japanese aircraft in the home islands often had a white band around the wing under the Hinomaru as an additional ID marking.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
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Posted by GMorrison on Friday, August 11, 2017 10:56 PM

You're right, brain freeze. It was the moving parts.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:03 PM

Awesome Stik, GM, thank you for clarifying the "tape", to be honest I never gave icing a thought,( I don't have to surrender my A/P do I, LOL).Thanks again guys HUGE help.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:59 PM

GMorrison

You're right, brain freeze. It was the moving parts.

 

 

Whistling tape it up... 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, August 12, 2017 12:13 AM

  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:57 PM

In the Pacific Theater, the tape was used to keep mud, dirt, etc. out of the guns while the planes were taxiing around. Don't think they had to worry about the guns freezing over there! Big Smile 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
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  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:33 PM

Devil Dawg - they sure had to worry about that - plenty of humidity and at altitude it's still below the freezing point. I'd risk saying the icing could be even more of a problem in the Pacific.

Have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:58 PM

Hi, Pawel! Most of my references say that most of the Pacific fighting wasn't done at high altitudes, and that the tape over the gun ports was for keeping out the dirt & mud. Most of the Marine aircraft were used for ground support missions in addition to fighter CAP and escort missions. Lots of dirt and mud during the monsoon seasons to plug up a gun barrel or two. 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Saturday, August 12, 2017 9:00 PM

Not sure if the Army used the tape on their planes. Doubt it on the P-38, as it's guns were extended past the nose. Maybe the P-39s & P-40s used it on the wing guns, but don't know for sure. 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, August 14, 2017 1:00 AM

Devil Dawg

Not sure if the Army used the tape on their planes. Doubt it on the P-38, as it's guns were extended past the nose. Maybe the P-39s & P-40s used it on the wing guns, but don't know for sure. 

 

Good question.... or point to ponder... but on the Warhawks and Airacobras had protruding wing guns to one extent or another. I can't say that I have ever noticed tape on any photos.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Monday, August 14, 2017 2:11 PM

stikpusher
 
Devil Dawg

Not sure if the Army used the tape on their planes. Doubt it on the P-38, as it's guns were extended past the nose. Maybe the P-39s & P-40s used it on the wing guns, but don't know for sure.  

 

Good question.... or point to ponder... but on the Warhawks and Airacobras had protruding wing guns to one extent or another. I can't say that I have ever noticed tape on any photos. 

Well, shoot! Now I'm gonna hafta dig out my P-40 reference books and look at this when I get home tonight. Got me wondering about it big time!! Indifferent

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by 7474 on Monday, August 14, 2017 3:25 PM

Maybe the P-38s used the infantry's method of using condoms 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, August 14, 2017 4:05 PM

The airplane in at least some models had electric gun heaters.

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:40 PM

The P-38 had the guns on the nose, in front of the plane of the props.  Props could kick up dust and dirt, but only behind the plane of the prop.  

John

  • Member since
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  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:15 PM

wolfhammer1

The P-38 had the guns on the nose, in front of the plane of the props.  Props could kick up dust and dirt, but only behind the plane of the prop.  

John

 

Same location for the guns on a Mosquito NF/FB. Yet the RAF appears to have routinely taped up the nose .30s as here...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by F-8fanatic on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:05 AM

I might be able to offer some assistance in this one.  

 

As someone mentioned earlier, the Browning .303 machine guns fired from an open bolt position.  They also did not have heaters on the guns.  The M-2 machine guns that US fighters used fired from closed bolt and had heaters installed on them.  M-2 is the only large caliber machine gun I can think of that fires from a closed bolt.  The M-2 used the J-1 heater in earlier aircraft, and the J-4 heater in later ones.  To my knowledge, the .303 was never equipped with a heater unit.

 

OK, I've also heard that it was common practice to tape over the muzzles on Corsairs and Hellcats in the Pacific--especially land-based examples.  In the Pacific, it was common for the runways and taxiways to be made from crushed coral, and taping over them helped to keep the coral dust out.  Sometimes, they would also tape up more than the number of guns actually on the plane, I guess they thought it would scare the enemy.  Here's an example of an early Corsair, 1943, in the Solomons.....check out the 8 tape spots....

http://i.imgur.com/zk1kTZN.jpg

 

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