SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

RAF W/T Stencils

2780 views
7 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
MJH
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Melbourne, Australia
RAF W/T Stencils
Posted by MJH on Friday, May 11, 2007 8:42 PM

Anyone who's modelled a largish scale Spitfire or Hurricane must be familiar with the profusion of "W/T" stencils accompanied by indecipherable codes on practically any separable portion of the aircraft, but does anyone know what they're for and especially what "W/T" stands for?

Michael 

!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: london uk
Posted by garyallum on Friday, May 11, 2007 8:59 PM

Hi MJH

I think there something to do with the substructure of dope & fabric A/C and stand for "wire tensioner".

Regards GaryPropeller [8-]

ON THE BENCH Dragon Bachem Natter Hobbycraft 109G10 Croatian Scratchbuilds FW Flitzer Me262W Me262P.98 I might be old but I`m ready and full o`piss and vinegar.....................mind you this mornin` it was jus` vinegar
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Canada
Posted by dogsbody on Friday, May 11, 2007 9:45 PM
It has to do with the metal structure being, I think, grounded, so at to not cause interference with the radio. At least it's something like that, I just can't recall the full story.

"What young man could possibly be bored
with a uniform to wear,
a fast aeroplane to fly,
and something to shoot at?"

MJH
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Friday, May 11, 2007 10:01 PM

It can be seen on many fabric parts it is true, but it's also seen on metal panels, especially on the Spitfire.

I had a feeling it might be related to the aircraft's radio and could stand for "Wireless/Transmitter", the early voice radios were decidedly tempermental and easily disturbed so there may be a point there, but I can't see the connection.  And what about the numbers?

Michael 

 

!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Friday, May 11, 2007 11:15 PM

It does stand for wireless transmitter, and has to do with the fact that all moving surfaces have to be electrically grounded to each other, "bonded" is the proper term, because different surfaces will build up different electrostatic charges otherwise.  Hinges and bearings are not a good enough path, so small braided wires are installed to join moving surfaces to main structure.  In the absence of the bonding connections static discharge will take place, particularly in precipitation, making radio communication difficult or impossible because the static discharge is in the radio frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Why the British decided to write the requirement for bonding all over the airplanes and other countries did not but instead just made it a part of normal maintenance and design I don't know.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

MJH
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Friday, May 11, 2007 11:23 PM

Thank you, that's the most convincing explanation to date even if it doesn't explain the numbers that seem to be associated with the W/T stencils.

This was early days for voice radio in aircraft as I said and the RAF was one of the earliest to use this 'black art' so perhaps it helped remind airframe fitters of the requirement for grounding.

Michael 

!

  • Member since
    May 2006
Posted by Edgar on Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:59 AM

The W/T was a stencil, used as an inspection stamp, to show that the earthing had been tested; a short circuit could cause sparking, and interference with radio reception.  The numbers, usually D.T.D.-----, (Directorate of Technical Development) were to signify the system of paint used e.g. 751 = light wooden, 752 = light metal, 753 = heavy metal.  Wellingtons, for instance, because of their strong, geodetic, structure, could stand more tautness, on doped fabric, than Tiger Moths, with wooden construction, therefore Wellingtons received heavier doping than others.  Wartime schemes were D.T.D. 83, or 83A, with a suffix "C" for cellulose surfaces, or "S" for synthetic.

Edgar

MJH
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Saturday, May 12, 2007 3:04 AM

That might explain some of the lettering on the fuselage side above but I'm not sure it relates to the markings on the underside of the tailplane and elevator which, you will note, are identical, except that the elevator also carries the aircrafts serial - P3351.  I can certainly see why that would be there - so if it should be found lying around they'd know what aircraft it came off (assuming its smoking remains were not in the near vicinity).

These stencils are reproduced in the Trumpeter 1:24 Hurricane and it would be interesting to establish if they are correct for the subject Mk1.

Michael 

!

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.