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Basic Wings Question


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#1 Tim B

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:22 AM

Is there a reference, or thread here, that lists the weights and/or dimensions of wings between the various manufacturer's?

I ask, as I continue to try and build a decent representative collection. Many thanks!

Tim

#2 Jack's Son

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

Tim,
I would think that such a thread would be a lifetime of continual work. I've not seen such a thread, nor ever heard a reference to it. If someone has done it, two names come to mind........Cliff and Patrick.

Good luck in your education!!

#3 Jack's Son

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

:) I just poured another cup of coffee, and thought about this. Now that I have made a definitive statement, watch all of the studies come out of the woodwork!!! :)

#4 pfrost

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:35 AM

The easy answer is about 3 inches long by about one inch high. There are so many variations and styles out there, its likely the best you are going to get.

#5 costa

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

if you are not sure about the origonality of any wing--- ask questions here first. lots of repros and easy to get screwed! there are guys here who are good at wing id------

#6 CliffP

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

Patrick has summed it up nicely with regard to the basic full size dimensions made by the various manufacturers.

In regard to seeing the many different styles and types of wings made by all the manufacturers I know of nothing better than to visit and study all the many badges that are pictured on the wonderful website maintained by Bob Schwartz called AVIATION WINGS and BADGES OF WORLD WAR II:


http://www.ww2wings.com/main.shtml

Oh, and don't let the title mislead you. Bob's website covers all eras, countries and styles produced by most manufacturers going as far back as 1913 up through 1946. There is none finer on the web.

Also make a point to locate and purchase a few good books on wings. First and foremost, make a sincere effort to locate a copy of the terrific book written by J. Duncan Campbell called AVIATION BADGES AND INSIGNIA of the UNITED STATES ARMY 1913-1946. Although it is long out of print copies can still be found at AbeBooks.com and on eBay. I consider it to be the best primer available for any serious collector of U.S. Army wings produced up until the end of World War II.


A good reference book for wings produced for the U. S. Navy would be UNITED STATES NAVY WINGS of GOLD FROM 1917 TO THE PRESENT by Ron L. Willis & Thomas Carmichael.

Finally, one of my all time favorite reference books is UNITED STATES ARMY AIR SERVICE WING BADGES - UNIFORMS AND INSIGNIA 1913-1918 by Terry R. Morris, Major, USA Ret.

There are other reference books available on the subject of wings but these three will give you the best bang for your buck and it will be money well spent.

Cliff ^_^

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#7 hink441

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

Lots of good info in your post !!

Thank you Cliff !!!

#8 Tim B

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

Thanks guys!

Yes, I have and use Bob Schwartz's site often as well as a couple of others. Bob's site is extremely usefull when comparing wing variations and checking for die characteristics and marks.

I just thought weights would be pretty standard per maker/wing model and if there was a standard reference or ballpark range to look for. I recently picked up a couple of wings and was surprised to see a four gram difference, which doesn't seem much but is noticable in hand.

Anyway, thank you very much for the responses here, much appreciated!

Tim

#9 John Cooper

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:02 PM

Dont forget to just browse this section of the forum. There are many wonderful posts and lots of photos and discussions! Start with the topics that are pinned at the top and work from there. There are several very experince collectors that have shared a wealth of information.

All the best!
John

#10 Tim B

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

Hi John,

Yes, already done that, was looking for more of a database type of quick reference to fall back on when vetting new prospects.

Tim

#11 pfrost

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

Don't forget the Maquire books. The two vols of "Sliver Wings, Pinks and Greens" books, in my opinion, worth their weight in gold. Between the two of them, those books cover almost (but not all) of the WWII USAAF wings your average collector will find. The photos are clear and large and I don't think they show a bad wing anywhere.

Let me predict the course of your affliction. At first you will only want to build a "decent representative" collection of each of the ratings (pilot to airship wings). Soon, that will change into a decent HALLMARKED representative sample of each wing. Then you will want a representative set of rating all from the same company --maybe you will just start out looking for the 3 pilot series (command, senior, pilot). But soon, you will want a complete set of AE Co or LGBs... As some point, "decent" and "representative" will be tossed out the window, and you will want just a collection of wings, to wit, you will need to get an example or two of theater-made wings, POW wings, maybe WWI vintage wing. If you get it bad, you may veer into civilian, instructor, or (god forbid) foreign wings. Soon, you will be on the forum arguing about pin placement, die use and dating theories, and how many new collectors are fooled by cast "museum reproductions" by a certain person who shall remained un-named. At some point you may consider writing a book--but don't go there. :rolleyes: Eventually, your wife/girlfriend/mother will pull you aside and have talk with you about the pile of riker mounts you have in the closet.

Edited by pfrost, 20 November 2012 - 07:50 AM.


#12 Tim B

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:02 PM

:o :lol:

I am currently at the "decent representative" collection point!!

Once I have a bit more time, I will sit down and take some PIC's of what I have thus far and give a better indication of what I would find useful as a somewhat newbie in this area. Perhaps we could start a "pinned" database? Not sure what the interests would be here or, how many acceptable variations are out there of certain wings?

As a primarily medal/decoration collector, I HOPE not to go beyond that aspect here...but I have been looking at some earlier sub qualification badges and Marine EGA's... :unsure:

Tim

#13 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

Hi Guys,

I trust everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I had some time to sit down and photograph a few of the wings I have thus far and wanted to show them here for comments in the hope of learning along the way.

When I first started this thread asking for a "tell all" type of reference, I was kind of looking for a place similar to Bob Schwartz's site but with a little more info like weights and tighter timelines of manufacture. I understand that may not be as critical to some and many of you are obviously experienced enough to tell without going into these levels of detail.

Anyway, kind of what I was considering here, not sure if such a type of thread would be useful or not?

Here's an un-hallmarked WWII pilot set marked sterling. I had already asked Patrick recently and he confirmed what the seller stated, that they are probably manufactured by Bell.

I won't go into exact physical dimensions on these, just know they roughly measure 3" by ~ 3/4".

Weight on this set is 17.3 grams

Tim

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  • USAAF Pilot Wings - Bell.JPG


#14 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

Here's a close up of the wing details. Note the fine, wood grain type of feathering.

Tim

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  • USAAF Pilot Wings - Bell f Wing Details.JPG


#15 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:57 AM

This particular wing has a ball tyle of catch, similar to what you would see on most medals.

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  • USAAF Pilot Wings - Bell Catch.JPG


#16 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

Now, here's a Aircrew wing that has the same traits, so assume this is also a Bell product?

Again, the dimesions are the standard 3" X 3/4". The weight on this set is 17.8 grams

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - Bell.JPG

Edited by Tim B, 24 November 2012 - 11:00 AM.


#17 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:01 AM

Again, note the fine wood grain style of feathering on this set.

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - Bell Wing Details.JPG


#18 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

The catch on this set is a bit different and at first, made me wonder why it was different from the pilot set shown above. This one has flatter sides and not round like the standand ball catch. The locking/rotating tab is different as well. More on this in a bit.

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - Bell Catch.JPG


#19 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:09 AM

So, one of the things I noticed and thought would help a newbie wing collector, such as me, would be a quick reference on details to look for. We already see the feathering style but also note that the wing shoulders have the same characteristic "three notches" in each wing.


Here's a comparison between the pilot (top) and aircrew (bottom) wings.


I assume this trait is indicative of Bell and that other manufacturers are different, what I have seen thus far anyway.


Tim

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  • USAAF Wings - Bell Wing Details.JPG

Edited by Tim B, 24 November 2012 - 11:10 AM.


#20 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

Last note on the Bell sets before I move on to other wings. Here's a couple of bombardier sets that I have seen (do not own these) and notice that both appear to be Bell by using the traits shown above. However, note the difference in catch styles. I think perhaps the catch style was either a case of using what was available at the time or perhaps they changed from one style to another.

Perhaps this is why the pilot set differs from the aircrew set above. Does anyone know?

Tim

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  • WW2 AAF Bombardier Wings - Bell comp.JPG


#21 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:25 AM

Here's another unmarked 3" X 3/4" aircrew wing. It's fairly heavy at 26.6 grams!

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - unk.JPG


#22 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:26 AM

Very sharp and beautiful details, though the wing feathering appears to be plain or smooth. PIC's do not do the wing justice here.

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - unk f1a.JPG


#23 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

The reverse raised "sterling" is actually two different fonts over one another on this one.

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  • USAAF Aircrew Wings - unk Sterling.JPG


#24 hink441

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

Very nice and comprehensive analysis Tim!! Your photography skills are also excellent.

Chris

#25 Tim B

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

Again, the details of the wing shoulders and note the notch patterns.

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  • USAAF Pilot Wings - Unk f Wing Details.JPG



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