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Swifter

Aviation History in Control Wheels; Yokes

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thanks swifter,b-17 flying fortress,are the bakelite,plastic.looks like your post 1st page,post no.1..........dave


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Dave:

 

Decided to respond to your question comprehensively. Two different caps were used on the B-17F (one aluminum and one galvanized steel) and three (possibly four) different plastic 2-piece caps were used B-17G models. None of the caps were made of Bakelite.

 

Most of the comments that follow apply to the plastic caps used on the B-17 as well as similar caps used on the B-29, B-50 and C/KC-97’s produced from WWII through about 1955. These caps were originally made with a black plastic base with Boeing part number 6-14657 in raised relief on back. A separate, clear plastic insert that was (usually) engraved, was pressed into the base. With the exception of the Boeing totem cap (which was not engraved), the engraved designs were painted silver as was a ring around the outer edge of the insert. After that, the backside of the insert was painted black (sometimes flat black…sometimes semi-gloss) and pressed into the base. For the Boeing totem cap the totem logo was either screen painted in silver, or a silver decal was applied to the backside of the insert. It’s difficult to tell which of these was done. After application the backside was painted black and pressed into the base.

 

One good way to tell if a plastic B-17 cap is original, is the coloration of the center plastic insert. The kind of plastic used 75 years ago turned yellow over time when exposed to light and the elements, as most of these caps were. That makes the original silver paint appear to look like it has a gold hue. The more yellowed the plastic insert is, the stronger the gold hue of the engraved markings. Reproduction caps will have no trace of this, the engraved markings look like they’re silver. Also, specific to the B-17, the repop caps I’ve seen do not have the Boeing part number in raised relief on back.

 

Another way to tell if a cap is real is its condition. Real ones are 65-75 years old and are often beat up and scratched up. Also, certain B-17 caps have not been reproduced—to my knowledge. Specifically, the Lockheed and Douglas caps applied to B-17s produced under license by those two companies. So if you find a Boeing cap with a Lockheed or Douglas logo in the upper left corner, it’s a decent bet that you have the genuine item.

 

In the photo of B-17 caps, the galvanized steel version is missing. The plastic Boeing totem (also called the Boeing “Bug”) cap may not have been used during WWII in B-17s….or B-29s for that matter. The jury is still out on that one.

 

Note: In recent years some very nicely executed reproductions of certain Boeing caps have been produced.

 

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thanks swifter,i really appreciate your time,thats as good an explanation you could hope for...…………..dave


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My pleasure Dave.

 

For others who have an interest--The aluminum cap is acid-etched such that the totem logo is in raised relief. The designs in the center inserts of the three lower caps are all engraved.


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Hi bobatl: Thanks for the recollections. If nothing else, at least there is a consensus on what TA/TF stands for. The inference I get out of the various posts above is that my wheel had the TA/TF function that it would (likely) have come from an earlier aircraft. The photo below is of the data plate on back of the wheel. I have some experience with gov't contracting. The "09" in the contract number means the wheel was acquired with FY2009 funding....so it's only about 10 years old now. Wierd. Anyway, glad I got the wheel.

 

Thanks for that tidbit on the hub cover decals too ! attachicon.gif4.jpg

 

Photo of control wheel in first C-5B in 1985. When TA/TF was removed, a notation was made in the flight manual referring to the Time Compliance Technical Order. For the C-5B, all TCTO's were reviewed to see what drawing revisions would be required to build to the configuration of the last C-5A plus all TCTO's. Changing the control wheel would have cost money so they wouldn't have done that unless directed to do so by the Air Force. It's also easier to only keep one configuration spare part in stock. Or the way things work in the real world, you're cannibalizing parts off other aircraft, so not having multiple configurations meant that your hangar queen C-5A could be parked and most parts could be used on all C-5A/B's.

 

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Bobatl: Thanks for tying in on what the "dash 1" said relative to what was done with TCTOs to figure out what drawing revisions were needed as different models of an aircraft were introduced over time. Agreed too--unnecessary configuration changes were avoided. Helps logistics, lowers cost. And it's not difficult to "inop" a switch or, if needed, change it's function and relabel.


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There are C-5's used for Special Ops. I heard a comment about they begin training at 200 feet AGL. When they used C-141's for that, someone whose brother had a farm under a training route said that his brother told him he could see the faces in the cockpit.

 

 

Found this picture.

 

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Here my first wheel/yoke - a Grumman S-2 Tracker wheel that I picked up yesterday. It's rough, but does have one button intact and 2 caps intact. Is it hard to find parts for these? Be cool to give it a 100% restoration!

 

-Derek

 

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Here's the backside. For some reason, it looks like the part number was removed for some reason...??

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Here's a close-up of the button and caps. Thanks for looking!

 

-Derek

 

 

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Hi Derek: Congrats on picking up your first control wheel of what might be the start of a collection. I've always liked the compact design of the Grumman S-2 wheel, which quickly gives away that the plane had boosted controls. These wheels are fairly readily available....but stand-alone switches won't be easy to come by. Ebay is as good a potential source as any, for running "canned" searches periodically for what you're trying to find. The most difficult switch to find will likely be the "coolie hat" trim switch. S-2 wheels can still be found in the market with all or most switches and block-off caps in place.

 

While they're not the best quality, I've attached a couple of pics of the S-2 wheel in my collection. I have photos of several S-2 wheels. None have part numbers cast into the back including mine.

 

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 3:55 AM, Swifter said:

Some good potential thoughts for what "TA/TF Range Sel" might be. The "range sel" part seems to suggest tactical as opposed to terrain avoidance. Have to say, I'd have never thought of jets like the C-5 and C-141 in tactical roles. Time for some research on my part. Need to find a Dash 1 manual for the C-5. Thanks guys.

 

C-5 wheels are not common in the collectors world. This one from Ebay is the only one I've seen there....and that's after 15 years of active collecting. I do know of one other in private hands. C-141 wheels are far more common. Speaking of which--attached are some pics of the 141 wheel in my collection. The little brother to the Galaxy. At first glance the differences are subtle. But the wheels (not including the center hub) are actually entirely different castings.

 

 

 

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I'm not sure if it'll still be useful, but I have and old scan of a C-5 Dash One if that helps?

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Hi Blaze1:  I need to check this site more often than I have been lately.  Yes, if you have a digital version of the C-5 "Dash 1" and are offering to send it to me that would be great.  Please respond here and I'll send you a PM with my email address.


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46 minutes ago, Swifter said:

Hi Blaze1:  I need to check this site more often than I have been lately.  Yes, if you have a digital version of the C-5 "Dash 1" and are offering to send it to me that would be great.  Please respond here and I'll send you a PM with my email address.

Responding.😉

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On 9/25/2019 at 2:56 PM, bobatl said:

 

Photo of control wheel in first C-5B in 1985. When TA/TF was removed, a notation was made in the flight manual referring to the Time Compliance Technical Order. For the C-5B, all TCTO's were reviewed to see what drawing revisions would be required to build to the configuration of the last C-5A plus all TCTO's. Changing the control wheel would have cost money so they wouldn't have done that unless directed to do so by the Air Force. It's also easier to only keep one configuration spare part in stock. Or the way things work in the real world, you're cannibalizing parts off other aircraft, so not having multiple configurations meant that your hangar queen C-5A could be parked and most parts could be used on all C-5A/B's.

 

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An addition to the conversation: From the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT/SY). C-5A Galaxy Systems Engineering Case Study: "In December 1971, a C-5 IRT was formed to review the situation and develop alternatives. The team assessed the C-5A structure to determine the necessary operational restrictions to ensure safety of flight. The payload and maneuvers were limited, including the elimination of terrain following..."

 

https://www.dau.edu/cop/pm/DAU Sponsored Documents/C 5A Galaxy SE Case Study.pdf

 

PS. I was a C-130E flight engineer, and we had all kinds of ancient switches that said one thing but now did something newer and more exciting. Example: The Iron Lung switches in the cockpit. When the aircraft was built in the early 60s, hauling aeromed patients in iron lungs was common enough ( I reckon). Fast forward 30-40 years: Same (much older) aircraft with the same switches still marked "Iron Lung", but now powering up other aeromedical equipment. Those archaically-named switches were always a conversation starter for flight deck visitors during an open house.

~Will

 

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Hello Will:  

Thanks for chiming in.  The comments of both you and Bobatl are entirely sensible.  Thirty-five to forty years ago I was a flight test engineer for McDonnell during full scale development and testing of the F/A-18.  Making decisions on TCTO compliance (and EO incorporation) near the end of the development program and bailment period was interesting.

Nick


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Been awhile since I’ve posted new control wheel information.  Time to rectify that by profiling the control wheel used in the Curtiss C-46 “Commando”.  It’s another wheel produced by AHR (American Hard Rubber) – model  No. 53.  This same AHR Model number was also applied to the control wheel designs used in at least two different Lockheed aircraft, the Ventura and the early P2V Neptunes.  Three different aircraft with three different wheel designs all with the same model number.  Weird.

 

While a C-46 wheel looks like a large version of a Douglas C-47 (DC-3) wheel the latter has no AHR manufacturer’s mark as the C-46 has on back of the lower spoke.  Both wheels have a vertically oriented double Woodruff-key mounting.  And both were of very simple design—no integral switches installed anywhere.  The photo with two wheels shows the 16 inch diameter C-46 below and 13.5 inch diameter C-47 wheel above.

 

 

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On 6/27/2020 at 10:13 AM, Steindaddie said:

An addition to the conversation: From the Center for Systems Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT/SY). C-5A Galaxy Systems Engineering Case Study: "In December 1971, a C-5 IRT was formed to review the situation and develop alternatives. The team assessed the C-5A structure to determine the necessary operational restrictions to ensure safety of flight. The payload and maneuvers were limited, including the elimination of terrain following..."

 

https://www.dau.edu/cop/pm/DAU Sponsored Documents/C 5A Galaxy SE Case Study.pdf

 

PS. I was a C-130E flight engineer, and we had all kinds of ancient switches that said one thing but now did something newer and more exciting. Example: The Iron Lung switches in the cockpit. When the aircraft was built in the early 60s, hauling aeromed patients in iron lungs was common enough ( I reckon). Fast forward 30-40 years: Same (much older) aircraft with the same switches still marked "Iron Lung", but now powering up other aeromedical equipment. Those archaically-named switches were always a conversation starter for flight deck visitors during an open house.

~Will

 

I actually had a question following up from Swifter's regarding the steering wheel switches, but I think your comments above pretty much cover what can happen with switches in the cockpit. :)

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I have an August 1973 Dash One for the C-5A, which gives a full description of the TA/TF system, as well as a 1998 C-5A/B Dash One in which the same systems have been removed.  I did a little more digging in the 1973 manual and discovered in the Operating Limitations section:

MMR (Multi-Mode Radar) Limitations.

The following modes are not operational:

1. Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance

2. Contour Mapping

3. Radar Approach

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Ahh....nothing like getting into the nitty-gritty.  I suspect it wasn't and isn't uncommon for a crew chief to authorize/make minor changes to something like switch labeling if the function of a given switch changes.   I too agree with Steindaddie--making non-critical configuration changes to existing parts inventory doesn't make sense if benefits don't bear the costs.


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