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ThunderPigC130

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 #1 
Hello

  I was out across the street from nellis (Literally) last week looking for a TF51D site that i was trying to find with / for craig fuller.  Although there was not much left, i though i had found the TF51D site as i found 50 cal links there in addition to some small parts. 

  Satisfied that i had found the site and in the process of leaving, about 120' away i found what could be a separate site or could be more of the same site, but this one had belted 30 cal casings and projectiles all around - So it could not be a mustang.

  Did not find any part numbers, but i did find one part stamped with an "F" inside a triangle, and one really odd looking electrical part that may be the key to ID-ing this one. 

  Anybody got any ideas what it could be?

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SixbyFire

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 #2 
I know the P-39 had both .50 and .30 cal guns on some versions of the aircraft, along with the 37mm cannon in the nose of course. [smile]

Can't help with the other markings/info.

Jeff
WaltW

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 #3 
Hmmm...   The GK Prefix I've seen before on a few B-24s.  Too bad the rivet is blocking the next digits in that linkage fragment.  The only example of an F in triangle marking I have is from a license built J-75 built by Ford Howard.MVC-003F.JPG  MVC-012S.JPG  MVC-014F.JPG 
DaveTrojan

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 #4 
The red colored part reminds me of a magneto/starter/electric contact thing. The metal sticking out from the center would be the contact points, the red part is the insolator. it looks WWII to me by the rivets.
DaveT
ThunderPigC130

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 #5 
"The only example of an F in triangle marking I have is from a license built J-75 built by Ford Howard"

  Yeah, i saw that stamp on craigs site, but i can assure you this site was not a jet.
ThunderPigC130

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 #6 
Went back out to this site today with some gardening tools and dug around for about 4 hours.  Found some part numbers, and in consultation with mister fuller or AAIR, i think we know what type of aircraft this is.  But as it is not a type typically associated with nellis, i wanted to run it by some of you experts on this board and see what you think before making a positive ID.

  Thanks for any assists !

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WaltW

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 #7 
B-24
ThunderPigC130

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 #8 
  Give that man a prize !!

  Yes sir, thats what we are thinking, a B24.  The 30 cal rounds threw us off for a while, but if our ID is correct, this was a special B24, more specifically, a TB24J that was participating in the use of frangible ammunition against actual airplanes as targets.

  Walt:  As this is my first B24, can i ask which part (s) you used in coming to your conclusion? 
WaltW

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 #9 
Parts with the 32(L) prefix.

In my data gathering and previous site visits of known B-24s I look for the 32 followed by letter part number format.  Consolidated Aircraft model 32 is the B-24.  I don't know what the GK prefix means but I've seen it at B-24s before.  Not all parts at a site will have it.

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Pooner

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 #10 
The GK prefix is the Ford manufacturer code for this example of B-24 Liberator. The alphabetic prefix following along on the part - eg. E or P or W - corresponds with the component grouping in the airplane. There are multiple alphabetic prefixes to be found on all of these parts throughout the airframe, but P would correspond with "powerplant," an E indicating "electrical" grouping and W indicating "wing" or control surface component. Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft (Convair) used the letter system to denote component groupings in their examples as well, but a 32 p/n without a GK in front of it indicates a CVAC built ship. And of course the numeric number following the component code is the individual part number itself. It was a very clever and efficient way to mark parts from the manufacturing perspective and most helpful to the guys in the field maintaining them. 

Here's a quick example... if I found a p/n marked GK32L411, this would tell me the following: Ford built B-24 Liberator, L for landing gear component grouping, and the 411 p/n as searched thru the parts manual line lists it as a locking clip for the tail skid retract mechanism. 

Poor segue, but I'll use it nonetheless... should you actually find that piece out there in the dirt (highly unlikely as it may be), I actually have a need for it right now (really!). Anyway, for what it's worth, there's my contribution to the discussion at hand. 

- Robert in PHX
WaltW

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 #11 
Ah, thanks very much for the info.
ThunderPigC130

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 #12 
Hello Robert and welcome to the board.

  Thanks for the info on the part number / prefix / letter combinations.  What you said makes sense except that at this site i have found parts with and without the "GK" designation.  Could it be that some parts were made by a third party then shipped to all final assembly plants?

  Also, since you seem to know the B24 pretty well, does the below part look like it could come from a B24 engine?  I ask because i stumbled across the TB24J site while looking for a TF51D. 

  The part looks like tubing for coolant from a liquid cooled engine, which would fit the V12 used in the mustang, but the R-1830s on the B24 were air cooled.  I am trying to find out if this is one big site or two that overlap. 

Steve

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Pooner

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 #13 
Thank you, Steve!

It is possible that Ford contracted parts - especially common armament, electrical, instruments, hydraulic or powerplant items - came from subcontractors without a GK32 p/n. Especially if these items were common to other aircraft applications, or had been changed during maintenance at some point during the war years. I was surprised to see your oil cooler tag had a Ford p/n tag on it in spite of having been build for Ford by a popular oil cooler and radiator vender that supplied so many other aircraft manufacturing firms.

The majority of the airframe parts as constructed of sheet metal, castings, ribs and extrusions were usually hand stamped or had some sort of part number applied either in ink, pencil or metal tags. That was part of the genius behind the ability of Ford to have produced a Liberator in less than an hour at the pinnacle of their manufacturing might. The major components were put together as sub-assemblies and brought to points on the production line and mated together.

Good call on the line piece, but I don't think it's big enough for coolant line on a liquid-cooled engine. Your metal line as found would have been used on the B-24. It's a common type of spliced line section for an engine application. Note the tube ends are swaged for insertion into rubber aircraft hose that would have been set with clamps, indicating the contents weren't under high pressure like a hydraulic line would be. That type of hand-welded construction for this line section was commonly used for fuel or oil application areas. Example of that use might be either fuel boost or oil pump where for whatever application (probably a return line) a smaller component relieved back into a main system. I've even seen some of this tubing used for air line applications behind instrument boards (e.g. venturi systems like air speed instruments).

Do share more about your crash site and this TB series Liberator. I'm curious if this was from a documented crash site or whether this was in an area outside of the base where airplanes could have been assembled together and dismantled for scrap. The later might explain some of the mix of airplane parts for you as found. Keep posting your finds and I will do what I can to ID pieces for you.

- Robert in PHX
ThunderPigC130

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 #14 
Robert

  Thanks for all of your comments above, they were very helpful, especially about the pipe.  I now believe this is just one big crash site as opposed to two overlapping sites.

   I'm curious if this was from a documented crash site or whether this was in an area outside of the base where airplanes could have been assembled together and dismantled for scrap.

  The event was known of, but not the location.  There is a map in the crash report, but it is hand drawn and does not really help much.  It is definately a crash site, not a scrapped aircraft as evidenced by all the slag, seat / parachute harness buckles without the straps, personal effects and exploded 30 cal rounds on site.  Speaking of the 30 cal rounds, i have attached a pic from today of some of the projectiles.  I believe they are the frangible rounds as they are not jacketed as almost all rifle bullets are.

  Thanks again for all the info above !  This is my first B24 so i know almost nothing about them.

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