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Thread: Dakota IV control surfaces and paradoor questions

  1. #1
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    Dakota IV control surfaces and paradoor questions

    1/ Am I correct in my thinking that the control surfaces were/are metal framed with fabric covering?

    2/ Would the paradoor be removed before take-off(on wartime parachute training sorties)or in flight and re-fitted
    in flight or after landing?

    I realise that a "dispatcher" member of the crew would have to pull in the used static lines once the trainees had departed the aircraft
    prior to re-fitting the paradoor in flight.

    Is/was there a stowage point inside the aircraft for the door,surely it wasn't just placed on the floor after removal?

    I'm trying to build KK138/S of No.1 PTS either at Ringway or Upper Heyford in 1946 out of Airfix's C-47 Skytrain kit.
    The only picture I can find of her is in level flight with the paradoor removed and trainees exiting via static lines and my,
    she's a lovely well stained and faded old girl.
    The rudder shows to have pretty faded OD paint,hence my reckoning that it and the elevators were fabric covered.

    Many thanks folks.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  2. #2
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    There is a set of C-47 doors for sale here

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2673...=sr_gallery_13

    I had one a few years ago but the para door had been converted by the Belgians with a hinge at the bottom and just the two turn handles at the top.

    I understood that the door was removed before departure to allow a faster exit both at drop and in case of emergencies.

    The Khazi bulkhead was just behind - could it have been stowed there ?
    Kind Regards,

    Brian

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that Brian.

    Sounds like your door had been given the DC-3 "treatment" I'd say.

    I've found a cutaway of a Dak IV(in one of my own reference books no less !!),and the control surfaces are indeed marked as fabric covered,
    but there isn't any apparatus on the khazi bulk.marked up as "paradoor stowage"(or anwhere else inside the airframe for that matter),so I suppose
    it could have been shoved inside the khazi(hard luck if anyone needed a pee eh?).

    I've seen the BBMF Dak get airborne with the door in place and then return with it removed,but I'd be very surprised if they left it
    slithering about on the floor.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  4. #4
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    I'd have thought that for a para drop the door would have been taken off on the ground (and for a PTS aircraft left there). My reasoning being that for a para drop the edge of the doorway, hinges, handles and tailwheel leg would be taped up to protect the static lines and parachute canopy. With the tape in place you wouldn't be able to close the para door back in place.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronut 2008 View Post
    I'd have thought that for a para drop the door would have been taken off on the ground (and for a PTS aircraft left there). My reasoning being that for a para drop the edge of the doorway, hinges, handles and tailwheel leg would be taped up to protect the static lines and parachute canopy. With the tape in place you wouldn't be able to close the para door back in place.
    Ta.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  6. #6
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    The cabin door is actually three doors in one. A double hinge for opening two doors for large cargo, a single left hand hinged passenger access door and then within this door an inner parachute door which is opened from the inside and then slides onwards and up towards the cabin roof allowing it to be opened in flight and not against the slipstream.

  7. #7
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    I've checked the AP 2453a for the drop procedures from a Dak. It does mention removing the panel from the parachute exit door at 20 minutes to go but not what to do with it. Also missing from the AP is any mention of the door panel post drop.

  8. #8
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    And you were correct the ailerons, elevators and rudder were alloy structures fabric covered.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by austernj673 View Post
    The cabin door is actually three doors in one. A double hinge for opening two doors for large cargo, a single left hand hinged passenger access door and then within this door an inner parachute door which is opened from the inside and then slides onwards and up towards the cabin roof allowing it to be opened in flight and not against the slipstream.
    I realised there are actually three doors in one if you will,but the bit about fitting it into a "stowage rack"(so to speak)above the doors
    and sliding it up into it is the part I'm pleased to find out about.

    Thankyou gentlemen for all your help.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  10. #10
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    The November 1944 edition of the USAAF Handbook - Flight Operating Instructions for the C-47 states the following:

    "Parachute Troop Exit Panel

    On some airplanes the inside panel of the forward half of the main cargo door is removable inward and is used as the exit for parachute troops. Four hooks and bungee rings installed on the right-hand side of the fuselage, opposite the main cargo loading door, are provided for stowing the panel while using the exit"

    Whilst the RAF made certain modifications for British Airborne operations (re-positioned static line cable, mats on the cabin floor, masking of external fittings, etc), I can find no evidence of the RAF modifying the jump panel stowage.
    Last edited by FL517; 26th March 2017 at 12:43.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL517 View Post
    The November 1944 edition of the USAAF Handbook - Flight Operating Instructions for the C-47 states the following:

    "Parachute Troop Exit Panel

    On some airplanes the inside panel of the forward half of the main cargo door is removable inward and is used as the exit for parachute troops. Four hooks and bungee rings installed on the right-hand side of the fuselage, opposite the main cargo loading door, are provided for stowing the panel while using the exit"

    Whilst the RAF made certain modifications for British Airborne operations (re-positioned static line cable, mats on the cabin floor, masking of external fittings, etc), I can find no evidence of the RAF modifying the jump panel stowage.
    Cheers for that FL.
    I've been studying C-47 paradrop vids on Youtube(both original and modern)and couldn't see anything like the "overhead the doors"
    slide in stowage that our learned collegue above mentions,most panels seem to have been removed prior to take-off or removed
    in flight and stowed as you say,bungee'd to the opposite cabin wall.
    All the original footage doesn't seem to have any type of masking around the door panel either,modern ones,yes,to the aft of the panel,
    the outer door handles and the main door hinges.

    The pic I have of KK138/S "in action"doesn't seem to have any masking out either,certainly not on the door hinges,the "S" ident.letter
    runs across the main hinges and is fully visible as is the C-type fuselage roundel.
    Can't say whether the door handles are masked,there's a bod just exited the aircraft and is obscuring them.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  12. #12
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    I've (hopefully!) attached an image showing the areas which should have been masked off for drops using the British X-type parachute. Name:  contractimg20170327_09063907.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  831.3 KB

  13. #13
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    Absolutley brilliant.

    Duly copied and saved.

    Many,many thanks FL.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

  14. #14
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    On the BBMF Dak, the door is strapped to the floor in the middle of the cargo area.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    On the BBMF Dak, the door is strapped to the floor in the middle of the cargo area.
    Cheers Piston.

    Wondered where they put it when it's removed in flight.
    "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."

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