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Hauksbee

Black trim on Nieuports...

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One thing I've never been clear on is the black trim on early Nieuports. Was it painted on (seems like a lot of work for no great gain) or did they tape over the canvas stitching? In any event, it seems to have disappeared on later Nieuports.

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300px-Nieuport_XI_Bébé.JPG

Edited by Hauksbee

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Hauksbee, there are tape strips along those edges and it's evident that the tape color had been deliberately chosen to contrast.  Not sure why, style I suppose.

 

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.

 

Hauksbee, there are tape strips along those edges and it's evident that the tape color had been deliberately chosen to contrast.  Not sure why, style I suppose.

 

 

Maybe to be sure at a quick glance that the tape had, in fact, been applied to all appropriate areas?

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Maybe to be sure at a quick glance that the tape had, in fact, been applied to all appropriate areas?

As I suspected. Laying out, and painting, those long straight lines would be an enormous amount of work. But why the tape in the first place? Was the fabric only loosely stitched to the airframe and the tape sealed it? It seems to be a practice that didn't last too long.

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...why the tape in the first place? Was the fabric only loosely stitched to the airframe and the tape sealed it? It seems to be a practice that didn't last too long.

 

Other aircraft, like the Albatros, had tape over the stitching too.

Salmon-coloured on Johannisthal-Albs, and light blue on OAW-built craft.

There was also violet tape, but I'm not sure which company used that.

You can clearly see those stripes on the WOFF skins, over every wing rib.

 

This page from the build-gallery at the Vintage Aviator website shows the light OAW blue tape.

 

http://thevintageaviator.co.nz/image/tid/153

Edited by Olham

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This gets stranger and stranger. The one photo shows tape applied before the fabric goes on, and speaks of it as "reinforcing tape". Is it really beefing up the wood structure? And what would have been used as a glue/adhesive in 1917?

 

The second pic. shows tape being applied over the fabric, over the ribs. Perhaps if it were tacked down to the rib itself, it  might have stopped the fabric from tearing away in a dive. (and we've all experienced that). But still, the fabric could just as easily be stitched to the rib, or glued, or tacked down. Why the tape?

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ALB TAPE.JPG

ALB TAPE #2.JPG

Edited by Hauksbee

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Well, if you have JFM's mail addy, you should ask him about this - I'm not the expert.

I can only guess. Stitching the canvas on to the ribs would be difficult, if not impossible,

because you would have to make lots of holes into the ribs for the thread to go through,

and how would you find these with your needle?

Instead, they stitched it onto a canvas tape, which is easy to find for the needle, as it's

right under the canvas. But that is just my guess.

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Bad luck. JFM's e-mail address has disappeared from my address book. Very strange, because I had a conversation with him (within the year) when I was looking for information concerning the Sablatnig pontoon triplane. We'll just have to hope he stops by.

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Hello!

 

As Olham said, on Albs the ribs had a cap strip to which was tied 5mm wide "reinforcement strips." You can see them tied to the ribs in the photo up above. Being tied secured them to the ribs. The wing fabric was then stitched to these strips. This is what held the fabric to the wings. The stitching atop the fabric was then covered by strips of 25mm wide finishing tape. All this was then doped, which weather-proofed the fabric and made it taut. As it tightened the fabric pulled against the wire that served as the trailing edge of the wings. The fabric pulled the wire in-between the ribs and this created the classic "scalloped" look of the Albatros trailing edges.

 

I'll go through my archives and find some close-up photos.

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Here's a sketch from the NASM Alb DVa book. Note that the finishing tape is labeled as 20mm. In various places I've seen indications of its width ranging from 20 - 30 mm:

 

 

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Thank you, Jim - great sketch!

I wonder if the "5mm reinforcement tape" is a typo and should be "50 mm"?

Or do they mean the thickness in this case - 5 mm thick?

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A much more complicated affair than I had thought. All that work, and still, one careless dive gets you this:

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.SHATTERED WINGTIP.jpg

Edited by Hauksbee

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Well, the real Albatros V-strutters did have wing failures (especially early on),

which may have been caused by only one main spar in the lower wing,

held at only one point of the V-strut, which allowed the wingtip to flutter

in longer steep dives.

The wings were then reinforced by an additional metal rod which led from

the V-strut to the lower wing's forward edge.

If I remember correctly, a warning was made to all pilots, not to dive steeply

for more than 1000 meters - which should mean, that the wings did not

break as easily as in RoF or WOFF.

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Olham I was under the impression that the 5mm represented the thickness of the strips, rather than the width.

 

All indications are the wing failures began in front of the spar and then peeled backward to "de-glove" the wing. But the sim can only represent so much.

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Olham I was under the impression that the 5mm represented the thickness of the strips, rather than the width.

 

Yes, that makes sense.

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And like in Hauksbee's photo up there, the reinforcement strip was tacked in place, as well as tied. Here's a view of Alb DVa 5390/17 in Australia, during restoration.


 

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Great to see such detail photos - thank you for sharing, Jim!

How's your new book about MvR getting on?

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What hasn't been published? There's a lot! This isn't a typical Richthofen--or any other pilot--book. I've written it in a format that's never been published before about anyone. The format I've created can/will be used for any pilot, so other pilots will be featured in the future, and not just German. MvR was first, though, because he has the most victories, I've researched him extensively, everyone knows him, and yet so many believe so many wrong things. My first MvR book was more biographical, whereas this one is more reference, although I did include a brief biography as an introduction so as not to alienate readers new to the genre. Also, Hauksbee, I plan on BIG photos. None of those 1"x1" photos you see in Osprey books. Plus a few unpublished ones as well.

 

As far as how it's coming, Olham, I'm compiling stats for #38. Almost halfway there! I should be done with all of them by next week. At that point the book will be 90% finished--which has been five years' work--with a bit to write in the souvenirs section and some nipping and tucking here and there. I had hoped to include a lot more colorized photos than I've done but my recent wrist problems have really stymied my Photoshop production. I'm in the midst of a break from drawing until 1 October, so I'll see how things go then.

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What hasn't been published? There's a lot! This isn't a typical Richthofen--or any other pilot--book.

Sounds great, Jim. Consider me first in line, got my money in my hand.

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That's nice of you! I understand potential eye rolls over MvR books but this one will be very different. And using the format for, say, an RFC pilot (already have one in mind but that's cart WAY before the horse) will yield interesting results for a pilot/pilots not often covered.

 

The only downside is between this book and all the guitar playing I'm doing, I haven't flown in eons! I need to get back into the Alb DI. Maybe tonight...

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